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Mice Asia Net : October 2009
4 miceAsia.net Have we turned the corner? From the many people who I and journalists working on our magazines talk to on a regular basis, it's a resounding yes. The global recession is easing, and business is once more, looking stronger than it has in the past 12 months. It has to be said that the Asia Pacific region, predominantly Asia and Australia, have weathered the global financial crisis better than Europe and the United States. Job losses have been minimal in the hospitality sector, and demand, it seems, is returning. Those destinations that were doing incredibly well pre-GFC including Vietnam, China and Singapore, are again entering positive territory. Corporations are remaining cautious about booking business but there is business to be had. Clearly one of the big catalysts for growth remains in the major events sector. South Africa is predicting huge business in 2010 thanks to its hosting of the FIFA 2010 World Cup. While just a month in length, the publicity the destination will receive (and is already receiving) will significantly boost South Africa's meetings and incentive travel businesses. The signs are already positive, with the destination recording a plethora of new conference bookings. The Expo 2010 Shanghai should also be another catalyst for renewed interest and vigour in China in the meetings and incentive travel sector, particularly from those countries that are keen to up trade relations with China. Reality check What the GFC has done in terms of the convention and incentive travel market is, as we say in Australia, separated the men from the boys. What this means is that the serious and mature major players in the MICE sector -- those with a proven track record -- will now emerge strongly for the remainder of 2009 and well into 2010. The "boys" -- those newcomers to the industry that have burst onto the scene in recent years -- have been suffering more, and may now already be on the way out. In times of financial uncertainty companies want to deal with businesses they can trust, ones that have been active for many years; companies that have seen downturns before and have weathered previous storms. It is these companies -- the men -- that will help push our industry beyond the today, and into tomorrow. MANAGING EDITOR Editor's letter editor's letter firstname.lastname@example.org