Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) held an online MICE Tourism Update attended by around 740 industry partners on 25th May 2020 (Monday) to introduce a multi-pronged recovery plan for the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE) industry. Mr Kenneth Wong, General Manager, MICE & Cruise and Regional Director, Europe of HKTB, analysed the new norms for the MICE industry in post-pandemic travels.
- MICE travellers will attach greater importance to hygiene
- Lead time for event organisation will be shortened
- In the first stage of the recovery, MICE groups of smaller scales will constitute a larger ratio in the industry because of hygiene concerns and operational constraints
- The ‘phygital’ hybrid model will become a rising trend in MICE events, integrating digital and physical interfaces
- Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) and wellness are getting more popular as the themes for incentive travel
- Convention and exhibition venue providers have put in place additional disinfecting equipment and have heightened screening arrangements such as temperature measurement and physical distancing to ensure public health safety. At the same time, venues have strengthened their digital infrastructure and communication network for better internet connectivity for organising online meetings.
- Venues and hotels allow greater flexibility in their policies to cater the needs of MICE event organisers so as to improve their competitiveness.
- For incentive travels, CSR and wellness themed itineraries will become the key focuses for HKTB’s promotion campaigns
Support to trade
1. Business Recovery
Host the first post-pandemic online MICE business matching platform in Asia
- The platform, to be launched in June 2020, is an innovative marketplace that enables Meetings and Incentive event organisers from the markets to meet with MICE trade partners such as local event venues, attractions, hotels to explore possible collaborations and secure business opportunities in spite of travel restrictions
Increase Hong Kong’s MICE exposure
- Representatives from professional & trade associations, universities and chambers of commerce will be invited to become Hong Kong’s MICE Ambassadors under the new MICE Champion Club to promote Hong Kong as a convention destination to their overseas counterparts
- Hong Kong’s position as “Trade Fair Capital of Asia” will be reinforced through organising trade delegations to participate in major overseas MICE events. HKTB will also establish a platform for connecting trade partners and overseas Meetings and Incentive event organisers
- An international conference will be co-organised with Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) in December 2020. Key players in the MICE industry will be invited to Hong Kong
2. Trade Support
Strengthen supports for travel agencies
- The minimum stay requirement of the Small-sized MICE Group (SMG) funding scheme is lowered and requires travellers to stay in Hong Kong for 1 night instead of 2 nights, benefitting a wider variety of MICE groups of different lengths of stay.
Strengthen supports for hotels
- A brand-new funding scheme will be rolled out in the next quarter to encourage hotels to partner with small-sized corporate meetings and conventions
- The campaign “MeetON@HongKong” has lined up over 70 hotels (including long-established convention hotels, small- or medium-sized hotel venues and newly opened hotels) to offer complimentary Meeting and Dining Packages to small MICE groups. Other offers from airlines, attractions and HKTB are also available in order to bring in a larger number of MICE visitors
Strengthen supports for trade marketing
- Participation fee waivers, subsidies on air tickets and accommodations are available to trade partners who participate in HKTB’s overseas trade shows
3. Image Rebuilding
Rebuild Hong Kong’s image as the World’s Meeting Place
- Testimonials and success stories from respected industry leaders will be covered on multiple social and mainstream media channels
- HKTB will increase exposure and engagement in major MICE industry events by bidding and winning the hosting rights of these events, or scale up the marketing sponsorship and participation in their programmes
- HKTB will also work with HKSAR government departments and organisations to bring major events and A-list speakers to Hong Kong to generate high-impact media coverage on leading business media
Launch all-new MICE branding campaign
- An all-new MICE branding campaign will be initiated to showcase Hong Kong’s core strength, state-of-the-art infrastructure and venues, latest travel deals and itineraries, event venues and unique travel experiences to potential MICE visitors, emphasising Hong Kong’s status as “the World’s Meeting Place” and refreshing visitors’ impression
HKTB is dedicated to closely monitoring the latest trends in various source markets and maintaining a flexible approach in the recovery. The campaigns will be speedily launched once conditions for source market visitors to visit Hong Kong are favourable.
Mr. Kenneth Wong, General Manager, MICE & Cruise and Regional Director, Europe said, “For now, we are focusing on planning ahead and getting all the ground work done, so that we will be ready to seize the first-mover advantage and roll out our plan in no time once we see the green light. Our team looks forward to working closely with our MICE partners to overcome the challenges and revive our business together.”