In­done­sia’s MICE at­trac­tions have some­thing for ev­ery­one.

The Jakarta Post - Magazine - - Contents - Words Kin­dra Cooper

MBan­dung

Yo­gyakarta

eet­ings, In­cen­tives, Con­ven­tions and Ex­hi­bi­tions (MICE) en­tice­ments pick up where leisure tourism leaves off, play­ing a piv­otal role in gen­er­at­ing in­ter­est in vis­its to In­done­sia. More for­eign tourist ar­rivals have been recorded within the first five months of this year than in the same pe­riod last year, the gov­ern­ment said in July.

There is also in­creas­ing recog­ni­tion of the po­ten­tial of des­ti­na­tions be­yond prover­bial Bali and Jakarta in host­ing MICE gath­er­ing. The quick-es­cape haven of choice for city-weary Jakar­tans, Ban­dung is no stranger to ma­jor events, hav­ing hosted the first Asian-African Con­fer­ence in 1955 be­tween newly in­de­pen­dent Asian and African states. Just a 2.5-hour drive from Jakarta, Ban­dung’s cooler cli­mate, less traf­fic-clogged, hilly streets and boun­ti­ful hawker food op­tions are its prime pull fac­tors. On the MICE front, the Trans Ho­tel, ad­ja­cent to the Trans Stu­dio theme park owned by the epony­mous TV net­work, can host large-scale shindigs, boast­ing the largest meet­ing, con­fer­ence and ex­hi­bi­tion venue in Ban­dung, with a ca­pac­ity of up to 6,000 peo­ple in an area of 2,350 sqm. An ir­refutable yard­stick for Yo­gyakarta’s grow­ing ap­peal as an MICE desti­na­tion is the erec­tion of the 14-hectare Jogja Expo Center.

In­done­sia has it all in host­ing in­ter­na­tional-cal­iber events, and give par­tic­i­pants plenty of op­tions to en­joy their free time.

Fur­ther­more, MICE events in Yo­gyakarta in­creased by 10 per­cent in 2012, with 8,693 to­tal events re­port­edly at­tended by more than 520,000 peo­ple.

Even for those vis­it­ing Yo­gyakarta strictly for non-he­do­nis­tic pur­poses, its prox­im­ity to the Borobudur Tem­ple, a UNESCO World Her­itage Site, is jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for squeez­ing time for plea­sure into a busi­ness trip. Yo­gyakarta is still a ma­jor cul­tural seat for game­lan, clas­si­cal and con­tem­po­rary Ja­vanese dance, wayang kulit (shadow pup­pets) and the­atre. To im­merse in lo­cal cul­ture doesn’t re­quire crosscoun­try gal­li­vant­ing: the Ker­a­ton Palace of Yo­gyakarta, lo­cated in the city center, is a pro­to­type of Ja­vanese ar­chi­tec­ture and cul­tural para­pher­na­lia, while Jalan Malioboro’s night mar­ket of­fers sam­plings of the lo­cal cui­sine and non-mass-pro­duced batik, sil­ver and leather hand­i­crafts. Yo­gyakarta’s in­ter­na­tional ho­tel chains are con­cen­trated around Jalan Malioboro, mak­ing it the city’s most tourist-thronged area.

Surabaya

Su­perblocks, known to moon­light as re­tail, res­i­den­tial and re­cre­ational spa­ces, can be fur­ther par­layed for MICE events, such as the Grand City Mall & Con­vex, Surabaya, which fea­tures a 3,320 sqm con­ven­tion hall and even larger 4,100 sqm ex­hi­bi­tion hall. The Gra­me­dia Expo, as one of the first build­ings in Surabaya to be cer­ti­fied “en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly”, is ar­chi­tected to con­serve en­ergy, with trans­par­ent walls that ad­mit the in­flow of nat­u­ral light. Ho­tel ball­rooms such as at Shangri-La Surabaya, JW Mar­riott Surabaya and Sher­a­ton Surabaya Ho­tel & Tow­ers re­main ideal venues for MICE events; but with the con­struc­tion of new expo cen­ters such as the Ja­tim Expo, there are man­i­fold op­tions. Con­sid­er­ing that some 80 per­cent of visi­tors to Surabaya are on busi­ness, an es­ti­mated 50 per­cent of which are MICE visi­tors, ac­cord­ing to the Surabaya Tourism Pro­mo­tion Board, In­done­sia’s sec­ond-largest city would do well to lever­age its po­ten­tial as an MICE desti­na­tion. For quick leisure stopovers, Kam­pung Arab and the om­nipresent Chi­na­town are great, ev­ery­thing-un­der-one-roof venues for sam­pling lo­cal fare, hand­i­crafts, and the lively am­biance of a tra­di­tional mar­ket.

Jakarta

Gov­ern­ment tar­gets of rais­ing for­eign vis­i­tor num­bers from last year’s 8.04 mil­lion to 9 mil­lion in 2013 still hinge heav­ily on star des­ti­na­tions Jakarta and Bali. On the en­vi­ron­men­tal MICE front alone, Jakarta last July hosted the World Geo­ther­mal En­ergy Sum­mit 2012, while the up­com­ing In­done­sia LNG 2013 Con­fer­ence will be held at Grand Hy­att Jakarta this Oc­to­ber. The Jakarta Con­ven­tion Center and Jakarta In­ter­na­tional Expo have played host to such weighty gath­er­ings as the ASEAN Sum­mit 2011 and will soon be set to host a fair share of the APEC Sum­mit 2013 meet­ings, as well as Bali, Palem­bang, Medan and Surabaya.

Bali

With its in­her­ent touris­tic pull, re­sort desti­na­tion Bali is a go-to MICE desti­na­tion. This year the is­land will see a fur­ther in­flux of ar­rivals for the up­com­ing Forbes Global CEO Con­fer­ence 2013, Miss World 2013, World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WTO) Con­fer­ence and, of course, the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (APEC) Econ­omy Leader’s Meet­ing. Fives­tar lodg­ings in prox­im­ity to ho­tel-man­aged fa­cil­i­ties such as the Bali In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Center at The Westin Re­sort, Nusa Dua and shut­tle ser­vices to and from ho­tels and no­table land­marks makes it easy to hold events span­ning mul­ti­ple days and lo­ca­tions. The Bali Nusa Dua Con­ven­tion Center is one of var­i­ous ded­i­cated fa­cil­i­ties ca­pa­ble of host­ing up to 10,000 peo­ple over a to­tal space of 25,000 square me­ters, where the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion Con­fer­ence will be held from Dec. 3-6, 2013.

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