Will business events stabilize tourism inflows post COVID-19 crisis?
Business events tourism, has always contributed to the stabilization of tourism inflows to countries and regional tourism destinations. Popularly known as Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions (MICE) tourism, they could get a renewed focus as destinations try to restart tourism post COVID-19 crisis. This is because some projections hint at the possibilities of business events tourism providing early leads to bookings after the pandemic
induced low season for tourism globally, and consequently paving way towards economic recovery. Therefore, apart from de seasonalizing arrivals in tourism restart, event strategy for destinations would want to look at improving distribution of tourist flows, by enhancing average length of stay for visitors.
Strategy for business events counts on a number of factors for its success. These include business traditions, innovative onsite events, breakthrough in science, and the appeal of physical events. Traditions in festivals and shopping are instrumental in orienting events to profit goals. Events also have made big strides in their product offerings through innovations in virtual reality as well as green strategies. These are evidence of scientific discoveries that continue to shape the horizon of business events. Planned events enhance the image of a destination, and this is a factor that can motivate travel for business event markets.
Worth noting is that mass scale events, have their limitations as relates to sustainability. For example, mega events in sporting have often been criticized in research for failing to have a cumulative positive gain to local communities. This, among other shortcomings could prompt a new thinking towards small-scale events. Hygiene protocols for social distancing after the
COVID-19 health scare could also lead event organizers to embrace small size business events.