15 March 2023: 10 ASEAN Tourism Ministers approve the ASEAN professional standards for MICE Professionals and Event Professionals. Effective regionally this year, the approved standards will enhance the competitiveness and strengthen the potential of ASEAN MICE industry.
The approval of ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (ASEAN MRA on TP) for MICE Professionals and Event Professionals was made during the 26th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministerial in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The professional standards of these two categories become effective in all member countries
Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB, stated that ASEAN member countries have always jointly prioritised professional development. Since 2012, the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (ASEAN MRA on TP) has been developed as the collective operational plan for ASEAN countries, applicable in 2 fields: 1) Hotel Services and 2) Travel Services. Later in 2021, the ASEAN Tourism Ministers have agreed upon the amendments of such arrangement by including two more categories: 3) MICE Professionals and 4) Event Professionals as a means to upgrade and expand the cooperation in the facilitation for the mobility of ASEAN professionals in tourism and MICE industries.
Representing Thailand, TCEB has accepted the role of the host in handling the arrangement and development of ASEAN professional standard for Event Professionals, in collaboration with such partner agencies as Department of Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, MICE-related associations and educational networks. Progress reports were made and approved by the ASEAN Tourism Ministers to cover 11 positions as follows: 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.
Side by side, the MICE Professionals field, by which Indonesia is the host of arrangement and development, was approved by the ASEAN Tourism Ministers in the same session as Thailand, covering 21 professional positions.
Mr. Chiruit added that TCEB is moving forward in raising the awareness of local MICE professionals so that they can learn and understand about ASEAN professional standards in the field of Event Professionals. For this reason, a forum on the subject was held on 2 March 2023 at The Sukosol Hotel, Bangkok attracting more than 500 participants. Besides, the seminar involved exchanges of viewpoints between public and private sectors related to MICE industry, focusing on the problems and obstacles in managing international events and expos.
To further the professional standard on the assigned field, TCEB has scheduled the “ASEAN Grand Master Training” or Master Assessor for representatives of ASEAN countries, which is expected to be completed by September 2024. In 2025, the “Thailand Assessor Training” is scheduled for assessors in MICE industry so that they are ready for the examination in certifying the professional standard of event professionals in Thailand. It is targeted that, the number of MICE personnel earning Event Professionals certification in Thailand will reach 50 in 2026 and more than 1,000 in ASEAN are certified MICE Professionals and Event Professionals in combination.
“MICE industry is not only a sector experiencing consistent growth but also a driver of the national economy. Certified standards for MICE Professionals and Event Professionals in ASEAN will contribute more to the liberalisation of trade and services in the region and offer enhanced convenience for MICE professionals in their cross-border operation within ASEAN. Their talents and capabilities are collectively recognised at a regional scale, hence, promoting learning, instruction and capacity training based on a unified standard. With this, the competitiveness of MICE industry in Thailand and other member countries of ASEAN will be enhanced and upgraded”, concluded Mr. Chiruit.