Meet in Bali
With Support from Bank Indonesia, Bali Convention & Exhibition Bureau Launched
NusaBali reports that as part of the effort to revive dwindling tourism numbers precipitated by the continuing coronavirus outbreak, the Bali Convention & Exhibition Bureau (BaliCEB) was launched on Thursday, February 13, 2020.
The BaliCEB’s focus will be on increasing Bali’s share of the Meeting, Incentive, Conference, and Exhibition (MICE) segment – seen by many as the most lucrative components of the overall tourism industry.
The BaliCEB was planned to be launched by the Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Wishnutama Kusbandio, on February 13, 2020, at the Bank Indonesia Complex in Bali. BaliCEB is a private sector initiative established to promote MICE business to Bali. The establishment of the BaliCEB receives support from the Bali Branch of Bank Indonesia.
The plan for the establishment of the BaliCEB announced at a focus group held on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, that was held under the Banner “Hospitality Leaders Talk Quality and Sustainability - A New Paradigm Bali Cultural Tourism.”
The launch event was held at the Bank Indonesia Office in Denpasar, presided over by the Deputy Governor of Bali Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (“Cok Ace”) and attended by numerous tourism stakeholders, academics, and representatives of the Provincial Government of Bali.
The chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (GIPI), Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana, says that the spread of the coronavirus has resulted in the cancellation of several MICE events worldwide. Adding: “There have been many cancellations in Singapore and Hong Kong, for instance. In the coming few months, people will need to think about where they can conduct meetings.”
Partha Adnyana’s view is that now is the time and the opportunity for Bali to go after the MICE market. “Bali benefits greatly. There are many advantages that Bali can offer to the MICE market segment. So we are launching BaliCEB.” The BTB Chairman said his organization stood ready to launch the Convention Bureau, including providing staff to operate the proposed agency.
A similar sentiment was voiced by the head of Bank Indonesia’s Bali Branch, Trisno Nugroho, who said the establishment of BaliCED would help Bali bid on major MICE projects and events. Nugroho said he hopes that activities initially planned for Singapore and China could be moved to Bali.
Trisno continued, saying that based on the information that Singapore was postponing MICE events because of the coronavirus outbreak, this then presents an opportunity for Bali — adding: “Who knows? Maybe MICE events for Singapore can be redirected to Bali? The center for MICE is in China. Soon, BaliCEB will participate in event bidding, permitting Bali to fill the vacuum (created by cancellations in Singapore and China).”
Meanwhile, the head of the Bali Tourism Service (Kadisparda), I Putu Astawa, says that Bali is the perfect choice to host MICE events because of the availability of several international standard conference facilities. “MICE business can stimulate Bali’s economy as it did when Mount Agung Volcano erupted in the recent past,” said Astawa.
Astawa continued praising the creation of BaliCEB as a means of creating “quality tourism” following the directives of the Government. The Head of Bali’s Provincial Tourism Office said that Bali was already launching an event scheduled for May 2020 - “MDC Paris Fashion in Bali.” The international fashion event will be attended by 350 fashion models, with Astawa championing the exhibition claiming fashion models are high-level influencers with one model having “one million followers” on social media.
Speaking separately, the chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), I Gusti Agung Ngurah Rai Suryawijaya, expressed the threat to Bali’s tourism posed by the current coronavirus outbreak. Because of this, PHRI supports any effort on the part of the Government to restore good health to Bali’s large tourism industry.
Rai Suryawijaya said that original plans to welcome 1.5-2 million Chinese tourists to Bali in 2020 were now at risk and in doubt. “We have lost between 3,000-3,500 Chinese tourists each day,” said Surywijaya. By extension, the PHRI-Bali Chairman estimates each Chinese tourist spends approximately US$1,000 or Rp. 14 million during a Bali holiday. This translates into Rp. 1.3 trillion each month or Rp. 5 trillion each quarter in lost foreign exchange.
Rai Suryawijaya expressed the hope that other key markets for Bali tourism - such as Australia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East – do not issue travel warnings or advisories recommending against travel to Bali. He also expressed the hope that canceled flights between Indonesia and China can now be diverted into new flights connecting Bali with India, Japan, UK, the USA, and the Middle East.