Opinions Updates

Indonesia fortifies MICE industry under new leadership

Indonesia’s head of industry development, board of MICE, Wisnu Budi Sulaeman, says future looks bright despite coronavirus fears.

One of the biggest news that shaped Indonesia’s tourism and business events industry last year was the appointment of Wishnutama Kusubandio as the new minister of tourism and creative economy. Under his leadership, we are seeing a renewed focus on events and unprecedented support from industry leaders.

During meetings in Kusubandio’s first few weeks of office, we discussed challenges that Indonesia’s MICE industry is currently facing and how we hoped to move forward. This includes a focus on quality over quantity when it comes to tourist arrivals, building a skilled and knowledgeable workforce, reducing bureaucracy within the industry, and simplifying the rules and regulations of tourism.

Recently, a decision to reinstate Indonesia’s MICE Directorate was firmed up and we are happy to see the deputy minister of tourism and creative economy, Rizky Handayani, leading this agency. She will form a strong team made up of government and private sector professionals to run the MICE Directorate immediately.

Together with industry associations such as the Indonesia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (INACEB), and Indonesia Congress & Convention Association (INCCA), we feel energised and empowered by this new direction and believe greater collaboration is the first step in re-building the industry.

We are currently formulating a stronger bidding strategy to attract and host more MICE and special events, especially in Indonesia’s seven MICE destinations: Medan, Jakarta, Bandung, Jogjakarta, Surabaya, Bali and Makassar.

In the coming months, a National Tourism Reconciliation meeting will convene with MICE industry stakeholders to review current processes and adopt best practices for the industry.

While the beginning of 2020 has been marred by the COVID-19 outbreak, our MICE industry in Indonesia has yet to experience any significant negative impact.

Regardless of the situation, we believe we must keep our spirits high throughout this challenging period. Indonesia has faced many economic, financial, social and geographical trials and tribulations in the past and we are confident that, under a dynamic new leadership, we can weather this storm together.

Wisnu Budi Sulaeman is head of industry development, board of MICE at the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KADIN MICE Indonesia)