2016 MICE Trend in 5 ASEAN Countries

Let’s have a look at the latest business challenges for MICE players in 5 countries of South-East Asia in 2016.


Malaysia has undoubtedly achieved an excellent result, in terms of position in the ICCA Global Ranking 2014, with a more than acceptable 30th position out of 115 countries. Another great result was achieved by MyCEB, with two top initiatives (Malaysia Like Never Before campaign and Malaysia Twin Deal X programme), with 147 events supported, 339,137 delegates received and US$258,1 collected, up to 3Q2015.

The Malaysian MICE sees this 2016 in a positive way, mostly for the Chinese connection that are going to be implemented. In fact, since China is Malaysia’s largest medium-haul market for meetings and conventions, there will be more air links between Malaysia and China, both for low cost airlines and full services. It will be easier travel to Beijing, Guangzhou and Wuhan.


If on one hand the situation in Malaysia seems to be favourable, on the other hand we see a different trend in Singapore. In fact, 1H2015 registered a significant decrease of 16% in Business Travel and MICE (BTMICE) visitor numbers to the Lion City. This trend is also reflected in tourism performance, with total visitor numbers down 3% year-on-year and an alarming  reduction of tourism receipts of 12%.

Neverthless, so far the situation for 2016 is considered favourable and, as Janet Tan-Collins, managing director of East West Planners Singapore, states “We expect a busier 2016 ahead. Singapore is coming up with nice venues, which are very attractive to clients. Just think at the Waterfront Promenade and Esplanade: we offer unique and modern places!”


After a troubled 2014, TCEB (Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau) assumes 5% growth target for 2016, with a series of destination promotion campaigns. In particular, they will focus on a new campaign: Thailand Connect Our Heart, Your World. The aim of this campaign is to relaunch Thailand as a unique destination for business planner in South-East Asia. To do this, the campaign appeals to the cornerstones of MICE industry: it guarantees to business people to seize new opportunities; it provides a professional and enthusiastic service from Thai workers; it guarantees unique breath-taking destinations.


A study conducted by the Ministry of Tourism and Statistics of Indonesia reveals that MICE generated 9% of domestic travel movements and 2% of international arrivals in the last year. Even if a dedicated MICE directorate may not exist anymore, the main players of this sector state that there are growing opportunities, thanks to the support of specific regulations for government meetings. For this 2016, the main goal is to create exhibitions that attract international buyers, ensuring new occasions for events, thanks to new facilities, such as the ICE (Indonesia Convention and Exhibition).


As Malaysia, Philippines have experiencing great successes in MICE sector in 2015, like never before. This outstanding result comes from major international events, like the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Madrid Fusion Manila and the 17th Asia Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition. With these events, “We witnessed the country’s ability to set new standards for organising conferences and meetings” stated the Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. In fact, elegant meeting facilities and hotel are continuously built in metro Manila and in the surroundings.


*Content and quotes were first published on TTGmice February/March 2016.

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