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.



Hong Kong extends subsidy scheme
Source: Edited excerpt from Conference and Meetings World
Date: 8 October 2021

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s (HKSAR) Government has announced the extension of the Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme for six months until 31 December 2022, in response to demand from the industry. Part of the Scheme’s funding will also be allocated to provide a one-off immediate relief measure to private organisers of exhibitions that have a clear track record of being held in Hong Kong, to assist in their pandemic recovery. The amount of the immediate relief will be equivalent to 20% of the average annual rental of the relevant exhibitions, subject to a cap of HKD 1m (USD 128,500) per event.

Singapore companies launch global business events fund
Source: Edited excerpt from CIM
Date: 13 October 2021

A global fund has been launched to invest in the exhibition and events industry, marking the first fund of its kind. Headquartered in Singapore, the Arena MICE Equity fund has been set up by Exhibition International Investment Partners and Abacus Capital, and offers an opportunity to gain exposure to the recovery and growth of the business events industry through publicly listed MICE and MICE-related stocks.

Indonesia’s event socialization initiative
Source: Edited excerpt from Travel Daily
Date: 18 October 2021

Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has held the Cleanliness, Health, Safety, Environment Sustainability (CHSE) Event Protocol Story (CERPEN) campaign for public and local media in Medan, North Sumatra. The CHSE event socialization initiative aims to attract creative workers to socialize CHSE guidance into regional content and culture so that it is easily understood by the local community.

Thailand’s COVID-Free setting
Source: Edited excerpt from Travel Daily
Date: 21 October 2021

The Centre of Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), Thailand’s government’s body overseeing disease control measures and COVID-19 policies, has approved Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau’s (TCEB) proposal to allow MICE events to be held under “COVID Free Setting” protocols covering the event environment, personnel, and customers.

Maldives launches “Redefining MICE” campaign
Source: Edited excerpt from M & C Asia
Date: 13 October 2021

A new campaign from Visit Maldives wants to redefine the ‘sombre boardrooms and conference halls’ usually associated with business events and encourage corporates to embrace ‘bleisure’ activities. As well as digital communication, this campaign will include business events FAM trips and dedicated roadshows in different countries.

Philippines’ support package
Source: Edited excerpt from TTG MICE
Date: 25 October 2021

The Philippines’ Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) has beefed up its incentive packages and privileges, and for the first time, is offering financial assistance of up to one million pesos (USD 19,700) for incentive groups and exhibitions. For meetings and conventions, TPB will assist with digital promotions for the event, F&B costs, venue rental, hotel accommodation for foreign buyers, and provide a half-day city tour. Similarly, for exhibitions, F&B for VIPs, hotel accommodation for foreign buyers, and a half-day city tour are new additions.


Canberra’s support package
Source: Edited excerpt from CIM
Date: 1 October 2021

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government has allocated AUD 8 million (USD 5.98 million) to be used to help rebuild those major events that were cancelled this year, while a new major events fund of AUD 2.5 million (USD 1.87 million) over two years will be used to attract new events and AUD 3 million (USD 2.24 million) to expand tourism marketing activity. The Canberra Convention Bureau will also receive AUD 1.3 million (USD 972,653) to help the recovery of the business events sector.

New South Wales AUD 530 million (USD 397 million) support package for business events
Source: Edited excerpt from TTGMICE
Date: 20 October 2021

New South Wales (NSW) government has announced AUD 530 million (USD 397 million) funding package to help revive business events across the state. BESydney will administer the funding programme in conjunction with Destination NSW, on behalf of the NSW Government.

  • AUD 60 million: Aviation Attraction Fund
  • AUD 150 million to support the recovery of major event activity across the state including A$50 million for a Regional Events Package
  • The AUD 250 million for the expanded Stay & Rediscover
  • The AUD 6 million to bring business events back to Greater Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.
  • The AUD 50 million Event Saver Fund
  • AUD 10 million put towards a Recovery Marketing Campaign.

New cash grants for Victoria’s National Business Event Program
Source: Edited excerpt from CIM
Date: 5 October 2021

Applications are now open for the next round of Victoria’s National Business Events Program. The funding program has been topped up to provide a three-fold cash boost to attract events to Melbourne and a new funding stream is now available for events hosted in regional Victoria. The expanded program boasts increased funding amounts, up to AUD 90,000 (USD 67,337) per applicant to hold multiyear business events in Melbourne, plus grants available up to AUD 25,000 (USD 18,704) per applicant to hold events in regional Victoria before 31 December 2023.

Source: Edited excerpt from CIM and Visit Victoria
Date: 29 October 2021

Victoria’s AUD 20 million (USD 15.1 million) Regional Events Fund is now open for applications. Funding is available for the attraction, development, marketing and growth of public events across Victoria. Support is available across three streams:

  • Stream 1: Regional Event Acquisition – Funding up to AUD 1 million (USD 754,700) to support the attraction of one-off or ongoing major events.
  • Stream 2: Event Growth and Development – Funding up to AUD 500,000 (USD 377,350) to grow the economic impact of medium to large-scale events.
  • Stream 3: Event Industry Support – Funding up to AUD 50,000 (USD 37,735) to build capability and support the marketing and operations of events that attract intrastate or interstate visitors.


“The Future Role and Purpose of Convention Bureaux” white paper
Source: Edited excerpt from Kongres
Date: 29 October 2021

The Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe has published a white paper on “The Future Role and Purpose of Convention Bureaux”. The white paper identifies the main roles that will define national convention bureaux in the future, the challenges to be tackled in order to create sustainable value, the new players and established partners future national convention bureaux will be collaborating with, and the key qualifications and skills needed to thrive in the coming years.

Read it here.

“Maastricht: where heart meets matter” campaign
Source: Edited excerpt from Meetings HQ
Date: 25 October 2021

Maastricht Convention Bureau and MECC Maastricht have launched an international campaign to attract large-scale conventions. With the campaign called ‘Maastricht: where heart meets matter’, Maastricht is positioning itself as the ideal convention city where science, history, and innovation come together. In a fully digitized bid book and using five videos starring Dutch celebrities, the international business market is introduced to Maastricht. Maastricht is also focusing on the legacy of business events.

VisitBritain’s ‘MeetGB Virtual’ 2022
Source: Edited excerpt from Meetings HQ
Date: 27 October 2021

In partnership with MeetEngland, Business Events Scotland, Meet In Wales, Tourism Northern Ireland and London Convention Bureau, MeetGB Virtual has organized an online tradeshow for international buyers to connect in real time with UK destinations, venues and suppliers. The new format will offer both buyers and suppliers flexibility that suits their own schedule, helping to create crucial business opportunities and supporting the business events industry build back demand for live events as it reopens and begins to rebuild.

Success of Vienna’s subvention program
Source: Edited excerpt from AMI
Date: 13 October 2021

Since its launch 5 months ago, the €4 million (USD 4.66 million) Vienna Meeting Fund, being administered by the Vienna Convention Bureau, has seen 242 conferences receive preliminary funding, totalling €2.5million (USD 2.9 million). Most funding submissions came from the fields of human medicine, business, banking and finance.

Glasgow focuses on SDGs
Source: Edited excerpt from AMI
Date: 8 October 2021

The Glasgow Convention Bureau (GCB) is offering an interactive workshop to help planners host sustainable meetings in the city. The Go Greener in Glasgow initiative, which is aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, will provide a support service to meetings planners, professional conference organisers and academic conference ambassadors and provide them with practical tips on delivering sustainable events. This new initiative adds to Glasgow’s existing reputation as a sustainable events destination as it gears up to host the UN Conference on Climate Change, COP26.

#VirtualGlasgow World Walking Route
Source: Edited excerpt from Meetings HQ
Date: 21 October 2021

In another development, in order to welcome delegates who are logging in from home, GCB have launched virtual walks to help online delegates feel part of the live conference experience by enjoying and learning about their virtual host city. Delegates from anywhere in the world can form teams, walk their steps at home and contribute to their team step challenge.

Gothenburg launches hybrid platform
Source: Edited excerpt from Conference and Meetings World
Date: 19 October 2021

Göteborg & Co, the tourism and convention bureau of the Swedish city Gothenburg, has created Hybrid+, a tool that aims to improve digital meeting experiences. The new tool assists meeting organisers reach out to a broader spectrum of participants through hybrid formats.

It’s a PLUS for Madrid
Source: Edited excerpt from Conference and Meetings World
Date: 8 October 2021

Madrid Convention Bureau (MCB) has launched its new digital platform for social and environmental sustainability and legacy – PLUS (Platform for Legacy with us). A major feature of the new service is related to creating legacy, by promoting contact between event organisers and local agents (NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.) and suggesting actions to contribute to this legacy project in the city.


Puerto Rico’s marketing toolkit
Source: Edited excerpt from Northstar Meetings Group
Date: 20 October 2021

Discover Puerto Rico has created a new marketing toolkit with customizable templates for postcards, social media posts, e-blasts and videos, to build attendee excitement before events.

Destination DC’s “Still Connected” campaign
Source: Edited excerpt from Northstar Meetings Group
Date: 20 October 2021

Destination DC, wants planners to know the nation’s capital is open again and is “Still Connected,” via the campaign by that name that highlights three strengths of the destination:

  • Connected Capital – gives groups access to local experts from a host of industries, including technology, biotech/pharma, transportation, sustainability and advocacy.
  • Connected Community – helps events to be more eco-friendly by linking planners with sustainable hotels, venues, transportation, organizations and more.
  • Connected Campus – encourages planners to use non-traditional spaces for events in D.C.’s convention centre district, including art galleries, pubs and churches.


IAPCO releases COVID-19 National Guidelines
Source: Edited excerpt from Boardroom Magazine
Date: 15 October 2021

IAPCO has put together, in one single document, the current COVID-related protocols and procedures in place within each of its Task Force Members’ destinations.

Download the factsheet here.

UFI releases Global Recovery Insights: Road to recovery
Source: Edited excerpt from Meetings HQ
Date: 19 October 2021

This latest in the Global Recovery Insights series of quantitative global survey of trade show visitors and exhibitors, carried out in the summer of 2021, collectively gained 15,000 responses in 10 languages, representing trade show participation in over 30 countries. The study found that demand has returned to pre-pandemic levels for both exhibitors and visitors, with no signs of a fundamental shift away from in-person trade shows as a channel.