The International Writers
MICE in tourism stand
for meetings, incentives, conferences and events. It is a big flourishing
industry in the world, Jordan has its fair share and growing and the case
is true for the Petra Events Management, the division of the Petra Travel
and Tourism Company that is directed by Mazen Kawar.
Meet Mr MICE,
the shaker and maker of business conferencing and events in Jordan.
He has been doing it for so long, he cant remember ever carrying
on business without it. It is the adrenalin when preparing and planning
for a conference that becomes so exciting.
Amphitheatre in Amman
Its division keeps rolling through out the year because of the long stretches
of time needed for preparing for events. Mr MICE, alias Mazen Kawar is
happy with the running of his division. He says its prosperous,
efficient and it has very important clients which are regulars such as
the Rebuild Iraq venue, the World Economic Forum and the Chinese Products
MICE tourism is business tourism of the highest quality demanded by businessmen
looking for opportunities and profit. The global MICE industry is so tough
and competitive that you need a special division to cater for the needs
of the business client, the corporate executive and those coming to Jordan
to attend a conference.
Mr MICE, doesnt leave anything to chance. He is the kind of man
who takes a hands-on, hands-off approach to the preparation of the event.
His style of management is neither nor. When preparing for any event in
Jordan, he and his staff make sure that everything goes to a T. They leave
no room for mistakes and they are not expected to for the client is very
fussy, but they recognize it is his right to be so.
Everything at the division is handled from A to Z, Mazen Kawar and his
staff say. When preparing for a big conference, especially in the last
days, the division is turned upside down, a war zone of telephone calls
about logistics, transport and accommodation. Anyone of the team would
be handling two or three telephone calls at the same time to deal with
arrivals, hotel arrangements, or taking clients down to their venues.
The final rush for a conference or an expo becomes pressing because they
are dealing with the nuts and bolts of bringing business guests to Jordan
and in the logistics side of making sure guests travel to the Kingdom
with ease, they handle visas, book their flights, and providing them with
the accommodation, make sure their cargo arrives on time and in the end
"You have to go the extra mile," he says. "Its for
the sake of the clients, for the sake of your business to make sure that
there is repeat business to Jordan, and not go any where else, this is
a very competitive business," he adds.
Mr MICE is an old-hand in Jordanian tourism. He joined the family firm
in 1986 as a managing partner, and together with his two other brothers,
and his father, Nasser Kawar who established the company in 1965, run
the business as a collective concern run on modern lines as they all like
His love for his division which was created in 2002 emanates from the
fact that he is also a great marketer, he likes talking to people, rubbing
shoulders with colleagues and establishing contacts with different parties
"This is the sum total of our business, we have to go out and bring
the business clients, sitting behind our desks, in front of the computer
just will not do."
Such a view harks back to the founder of Petra Tours who firmly believes
that in order to attract international business you have to go out and
get it as it will not come to you.
It is from this philosophy that the Petra Events Management division emanated
from because MICE goes at the heart of business growth not just for your
company but for its ripple effects on the other sectors of the economy,
says Mazen Kawar.
When there are increasing MICE events held in the Kingdom, it means the
economy is thriving, every one works and the activity and consumption
increases in hotels, transport and in the rest of the economy because
these clients tend to be high spenders, and not your average tourists,
Whether on meeting, are holding their exhibitions in Jordan or on incentive
travel, these corporate tourists have their mind on completing their event,
do some sightseeing tours and are not too fussy about the amount of spending
they make in the country.
And with the short time they have, we Jordanians have to show them the
best of our hospitality because they become our ambassadors to the world,
and they go back to their country, and talk about their trip to their
families, colleagues and acquaintances, says Mr MICE, whose Petra Events
Division staff go out of their way to introduce special custom-made itinerary
trips to clients attending conferences.
Kawar says these trips are very popular with the spouses who frequently
accompany their husbands to Jordan. They leave their husbands grueling
at the conference while they go on happy sightseeing trips, Mr MICE says
But its a fact, even for the husbands, special sightseeing tours
around the Kingdom or even innovative packages like bicycle trips which
are very popular in different parts of the world, especially Europe and
America, are added as a combination between business and pleasure.
"When you are at a high-powered conference, there is nothing better
than to put your skates on and go on a sightseeing tour for a couple of
hours and what better way to do that than on a bicycle to drain off sweat
and energy and vent off steam. You come back to the conference, event,
expo, refreshed and rejuvenated with plenty of more ideas to throw, and
mentally exited of what is to come," argues Mr MICE, who personally
likes to get involved in conference preparations.
Through its tourism infrastructure, Jordan is clearly building itself
as a MICE destination in the region through the work of such local companies
as Petra Tours. "It is statistically proven that 40 percent and sometimes
more of clients actually keep coming back for business, but that doesnt
mean we remain sanguine, but have to make sure that they keep coming,"
ends Mr MICE.
asmar June 18th 2007
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