Taylor's University, Malaysia, James Cook University, Singapore and Universitas Pancasila, Indonesia recently co-organized the 5th ASEAN Tourism Research Association (ATRA) International Webinar Series of 2021. Prof. Dr. Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan, Executive Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences and Leisure Management and President of ATRA was invited to deliver the opening speech. The webinar entitled “Revitalizing ASEAN MICE Industry” attracted more than one thousand (1,000) virtual viewers from all over the world.
The webinar consisted an excellent mixture of speakers from academia and industry of various ASEAN nations. The session was moderated by Tourism Industry Board Foundation Inc. (TIBFI Philippines) Chairwoman Ms. Ma. Christina Aquino and hosted by one of ATRA Board Director, Dr. Jenny Panchal. The sharing session explored the importance of MICE industry towards national and regional economic contribution. With restricted movement in most countries and closed borders worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic heavily hit the MICE industry.
As a prominent MICE destination in the world, ASEAN experiences major impact to the development of the tourism industry which was discussed in detailed during the session. The speakers acknowledged the ASEAN governments effort in ramping up the vaccination drive to boost the economy, which revitalizes the tourism industry. The speakers were mutually agreeable that the industry players should stay resilient by integrating relevant technologies in the last phase of the pandemic challenges.