Bulletin: COVID-19

We’re all being flooded by news and communications about COVID-19.  Below we summarise information about how destinations are responding, which we hope will help you in planning your own mitigation and recovery strategies.



Korea’s business events association partners with PCMA on training
Source: Edited excerpt from AMI Magazine
Date: 25 August 2020

PCMA and the Korea MICE Association have announced a two-year strategic agreement, aimed at equipping their members for life after COVID-19. A key component of the partnership will focus on the delivery of PCMA’s Digital Event Strategist (DES) course in Korea as well as other training programs to help meeting professionals adapt to the new business environment.

Penang’s digital marketing support for the business events industry
Source: Edited excerpt from M & C Asia
Date: 1 September 2020

Other than the Privilege Penang enhanced support program which was launched in June, the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) has provided social media support for Penang hotels to promote their offerings during and after Malaysia’s lockdown.

Seoul hosts virtual fam for business events media
Source: Edited excerpt from TTGmice
Date: 14 September 2020

Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) hosted its first virtual media familiarisation programme for journalists specialising in business events on September 17 and 18. The virtual fam comprised of five ‘venues’, each representing the varied charms of Seoul – a conference hall where journalists can access educational sessions; a virtual Seoul promotional booth; a lounge area for network opportunities; workshop; and a virtual theatre to watch business events-related city showcases.


Perth’s convention bureau to fund delegates at domestic events
Source: Edited excerpt from TTGmice and AMI Magazine
Date: 24 August 2020

Business Events Perth has unveiled a new funding initiative to encourage organisations to hold business events locally. Funding of up to AUD30 (USD21.50) a delegate is available, with total funding support determined by the event duration and number of delegates attending the event in-person. The State Government has also launched a AUD5.5 billion (USD4.01 billion) WA Recovery Plan to help Western Australia emerge from COVID-19, which includes AUD150 million (USD109.5 million) to support the tourism industry.

Australian government program to fund up to 50% of business events costs
Source: Edited excerpt from Business Events News
Date: 11 September 2020

Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison announced AUD50 million (USD36.6 million) in support for Australia’s business events industry. The new Australian Business Events Grants Program will see organisers of meetings, conventions, incentive and exhibitions able to apply for upfront grants to cover up to 50% of their costs (between AUD10,000 {USD7,320} and AUD250,000 {USD183,039}). The funding is part of the Government’s AUD1 billion (USD731.98 million) COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund which supports sectors severely impacted by the pandemic.

New Zealand’s Regional Events Fund
Source: Edited excerpt from TTGmice
Date: 11 September 2020

The New Zealand government has announced a support package of NZD50 million (USD33.3 million) to promote domestic tourism through business events. The injection will go to nine major regional groups across the country via the Regional Events Fund. The fund is an addition to the government’s previously announced Domestic Events Fund, in which 20 of the 200 events receiving support were conferences and business events.

Business Events Sydney launches online foresight series
Source: Edited excerpt from micenet and BESydney
Date: 15 September 2020

BESydney has released an online initiative entitled “Anticipating Tomorrow: Global Insights Series” which brings together leading researchers, business pioneers, groundbreakers and Government to share expert insights from around the globe. The series connects information, ideas and people, including the role that global conferences can play in helping Australia build back stronger and prosper again.

Canberra employs use of “Smart Badge” for business events safety
Source: Edited excerpt from HQ – The Association Magazine
Date: 9 September 2020

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Chief Minister confirmed support for the delivery of new contact tracing and social distancing technology, Smart Badge, to help Canberra attract new business events to the region in the current environment. The funding is part of ACT Government’s new Tourism and Hospitality Package. The wearable ‘badge’ – worn as a watch, lanyard or helmet clip – is registered to the wearer by a QR code and maps their location within the set area of an event. The Smart Badge technology will be available free-of-charge to meeting planners with a confirmed event in Canberra. 


Slovenia’s “Safe and Healthy Meetings & Events” certification
Source: Edited excerpt from KONGRES
Date: 26 August 2020

In an effort to bring back live events and help restart the meetings industry, Slovenia has launched a standardisation process for event organisers and venues in Slovenia. The “Safe and Healthy Meetings & Events” certification issued by the Slovenian Convention Bureau in cooperation with the National Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia, is based on a comprehensive guide that includes measures and recommendations for reducing health risks connected to the spread of COVID-19. To qualify for the certificate, organizations have to comply with 65 different measures in order to guarantee maximum safety of attendees.

The guide can be found here.

Dublin’s recovery plan
Source: Edited excerpt from HQ – The Association Magazine
Date: 7 September 2020

Dublin’s plan for future events will focus on association conferences and the support they offer to them directly, to their PCOs, the conference ambassador and most importantly how they can help build legacy from their events.

NewcastleGateshead convention bureau launches social media campaign
Source: Edited excerpt from Exhibition News
Date: 1 September 2020

Venues, hotels, and event service providers from across North East England have come together to launch a new campaign, #ItsTyneToMeetAgain, to help support the recovery of the business events industry within the region. Organized by NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, the grassroots social media led campaign focuses on employees in the sector creating video and photography via their smartphones to promote events spaces, the staff working there and the measures they have taken to ensure staff and visitor safety.

Germany categorizes tradeshow attendance as “essential travel”
Source: Edited excerpt from UFI LinkedIn page
Date: 1 September 2020

The German Ministry of Interior, has categorised entering the country to attend a trade show as “essential travel”, a move that demonstrates the critical role exhibitions play in economic recovery post-COVID. Trade fair participants from all countries can enter Germany to attend trade shows, subject to them having valid visas where needed.


Abu Dhabi successfully delivers COVID-free sanctuary
Source: Edited excerpt from CIM
Date: 31 August 2020

In a recent event at the Emirate, Abu Dhabi created a world-class ‘safe zone’ for approximately 2,500 people over five weeks on Yas Island, which was locked off and completely secluded from the rest of the Emirate for the five-week period. In line with the principles of the “Go Safe” certification programme, the health and safety procedures undertaken by event staff were extensive and included COVID-19 testing every 72hrs and 14-day isolation periods. The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) plans to evolve this concept for the return of tourism and other events in the coming months.


Convention centers in Las Vegas, Florida and Chicago receive GBAC Star accreditation
Source: Edited excerpt from NorthStar Meetings Group
Date: 10 September 2020

The Global BioRisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of the worldwide cleaning-industry association ISSA, has unveiled a new certification to help the meetings industry rebound from the coronavirus crisis. More than 3,000 facilities in 66 countries are seeking GBAC Star accreditation. This includes convention centres, hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, and even airlines and airports.

Facilities will gain accreditation when they show they are implementing the industry’s highest standards of cleaning for COVID-19, and are safe to welcome guests and hold events. The program is backed by 10 industry organizations, including the International Association of Venue Managers, International Facility Management Association, International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association and the Go LIVE Together Coalition.


COVID-19 Impact Map
Source: Edited excerpt from TTGmice
Date: 2 September 2020

International SOS has launched a new map representing the impact of COVID-19 on health, security and logistics for domestic operations, aimed at helping multinational organisations navigate the pandemic. The COVID-19 Impact Map complements International SOS’ suite of risk analysis maps, including Security, Medical and Road Safety.

The scales in the map represent the following business operations impacts due to COVID-19:


Myanmar’s white paper on the priorities for restarting tourism
Source: Edited excerpt from TravelDaily News
Date: 31 August 2020

Myanmar Tourism Marketing (MTM) with the support of the Development Partners Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business, Hanns Seidel Foundation and Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute, has released a White Paper that is intended to provide guidelines and principles for the recovery of the tourism sector. The White Paper outlines seven recommendations:

  1. Put Safety First
  2. Promote Domestic Tourism
  3. Adopt a Phased Approach for Reopening to International Travel
  4. Improve Destination Management and Market Segmentation
  5. Revise the Current Approach to Marketing and Promotion
  6. Build a Supportive Business Environment
  7. Invest in Human Resources – Managing Talent During and After COVID-19

Download a copy of the White Paper here.

UNWTO Tourism Recovery Tracker
Source: Edited Excerpt from UNWTO
Date: 16 September 2020

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has developed the first comprehensive tourism recovery tracker worldwide, monitoring a number of relevant indicators throughout the recovery of tourism.

The tracker is available here.