As the pandemic outbreak hits the world, tourism industry is definitely the most affected among all industries. And with these sectors, the MICE tourism (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) has been hardly hit by pandemic crisis for about more than 500 cancelled/postponed events worldwide which results to $42 billion loss for the first four weeks last March 2020.
This week we interviewed Cathlyn Donado with regards to her perspective on what does the business looks like and how things are changing for Luxury Explorer’s client towards MICE industry. Cathlyn is currently the Engagement Supervisor of Luxury Explorers and she handles different events of the Corporate clients. I prepared the below questions related to MICE sector business.
1. How’s the MICE business going on so far with Luxury Explorers?
As we all know, MICE Tourism was one of the first types of Tourism that was affected of COVID-19. MICE business is currently lower than before but not totally zero as most of the MICE Events started to take place online.
2. What type of industry does majority of the corporate clients you are handling?
Majority of our corporate clients are in the field of Pharmaceutical Companies.
3. From which destination does majority of upcoming events has been cancelled and postponed?
Most of the upcoming events cancelled were in different parts of Europe.
4. Can you recall your favorite event you handled that stood out? What makes the experience so memorable?
If I am going to pick my favorite event, that would be the Pharma Factory Tour that was held in Germany in 2019, why? This is the first time that I have travelled on-site with the group. It was extremely an exciting and thrilling experience and at the same time, I learned a lot from this group. It enhanced my engagement skill, flexibility, and problem-solving skill.
But if you will ask me the most memorable event that I handled, there are 2 events. The first one was ISTH 2018 because this was the first ever event that I have handled and monitored. It was memorable because I was a newbie in the company and the on-site staff was our CEO. The experience was like a University Entrance Exam that I need to pass. I will never forget this event because this was the time that I was acknowledged by the team and the process was never easy. The boss will randomly ask me questions about the logistics and arrangement to check if I am trustworthy. On the arrival of the group, the flights were cancelled due to bad weather and fortunately, I handled it smoothly. There are changes on the spot as well and at the end, the event was successful, and the delegates were happy. It was very overwhelming and with the compliment and encouraging words of the CEO, I told myself that I will work hard, will prove myself more, and will make the people who are supporting me proud.
The second one was the ASH and ASHP 2018. These are memorable to me because these events are overlapping, and I am the one who arranged and monitored both from A-Z. I cried a lot during the process and almost thought of giving up, but it was rewarding after. Because I made both event successful and this was the time my supervisor and the boss said to me “I am proud of you.”
5. What makes your clients come back for an another event at Luxury Explorers?
I believe that the clients come back for another event at Luxury Explorers because we are flexible, we always meet the clients’ needs and we are providing a consistent high-quality attendees’ experience. For me, it starts with the best team and I am proud to say that our team in Luxury Explorers is the best. We are group of people who are dedicated, empowered, and well trained to treat our customers the way they would want to be treated. We also have strong sense of ownership and passion towards our clients and services we are providing.
6. Currently, what were the initiative steps taken as soon as the pandemic occurred?
Our management provides continuous extensive trainings and personal development programs for each team member . These online training will add more knowledge and enhance skills when it comes to products and procedures that will prepare us in the near future once the MICE Tourism recovers.
7. When do you think does your business partners will start to bring back confidence in travel?
It is hard to say when because of the current situation but I am hoping that by the first quarter of next year 2021, MICE tourism will start to recover. Also, in my opinion, exhibitions, conferences, and trade fairs are way more effective when they take place face-to-face because attendees can assess and experience products and services in person.
8. What is your message to the leaders under the MICE sector in Tourism Industry?
“To the leaders under the MICE sector in Tourism Industry, do not give up. It may be hard and challenging for now, but I strongly believe that we will rise again. This pandemic is like a storm to us. Just remember that the storm doesn’t last forever. It can scare you, but it never lasts. Be patient and let us focus on the sunshine after”.
9. What is your message to your valued clients?
“To our valued Client, right now, we are facing a truly unprecedented situation as this pandemic is affecting all of our families, our businesses, and our way of life.
We may be currently facing a difficult time but I’m here to reassure you that we stand by you during this crisis and we are with you in our hearts and minds.
Also, we Thank You for being incredibly respectful towards us and for recognizing our efforts as your vendor. Always keep safe and we are looking forward to work with your events again”.