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ASEAN Tourism Ministers agree to establish professional standards to strengthen MICE

ASEAN Tourism Ministers agree to establish professional standards to strengthen MICE
March 20, 2023

With the goal of enhancing ASEAN's competitiveness as a destination for MICE, ASEAN's 10 Tourism Ministers have agreed to establish a common professional standard for MICE professionals and event professionals.

The ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (ASEAN MRA on TP) for MICE Professionals and Event Professionals was approved during the 26th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Implementation of the approved standards will begin later this year.

Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) noted "ASEAN member countries have long prioritised professional development in tourism. Since its establishment in 2012, the ASEAN MRA on TP has guided ASEAN countries in the development of their tourism workforce in two areas: 1) Hotel Services and 2) Travel Services.

“In 2021, the scope of the MRA was expanded to include two new categories: 1) MICE Professionals and 2) Event Professionals. The move was aimed at fostering cooperation and promoting mobility among ASEAN's MICE professionals. Each category was assigned a host country whose task was to formulate a set of professional standards specific to that category.

"On behalf of Thailand, TCEB accepted the role as host for the Event Professionals category. We worked with partner agencies such as Thailand's Department of Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, MICE-related associations, and educational institutions to draft a professional standards proposal for 11 job roles – 1. Project Manager, 2. Production Manager, 3. Show Manager, 4. Event Coordinator, 5. Marketing Coordinator, 6. Event Registration Supervisor, 7. Event Administration Supervisor, 8. Event Registration Staff, 9. Event Transportation Staff, 10. Liaison Officer, and 11. General Support Staff. We value the input we received from industry and tourism authorities from all ASEAN member countries in the process and are glad that TCEB's proposal was approved at the 26th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers."

At the same meeting, ASEAN's Tourism Ministers also approved the proposal by Indonesia for the category of MICE Professionals which covered 21 job roles.

Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya added that with the approval of ASEAN MRA on TP for MICE Professionals and Event Professionals, TCEB has begun promoting the idea of certification for event professionals. For that reason, a forum was organised on 2nd March 2023 at The Sukosol Hotel, Bangkok. It attracted more than 500 participants and brought to life the newly developed professional standards as private- and public-sector industry players discussed the mechanics of organising an international event and the specialist roles involved.   

To further promote the professional standards in the region, TCEB has launched an "ASEAN Grand Master Training" programme to grow a pool of Master Assessor who can support the new standards' implementation in all ASEAN countries. The programme will kick off in Bangkok and run until September 2024. A "Thailand Assessor Training" programme will follow suit in 2025 to ensure there are enough qualified assessors for Thailand's domestic demand. Thailand's target is to produce 50 certified Event Professionals by 2026. This is part of a broader goal for ASEAN as a whole to produce more than 1,000 certified MICE Professionals and Event Professionals.

Chiruit added "The MICE industry in ASEAN is not only a growing sector but also an economic driver for many member countries. By adopting a unified standard for MICE Professionals and Event Professionals, we will be able to improve mobility for our MICE workforce and further liberalise trade and services as we harmonise learning, instruction and capacity training.’

Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB)

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