Construction of new venue underway in Padang

PADANG is developing its first stand-alone convention centre to boost the city’s positioning as a MICE destination.

Set to open mid-2014, the three-storey Minangkabau International Convention Centre (MICC) will have a 4,500m2 convention hall that can be divided into five smaller meeting rooms as well as five break-out rooms on the upper floor. With a 12m high ceiling, the convention hall is also equipped for concerts.

Maulana Yusran, board member of Sungai Tanang Sinergi, which owns MICC, said the investment was in line with the company’s “commitment to support the development of Padang as a MICE destination”.

Padang, along with its neighbour Bukittinggi, is one of 13 destinations that Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is looking to develop and promote.

Yusran, who is also chairman of the Indonesia Hotel & Restaurant Association (IHRA) West Sumatra Chapter, said Padang’s hotel landscape had improved since 2009 when there were 1,500 rooms. As of end-2013, inventory has expanded to 2,800 and “a few hundred more” are due to come online this year.

“Of note is the entry of Accor which brought with it two brands, Mercure and Ibis. We hope that other international hotel chains will follow soon,” said Yusran.

He added: “Padang and West Sumatra used to be (favoured by tourists) due to its wealth of nature and culture, but little about it was known (among the business event community). Things have changed. While natural attractions continue to lure tourists, the (government and corporate) meeting business has grown in line with the emergence of facilities.”

The construction of MICC comes at a time when the regional government has expressed a commitment to growing Padang’s tourism sector. At a recent media briefing, West Sumatra governor Irwan Prayitno said the tourism industry is among the region’s top 10 revenue generators.

Besides holding regular events such as Padang Fair, which showcases local industries, Irwan said the destination has been bidding for national and international shows such as World Food Day and Tourism Indonesia Mart & Expo. Come May it will host the Indonesia Corporate Meetings & Incentive Travel Mart.

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