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segments (Weber & Ladkin, 2003; Oppermann, 1996; Oppermann Chon, 1997). Several reasons are given, with the main reasons being the economic benefits for the destination and community as well as improving image (Opperman, 1996). The principal assertion given for building convention centers is the economic impact of delegates spending more, staying longer, and not solely spending on hotel and restaurants but on leisure activities such as retail, events, and visits to local attractions such as museums and theaters (Clark, 2004). Economic impact and the value of conventions has often been a main thrust of research as fiscal issues are often more tangible and easier to trace than destination attractiveness and regional development (Mackellar, 2006). Morgan and Condliffe (2006) caution that an economic study by itself may only provide a limited overview of the economic benefits of a convention to the area and should be examined within the context of noneconomic factors such as social, environmental, cultural, and destination image impacts. This convention boom lacks empirical support with Lee and Lee (2006), noting in their discussion of the feasibility of convention and exhibition center development that this has ³been based on voluminous feasibility and market studies and abundant political rhetoric about economic impact and community services. However, some development projects seem to be based on too optimistic feasibility studies and upward growth forecasts for the future C&E[Conventions and Exhibitions] market¶ (p. 112). Clark (2006) also warns of an amenity ³creeping commitment´ by cities developing the convention industry in a similar manner as the hotel industry in providing a list of amenities such as pools, customer loyalty
this has put convention facilities and CVBs (Convention and Visitor Bureaus) under greater scrutiny (Sanders. 2004). though. and in-room amenities. while there was an image of growth in conventions and exhibitions that spurred the creation of even greater convention space. The MICE industry now spans the globe with increasing competition from established and emerging markets. Cities. and that more space did not create more business. Greater onus. continue to promote convention growth as an economic development certainty. 2003). infrastructure.programs. service quality training for those in tourism. having a specific promotional program. some of which could be applied to locations in general wishing to enhance or introduce a convention product. There has. therefore. has been placed on the planning and management for MICE development being integrated within an overall strategic tourism roadmap. underwriting entertainment events. in effect. with traditional marketing approaches having less appeal. underscoring that. and other features to attract conventions. Priporas (2005) proposes several initiatives in marketing and developing the city of Thessaloniki as a MICE destination. Factors highlighted were marketing. which has given greater need to address and consolidate several strategic issues to remain competitive (Weber & Ladkin. These include creating a development plan and image of the city incorporating rich cultural history. been a lack of empirical research conducted on the performance of convention centers over time. With the convention industry. no growth. human resource management. Sanders (2004) researched and presented several myths within conventions in American cities. and service quality issues. With the increasing use of incentives by discounting and complimentary facilities. this focus would be on facilities such as pedestrian bridges. however. . there has been.
2008). including Singapore as an Asian partner. and until the liberalization ofMacao¶s casino industry in 2001. by the end of 2006. There has been a global rush by tourism destinations to embrace and commit resources to the MICE industry with the perception that. it is acknowledged that. to be successful. This is not the case for Macao given the increasing revenues generated solely by the gaming market. It is a strategic CVB alliance and network of eight cities unified with the objective of providing higher standards of service to potential clients. By the first quarter of 2008.and modernizing or introducing infrastructure and transportation facilities to effectively support this development. Historically. 2008). An example of a global strategic MICE initiative is The Best Cities Global Alliance. Increasing over the years. 2008b). taxation from gaming revenues represented almost 80% of Macao¶s public revenue (Macao Statistics and Census Service. recording 22 million visitors in that year (Macao Statistics and Census Service. 2003).72 billion. 2008a). in the end. Through the aim of distinguishing themselves on service quality attributes. clients will choose a destination that best fits their needs. 2008a). In 2006. which is the ³world¶s first and only convention bureau alliance with eight partners in five continents´ (Best Cities Global Alliance. Macao became the world¶s leading gaming destination in terms of gaming revenue (Macau Business. The Alliance has members across the globe. This is an image that Macao wishes to discard through the objectives of casino liberalization and tourism policy. with the MICE tourism seen as a market . Macao¶s image received negative media coverage on account of criminal underworld dealings and vice (McCartney & Kong. revenues from the gaming industry had reached US$3. exceeding the Las Vegas Strip and Atlantic City combined (Destination Macau. a MICE market must be a feature of the travel market mix.
MGM Grand. Crown. many have looked to Las Vegas as a model to follow in Macao. Given similarities such as resolving organized crime issues. This has given greater burden to an infrastructure (from physical to human resource needs) that has not kept pace with this vision of a quality leisure destination as well as the requirements of the MICE industry to achieve an effective foothold. with neighboring mature players such as Hong Kong and Singapore. Macao¶s rapid development since casino liberalization has seen the opening of Wynn. a contrary position of the business traveler who may not be particularly price conscious (Fenich & Hashimoto. gaming and MICE tourism have not been compatible.to reposition Macao as a high-quality entertainment and leisure destination. being a relatively new entrant to the MICE market. which successfully developed into a MICE destination. Historically. changing image perceptions. inexpensive dining. with Atlantic City primarily a leisure tourism destination. and the first integrated resort on the Cotai Strip. This article discusses the key challenges as Macao looks to change its tourism destination image perceptions in the region. The focus of success was on generating revenues from the gaming floor. The Venetian. In their discussion of Las Vegas. and a complimentary (³comp´) system of rooms and accommodation. Galaxy StarWorld. Casinos have targeted the leisure tourist motivated primarily on gambling. 2004). Fenich and Hashimoto (2004) highlight that the image of Las Vegas being connected to organized crime had been one that did not attract business people. . and development of an entertainment capital.
has introduced convention and exhibition facilities. thereby pushing gaming operators to look at competitive positioning and additional revenue sources. 2004. The scenario presented by Fenich and Hashimoto (2004) is of relevance to Macao in equating how the MICE industry is perceived by gaming operators. They go on to discuss that gradual change started out of concern of rising competition with the potential of newer gaming jurisdictions ending the Las Vegas and Atlantic City duopoly. a key consideration for other gaming developers will be on the revenue created by gamblers in Macao¶s casinos vis-`a-vis those of potential MICE delegates. This followed with a massive investment in facility construction. Of relevance . and being viewed historically as acting on the periphery of an already highly lucrative gaming industry.with items such as hotel rooms not considered profit centers but part of the comp system. p. and when combining these various sources of revenue generated more than the average gambler. 66). ³There were many stories about conventioneers arriving in Las Vegas only to find that the casino had arbitrarily canceled their room reservations because regular gamblers had shown up at the last minute´ Downloaded By: [Maino. 78). The MICE financial model was also attractive as conventions mid-week and non-holiday periods (times not normally for gamblers) paid full price for the various meeting products from hotel rooms to food and beverage. Macao. Innocent] At: 12:09 8 November 2010 Glenn McCartney 297 (Fenich & Hashimoto.While The Venetian. establishing ³a symbiotic relationship between the casino and convention industries´ (p.
are brought together for some particular purpose. MICE tourism usually includes a well-planned agenda centered around a particular theme. such as a hobby. The acronym MICE is applied inconsistently with the ³E´ sometimes referring to events and the ³C´ sometimes referring to conventions. MICE is used to refer to a particular type of tourism in which large groups. or an educational topic. Incentive tourism is usually undertaken as a type of employee reward by a company or institution for targets met or exceeded. Recently. Such tourism is a specialized area with its own trade shows and practices. Unlike the other types of MICE tourism. rather than professional or educational purposes. or a job well done. a profession. This will influence the overall industry¶s approach to the MICE industry Introduction.will also be the impact of increasing regional tourism competition and the emergence and growth of the gaming industry in Asia. MICE events are normally bid on by specialized convention bureau located in particular countries and cities and . incentive tourism is usually conducted purely for entertainment. Conferences. there has been an industry trend towards using the term "Meetings Industry" to avoid confusion from the acronym. Meetings. usually planned well in advance. and Exhibitions. Incentives.
MICE tourism is a sector that is a substantial contributor to the overall economic gains produced by the tourism industry. Whilst the MICE market is expected to continue to exhibit moderate growth. . and visits to local attractions such as museums and theaters. often several years. The principal assertion given for building convention centers is the economic impact of delegates spending more. increased leisure time and improvements in transportation and technology have all contributed to this growth. staying longer. The meetings and convention industry has experienced positive consistent growth since the 1950¶s. Meetings and conventions are one of the fastest growing segments in tourism. An increasing recognition that motivational programmes are important for staff retention means that the incentives market will increase in the coming years. with the main reasons being the economic benefits for the destination and community as well as improving image (Opperman. 1996). Companies tend to choose meeting locations based upon their core business values and relative expensiveness. it is dependent upon the prevailing economic circumstances. Factors such as the increase in disposable income. They do not stray too far from their headquarters. and not solely spending on hotel and restaurants but on leisure activities such as retail. This process of marketing and bidding is normally conducted well in advance of the actual event. the greater propensity to travel.established for the purpose of bidding on MICE activities. The incentives market is slightly more diverse with firms liable to send employees to more exotic long haul destinations. Several reasons are given. A confident market will lead to more meetings and incentives whilst a nervous market is liable to have the opposite effect. MICE tourism is known for its extensive planning and demanding clientele. The MICE segment is exhibiting encouraging growth potential. events.
and independent. 1997). Promotion of a destination for future visitation is frequently a result of hosting a meeting or convention (Dwyer & Forsyth. Annual conventions can attract thousands of attendees and most often are held in top-tier cities or at resort locations (Crouch & Weber). planners. MICE tourism also contributes to relationships between attendees and the hosts of the region. . They are usually held in hotels. and are mostly shorter in duration. 1999). MICE stakeholders include facilities. Meeting planners can be broken down into four categories: corporate.Some of the benefits of MICE tourism include employment and income to a region as well as investment in tourism infrastructure. new facilities and amenity developments are providing individuality and specific activity±orientation towards new markets. Additional activities may include pre and postconvention cultural tours. 1990). Corporate meetings most often have shorter lead times and require less preparation in planning (Crouch & Weber. activities and shopping (Gunn. hospitality (accommodation and food and beverage). Corporate meetings tend to be smaller. training centers or universities. On the supply side. or ³CMP¶s´ (Certified Meeting Professional). technical services. are an integral part of MICE tourism. networking functions and seminars. travelers prefer varied products and services marketed toward their specific market segment based on demographics. government. lifestyle and interests. conference centers. local attractions or theme parks as well as sporting events. and tour opportunities and entertainment (Dwyer & Mistilis. which can ultimately increase the participation or attendance of an event and hence create repeat attendance for future events while bringing in more economic gains for the host communities. transportation. Traveling to attend meetings is the primary reason for business travel. Planners. 1997). 2003). Meetings and conventions traditionally include ³add on´ activities. A variety of association meetings exist to promote the interests of their members including training and development programs. Associations tend to hold the largest meetings and conventions throughout the world (Crouch & Weber). generally fewer than one hundred attendees. About twenty percent of all business trips are for the purpose of attending corporate meetings or conventions (Mill. association.
2003). therefore. Increased competition The MICE industry now spans the globe with increasing competition from established and emerging markets. has been placed on the planning and management for MICE development being integrated within an overall strategic tourism roadmap. infrastructure. clients will choose a destination that best fits their needs. human resource management. some of which could be applied to locations in general wishing to enhance or introduce a convention product. An example of a global strategic MICE initiative is The Best Cities Global Alliance. and service quality issues. which is the ³world¶s first and only convention bureau alliance with eight partners in five continents´ (Best Cities Global Alliance. having a specific promotional program. For groups. that of sport tourism. and modernizing or introducing infrastructure and transportation facilities to effectively support this development. Some attendees may even feel the relaxed atmosphere of a resort prohibits stress and allows for more open thinking. which has given greater need to address and consolidate several strategic issues to remain competitive (Weber & Ladkin. sports activities build team spirit and offer networking opportunities. in the end. Factors highlighted were marketing. These include creating a development plan and image of the city incorporating rich cultural history. Many activities offered at these resorts are sports such as golf. It is a strategic CVB alliance and network of eight cities unified with the objective of providing higher standards of service to potential clients. Through the aim of distinguishing themselves on service quality attributes. it is acknowledged that. Greater onus. . tennis and swimming. service quality training for those in tourism. The variety of activities offered by resorts also takes pressure off the meeting planner in terms of planning free time activities or events for the family members of attendees. Priporas 2005) proposes several initiatives in marketing and developing a MICE destination city. 2008). As such these resorts are an important component of an increasingly popular form of tourism.Neirotti (2003) stated CMP¶s find resorts to be great locations that are attractive to attendees.
To be identified as a ³business city´ is to be able to condense multiple identities within the city from numerous stakeholders of varying interests and power (Bennett & Koudelova. 1999). this must also be considered with other factors. this can mean shifting image perceptions by potential delegates and those involved in the destination selection process for the MICE event. Considering the factors used in the delegate decision process (Opperman&Chon. Convention locations also spend vast sums of advertising and promotion budget in the hope of evoking an attractive destination (Opperman & Chon. These factors. The effectiveness of marketing and promotional programs in not only being effectively received by specific tourist segments. For destinations. While image perceptions of the destination as an attractive convention location will play a major role. the success or failure of the tourism industry is based on images held by potential visitors and how these images are managed (S¨onmez & Sirakaya. 2002). but being believed and acted upon will also be a key determinant (McCartney. which include time availability and perceived costs of the destination (Baloglu & McCleary. a destination selection process incorporating external and internal factors was conceptualized influence on the selection of a destination for an association meeting. and. and promotional programs. 2006). publicity. 1997. 2005). 2001).DESTINATION ATTRACTIVENESS FOR MICE PLANNERS AND DELEGATES The portrayal of an attractive MICE location has become a major objective by an increasing number of destinations. as explained by Opperman and Chon (1997). 1997). This can be achieved by the use of various influencing factors such as marketing. the business traveler. Jago&Deery. regarded as bringing greater economic benefits and destination creditability. Choice of destination can be influenced by various internal factors such as image perceptions and motives and attitudes to external factors. in particular. Gartner (1993) suggested that image formation involved projecting selected images to a particular market segment or specific audience to which it is felt that the message would be more receptive. 1991). for most destinations. Destinations can reposition to attract wider tourism segments and. such as member support and personal factors. could . It has been acknowledged that image perceptions will determine eventual destination choice (Echtner & Ritchie.
hospitality hosting. and government meetings. time availability. the setting is of less importance. no current study details what hospitality educators have identified as systematic . With government meetings. 2007). Further. transportation. Kenya as most developing countries this has not come into full force with only a few units of event management incorporated in other programs like tourism and hotel management. and less on social program and meeting backdrop.be a mix of economic. Many postsecondary academic institutions are now involved in a ³race´ to develop courses in this area in an effort to meet the demand of employers as well as students with aspirations to enter full-time MICE positions upon graduation. particularly in the destination selection process. little research exists regarding the effectiveness of the instruction being offered by these programs. Human resource training for MICE industry With the expansion of the convention and event market in recent decades. are important ones. resulting in universities now offering graduate level courses to fill this niche. accommodation. association. The need for continued training of future convention managers has been recognized by hospitality educators. with expenses paid by the company. such as corporate. in which case the attractiveness and the prestigious and unique setting of the destination becomes of greater importance (Opperman & Chon. perhaps guided by a meeting planner or conference organizer. The economic impact of the convention segment lends credence to the need to educate future managers to fulfill positions in this field. The distinctions between various forms of meetings. there is a Parallel growth in the development of convention education programs and curricula aimed at preparing graduates for managerial-level employment in the industry. and personal development factors in what the delegate wishes to achieve from attending. It will be a key corporate executive or small group who determines the destination. number of guests. An association delegate may have a choice of whether to attend the meeting. However. with a focus on political agendas and decision making. the specific destination or city will be determined by the company. As an employee or invited member to a corporate meeting. 1997). given meeting dates and a closed program (McCartney. work and social program. and partner programs.
from the speakers and meeting location to arranging for printed materials and audio-visual equipment. incentive programs. Skills in event planning Meetings and conventions bring people together for a common purpose. Event planners work long and non-traditional hours to plan and execute all details related to a variety of meeting formats including seminars. Successful event planners develop the following skills: Verbal and written communications Organization and time management Project management and multi-tasking Self-starter and team player Understand Microsoft Office applications Detail and deadline-oriented Calm and personable under pressure Negotiation Budget management Staff management y y y y y y y y y y . The the event planner creates programs that address the purpose. and other programs. and government. golf events. professional and similar associations. message or impression that their organization or client is trying to communicate. Meeting planners coordinate every detail of meetings and conventions. core learning goals. corporations. trade shows. hotels. Meeting and convention planners work for nonprofit organizations. and meeting and convention planners work to ensure that this purpose is achieved seamlessly. executive retreats. Some organizations have internal meeting planning staffs. and others hire independent meeting and convention planning firms to organize their events. conferences.standards. conventions. and appropriate adult education learning theories necessary for instruction in convention education.
public relations. many successful planners begin in other professions or enter through administrative roles that include meeting planning responsibilities. marketing. References.y y Marketing and public relations Interpersonal skills with all levels of management Successful event planners will develop the following knowledge: Venue selection Catering Production Entertainment Gifts Transportation Lodging Conference Services y y y y y y y y Those who pursue a career in event planning come from a variety of professions and academic backgrounds. or communications. Many employers prefer a bachelor's degree in hospitality management. However. business administration. Downloaded By: [Maino. Innocent] At: 12:09 8 November 2010 298 JOURNAL OF CONVENTION & EVENT TOURISM .