This year 2022 will see the arrival of the highly anticipated G20 Summit, which is expected to bring world leaders and over 6,000 delegates from across 20 countries to convene in Bali. The November event will spin off a series of summits, ministerial assemblies, forums, and working groups.
Preparations are already in full swing, as Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is leveraging the high-profile event to organise related events and conferences and help revive the country's MICE industry.
According to Susiwijono Megiarso, secretary of Indonesia’s coordinating ministry for economic affairs, 437 meetings and events will take place as part of the nation’s helming of the intergovernmental forum from December 2021 to the end of this year.
Indonesia’s finance minister Sri Mulyani has estimated these will contribute US$533 million to the GDP. Side events will be held across 19 locations across the archipelago, from major cities such as Surabaya, Makassar, Palembang and Pontianak, to smaller regions such as Belitung and Bintan.
Yanti Daryanti of the State Secretariat of Indonesia’s Head Division said: “After two years of minimal business during the pandemic, the G20 Summit and its hundreds of related events are helping to revive Indonesia’s MICE sector.”
An island ready for business events revival
On Bali, the eye-catching branding for Indonesia’s G20 Presidency can now be seen on dozens of billboards and banners across Indonesia. In the southern resort area of Nusa Dua, where the summit will be held in mid-November, public infrastructure is being improved and venues that will host events are abuzz with preparations. At Bali airport, a VVIP terminal to welcome delegates is due for completion in August.
“We understand the importance of MICE and how it is vital for business recovery in Bali,” said Oriol Montalis, general manager of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, one of the 25 resorts in the government-owned Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation area that will host the summit delegates. "We see the opportunity of hosting this prestigious event as great momentum for the island's financial recovery post-pandemic, and we can feel the excitement with the preparation in various areas.”
Also highlighting the MICE imperative is The Mulia, Mulia Resorts & Villas – Nusa Dua, Bali, where a proactive stance in continually updating planners and corporate clients with news on safety protocols, policies, new packages and facilities have helped them build top-of-mind recall that gains the confidence of planners, said hotel manager Adam Bardetta. “The prospect of an upward trend looks positive as we see a steady growth in RFPs.” The growth in demand is currently driven by incentive groups, he said.
Along with other resorts in Bali, The Mulia is gearing up for the G20 Summit, boosted by the support that the government has shown towards the hospitality industry in Bali. Meanwhile, Bardetta said that the resort is seeing demand for hybrid events. “With the reopening, we are receiving various requests from different markets and industries, especially the finance sector, and of course, for the upcoming G20 Summit conference.”
Courtyard by Marriott Bali Nusa Dua Resort is also looking to welcome delegates for the G20 Summit; and GPDRR 2022, a high-profile event recognised by the UN General Assembly; among others. The hotel has, to date, received many enquiries for in-person and hybrid meetings, with Singapore as the leading source market.
“As it becomes easier for foreign travellers to visit Indonesia, more specifically Bali, the demand for in-person meetings and events is also increasing. The strongest demand, based on the enquiries we have received, is for in-person meetings, and mainly from Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, India, Italy, the Middle East and the US,” said Pong Choi Choi, director of sales & marketing.
Pong added that MICE growth this year could exceed expected recovery, as international borders opened earlier than predicted and the recovery phase next year could occur earlier than predicted. Coupled with Indonesia’s push in promoting MICE destinations and proactively winning events through bidding activities, Pong is positive that planners’ requirements will be well met by its versatile facilities.
Planning for an inclusive summit
Meanwhile, as part of its preparations, Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center, which will host side events in November, has been improving access to facilities for delegates with disabilities, said its sales and marketing director Yoga Angga Muda. Enhancing the implementation of the Indonesian government’s Cleanliness, Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability practices has also been a priority.
One of Bali’s tourist attractions that will welcome Summit delegates is Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, the director of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment’s communications bureau, Andreas Dipi Patria, confirmed. Leaders of the G20 countries will dine beneath towering limestone cliffs and the world’s second-tallest statue.
Delegates will be invited to sample Indonesian cuisine and purchase local handicrafts at open-air mall The Bali Collection and Taman Werdhi Budaya Art Centre. Three tourism villages in Buleleng, a sprawling regency covering North Bali and West Bali’s northern coast, are also preparing to welcome delegates, while the local government hopes that Sanur Port, due for completion in September, will entice participants to visit the neighbouring Nusa islands.