Although it is only a small part of the Indonesian archipelago, Bali has been considered representative of Indonesia in the eyes of foreign tourists. With the large influence foreign tourists have on tourism in Bali, the area which has the nickname "Island of the Gods" has experienced a very difficult business situation during the COVID-19 pandemic recently.
On a more pleasant note, we virtually met Novita, who is a lecturer in MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Convention & Exhibition) that teaches at Politeknik Internasional Bali (PIB). She serves as the Head of Convention and Event Management Study Program and her full name is Dwi Novita Cahyaningtyas Permatasari, S.I.P., M.A., M.B.A., CEE. She enthusiastically described the efforts to restore the MICE industry in Bali during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bali Soul in Her Mind
For Novita, Bali is a “paradise on earth” that is rich with culture, natural beauty, never-ending adventure and of course, the warmth of the people, the international vibe – the mixture between western and eastern in terms of culinary delights. This is because Bali serves the taste buds of people from all over the world, making them feel as comfortable as they are at home. Lastly, awesome choice of accommodation that has the facilities & cleanliness of an international standard at affordable prices is another advantage that welcomes tourists to Bali. Every place is accessible within short distance.
Pandemic & MICE in Bali
Basically anything that is closely related to tourism has been feeling heavy pressures since early 2020 due to the pandemic. All tourism comes at a cost with unprecedented collapse in demand. MICE industry also experienced a negative impact from the lockdowns: travel restrictions, restrictions on social meetings and large-scale gatherings. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic posed a major threat to the global MICE industry.
Despite the global pandemic’s effect on the tourist economy, it’s easy to imagine the future success of MICE events. With so much business and industry aimed at both MICE event supply and demand, this industry’s not going under anytime soon. If anything, the pandemic will make it stronger and more flexible. As business recovers, gathering the world’s brightest talents together in safe environments is essential.
How Her Roles Relate to the Endeavor of MICE in Bali
As a lecturer at a university who teaches MICE management, Novita (with PIB) is encouraging the use of technology in events such virtual events. Due to travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic, many MICE events are taking place online without the need for tourism companies operating in the industry. The growing popularity of video conferencing platforms such as Google Meet and Zoom are offering platforms for conducting alternative forms of MICE events.
Novita acclaims that PIB is closely engaged with the Bali MICE Stakeholders (such as event associations, government, event management companies). They are involved in the first hybrid event simulation with Health Protocols in Bali. The Hybrid Drive-in Concert named Festival Bali Era Baru was held in collaboration with IVENDO (Ikatan Event Indonesia) and supported by Ministry of Tourism in August 2020.
They also received a certificate of appreciation directly awarded from The Vice Governor of Bali, Dr. Ir. Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, M.Si while giving the handbook of DOP (Dynamic Operating Procedure) in Operating Event (with CHSE Protocols). This recognizes them as the only academic institution in Bali to participate in the event.
With professional Industry, PIB opens the opportunity to involve practitioners to be its educators, practitioner lecturers or instructors. This is a win-win solution as some of the event workers also lost their jobs due to the pandemic and they increase the employment rate by employing them as event educators.
In conclusion, MICE terms are still particularly unusual and therefore as MICE Lecturer, Novita helps to educate people about MICE and how big the industry is. She does believe that MICE industry will drive the wheel of the tourism industry. The pandemic is indeed creating opportunity because most of the people are staying at home, so the use of gadgets is increasing at an incredible rate. It is therefore easier to educate people, especially younger generations via social media and other digital platforms about the future of MICE and Event industry.