Fri, 14 Oct 1994

Bali to host ICCA assembly next week

JAKARTA (JP): Bali, still considered Indonesia's most famous tourist destination, will host the 33rd annual general assembly of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) on Oct. 17-20.

Director General of Tourism Andi Mappi Sammeng told reporters here yesterday that Indonesia has been lobbying to host the assembly since 1991, the association's 30th assembly, in Amsterdam.

Indonesia confirmed its bid to host the meeting at the association's two following assemblies in Taipei and Istanbul.

"We must admit at the time Bali being a leading tourist destination, prompted us to propose the island as a venue," he said.

He said that next week's event, where ICCA's new president will be elected, will hopefully improve Indonesia's industry of meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition (MICE).

He said there are two chairmanship candidates, Pieter Van der Hoeven of Australia and Peter Rosier of the Netherlands, vying to replace outgoing president Jacqueline Pietri of France.

425 participants from 49 countries will attend the assembly, which will also hold several programs in Jakarta.

MICE industry

Andi said the MICE industry in Indonesia is a separate section from the general tourism sector. MICE participants, for example, spend US$325 per person per day, or three times the amount of the average amount of US$107 per day spent by general tourists.

"The MICE industry is still young in Indonesia. We currently have limited facilities and professional conference organizers (PCO) to promote large-scale international events in Indonesia," he said.

Andi said the government has licensed 12 professional conference organizers as of March, 1994, but only two of them are properly qualified.

The secretary general of the host committee of ICCA's general assembly, Halim Indrakusuma, said Indonesia should provide more adequate facilities, including complexes of hotels, convention centers, restaurants, shopping centers and tourist destinations to support the growth of its MICE industry.

"Indonesia currently has only two spacious convention rooms, located in Jakarta and Bali, which can accommodate more than 2,000 participants," he said.

Within the next few years Singapore and Hong Kong will have mega-centers which can accommodate 30,000 participants, he added.

Data from the directorate general shows that Indonesia hosted 642 events last year, which indicates a three percent increase from 623 events in 1992. Out of last year's total, 96 were international events attended by 12,215 foreign participants.

In Indonesia, over the past five years, most of the events were held in Bali (40.71 percent), Jakarta (37.72 percent), Yogyakarta (5.4 percent) and Bandung in West Java (4.61 percent), while the remainder were held in Surabaya (East Java), Medan (North Sumatra), Batam (Riau), Ujungpandang (South Sulawesi) and Manado (North Sulawesi).

The government will also simplify licensing procedures for the organization of domestic and international conventions to promote the country's MICE industry, Andi said. (icn)