As a part of tourism industry, MICE increasing generates significant amount of revenue worldwide Hing, McCabe, Lewis, Leiper, 1998; Mistilis dwyer, 1999. MICE are an acronym for the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions which is powering ahead as a key growth driver. Asia has been one of the front compare to other country such as Europe and North America. Singapore, in particular has been no exception. The MICE industry is a vital pillar and economic contributor of Singapore’s tourism industry. Singapore’s tourism sector is gearing up for major revitalization through a host of new tourism developments and attractions which will re-define Singapore’s tourism landscape. (http://espace.library.uq.edu.au)
Singapore has the first class conventions and exhibition facilities such as SINGPORE EXPO and Suntec Singapore international convention exhibition centre. Moreover Singapore have excellent communication infrastructure, it’s made travelling from one place to another domestically and internationally. Singapore’s expert business environment, vibrant and multi-ethnic landscape, strategic geographic location, good global connectivity and multi- lingual populace has drawn many business travelers choose to do their business tourism at Singapore and complemented by state-of-the-art MICE facilities, infrastructure, expertise and professionalism in event management. (http://mice.yoursingapore.com)
Singapore is working hard to stay on top of the competitive business events arena. From year to year, Singapore’s MICE industry has grown significantly and now Singapore is ranked among the world’s top three cities for meetings by the Union of International Associations (UIA). Beside this the latest ICCA Ranking has positioned Singapore as the Top Convention city in Asia for ninth time and the Third Top Convention City in the World for the second consecutive year. Singapore has leapfrogged two score to reach the top position, beating Paris and Vienna and giving its goal to be the top of the world a boost. (www.tourism-review.com)
2.1 Critical Mass
There are few factors that influence Singapore as a major MICE destination in the world. The most important factor is it has critical mass; it has been awarded by the Union of International Associations (UIA). By developing a critical mass of MICE events in the industry, this strategy will create an eco-system of business events that complement one another’s presence. Business events not only will create vibrancy of the sector but also strengthens Singapore’s value proposition as a MICE venue. Singapore has the steady growth in the amount of international meetings and it has hosted for the past few years, a growth that show from the quality, and the creativity of the Singapore meeting industry. It makes Singapore continually attracts high- profile international business events. (www.visitsingapore.org)
2.2 Strategic Location
The second, Singapore has a strategic geographic location; it is also the key regional hubs for Asia, with its central location in Asia and a bridge between east and west. It makes Singapore attracts global businesses and it seamlessly connected to almost every part of the world. There were few exhibitions of different industries was held in Singapore such as Asia Aerospace, Food Hotel Asia, Communic Asia and Broadcast Asia and the responses was very good. Singapore is a safe and hospitable country, this is also a main reason event organizers choose Singapore.
Beside this Changi Airport has 80 airlines that connect to over 180 cities in 50 countries and Singapore’s port is the one of the busiest in the world and the country is classified as a premier International Maritime Centre. Its extensive air and sea linkages enable ones business to access 2.8 billion people within a seven hours flight radius. It is very much getaway to Southeast Asia. “Singapore’s position attests to its appeal as a premium business travel and meetings, incentive travel, convention and exhibition destination, “claimed the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). (www.mice.net.au)
2.3 Stability political and economic in Singapore
Singapore enjoyed a reputation of effective, honest and politically stable government. Singapore’s stability of political brings the trust of safe for people to choose to help the international event. Singapore is a knowledge-based economy and attracts multinational investments. It is open trade policies, social stability, world-class infrastructure and international communication links are some of the reasons why foreign investors flock its shores. The stability of their economic also will lead the amount of business travelers invest in promoting their own product in Singapore increase. The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2008 cited Singapore as the world’s second most competitive economy. The economic growth and political stability is maintained by the government of Singapore, it helps to attract more people to choose to held their event at Singapore with no worries compare to their competitors Malaysia and Hong Kong. (www.euroasiaindustry.com).
2.4 Communication infrastructure
Singapore’s reputations for efficiency and excellent communication infrastructure have enabled it to attract a chain of international events including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in 2009 and the coming event will be the first-ever summer Youth Olympic Games which falls on 14th August 2010 to 26th August 2010. Singapore also attract tourist to contribute to its success as a leading destination for both business and pleasure.
Singapore’s efficiency and seamless through modern state of art infrastructure and latest technology leads Singapore MICE industry rapidly grow sectors in the tourism industry worldwide. Singapore has rated the top in terms of basic infrastructure and technology infrastructure in the World Competitiveness Yearbook. As we know that Singapore Changi Airport received awards consistently and also a leading air hub renown worldwide for its efficiency and rated the first in the world for Quality of Air Transportation in 2006. (www.guidemesingapore.com)
2.5 Pro business environment and Government support
Singapore well known for its PRO business environment and it’s suggested to be the most beneficial place in the world for entrepreneurs to start their business there. In facts, the World Bank has ranked Singapore as No 1 in terms of ‘Ease of Doing businesses for the past four years. In the latest Global Competiveness report, Singapore was ranked first in; ‘Intellectual Property Protection’ and the second in ‘Quality Infrastructure’. Among the most of the countries, Singapore is one of the lowest corporate and income tax rates. Singapore government has improve the rigid environment to help business operate more efficiently such as, it is only take one day to get hold of a business license and at a fraction of cost unlike other countries may take few months to get a business license.
Singapore has successfully clinched a good amount of association meetings by its strong business basics and plans to build a vibrant ecosystem of business event. Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said “All vital signs are pointing towards the return of business confidence in the Singapore business event sector, fuelled by dynamic developments taking place within the tourism landscape. Leverage in our sterling track record and a sound business fundamental, Singapore has secured a robust pipeline of business events, including key international association meeting in coming years”. The overall pro-business environment and relative ease of doing business give Singapore a competitive edge as a MICE destination. The main reason while makes Singapore become a Pro-business environment and MICE destination is the strongly government support through Singapore Tourism Board (STB), government support was crucial to the events’ success. (www.stb-germany.de)
Singapore’s government support of development businesses and contributes to a dynamics business environment. Singapore invested heavily in promoting the MICE businesses and also their tourist destinations. The Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau (SECB), a group of the STB has enhance the “Business Events in Singapore (BE in Singapore)” incentive scheme to help business events organizers discharge a higher proportion of events’ project costs by providing a greater scope of funding support, and Singapore exhibitors at WFA 2009(Wine For Asia) enjoyed up t 50 percent off space rental. This helps so reduced cost for the exhibitors and can attract more exhibitions to participate. Meanwhile, Singapore is a country which has pro-business environment which has excellent infrastructure and professionalism in the MICE industry that can makes Singapore become a global exchange hub where people can gather and share their ideas and technology.
2.6 Excellent meeting and conference venue and offers international-standard facilities and service
Singapore is a global hub for business and leisure and it is also a best choice for meeting and events. With the first class convention centers and hotel ballrooms, Singapore continue reinvent itself with new event venues and attractions such as Marina Bay Sands Singapore. Marina Bay attractions will create a unique MICE group that we not found elsewhere in Asia with international-standard MICE facilities.
MICE facilities in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Expo, Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre are integrate to boost Singapore’s attractiveness as a business and leisure destination. Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition center and Singapore Expo are understandably a favorite choice for business event of all kinds due to their huge exhibition space. A good convention center, exhibition halls and meeting venue plays a very important when we organize an event, Singapore saw the convention center as an ideal platform for the exchange of ideas and for networking. The different range of venue offers flexibility to event organizers regardless of their events’ size, needs and budget. (http://spinergy.com.sg)
2.7 Excellent transportation system and telecommunications connectivity
Singapore boasts of a highly efficient and excellent public transportation system, which includes cabs, buses and the modern Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) rail system as well as their air transportation. With its excellent transport system, people can get around in Singapore with no burden. An extensive network of trains, buses and cabs connect travelers to nearly any point of the city and the public transportation fares are affordable for everyone. Lucky for those foreign travelers, Singapore makes it easy for guest to reach any and all meeting venues and attractions with their public transport system on time due to their punctuality of rail systems. Singapore’s bus network is extremely frequent and comprehensive; this is also very convenient for travelers. The new opening new MRT network has made accessibility to Suntec Singapore and Singapore Expo, it made expedient for those business travelers. According to a survey conducted by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority in 2006, 8 out of 10 Singaporeans were satisfied with bus and rail services. (www.guidemesingapore.com)
Singapore is well served by their public transportation and telecommunications connectivity. In telecommunications connectivity, Singapore has 21 Tbps of installed international Communication infrastructure capacity, sufficient for every business need. Singapore is also one of the more competitive telecommunication hubs in Asia Pacific. Excellent telecommunication links with broadband network in all business hotels.
3.0 Conclusion (Forecast for Singapore MICE Industry)
In my opinion, I think that Singapore will clinch to the top spot as the Best City for MICE events in the future, well ahead of other countries and cities. Singapore’s tourism landscape is undergoing a dynamic transformation. By the year 2010, Singapore will have a cityscape that give off more buzz and excitement in the atmosphere. Singapore keep reinvent itself by introducing new, innovative venue and excellent facilities to give their foreign business travellers and exhibitors a unique experiences and ambience. Singapore also will maintain their reputation as Asia’s premier MICE destination through offering new infrastructure and leisure products. With the growth potential in the region, the Asia-Pacific is expected to attract over 100 million business travel and MICE visitors by 2015, therefore it is no surprise that Singapore continues to pursue a bigger slice of this multi-billion dollar MICE market. (mice.yoursingapore.com)
With Singapore’s stability economy and global economy shows signs of a rebound, the business event sector is in good stead to take advantage of on business opportunities. Singapore has kept a strong pipeline of business events, including the key international association meetings, in the coming years. Ms Melissa Ow, Assistant Chief Executive, Business Travel and MICE Group, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said:” As we move into 2010, and climate of economy recovery, the STB will continue to work Closely with our industry partners to meet business event organisers’ evolving needs, explore new business leads and strengthen our international marketing and channel development efforts.”
Marina Bay Sands will be development into an integrate and vibrant MICE venue which offer 200,000 sqm of convention and exhibition space for concertedly bids, attract, create and grow strategic business events. These developments will redefine Singapore’s downtown and central business district. There are more than 150,000 meeting attendees are expected to visit Singapore this year for events already booked at the Marina Bay Sands. Moreover, Resort World Sentosa had hosted 35,000 attendees at a single event. Marina Bay Sands said that it has secured more than 30 events improvement to be held there from this year to 2012.
By year 2010, Singapore will be hosting the world’s first summer Youth Olympic Games. With planned influx of 15,000 overseas participants and visitors generating 180,000 or more visitor nights for Singapore, the YOG presents exciting opportunities for the tourism industry. Beside this, Singapore also host a series of upcoming events and conferences within this few years, such as Youth Olympic Game 2010, International Cruise Terminal 2010, Gardens by the Bay 2010, Sports hub 2012, National Art Gallery 2013 and many more. (www.locumconsulting.com)
Singapore will continue develop their capabilities and improve their infrastructure to serve business event travellers in order to ensure their position as a top Asian and global business destination. To ensure Singapore Expo is well-positioned to support the growth of the MICE industry, STB has gone aboard on plan to upgrade the facilities of Singapore Expo. In addition, STB also will improve the venue’s technical and audio capabilities, same goes to improvement its façade, landscaping and lighting system. The upgraded facilities will ensure that the Singapore Expo remains an excellent venue for business events.
There is growing competition from other country such as Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau and etc but Singapore is make every effort to offer good facilities and service to their business event travellers. Furthermore, STB continues work closely with the business events industry in order to increase the amount of the business event at Singapore and to ensure that the MICE sector continues to power ahead as a key driver of tourism growth in Singapore.
I think Singapore will stay ahead of the MICE industry, because the event organiser can be assured of quality service when staging events in Singapore, with its excellent infrastructure and professional workforce. Although Singapore has received a lot of awards but Singapore did not feel proud, they keep on work harder to maintain their facilities to achieve the best MICE destination in the world. Furthermore, Singapore’s MICE industry is on a firm and I believe that if Singapore put more affords in their MICE industry, it can leapfrog to reach the the top spot as the Best City for MICE events.