The meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE) tourism sector has been among the hardest hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess whether employers are willing to send their employees to attend overseas MICE events in the next 12 months.

MICE Events

Approximately 52% of the respondents opined that they will not send their employees to attend overseas MICE events, while 29% of the respondents voted in favour of employees attending overseas MICE events.

A minority 19% of the respondents were undecided on allowing employees to attend overseas MICE events.

The analysis is based on 1,140 responses received from the readers Verdict community sites between 21 August and 16 November 2020.

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COVID-19 impact on MICE Events

The MICE industry has been forced to either move its events online or indefinitely defer the events in view of the social distancing protocols, lockdown restrictions, and ban on large gatherings. The G20 Leaders’ Summit in March and the 36th ASEAN Summit, for example, were conducted virtually due to the pandemic.

Virtual sessions have helped in holding the events and reach a wider audience without the need for travel. The in-person networking opportunities provided by these events, however, is lost when the events are conducted virtually. Online events could also tender a big blow to the travel and tourism sector, which is dependent on business travel for revenues.

Companies across various sectors are already dealing with the economic impact of the pandemic and the cost of business travel in such a scenario could be considered unnecessary, says GlobalData. The MICE sector may, therefore, be the last to recover from the pandemic as business arrivals are projected to decline by 35.3% in 2020.