Hospitality Trends Is South East Asia

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Hospitality trends in the Asia-Pacific: a discussion of five key sectors Nerilee Hing Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia Vivienne McCabe Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia Peter Lewis Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia Neil Leiper Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia

This paper reviews recent trends in major hospitality sectors in the Asia-Pacific region. Observes that the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE), backpacker, and bed and breakfast sectors are growing, characterised by burgeoning market demand, proliferation of specialist infrastructure, sector-specific education and training, and dedicated development and marketing strategies. The casino sector is facing major challenges, seeing declining demand in some areas. Competitive forces are evident in the licensed clubs sector, where a proliferation of gambling options has undermined traditional sources of revenue. Conversely, the hotel and restaurant sectors can be considered mature. There is increased attention to facilities development, asset management, market segmentation and use of new technologies, and the restaurant sector appears focused on product revitalisation. Concludes that the recent economic turmoil in Asia will no doubt produce new challenges, as well as opportunities, in the lead up to the next millennium.

Introduction
This paper reviews recent trends in key hospitality sectors in the Asia-Pacific region. While fallout from the 1997-98 Asian economic crisis will no doubt produce new opportunities and challenges, certain patterns of development underlie each of these sectors. Those enjoying significant growth in market demand are concentrating on infrastructure and market development, and striving to improve professionalism, quality standards and marketing efforts. For more mature sectors, competition is necessitating a range of responses, from product rejuvenation and enhancement, to greater attention to asset management, market segmentation and technology-assisted operations management. These trends are discussed in reference to five sectors of hospitality industries – meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE), casinos, licensed clubs, accommodation and restaurants.

The MICE sector
Meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) comprise one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism and hospitality industries worldwide. In the Asia-Pacific region, the MICE sector grew by 124 per cent between 1980-1996 (Hutchinson, 1997, p. 116), spawning proliferation of specialist facilities, sector-specific education and training, and dedicated development and marketing strategies at both national and regional levels. The discussion below elaborates on these developments, particularly in the region’s major convention destination, Australia, to illustrate the potential for the sector in the Asia-Pacific.

terms of both location and development of world class convention facilities (Commonwealth Department of Tourism, 1995). Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong have established purpose built convention centres, such as the Suntec Centre in Singapore. In some of these locations, governments have funded support to encourage international convention business. Through the Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) and state tourism authorities, Australian governments are targeting MICE in strategies for tourism development. The Asia-Pacific is an increasingly popular destination for incentive travel, with destinations such as Hong Kong and Singapore pursuing this market for the past 20 years in recognition of its high yield (Asian Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaux, 1995). The Philippine Convention and Visitor Corporation estimates that incentive travellers spend on average $US 1,200 in the country and stay for 5.6 nights (Asian Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaux, 1995), while incentive travellers spend on average about $US 2,500 in Singapore...
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