The events industry in Singapore has ground to a halt following the Covid-19 virus outbreak.
The Multi-Ministry Taskforce have banned events of all sizes since March to reduce the risk of virus transmission.
During Phase 2, the government relaxed the restrictions, allowing weddings and funerals to take place with a limited number of people.
Large-scale events and venues, such as conferences, exhibitions, concerts and trade fairs, were still not allowed to take place.
However, the events ban will soon be lifted. Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing announced today (7 September) that Singapore will trial holding events with up to 250 attendees.
Organisers will be apply for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) events such as business exhibitions and conferences starting from 1 October.
“We are working with overseas partners, including overseas event organisers… to see how we can learn from the experience of other countries, scaling this up from the hundreds to the thousands in a safe and sustainable manner,” he said.
S’pore Sees Huge Demand And Interest In MICE Events
According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), this increase in the maximum number of attendees from the current 50 is part of plans to gradually resume economic activities in the country.
The move also takes into account the importance of the MICE industry to Singapore as well as the strong industry interest in and demand for business events.
“The gradual resumption of business events will help maintain Singapore’s position as a leading MICE hub and retain critical capabilities, while safeguarding jobs and livelihoods in the industry and other related sectors,” said STB.
The industry supported more than 34,000 jobs with an economic value-add of $3.8 billion, or nearly 1 per cent of Singapore’s gross domestic product, according to a survey commissioned by STB in 2019.
Business travellers also spend almost double that of leisure travellers, making them high-yield visitors.
STB and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) will review all MICE event proposals, and organisers may proceed only upon MTI’s approval.
Organisers must demonstrate ability to implement safe management measures, which include limiting overall density of attendees and having infection control measures before and after the event.
An Event Industry Resilience Roadmap, developed with industry input, will be launched later this month to give guidance on safety measures and best practices.
To give business travellers who are coming to Singapore a peace of mind, the industry and government agencies are devising new protocols and ways to hold the events, and for visitors to tour Singapore.
For instance, a travel insurance product for inbound travellers to cover critical Covid-19 related expenses is in the works and will be made available by the fourth quarter of this year.
Featured Image Credit: CommunicAsia 2010