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MICE industry in Taiwan braces for further COVID woes in 2021

Sector suffering from 2020 border controls, 2021 local outbreak

Taiwan Excellence expo (Facebook, TAITRA photo)

Taiwan Excellence expo (Facebook, TAITRA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The coronavirus pandemic could have a greater impact on Taiwan’s exhibition sector this year than in 2020, cautioned the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).

As all events have been canceled or postponed due to Level 3 COVID-19 restrictions, a significant drop in revenue can be expected for the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) sector, said James Huang (黃志芳), chairman of TAITRA. He made the remarks during a virtual press conference on Friday (June 4).

The government-sponsored TAITRA hosts around 40 international events a year, and most of them were conducted online last year due to global border controls. This has already caused a considerable drop in revenues for the affected venues, CNA quoted Huang as saying.

While events are being scrapped, the 2035 E-Mobility Taiwan expo in Taipei slated for Oct. 20 will go ahead if the spread of the disease can be checked by August. Huang added that major showcase venues, including the Taipei World Trade Center, will serve for COVID control purposes by, for example, accommodating patients with mild symptoms and providing nursing staff if the need arises.

A total of NT$220 million (US$7.94 million) in funds has been earmarked for the MICE industry in Taiwan. This is part of the NT$26 million industrial bailout budget approved by the Cabinet on Thursday (June 3) to cushion the economic shock of the latest outbreak.