MICE in the Meltdown: An Economic Analysis of the Impact of Developments in Asia on the Meeting and Conference Industries

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The detailed discussion of events in Asian economies since mid-1997 has focused on financial markets, official policy reactions, the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and how the analysts and forecasters failed to foresee these dramatic developments and difficulties. In the course of these discussions and debates, the role, position and prospects of individual industry sectors seems to have been forgotten or cast aside.

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In the last decade or so, human geographers have paid greater attention to the significance of discourses. We acknowledge the importance of discursive constructions and metaphorical representations of economic space, and extend the argument by examining the practices that may follow from such discourses. With use of empirical data from a firm-level survey and interviews with representatives of electronics firms in Singapore, we focus on contested interpretations of the Asian economic crisis at the firm level: how they might differ from state-driven discourses, and the extent to which state discourses (embodied in ministerial speeches and policy initiatives) were accepted, contested, and negotiated through firm-specific practices. The different counterdiscourses and responses of local and foreign firms are also compared. Results show that discourses at the national (state) scale were challenged and contested by firms within the same national space economy because of such material conditions as firm-specific circumstances, spatial extensiveness of their intrafirm and interfirm networks, and their access to various formal and informal information channels. The sampled firms offerered their own readings of the crisis that often contradicted the effectiveness and usefulness of certain policy responses orchestrated at the national scale. Their abilities to weather the crisis were also differentiated significantly between local and foreign firms. The study therefore highlights the importance of understanding the complex interrelationships between discourses and practices at different spatial scales and their capacity to produce (un)intended geographical outcomes.
International tourism is one of today’s major growth industries necessitating increasingly more sophisticated management techniques. In the light of this expansion and growing significant economic importance, this book provides a comprehensive overview of international tourism, placing particular emphasis on the management of tourism. The subject coverage of the book is wide-ranging: the authors examine the following issues: •the impact of environmental issues on tourism management •tourism demand and forecasting •the key methods of operation of companies within the industry •the functional areas of marketing, finance, organization and staffing •research and innovation •corporate strategy. The book will be of value and interest to both students and academics, as well as managers in the fields of tourism, travel, hospitality and consultancy.
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