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.
DIFFERENTIATING BUSINESS EVENTS FROM MASS GATHERINGS
The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) and the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) says it is important the government understands the business events industry can operate under a controlled set of ‘bio-safe’ principles and should not be subject to mass gathering restrictions.
Conventions & Incentives New Zealand echoes this sentiment. The New Zealand Government has confirmed ticketed large events, including domestic business events and conferences can now go ahead with a 100-person limit. The events must adhere to a one-metre distancing requirement and use contact tracing.
The same scenario is playing out in Malaysia where its Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM) is appealing for a clear distinction between business events and mass gatherings so the sector can establish a restart date. The Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) is pushing for 500 people as the maximum limit for business events, raising the limit of 250 which the National Security Council was considering.
Under the “Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration” campaign, qualified tourism businesses who exceed minimum standards set by the Public Health Ministry will be able to display a safety certificate logo.
In the meantime, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), in partnership with business events stakeholders in Thailand, have launched MICE Venue Hygiene Guidelines comprising five key measures.
TCEB has also implemented the ‘COVID-19 Free Meetings’ project, providing grants of 30,000 Thai baht (USD $1,465) to eligible MICE venues for upgrades to health and safety standards. The TCEB forecasts the project will be able to support up to 216 business event venues nationwide.
The Penang state government and Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) are jointly developing a three-year business events rejuvenation plan that will start from next year. The initial focus will be on building and attracting more national meetings and business events, before targeting South-east Asia, Asia Pacific and finally, the global meetings and incentives industry.
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
The COVIDSafe Australia plan outlines steps to gradually remove baseline restrictions and reopen the economy. Phase three, described as the ‘new normal’, will come into effect in July and will allow gatherings of up to 100 people, including business events. However, international travel and mass gatherings over 100 people will remain restricted.
European Cities Marketing, in partnership with TOPOSOPHY, has published “The DMMO Covid-19 Continuity Checklist – An ECM Guide for Sustainable Recovery”.
The Continuity Checklist is presented in three stages: response, recovery and resilience.
TOURISM RECOVERY EFFORTS
Tourism Australia has invited event planners around the globe to enjoy 24 hours of inspiration, education and entertainment with a curated program of live virtual travel experiences on the weekend of May 16 and 17. This was aimed at keeping event planners inspired and engaged for when it is safe to send groups to Australia again.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has developed a new framework featuring new platforms for easier digitisation and potentially faster recovery. Under the three-step framework coined “Learn Test Build”, companies can learn to identify gaps and opportunities in their business models through the STB Tech College, as well as a new self-diagnostic tool, the Tourism Transformation Index (TXI).