In GCC

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TAc­cord­ing to a study by man­age­ment con­sul­tancy, Strat­egy &, for­merly Booz & Com­pany, GCC coun­tries are in an out­stand­ing po­si­tion to be­come a global meet­ings hub. The con­tribut­ing fac­tors are grow­ing trade ac­tiv­ity, cen­tral ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion and in­creas­ing

sta­tus as prospect­ing spots for busi­ness trav­ellers. he ‘Strat­egy &’ study iden­ti­fies the meet­ings sec­tor as one of the most lu­cra­tive niches within the tourism in­dus­try. Since busi­ness peo­ple who travel to a coun­try to at­tend a trade show or con­fer­ence tend to spend far more than other trav­ellers, a coun­try that po­si­tions it­self as a good place for large-scale meet­ings, con­ven­tions, and ex­hi­bi­tions (MICE) can at­tract a high vol­ume of for­eign busi­ness vis­i­tors. The study re­veals that presently, only about 5 per cent of trav­ellers in any given year, fall into the MICE cat­e­gory, also known as meet­ings tourism mar­ket. MICE tourists ac­count for about US$11 of ev­ery US$100 that tourists spend an ex­ces­sively high fig­ure com­pared to the 5 per cent of tourist ar­rivals they rep­re­sent. The study high­lights the steady progress that GCC has made as a des­ti­na­tion for busi­ness travel. To­tal busi­ness-tourist ar­rivals reached around 10 mil­lion in 2012, rep­re­sent­ing 5 per cent an­nual growth from 2009. The pro­por­tion of busi­ness tourists as a whole is higher, prob­a­bly closer to one-third of all tourist ar­rivals. This val­i­dates the fact that busi­ness trav­ellers in the GCC rep­re­sent a un­usu­ally high per­cent­age of to­tal tourist ar­rivals com­pared to the rest of the world. Richard She­diac, Se­nior Part­ner with Strat­egy &, in­formed, “De­spite the po­ten­tial of the meet­ings mar­ket, most emerg­ing economies have not de­vel­oped a good un­der­stand­ing of this part of the tourism in­dus­try, nor do they have a well-con­sid­ered strat­egy for get­ting a larger share of the pie. Th­ese gaps have con­trib-

MICEtalk

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