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Integrating the Management participation for MICE Tourism Industry

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By Kasun Abeynayaka

Tourism in Sri Lanka : Next Game Changer in Sri Lankan Economy, Sri Lanka lacks Concepts, Sri Lankan Tourism Needs Creative Tourism, Innovation  with Technology, Knowledge  Based Decision Making ,Recognition  Tourism in Public Policy, Political  Stability with Political  Vision towards Tourism, Sri Lankan Tourism must be aligned with Sustainable Development  Goals (SDGs)Globally  Tourism is Effected by the Climate Change and Disposal Income

Conference diplomacy is the most powerful multilateral element to address contemporary review of Knowledge, Public Policy, Innovation and Synergy in groundbreaking strategies for better future.

The Hospitality Industry is one of the fastest growing and changing industries worldwide. And of its aspects, MICE tourism plays a prominent role in bringing forth internal and external customers to establishments. The terminology MICE stands for Meetings, Incentive Travels, Conferences, Exhibitions and Events.

Sri Lanka is a country which offers many aspects of tourism to the world and MICE tourism is one which is getting a considerable amount of attention in the present days. Although the lack of suitable infrastructure limits the country’s potential to grow as a MICE tourism hub, the development which is happening across the island with showing positive outcomes which will in turn aid in the growth in MICE tourism.

As Sri Lanka offers a vast amount of entertainment, the MICE market has more opportunities of becoming a contributor to leisure tourism, increasing the benefits the country gets from having a healthy MICE tourism. MICE tourism is becoming one of the key contributing factors to the economy and Sri Lanka Tourism. The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) and other Authorities are collaboratively working hard on following areas towards the development of MICE tourism in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka was ranked 61st place in the ranking of MICE destination by the ICCA in 2014.  Sri Lanka had only 31 meetings per year. The largest destinations have about 800+ meetings. This is actually not to be compared because Sri Lanka can’t compete with other destinations. But Sri Lanka has the potentiality to grow. When analyzing the rankings, most countries remain in the same position for a long time; Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Singapore. But certain destinations are now penetrating into these top rankings: Bogota in Columbia are penetrating into the first 30.

Objectives of Sri Lankan MICE Industry

  • To identify new opportunities to expand MICE business in Sri Lanka.
  • To encourage the innovative and analytical thinking for developing unique and novel MICE related products and packages in Sri Lanka.
  • To Create Job Opportunities in MICE and hospitality products and packages which go beyond the conventional boundaries and horizons in Sri Lankan Economy.
  • To Attract Foreign Direct Investments for MICE Tourism Infrastructure as a tool of macroeconomic development.
  • To create Government Policies and Create Policy Environment and Level of Integration of MICE with private sector.

Events Industry in the Global Context

It has always been a competitive industry as we have to equally work with almost all the parts of the globe in some cases. The most important city when it comes to MICE is Paris, taking in the largest number of events because they create their own events and they market their culture, heritage and their culinary aspects and have a well-established work plan. Competing with a country as such is really difficult for the other parts of the world which is why these destinations are not changing their competitive stage. Cities like Paris, Barcelona, Madrid are all top meeting destinations in the world historically and are not being changed.

The Cannes film festival was actually created in 1940s by France to attract the meetings and exhibitions of the film industry to France and to compete with Venice and Berlin Film Festivals at that time. Lots of other destinations create their own events or they compete with others in a very aggressive manner so it creates a hyper competition in the MICE market. From the economic point of view, most of the traditional MICE customers and providers; the corporate houses; have been facing economic restrictions since 2009 (economic bubble) and are recovering.

Singapore and many countries in Europe and even Dubai have developed these kinds of interactions. People coming from the sophisticated part of the world and the new generation need something of that sort.

South Africa have been coming up as a tourist and MICE destination. As you can see certain traditional destinations are creating a new brand out of their traditions for MICE.

In Asia the top country is Japan. Singapore is ranked 7 attracting tourists 5 times larger than their population. The United Nations World Tourism Organization described MICE as a “Meeting industry”. Though it might be a limited aspect in its own words, it covers almost all the areas of MICE. The Secretary General of UNWTO Taleb Rifai in their 2014 report about MICE has stated that “MICE is one of the most important aspects of tourism because it reduces the seasonality aspect of tourism”. On the other hand it gives an edge over for other tourism products because most of the MICE events are prior reserved, and it develops the intellectual as well as other kind of industries and businesses in a country. Most Nations put their arts and ancient traditions etc. But at the same time there are certain destinations that developed in the recent times having an artificial environment that attracts most number of people.

There will be two organizations taken as example; one is the International Congress and Convention Association which is the largest MICE association in the world and does research in this area and API which is an association for Professional Event handlers. These two associations state that in the last few years, MICE has taken a different perspective with many changes happening in the meetings, incentives, conferences and event industry. Because of the changes of technology, people’s perspectives and many other aspects like global recession, economic turmoil and economic power houses are being differed from the European and US front to Asia.

The most important MICE destination in Asia which is Singapore doesn’t have a culture older than 100 years. Singapore has become a hub for new culture and new generation. People are being attracted to the country and every year something new is being added to the destination. The same scenario applies to Dubai which was previously a colony of Pirates. But currently Dubaiis one of the most attractive nations for MICE tourism in the Middle East. So either it is created values or traditional.

More weight on the culture & Technology; Many other Asian countries have traditional cultures. Countries like Indonesia, Thailand and India all have their own particular cultures. It is adding value to the culture with new aspects; new convention centers probably with a particular web 5.0 generation of technology and various other technical aspects. As such culture still plays a major role in MICE tourism.

 Recommendations

  1. Identify a Business Lead, Ascertaining Target Markets, Segments in Association Meetings, Corporate Meetings, Incentives Travel and exhibition

 MICE is a great deal as a whole and portrayed what is to be in Sri Lanka With over 70 MICE events held in 2015 with the  support of the previous government, Sri Lankan MICE industry is entering a new era. It also helps to make the destination more aware of the opportunities in the workforce and that the industry is not limited just to hotels.

  • Modern context: Social EventsMICE tourism is not only limited to conferences in the modern context; social events such as weddings, musical shows are all part of the MICE industry.An Extension of Industry of Leisure Tourism Although it is not as prominent as leisure tourism, MICE is one of the sub industries which attracts a multitude of tourists to the island. Marketing and Promotion in the Globe  Sri Lanka can surely benefit from MICE tourism, with businessmen travelling to the country with their families for a vacation after the conference is over. MICE leads to a high influx of tourists, higher occupancy and revenue for the hotels
  • Good Weather and The Country’s Natural Beauty:Professional and Business Travelers People do travel for the MICE industry. There are a lot of professionals who are involved in this High Revenue A higher yield can be expected from the MICE business. Businessmen and Professionals travel out of their countries to reach various destinations
  • Regarding the future: ProductSri Lanka is moving towards a new era in tourism with the MICE market. With a target of 4 million in 2020 an immense growth is expected. importance of a product; open sky policyCountry needs to develop the product and bring its level up. So there’s no surprise in the government considering an open sky policy; connectivity will be broadened and business can be fortified. Targeted businesses are given consideration to as people need to travel to the country.
  • Markets: International Airports in the World Having more than 450 international airports throughout the world and  all the countries looking for growth in that area MICE is becoming a very competitive market.Middle East Air-Connectivity: Sri Lanka’s connectivity with the Middle East via air lines play a prominent role in getting the appropriate market to travel to the island for various events.Assortment of Products: As Sri Lanka is one of the top islands of South East Asia with safety, good weather, quality people, eye catching beaches, a vibrant culture, heritage, mountains and wildlife, getting MICE business is not a difficult area.  Engagement: As everybody is involved in promoting their product, encouraging people, giving benefits to their staff, motivating their people, companies change their normal destinations and countries like Sri Lanka benefit from this.India :Global Rank: India is one of the top areas to look at because it has all the global Cooperates. Time Factor: All the people who are working are Indians and it’s much easier to get the Indian market as one flight from Bangalore to Colombo would be the same time frame as an internal flight. Indian Weddings: MICE market should target destinations where it’s easy to get people from. And apart from simply conferences and exhibitions, attention should be given also to holding Indian weddings in the country. Wedding Duration: Indian weddings are held for 4 or more days with 5000-6000 guests and an immense amount of money is spent. Yield: Millions of dollars are spent on one Indian wedding at the hotel. So the MICE market is not limited to conferences and exhibitions. Celebrity Endorsements:People can be attracted to the country by having events featuring top entertainers. Events that will make people participate from other countries need to be given consideration too.ASEAN:Growth: In this region, there’s a growth in the ASEAN market as people are traveling. Strategic Location: Sri Lanka’s geographical location and associations with the Far East and Western countries have a major impact on the country getting business.Sea Connectivity: Sri Lanka can provide safety for cruise ships. There are MICE events where they take a cruise and come to a MICE event in the country, have their conference and then get back to the cruise. Cruise Terminals: This is the reason behind a cruise terminal being considered to be built in Colombo in the future because this is an important factor in tourism
  • Bidding for Events, Pre and Post bid Activities, Direct and indirect lobbying

MICE is a name given to a special segment which covers Meetings, Incentive travels, Conferences, Exhibitions and Events. All these mini segments coming within MICE call for different strategies. Although Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) has been in existence for over 30 years, and Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall  (BMICH) in existence for over 45 Years. The country expected with around 25,000-50,000 MICE arrivals before 2015. But now everyone is talking about MICE and every year the numbers were decreasing and the government now is to concern about having value tourism.

As MICE encompass Meetings, Incentive travels, Conferences and Exhibitions it’s a very complex area where different kinds of events with various importance are being handled.

  • Bidding for an event: Expressing an Interest Bidding for an event is expressing your interest to have an event in Sri Lanka.There’s a legal requirement in bidding; after an expression of interest has been made by way of a bid, in writing with signature, it cannot be withdrawn. Firm Offer; Thus the bid is a firm offer, against simply making an expression of interest. here are 3 examples that can be given from the recent past regarding bids that Sri Lanka has made One is Sri Lanka’s bid for Commonwealth games which was lost to Glasgow. The Sri Lankan government incurred a cost very close to one billion rupees just for the bid document to submit the funding and we lost it.
  • Spinoff benefits: Duration of Stay : MICE tourism also brings in the high end, up-market business to a country. They spend more time and there’s an 80% likely hood that the travelers can come back to the same destination for an event.Generally conference delegates arrive and after spending about 2-3 days realize the country’s beauty and that they should bring their familiesCreating investments Opportunity: Events are linked to creating investments where spinoff benefits can be createdAdditional Support Services:As MICE also calls for additional support services more people are needed, thus creating more direct and indirect employment.It is easy for a country to promote MICE and then move into leisure
  • Investment on multi-purpose convention center: The Need of Purposely Convention Center:Build   Sri Lanka considered MICE as an extension of tourism even though it is a separate industry. Unfortunately Sri Lanka does not have a purpose built multi-purpose convention center. Even though the island nation has BMICH, Nelum Pokuna, Water’s Edge and so many other places, none of these are purpose built convention centers.
  • Infrastructure needs to be developed before holding any major MICE tourism campaigns: MICE arrivals is not as ambitious :Although MICE is growing alongside tourism in Sri Lanka, the targets for MICE arrivals is not as ambitious as tourism figures The reason for this is that infrastructure needs to be developed before holding any major MICE tourism campaigns. The difference between MICE and leisure is that the target audience for MICE tourism is the associations, corporations and institutions
  • Entertainment events are some of the successful events: Theme Events and Entertainment EventsRight now the bidding process is being conducted by the SLCB and relevant institutions. When basing on the topic Events, there are many events.Entertainment events are some of the successful events that have been gained for Sri Lanka in the past
  • Private Public Partnership for the Global Competition through Synergy: Global Competition: When Sri Lanka is bidding for an event there are other competitors who are looking to have those events in their countries.The bidding process is such. Before Sri Lanka bids for an event the reason for having a particular event .its impact on the country’s tourism and economy is taken into consideration .Researching is done to a high extent. After having identified events that should be bid for, the bidding process continues in 2 forms; either associations come to the SLCB and inform them that they need to hold a particular event in the country or events are found by the ICCA database. In the first approach the private organization informs the SLCB about their hopes of holding an EventThe Bureau evaluates whether it can be held in Sri Lanka or not.
  • Endorsement of International Conference and Convention Association (ICCA): Database ICCA or International Conference and Congress Association has a database which shows all the events that are being held and that are to be held across the continents. The research officer at the SLCB office monitors all the conferences that are taking place Considers the ones that can be brought to Sri Lanka based on specific criteria. Then communication with the owner or the franchise holder of the event commences and interest to bid for the event is expressed. For any event, there are conditions to be fulfilled; specifications that the host country or the host organization has to follow.
  • Preparation of the bid and Process: Information A lot of information needs to be found out in the course of the preparation of the bid document.The history of that event and where it was held, how it was held, the program, pros, cons, advantages and disadvantages. The competition must always be analyzed. Presentation of the bid At the point of the presentation of the bid, the committee needs to be impressed by the enthusiasm portrayed by the potential host country.This is a moment to showcase the theme of the whole event. Then the submission of bid document is always followed by inspections. Sometimes the bid will be rejected if the preparations do not reflect the capability of delivering what was promised in the bid document. Bidding process Second Aspect is there’s a bidding process which is a tendering process. In the bidding process, country is supposed to compete, understandthere’s a lot of work you have to do in the research area to understand what kind of client is dealing with and what kind of conditions that needs to fulfill 

Sri Lanka, despite of difficulties and infrastructure needs continues to do well in the MICE sector that is what brings the high end, up-market visitors to this country. And that is what Sri Lanka needs.

  • Planning, Organizing and Implementation of MICE and Events and Monitoring Performance

In terms of Planning, Organizing and Implementing MICE related activities the objective must first be identified. Creativity and flexibility is important as is the client’s insight as it is necessary to ensure the client’s needs are satisfied and met accordingly. Proper leadership must also be provided. A checklist will eliminate any problems that may occur on the day of the event due to inconsistent planning.

Whilst the event may be over, post event activities including compiling a participant database, collating the pictures from the event for use at future gatherings, as well as promotions through social media are important factors to be followed when organizing an event or MICE activities.

  • Career Development: Introducing MICE related EducationThe career development in this area yields a high rate now with universities and colleges introducing MICE related diplomas and degrees at BMICH-Bandaranaike Center for International Studies.
  • Creativity: Different experienceBut in order to survive, one has to be creative as this is expected from employees in the MICE industry. People always want a different experience. If Sri Lanka can’t create something new, Country won’t be able to survive. then clients will be ready to pay anything for their concept
  • Timing: Speed Sri Lankan Government also must be very fast when responding to hold foreign events in the country as there are other countries which are competing with Sri Lanka for the same event. Sri Lankan Government will also Need  to compete with local Private Sector competitors as well.Examples European event proposals will need to be submitted in about 10 days, Far Eastern in about 3-4 days  ,mere hours before the deadline from neighboring countries
  • Flexibility:Flexibility is of importance as well: client might ask for a thousand things so Sri Lankan Government Should be flexible in Red tapes.Sri Lankan Government always be flexible and try to understand the customers’ needs and service accordingly. There should always be good leadership with a person within the team to lead the project and be responsible. Knowledge in finance is a key necessity, because some clients will give the budget whereas some will not and an understanding of the destination point of view and the local competition is needed to do the financing.
  • Private Sector: Involvement and Way forward The Sri Lanka Association of Professional Conference Exhibition and Event Organizers (SLPCEEO) is the private sector or the industry body for meetings, conference and exhibition organizers. New convention centers and infrastructure development with Private Sector Involvement.Wedding planners are recognized as a MICE industry stakeholder. Identify Corporate Meeting Planners and Conference Organizers (PCO). Identify People who handle incentives are Incentive Houses and exhibition organizers are called PEO Identify Entertainment event organizers and Planers as event management companies.
  • Multi Stake Holder Involvement: In the suppliers’ point of view, MICE stakeholders involve conference centers like BMICH, exhibition centers like SLECC, Hotels, Air Lines and Cruise ships. The usage of the Meetings and Convention departments of hotels is now a growing trend. List al Event Suppliers with a Registration NumberConduct an Exhibition  for All Stakeholders Identify Objective of the Events .Temple Trees’ s convention center Operation to Private Sector  and Government to charge a royalty fee
  • Macro & Micro Environmental factors on MICE, Government Policies and Level of Integration of MICE into other Economic Development

The perspective of MICE tourism delivered herewith will be different from the rest as it’ll be more on out bound tourism, outgoing business and on being customers or participants for event held locally or abroad. The Macro Economic aspects and the environmental aspects that are having an impact on MICE tourism will be discussed.

  • Hyper competition; Diplomacy and Diplomatic Relations ;It has always been a competitive industry as Sri Lankan Government needs to equally work with almost all the parts of the globe in some cases through Public, Cultural and Economic Diplomacy.A well-established work planThe most important city when it comes to MICE is Paris, taking in the largest number of events because they create their own events and they market their culture, heritage and their culinary aspects and have a well-established work plan. Top meeting destinations in the worldCompeting with a country as such is really difficult for the other parts of the world which is why these destinations are not changing their competitive stage. Cities like Paris, Barcelona, Madrid are all top meeting destinations in the world historically and are not being changed.
  • Employability : Manpower Requirement MICE tourism requires a lot of Man Power and it creates lot of Jobs and technology is needed to keep up with the growth in the market. Trained professionals are an essential for establishments and for this there are two solutions; hire professionals to work directly with and inside the hotel or outsource people. Quality of Service: it is important that there is quality service imparted to the guests. The keys to success in the hospitality industry are low costs, high qualityConceptualization .People want to create or co-create particular experiences at events. These days Clients want to sit with the organizers and plan their own event and give the particular elements to be handled by the professionals.

Brands:These are the macro changes that are visible all over the world. In MICE tourism, destination needs to become a brand and not a commodity in the present times. Value Additions: If there’s no differentiation throughout the marketed destinations then the only factor that will be considered will be MICE. Price Sealing: Then whoever is giving the lowest price rate will be getting the business. This is why Sri Lanka has been losing most events for larger destinations because of the inability to do what they are doing.

  • Economic Cycle: Authenticity-The other important factor is the Culture and Authenticity. When thinking about the cultural aspect, the traditional MICE destinations like Paris, Madrid and Venice rely on their culture.From the economic point of view, most of the traditional MICE customers and providers; The Corporate houses; have been facing economic restrictions since 2015 and are recovering. But the power houses are being changed. Most of the present day billionaires, pharmaceutical and IT industries are shifting to Asia, either to China or India. These Cooperates are part of a different corporate set up. But most of the traditional MICE destinations are not able to cater them because there’s no understanding of the perspectives and the culture and other aspects the new and immerging markets are searching for
  • Backend and Frontend through Vertical and  Horizontal Integration: Close Vicinity in the Destination: Sri Lanka has an integrated culture and nature because all these things are in vicinity and as an island nation these are all included naturally. Effectiveness Over productivity: They are threatening us on the aspect of price and quality and efficiency. Those are the little things that must be taken into serious regard in MICE tourism.
  • Policy and Strategic Direction for MICE Ideology in the World: When Government thinks about the policy and strategic direction, Government need to recreate the destination brand and create an ideal MICE destination because Sri Lanka is famous as a tourist destination: So rebranding our country as a MICE destination is an important factor
  • Integration of Professionalism: As a land which has marvelous natural settings, wildlife etc. But MICE is all about the integration of professionalism.Quality and technology to give an unique experience.Integration of the stakeholders is also important
  • Security and Safety: Paramount importance but at the same time the experience and remuneration of the particular destination is what brings tourists to the country.
  • Technology: Innovation: When considering the technological innovations, what needs to be understood is that World is in the age called Generation 5. Its interactive communication and the importance of communicating then and there is becoming an important part of the technology of MICE.
  • Political stability and Political  Vision: Marketing StrategiesHuge potential to develop incentive and conference marketing in the country as Sri Lanka has a high literacy level, high IT literacy levels and tele-communication. Incentive wise Sri Lanka has entertainment which isn’t available in India: people Sri Lankan night life and casinos and high level of entertainment and facilities
  • Liberal Society and Thinking :Incentive markets come to enjoy and Sri Lanka is liberal in the aspect of entertainment. Northern and Eastern provinces which attract much attention have the capability of holding small scale, high quality events. Drawback is that good facilities and the support of the local authorities and councils are needed.:
  • Recognition of Tourism Promotion in Public Policy through Policy Stake Holders: Predictable Public PolicySri Lankan MICE Tourism to move forward in the Global with integrated sustainable solutions are significant in Predictable Public Policy Making. The National policy of Sri Lanka needs to define country’s place in the European Union via Quality Strong governance, Multicultural Society, Diaspora, Consolidated diplomacy, The Rule of Law based system, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Reconciliation and Finally promote and protecting human rights should console the public policy.Policy Stake Holders Following National Policy Stake Holders should be in the priority lane Accountable Executives

Professional Bureaucracy at the first place, Bilateral, Regional and Multilateral Agreements, Highly connected Political, Economic and Cultural network, Geo strategic Location of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean promoting sustainable MICE tourism concepts such as Marine Tourism, Marine Parks, Marine Zones, and Cruise tourism etc.Policy Environment Needs to focus on VICE model of tourism Promotion in the World –

  • Visitor Satisfaction,
  • Industry Profitability,
  • Community Acceptance ,
  • Environment protection ,
  • Journey to 2030 in SDGS

Abstract to Implementation, Sustainable Cites, Holistic Waste Management ,Agenda Setting, Policy Innovation, Price ElasticitySustainability of Transformative Tourism Demonstrative Projects (TTDP): The four Major Chinese infrassucture Projects such as Mattala International Air Port, Sea Port in Hambantota Port City and Shangri-La Mixed Development Projects have given a shoulder to Tourism Industry between 2010-2019 to manifest the Long-term Vision in  MICE Tourism Sri Lanka .

Way forward

“Integrating the Management participation for MICE Tourism Development and Promotion  in Sri Lanka”: an attempt is made here to highlight 3 main factors regarding MICE tourism Development  and Promotion of Sri Lanka.

  • Impact of integrated sustainable solutions in Public Policy to Promote MICE  Tourism in other Countries
  • MICE Tourism Promotions through Ministry of  foreign Rations  in Globally
  • ICT Development for MICE Tourism Industry in Sri Lanka: Search Engine Optimization & Social Media in Digital Hospitality & Tourism
  • Aviation / Maritime-Enhancing Connectivity
  • Industry networks, hotels, media & Destination Management Companies
  • Livable and vibrant Cities for MICE Tourism Development

Impact of integrated sustainable solutions in Public Policy to Promote MICE  Tourism in other Countries: Predictable Public Policy, Accountable Executives & Professional Bureaucracy

MICE Tourism in Sri Lanka to move forward in globally with integrated sustainable solutions are significant in Predictable Public Policy Making. The National policy of Sri Lanka needs to define country’s place in the Globally via Quality Strong governance, Multicultural Society, Diaspora, Consolidated diplomacy, The Rule of Law based system, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ,Reconciliation and Finally promote and protecting human rights should console the public policy to Brand Sri Lanka as  MICE destination.

Following National Policy Stake Holders should  be in the priority lane Accountable Executives and Professional Bureaucracy at the first place, Bilateral, Regional and Multilateral Agreements, Highly connected Political, Economic and  Cultural network, Geo strategic Location of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean promoting MICE tourism concepts  such as Marine Tourism ,Marine Parks ,Marine Zones, and Cruise tourism etc.,

MICE Tourism Promotions through Ministry of  foreign Rations  in Globally:Ecnomic Diplomacy, Cultural Diplomacy and Public Diplomacy

The recognition of MICE tourism through economic diplomacy and Sri Lanka foreign policy to investigate on nations branding activities and Sri Lanka tourism promotion through the diplomatic mission in the 62 Sri Lankan Missions Aboard and MICE Tourism as a foreign exchange earner in the gross domestic production (GDP) in Sri Lanka.Foreign policy is a catalyst and multistakeholder focus between Other Countries and Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan diplomat’s role is improved globalized and digitalized in complex world. Following areas to find solutions as a form of Economic Diplomacy and  Nations Branding  activities to increase the visibility of   Sri Lankan MICE Tourism as a most important instrument at the foreign policy  level :Transformative Tourism Demonstrative Projects (TTDP),Engage Communities,Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI), Nations expectations, Building Capacities ,Inclusive MICE Tourism, Global Best Practices, Supporting industry networks& connectivity,Corporate participation through Partnerships and Agreements, Together for Tourism all. 

ICT Development for MICE Tourism Industry in Sri Lanka: Search Engine Optimization & Social Media in Digital Hospitality & Tourism

Elaborate the impact of mobile device and the internet in  MICE Tourism industry.  In  a  world  where  the mobile  devices,  internet,  and  cloud technology are taking over our day to day activity, each and every industry must embrace the change  to  achieve  competitive  advantage  in  the  highly  competitive  environment  or  be  left behind. Search engine optimization, search engine marketing and social media marketing are the major three ways firms use to expand their marketing activities on the internet. This is the new way to grab the attention of customers, to share with them the experience that your establishment offers in a virtual world, so that they will be willing to spend their time and money there, in the real world

Aviation / Maritime-Enhancing Connectivity: Airlines, Shipping Lines & Global Cultural Similarities

Aviation / Maritime-Enhancing Connectivity-Airlines and Agencies:. increase of demand for   MICE  Tourism Promotion  campaign and similarities of  Global Cultural Similarities , challenges in marketing Port City project with a follow up discussion about support provided by Inter Governmental Links to make the project a success through Events Industry, steps to be  taken to effectively and efficiently handle the targeted  MICE arrivals, importance of implementing best practices around the world in Sri Lanka related to aviation and maritime , information regarding connectivity and importance of brand positioning for Sri Lanka.

Industry networks, hotels, media & Destination Management Companies: International media and Facilitates Media Crew

Industry networks, hotels, media & DMCs:.about targeting 4 million arrivals by year 2020, challenges faced by Sri Lanka in attracting MICE customers, prospects for events sector considering Sri Lanka tourism, as well as ideal products applicable for Sri Lanka were discussed. The Content and Alignment of the brand should be published in the International media and Facilitates Media Crew’s Consular Affairs such as quick visa process is a classic example for Brand Alignment and Content. Operate Communication and Media Relations supports the MICE Sri Lanka Tourism in the globally. Government focuses on storytelling, consistent baseline messaging as Sri Lanka is a safety  destination and embrace  the  authenticity. Also all Media crews  should emphasized on Taylor made Itinerary, VIP Progammes , Best Practices and blogs

Livable and vibrant Cities for MICE Tourism Development: Art galleries, Museums , Performing arts, Media, High energy places and spaces To make Vibrant and Livability Cities need planed and structured upgrading the urban environment, redeveloping  redundant sites, and actively  fostering  the  development  of events  and activities which focus on  having significant attractions, activities and events that are  MICE  attraction  for  both  local and international tourists. The Richness of  Cities will enliven art galleries , museums , performing arts, media  etc. High energy places and spaces and more options for living and recreation are complex task for  cultural  capital, and Recreation capital.  

Kasun Abeynayaka

Catalyst-Public Policy,Diplomacy,Intentional Relations, Specialist-Events&Hospitality, Senior Lecturer-Tourism Economics