FICCI-MRSS re­port sug­gests 5-point agenda to boost MICE tourism

FICCI Business Digest - - India - Spain Relations -

Of the var­i­ous forms of tourism that ex­ists in the globe, Meet­ings In­cen­tives, Con­fer­ences Ex­hi­bi­tion (MICE) is the one which has shown the max­i­mum po­ten­tial across the globe. Ever since the in­cep­tion of the con­cept in Europe and Amer­ica al­most a cen­tury back, the MICE in­dus­try has grown from strength to strength and has an in­deli­ble impact in de­vel­op­ing a des­ti­na­tion and its econ­omy. Glob­ally, the MICE seg­ment, with a 54% mar­ket share, has over­taken the tra­di­tional busi­ness trips seg­ment.

Con­fer­ences/Meet­ings/Sem­i­nars (41%) and trade fairs/ex­hi­bi­tions (29%) are the two largest MICE sub-seg­ments, says a 2014-15 ITB World Travel Trends re­port.

A FICCI-MRSS re­port high­lights In­dia's rel­a­tive po­si­tion in the In­bound MICE map of the world and also fo­cuses on the ini­tia­tives taken up by the Cen­tral and State Gov­ern­ments across the coun­try to en­cash the high growth of the MICE seg­ment of the tourism sec­tor.

The re­port states that there are a few is­sues in re­la­tion to MICE tourism in In­dia which can be per­ceived as pos­si­ble bot­tle­necks to the in­dus­try as a whole: Preva­lence of high tax struc­ture in In­dia – This is a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor for In­dia's des­ti­na­tions to lose out on a global scale while bid­ding for events. Con­ven­tion Visa - This has been ad­dressed some­what in the New Tourism Pol­icy. The in­tro­duc­tion of e Tourist Visa has kicked off a new regime. Avail­abil­ity of Trained Man­power – Needs su­pe­rior In­dus­try-Academia con­nect. Car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity of a MICE des­ti­na­tion – Care­fully car­ried out feasibility study may solve the process. Com­pli­ance to In­ter­na­tional Stan­dards – The Phys­i­cal and pe­riph­eral in­fra­struc­ture needs to com­ply with the world

stan­dards. This can be done by im­part­ing train­ing draw­ing cues from the lead­ers. The FICCI-MRSS re­port rec­om­mends a five-point agenda to boost MICE tourism:

Pro­mote con­cept of sus­tain­able tourism

To make the dream of the Prime Min­is­ter true, that the con­cept of sus­tain­able tourism be adopted and prac­tised. This will in­volve all stake­hold­ers right from the com­mu­nity to ac­tive par­tic­i­pants in the value chain and en­able them to proac­tively serve and in­ter­act with the in­bound tourists so that they feel more at home in In­dia. This will en­able them to re­turn to In­dia on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

Main­tain co-or­di­na­tion and align with the Cen­tral Agency

MICE Pro­mo­tion Bureau with in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tion have been set up at na­tional as well as the des­ti­na­tion level. They need to work in close co-or­di­na­tion and take time bound ac­tions.

Cre­ate a mar­ket in­tel­li­gence sys­tem to track com­pe­ti­tion

There needs to be an in­tel­li­gence sys­tem to track the prod­uct of­fer­ings by the com­pe­ti­tion states and pass on this in­for­ma­tion to the states so that they can amend/ mod­ify/ value add their of­fer­ings in or­der to stay com­pet­i­tive amongst MICE tourists.

Cre­ate ex­pe­ri­ences, not just tourist spots

A vis­i­tor should go back en­riched in knowl­edge and with a sense of a great ex­pe­ri­ence. To make this hap­pen steps can be taken to make the tour re­plete with tour guides, ac­tiv­i­ties for the chil­dren, culi­nary tours, in­ter­ac­tiv­ity for the tourist with the cul­ture of the place etc. New tourist des­ti­na­tions may be identified and fur­ther de­vel­oped for of­fer­ing in­no­va­tive tourism prod­ucts or ex­pe­ri­ences.

Sell MICE tourism ex­clu­sively

Cus­tom­ized travel ex­pe­ri­ences, lux­ury spa ses­sions, rare animal sanc­tu­ar­ies, re­li­gious pil­grim­age tours are what the for­eign trav­ellers be­lieve in. There is enough op­por­tu­nity in In­dia to pro­mote med­i­cal, well­ness and spir­i­tual tourism in the state. MICE des­ti­na­tions should be en­cour­aged as tourism for the pur­pose of Meet­ings, In­cen­tives, Con­fer­ences and Ex­hi­bi­tions are no longer lim­ited to big cities.

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