Rebuilding MICE tourism in India

MICE or Business Tourism is a high value, high visibility niche tourism sector

The concept of MICE tourism is the result of globalisation and economic reforms. The convention industry is a major revenue provider to the tourism industry and now one of the prime pillars of tourism industry.

 The World Economic Forum sprang a happy surprise with its prediction that the Indian economy will become the third largest in the world by 2030, only behind the USA and China. The economic parameters prevailing in the country is helping India to emerge as a big market for the MICE industry and players in MICE segments have geared up to realise the potential this sector offers. 

MICE, also known as Business Tourism, is a high value, high visibility niche tourism sector and one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism industry. India ranks 26 with the total convention industry at around US$ 280 billion, according to ICCA.

The MICE industry is considered a major component that makes up business travel and tourism. Global Business Travel Association revealed India’s annual growth in business travel stood at 11.4 per cent, the largest rise among the top 15 business travel markets globally. According to a KPMG report, India is now a US$ 30 billion business travel market and expected to more than triple by 2030. 

To rebuild MICE tourism in India, policy-makers, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and the state governments need to do the following:

1.Focussed marketing of India as a preferred MICE destination through  

a)Allocation of budget in Ministry of Tourism (MoT) for promotion of MICE 

b)To brand India as a MICE destination under the tagline, Meet In India

c)Participation at international MICE trade shows like IMEX Frankfurt, IMEX Las Vegan, IBTM Barcelona, AIME Melbourne, IT&CMA Bangkok. India’s presence at these shows creates interest in India among global buyers looking for new destinations with unique offerings

d)Release of advertisements in leading international medical/ academic journals (New England Journal, The Lancet, The Journal of the American Medical Association and MICE publications; print & digital)

e)MICE branding at airports

f)Assistance of MoT for the development of MICE creatives for release of advertisements, films, collaterals and development of a global and domestic media plan to reach the target audience for positioning India as a MICE destination

 2.Welcome dinner and cultural programmes – MoT to host Welcome Dinner for 500-800 delegates for prestigious international conferences and organise a cultural programme to showcase India’s rich cultural heritage. This will be an attractive offer for conference planners. 

 3.Support of MoT for site inspection of venues by international conference organisers to finalise India as the destination for forthcoming conferences/ events. Support by way of international air tickets (executive class), accommodation for the site inspection team which normally comprises three-four decision-makers from international associations/ organisers

 4.MoT to support FAM tours for conference planners to familiarise them with MICE infrastructure available in India. Financial assistance needed for air tickets, accommodation and local transport etc for hosting the conference organisers and for showcasing India’s MICE infrastructure

 5.MoT through domestic India tourism offices to assist in the logistic arrangements for pre and post conference tours

6.Permit reception counters at airports to receive delegates arriving for participating at international conferences

7.Allowing free entry of delegates at ASI monuments participating in pre- and post-conference tours

 8.Permitting one event per international conference at an iconic outdoor venue like ASI monuments in different cities

9.Ministry of Tourism may request all Central Government Ministries to bring one international congress to India

10.Classification of Convention Venues by MoT with a representative from ICPB on the Committee

 11.Dedicated MDA for MICE operators for targetted global markets

 12.Export status for MICE sub-sector

 13.Formal Skilling Fund for developing MICE talent and graduates

 14.One proposed MTZ to be MICE focussed

 15.Support for MICE FAM trips to get global buyers into India

16.GST rating of zero for forex earning MICE events

17.City Convention Bureau across country to be given MICE Export support.

This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'BW HOTELIER - THE WEDDINGS & MICE SPECIAL'


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