All the activities and the hustle and bustle inside the Department of Tourism are understandable. Transition is like a pain that needs pain killers. Sometimes the pain killer may take awhile to take effect. But the pronouncements of DOT in the newspapers and the different activities that are going on around the country are all about tourism products development and infrastructure. Observing this, something is amiss.
Yes, something is missing. The action towards making a competitive MICE industry towards our ASEAN country is missing. It seems it is out of the picture for our new DOT leadership. I hope not.
Meetings, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) are business boosters and it gives a stronger punch than backpack tourism.
In MICE the economic activities will be more long lasting.
Look at China; a country that sets-up huge convention centres in each of its cities and it is reaping the rewards in return. Look at Singapore and Hongkong, they have a very efficient MICE structure that attract and complement their tourism destinations. Look at Thailand, and even Vietnam they have a better public and private MICE machinery that have overtook us.
To our Department of Tourism, creating a MICE department or office in DOT will not be enough. A concrete and a strategic action plan is needed. The industry and all the organizations involve in MICE are ready to help.
Just don’t dare to forget about MICE, if you do any painkiller will not alleviate the pain and ailments of our tourism and MICE industry – a neglect that is an anti-thesis of targeting high value tourists.