Singapore’s MICE industry remains strong despite economic downturn

Singapore’s Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions (MICE) industry has remained resilient in the face of the current global downturn.

Companies have seen as much as 60 per cent growth in sales in the past six months, driven by growing demand in Asia. And the local MICE sector is set to receive a further boost when the convention space at the integrated resorts comes on line.

The industry provides services that most businesses need in good times and bad. MICE customers typically plan far in advance, which also translates into steady revenues.

“Essentially, MICE activities are promoted way ahead. What we are seeing now is of course the effort that’s being put in two, three, or even four years ago. What we are seeing today, and in the next two or three years, will be the harvesting (of) the fruits of those labours,” said Ko Chee Wah, group MD of Cityneon Holdings.

As a result, MICE firms have been able to find a steady stream of projects, both locally and abroad.

While local firms have been involved as far afield as the Middle East or the Beijing Olympics, industry players are also keeping a close eye on the local market, which is set for a new period expansion.

Attractions such as the coming Universal Studios theme park are expected to create more opportunities within the MICE sector.

“It was reported that the 22 rides are going to cost over a billion dollars, and every two to three years, there will be a refurbishment and there are also new rides being built, so it’s going to spawn a whole new industry,” said Benedict Soh, executive chairman of Kingsmen Creatives.

The theme park industry is expected to grow 5 per cent annually to hit US$8.1 billion by 2011, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 9 Sep 2008

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