Embracing an uncertain future: COVID-19 and MICE in Malaysia
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In March 2020, the Malaysian government implemented the Movement Control Order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden surge in COVID-19 cases was later found to be linked to an event, hinting that mass gatherings are among the risk factors for rapid spread of COVID-19. Consequently, all types of gatherings were prohibited, presenting challenges to the event industry. Although the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) sector was allowed to resume operations from 1 July 2020 onwards, the event industry landscape is bound to be changed. This paper presents an overview of Malaysia’s reaction to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic, reviews the local government’s effort to facilitate the recovery of MICE sector and suggests some possible future trends in MICE hosting post COVID-19 crisis. This paper also develops various specific research questions related to post COVID-19 pandemic and MICE that need to be answered by future research in tourism domain.
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