The Ministry of Tourism has rolled out guidelines for businesses in the travel sector on how to apply for the ASEAN MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) standard certification and logo. They’re also for the 4th ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Award (ASTA), themed “Gastronomy Tourism” for 2024-2025.

Three coveted ASEAN MICE accolades will be awarded to ASEAN member countries. These will be presented at the 42nd ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Laos comes January 2024.

The categories for these honours include the 4th ASEAN MICE “Meeting Room”, the 2nd ASEAN MICE “Exhibition Venue”, and the debut ASEAN MICE “Event Venue” – all spanning from 2024 to 2026.

The ministry also unveiled details regarding the ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Award (ASTA) with a focus on “Gastronomy Tourism” set for its fourth run in 2024-2025.

The nomination for both the MICE certification and the ASTA is a five-stage process. The fortunate winners will be celebrated at the 42nd ATF in Laos.

Ho Vandy, an adviser to the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, noted that the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) takes place every year. During this event, awards and certificates, including the ASEAN MICE standards and the ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Awards, are given to tour operators, hotels and business owners.

Vandy emphasised the significance of these awards and certifications.

“Achieving the ASEAN MICE Standard certification, its logo and the ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Award is not merely a matter of prestige for the businesses, but also a mark of distinction for the nation,” he said.

“This tourism award certificate and logo are very important because not only the honoured nominee but also the nation earns a reputation accordingly. However, before earning a certificate and award badge, one must navigate numerous stringent criteria which aren’t easily met,” he added.

Yet, despite the challenges, Vandy encouraged Cambodian businesses, including tour operators, hoteliers and resort owners, to join this event, saying it will significantly elevate the reputation of both their enterprises and Cambodia as a whole.