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Event sector will have to embrace new technologies to adapt to post Covid-19 future


Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong indicated that the Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector should rethink its future post-pandemic development path by making better use of new technologies and having better online integration.

During a speech yesterday for the Global Exhibitions Day, Secretary Lei addressed the possible path for a local event industry greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘In 2020, the convention and exhibition sector was one of the first to withstand the unprecedented impact on the world economy and in all sectors, caused by the sudden outbreak of the new coronavirus epidemic. In recent months, most of the conventions and exhibitions planned to be held in Macau and the rest of the world have been cancelled or postponed due to the epidemic,’ Secretary Lei stated.

Preliminary figures unveiled by the Macau Trade Investment and Promotion Institute (IPIM) showed that at least 180 events were cancelled or delayed in the first quarter of 2020, accounting for over 10 per cent of the total number of MICE events held in the city per year.

In 2019 a total of 1,536 MICE events were held in Macau, including 1,459 meetings and conferences, 58 exhibitions, and 19 incentive events

The Secretary also noted that as the pandemic situation has greatly improved in the SAR, ‘social and economic activities have been gradually recovering’ with the Macau Convention and exhibition needing to define strategies and plans to restart the activities of conventions and exhibitions in a safe and controlled manner.

This restart could be achieved by following the global framework for reopening exhibitions and B2B trade events post Covid-19 which was launched by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry and by embracing new technologies.

‘The convention and exhibition sector has a great boosting effect for the surrounding industries, playing a driving role in business tourism, in attracting business and investments and in the headquarters economy, contributing to accelerating the recovery of the world economy after the epidemic outbreak,’ Lei added.

Accoridng to the Secretary, the total gross added value of Macau’s convention and exhibition activities increased from MOP1.3 billion in 2015 to MOP3.5 billion in 2018.

Secretary Lei also noted that local authorities will look to hold more internationally renowned conventions and exhibitions in Macau and support the development of the cultural and touristic events in Hengqin Island, so as to speed up the economic recovery and diversify the local economy.

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