he world is experiencing unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic as the virus has infected more than 30 million people and caused more than 900,000 deaths worldwide as at September 2020. The pandemic has profoundly impacted human capital and triggered the sharpest contraction in global economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s. We can expect a gradual recovery as countries reopen their economies, but the hard truth is that the road ahead remains long and recovery is not likely to be smooth.
To stimulate tourism recovery, the Singapore Tourism Board launched the SingapoRediscovers campaign in July 2020 to encourage discovery of tourism precincts and drive demand for tourism industries such as the Hotels, Attractions and Tours. Singapore’s borders are now reopening gradually to allow safe travel in limited numbers, and we also start accepting applications for organisers to pilot MICE events of up to 250 attendees from 1 October 2020. A prototype has also been developed for larger events that will be tested at a few tradeshows to prepare Singapore for the eventual mass resumption of travel.
Amidst such times, it is important for our industry to stay adaptable and united. The COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed a wave of change in the MICE industry, with businesses reimagining what a safe event could look like. Apart from adopting best practices in safety, hygiene and sanitisation, Singapore’s MICE businesses have also experimented with innovative digital solutions such as technology to support the creation of virtual and hybrid business events.
As we take steps towards embracing what the future holds for the MICE industry, we encourage our MICE industry partners to use this downtime to rethink event formats, explore new partnerships and upskill for a new paradigm. Let us be well positioned and ready to resume business when the time comes.
Stay safe and positive.
Ms Lilian Chee
Director, Industry Marketing, Marketing Group, Singapore Tourism Board