Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions (MICE) industry in Jakarta is predicted to plunge by more than 95 percent due to the ongoing pandemic, noted the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin).

"The MICE industry in Jakarta has declined dramatically," said Kadin’s MICE Manager Wisnu Budi Sulaeman on Wednesday.

The industry has been the worst affected since most of its activities potentially cause crowding, and many workers who previously supported the industry are also currently unemployed, he added.

The pandemic’s impact was felt heavily by the industry and business leaders from other sectors that support it, including the food, creative, transportation, sanitation and health sectors, as well as small businesses, he further added.

The decline of the MICE industry meant that business owners are unable to pay back their banks, and although a credit restructuring policy was introduced, it was not adopted in a structured manner, Sulaeman stressed.

During a discussion moderated by Gumilar Ekalaya, Acting Head of the Jakarta Tourism and Creative Economy Office, Sulaeman affirmed that Jakarta is one of the barometers of the national MICE industry.

He quoted data from Bank Indonesia (BI) from 2019 noting that before the pandemic, as many as 53.6 percent of foreign tourists visited Jakarta for business purposes related to MICE.

Regarding the barriers facing the MICE industry amidst the pandemic, he supported the use of sophisticated technology to bring it online, but this will face many obstacles because MICE-related activities, especially exhibitions, involve observations and direct interactions.
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Translator: Dewa Ketut, Raka Adji
Editor: Suharto
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