Security hampers meetings business

Desy Nurhayati, The Jakarta Post, Depok, West Java

Indon..." /> Security hampers meetings business

Desy Nurhayati, The Jakarta Post, Depok, West Java

Indon...">
Security hampers meetings business

Desy Nurhayati, The Jakarta Post, Depok, West Java

Indonesia has the potential to emerge as one of the world's leading destinations for meetings, incentive events, conventions and exhibitions (MICE), but must address lingering problems of security and accessibility to do so, a discussion heard.

The MICE industry has been flourishing in Asia, with more international events being scheduled to be held in countries across the region, therefore Indonesia should grasp this growing opportunity, said the chairman of the Indonesian Congress and Convention Association (INCCA) Iqbal Allan Abdullah.

"Indonesia should be able to improve its bargaining position so as to support Asia in taking the lead in MICE business, which is currently still dominated by Europe and the United States," he said Saturday.

"We have a strategic geographic location, as well as good infrastructure in terms of hotels, conference centers and meeting facilities, in some places, but security and accessibility remain problems here."

To handle the security issues, notably to ensure the global community that Indonesia is a safe place to visit, the country should develop its tourist destinations and intensify promotions worldwide, he said.

"Once an incident occurs, there should be an immediate response to counter it," he added.

Indonesia was rocked by bomb attacks between 2002 and 2005, playing havoc with its tourism industry. But with security authorities capturing those responsible and continuing the crackdown on terror suspects, the industry has gradually regained ground.

Iqbal suggested that the country enhance its accessibility by providing more international flights, he said. Currently, 36 foreign airlines operate here to serve flights to 32 destinations across the world while nine domestic airlines fly to 25 international destinations.

The Central Statistic Bureau data recorded that 5.5 million tourists visited Indonesia last year, but only 40 percent of them or 2.26 million people were MICE tourists. The MICE tourists contributed some US$2 billion to state revenue.

Iqbal recommended the establishment of an Indonesia convention bureau to provide a one-stop service for organizers planning to hold MICE events here.

INCCA is preparing a proposal to the government to make 2009 a Visit MICE Indonesia Year in a move to expand the business in the country. The program is expected to follow up the ongoing Visit Indonesia Year 2008.

The government has chosen Jakarta, Medan, Batam, Padang, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Bali, Manado and Makassar as the MICE destinations.

Edward Liu, president of the Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations, said the region was a prospective market for MICE business and that Indonesia should "have a bite of the pie".

He said Asia had the strength to succeed in MICE business because of the emerging markets in China, India and South East Asia, as well as increasing foreign direct investments in countries across the region.

"But Asian countries mostly still lack world-class infrastructure and management of skills. However, their economic growth offers huge opportunities," he said.

Speaking of Indonesia, he said, government agencies should endorse or host more international MICE events. Indonesian associations and corporations should also participate in organizing more global events here, he said.
<span style="font-size: 14pt"><span style="font-weight: bold">Security hampers meetings business</span></span><br /> <br /> Desy Nurhayati, The Jakarta Post, Depok, West Java<br /> <br /> Indonesia has the potential to emerge as one of the world's leading destinations for meetings, incentive events, conventions and exhibitions (MICE), but must address lingering problems of security and accessibility to do so, a discussion heard.<br /> <br /> The MICE industry has been flourishing in Asia, with more international events being scheduled to be held in countries across the region, therefore Indonesia should grasp this growing opportunity, said the chairman of the Indonesian Congress and Convention Association (INCCA) Iqbal Allan Abdullah.<br /> <br /> &quot;Indonesia should be able to improve its bargaining position so as to support Asia in taking the lead in MICE business, which is currently still dominated by Europe and the United States,&quot; he said Saturday.<br /> <br /> &quot;We have a strategic geographic location, as well as good infrastructure in terms of hotels, conference centers and meeting facilities, in some places, but security and accessibility remain problems here.&quot;<br /> <br /> To handle the security issues, notably to ensure the global community that Indonesia is a safe place to visit, the country should develop its tourist destinations and intensify promotions worldwide, he said.<br /> <br /> &quot;Once an incident occurs, there should be an immediate response to counter it,&quot; he added.<br /> <br /> Indonesia was rocked by bomb attacks between 2002 and 2005, playing havoc with its tourism industry. But with security authorities capturing those responsible and continuing the crackdown on terror suspects, the industry has gradually regained ground.<br /> <br /> Iqbal suggested that the country enhance its accessibility by providing more international flights, he said. Currently, 36 foreign airlines operate here to serve flights to 32 destinations across the world while nine domestic airlines fly to 25 international destinations.<br /> <br /> The Central Statistic Bureau data recorded that 5.5 million tourists visited Indonesia last year, but only 40 percent of them or 2.26 million people were MICE tourists. The MICE tourists contributed some US$2 billion to state revenue.<br /> <br /> Iqbal recommended the establishment of an Indonesia convention bureau to provide a one-stop service for organizers planning to hold MICE events here.<br /> <br /> INCCA is preparing a proposal to the government to make 2009 a Visit MICE Indonesia Year in a move to expand the business in the country. The program is expected to follow up the ongoing Visit Indonesia Year 2008.<br /> <br /> The government has chosen Jakarta, Medan, Batam, Padang, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Bali, Manado and Makassar as the MICE destinations.<br /> <br /> Edward Liu, president of the Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations, said the region was a prospective market for MICE business and that Indonesia should &quot;have a bite of the pie&quot;.<br /> <br /> He said Asia had the strength to succeed in MICE business because of the emerging markets in China, India and South East Asia, as well as increasing foreign direct investments in countries across the region.<br /> <br /> &quot;But Asian countries mostly still lack world-class infrastructure and management of skills. However, their economic growth offers huge opportunities,&quot; he said.<br /> <br /> Speaking of Indonesia, he said, government agencies should endorse or host more international MICE events. Indonesian associations and corporations should also participate in organizing more global events here, he said.
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