When the Chinese wave comes, MICE will follow

Southeast Asia's business events sector is set to benefit from the imminent return of Chinese travellers.

A number of events coming up in Singapore are likely to appeal to Chinese delegates.
A number of events coming up in Singapore are likely to appeal to Chinese delegates. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/efired

The Southeast Asia region is set to benefit from an influx of Chinese visitors, now that China has opened its doors to international travel.

A number of countries within the region, such as Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia, are making it easy for travellers from China to visit, by not imposing pre-departure tests and regarding them like any other traveller, unlike countries in other regions.

Japan, the UK, the US, France and Germany, on the other hand, are just some of the countries that require Chinese travellers to take a Covid test prior to boarding aircraft bound for those destinations.

China officially reopened its borders on 8 January, with data from Trip.com showing a spike in outbound flight bookings from China for destinations such as Singapore and Thailand.

Singapore is hosting a number of events in the coming months that will appeal to Chinese delegates, including China’s Machinery and Electronics Show in Singapore, taking place in March and Vinexpo Asia in May.

Both of these events will be held in Singapore for the first time, marking the launch of their Asia Pacific editions. Other events of interest to the Chinese MICE industry include BuiltTech Asia, Asia Tech x Singapore and IAAPA Expo Asia.

The first Chinese visitors to Thailand, meanwhile, were greeted by ministers and the destination recently scrapped newly-introduced vaccine certificate requirements, announced only last week, as it said this would likely deter travellers.

Indonesia said it would be rolling out the ‘red carpet’ for visitors from China.

A number of Chinese airlines have also said they will increase the number of flights to Southeast Asian destinations, to meet the expected hike in demand.