MICE traffic to India
Chander Mansharamani, Vice-Chairman, India Convention Promotion Bureau, talks about boosting MICE as it can add substantially to India’s economic growth
What is the MICE scenario in India?
MICE has been picking up for the last two years. Basically ours is a not an industry; we call this an economic activity. So this economic activity in regards to the Government of India has come on a level. India is the third largest economy in the world. Business is directly related with the economy of the country. One of the reasons is that more events are now happening in India as compared to some years back.
How much growth have you seen in the past two to three years?
We don’t have any figures as such. We don’t know what the size of the industry is and what the growth is. Unless you know these it is very difficult to plan for the infrastructure and all. We did a research with IIM Bangalore three to four years back about how much infrastructure India needs and they came out with the result that India has an excess of capacity. They were right in the sense that 87 per cent of the conferences happen in the world which is less than 10,000 delegates. So, we need to have those kind of figures to know as to where we should put in our money. According to me, there has been growth of 15-17 per cent in the past two to three years.
What is the road ahead for ICPB?
Our road ahead is to encash this opportunity. In case we don’t encash it now, we will be too late. The economy of the world is not doing that well. But India is doing very well despite the economic situation. ICPB has started doing many activities. One is roadshows, as we strongly believe that 85 per cent of the conference business basically originates in India, whether it is an international or a domestic conference. For international conferences, organisations across the world need the support and involvement of their representatives in India. So, we have started roadshows across the country. We had our first roadshow in Hyderabad and there are three more roadshows lined up in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Jaipur. We try to involve the state government and tell them the economic and social impact of holding an event in the city, so that they give priority to MICE.
How closely are you working with the Ministry of Tourism?
We work very closely with the MOT as you know our President is Suman Billa who is also the Joint Secretary, MOT. The recently held conference on ‘MICE Tourism in India’ was the first we held with ASSOCHAM to deliberate upon the MICE policy in the future. MOT has also taken the MICE segment as a priority and they are working on a MICE development board which they are planning to implement it through ICPB.
What are you doing to promote more inbound travellers for MICE?
From September onwards we are planning to do roadshows outside India also. There are associations which organise their annual events across the world. Along with MOT, we are looking at having roadshows at destinations where there are association base. Geneva has headquarters of different associations and Brussels and Amsterdam are other destinations where we are planning to have the roadshows.
We strongly believe that 85 per cent of the conference business basically originates in India, whether it is an international or a domestic conference