The approval of ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (ASEAN MRA on TP) for MICE Professionals and Event Professionals was made during the 26th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministerial in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The professional standards of these two categories become effective in all member countries.

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President of Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya stated that ASEAN member countries have always jointly prioritized professional development. Since 2012, the ASEAN MRA on TP has been developed as the collective operational plan for ASEAN countries, applicable in two fields - Hotel Services and Travel Services. Later in 2021, the ASEAN Tourism Ministers agreed upon the amendments of such arrangement by including two more categories - MICE Professionals and Event Professionals - as a means to upgrade and expand the cooperation in the facilitation for the mobility of ASEAN professionals in tourism and MICE industries.

Representing Thailand, TCEB has accepted the role of the host in handling the arrangement and development of ASEAN professional standard for Event Professionals, in collaboration with such partner agencies as Department of Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, MICE-related associations and educational networks. Progress reports were made and approved by the ASEAN Tourism Ministers to cover 11 positions.

Side by side, the MICE Professionals field, by which Indonesia is the host of arrangement and development, was approved by the ASEAN Tourism Ministers in the same session as Thailand, covering 21 professional positions.

Chiruit added that TCEB is moving forward in raising the awareness of local MICE professionals so that they can learn and understand about ASEAN professional standards in the field of Event Professionals.

To further the professional standard on the assigned field, TCEB has scheduled the “ASEAN Grand Master Training” or Master Assessor for representatives of ASEAN countries, which is expected to be completed by September 2024. In 2025, the “Thailand Assessor Training” is scheduled for assessors in MICE industry so that they are ready for the examination in certifying the professional standard of event professionals in Thailand. It is targeted that, the number of MICE personnel earning Event Professionals certification in Thailand will reach 50 in 2026 and more than 1,000 in ASEAN are certified MICE Professionals and Event Professionals in combination.

“MICE industry is not only a sector experiencing consistent growth but also a driver of the national economy. Certified standards for MICE Professionals and Event Professionals in ASEAN will contribute more to the liberalization of trade and services in the region and offer enhanced convenience for MICE professionals in their cross-border operation within ASEAN. Their talents and capabilities are collectively recognized at a regional scale, hence, promoting learning, instruction and capacity training based on a unified standard. With this, the competitiveness of MICE industry in Thailand and other member countries of ASEAN will be enhanced and upgraded”, concluded Chiruit.

Source: VNA