Aussies Lure India with ICC World Cup 2015
Sydney has made its presence felt in the Indian MICE circuit and is ready to utilise every opportunity that comes its way. Lyn Lewis-Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Business Events Sydney, talks about the unique opportunities available in Sydney that make
How was the last financial year in terms of MICE movements from India? What would be your key focus areas for the Indian market?
In the last financial year we only saw a couple of small
movements from India. A few groups of around 200 people visited us. We have a lot of expectations from India and have appointed a full time resource now in Mumbai. Our activities show that we are taking the
market very seriously and we are the only Australian convention bureau with full time representation in India.
A few key industry sectors that we focus on include the IT and ICT industry, car manufacturing, direct sale opportunity and financial services. We look for strength in our industry sectors where we want to grow and we are placing the State as a financial services hub in Asia-Pacific. We are focussing on those corporations that have inward business investment, inward incentive business and corporate meetings. Our strategy for India is aligned with the government objectives and that is our point of difference to all other states and countries bureaus.
For an international convention, delegates generally spend AUD 677 per person per day but if an Indian incentive delegation comes they spend a lot more
There is a fondness between the two countries and this will create opportunities in the corporate sector
At present what are the conference facilities available in the city?
For corporate meeting, most hotels have spectacular
spaces with a view of the harbor. There are 15 venues within Sydney that can seat up to 800 delegates. We are building a whole new precinct at Darling harbor as our
present convention facility is going under renovation. By December 2016, the new conference facility will be ready. A few other venues include Doltone House and the Star entertainment quarter. Australia’s technology
park where master chef is shot is also popular.
What makes Sydney a unique
Icons of Sydney are a highlight but we underestimate the multiculturalism in this country. We have vibrant atmosphere and speak over 200 languages in this state. I think the warm welcoming and friendly people going
the extra mile. We’ve hosted world-class events and the ICC is here in 2015 and for that we’ll have a significant programme in India and
focus on incentive programmes around that time to lure more Indians. We plan to work with Australian cricket and Tourism Australia during the world cup. This will help us utilise and get access to the cricketers not playing in the tournament, such as, Brett Lee
and Glenn McGrath. We are pretty close to getting direct flights and that will also have a massive impact on Indian visitation. I feel our expertise in delivering world class events and building this reputation in India, makes us unique.
What are the usual trends of an Indian Business traveller?
The usual stay is three to four nights but this depends on number of destinations visited. Indian food is a must for most travellers. We need to understand what the consumer as an incentive delegate is looking for. The wow factor is a must but people also want personalised services. We work with the supply chain to make sure all requirements are met.
Why did you decide to focus on India? Where does it stand as a source market?
We see exceptional growth coming out of India. The country is our eighth largest trading partner and is rocketing up. The government to government interaction is increasing and this will lead to growth.
For us it’s all of Asia but China is our number
one source market, out of all the groups 50 per cent come from Asia and they all are incentive groups. We have a team of 11 people dedicated to Asia from the convention bureau and they all speak different languages and work right across the event life cycle.
Sydney has innumerable Indian restaurants across the city
What support do you offer the travel agent and the corporate group?
We are working with the travel agents to make sure the itinerary meets the demands of corporates. It is a three
way partnership. From securing the event to the event delivery, we work with the corporation and support them. We provide welcome banners at the airport and continue to strive to find new ways for event delivery
and marketing. We do the ‘meet and greet’ at the
airport and keep in touch with the inbound operator
to make sure of smooth operations. Our Deputy Premier will do a meet and greet for the India market, if required. Our government sees this as critical for the growth of our market as well. It adds value to the incentive programme.