Growth Despite Economic Downturn
Recuperating after the global economic slowdown, MICE industry is back on the track of growth. How has the economic scenario affected the length of stay and number of participants for a MICE visit? MICEtalk explores what the Industry has to say about this. Agents are unanimous in their opinion that 2012 saw a slowdown in growth, but there was growth all the same. With tight budgets and tougher competition, it has taken creativity to win over business, which has brought about optimism for what the coming year holds.
GULDEEP SINGH SAHNI
MD, Weldon Travels President, OTOAI
Due to the global economic slowdown, the number of MICE visits came down. The organisations which participated in the MICE visits reduced their duration. When recession sets in, the first cut that any organisation imposes is on travel. Some organisations delayed their MICE visits, but towards the end of the year they started to spend their allocated budgets. With elections due in 2014, the government should start spending in 2013 to woo electorates, this would, in turn, make markets buoyant and we can expect higher MICE movement.
Chairman, Travel Plus President, ADTOI
2012 as an aggregate has been positive for MICE. There’s more reading and writing about the industry, and more and more smaller corporates are coming up and experimenting with the trend of moving their meetings to outdoor locales. It is a good and huge market for domestic operators and there is a lot of potential for the coming year.
Managing Director Fortune Tours & Expo
Well, the economic slowdown has definitely made budgets tighter this year. Margins are under pressure and the competition is strong. However, this has only led us to tighten our belts further and aim at providing a different experience or product. Exotic is what is being promoted nowadays and is an integral part of MICE. With ‘off beat’ being the new demand, MICE will continue on a path of slow growth next year.
Head – India, Insta Tourism
2012 has seen a lots of ups and downs in the tourism industry, it did not pick up as 2011. It saw one of the biggest downfalls in the aviation sector; Kingfisher Airlines going down due to which airline prices skyrocketed disrupting all corporate MICE plans. The bottomlines are reduced considerably, but it, by no means, have impacted the growth of formidable MICE companies. One expects 2013 to be a great year with FDI in airlines seen as a big positive factor. Corporate MICE plans are back now and the demand is high for new destinations with newer attractions.
Managing Director Blue Moon Travels
2012 has been a positive year. Whether it is thinking creatively or providing end-to-end solutions, we’ve seen a positive trend with our inclusion of events in MICE. We are looking at comfortably growing by 25 per cent. Our expectations are steeped in reality and with the events that we are taking on across the globe, it is a fairly safe number.
Chief Business Officer MakeMyTrip
The MICE market is robust and it constitutes a significant number in outbound movements. According to industry estimates, the Indian outbound MICE market was pegged around $550-600 million in 2011 with 1.5-1.8 mn passengers. In this period, many foreign national tourism boards recorded a double digit growth in Indian tourist arrivals under the MICE segment. At MakeMyTrip, we have witnessed 35 per cent growth amongst MICE travellers to Far East, while for the Middle East the growth is 25 per cent. The break up for Europe is 15 per cent, Africa & China 10 per cent and Pacific region 5 per cent.