Growing meetings in Spain
Spain guarantees effective organisation of highimpact meetings which maximise participants' experience and satisfaction. In an interview, Ignacio Ducasse, Director- Tourism Office of Spain in India, tells us more
Kindly share the latest statistics about the Indian MICE travellers to Spain?
Every year, we witness more MICE travellers travelling to Spain. In 2009, the percentage of MICE travellers to Spain were about 15 per cent from the total number of Indians travelling to Spain. This incremented to about 25 per cent in the subsequent years between 2011-2015. Recently, MICE travellers constitute 35 per cent of our total number of travellers from India which means that around 35.000 travellers out were that of MICE.
What is the innovative marketing strategy that your MICE bureau has taken up?
Our marketing strategy entails in continuous support and contact with the MICE agents and tour operators in India, creating awareness about new MICE destinations, giving presentations in various cities, this year being Mumbai and Bengaluru and most importantly, educating the travel trade what Spain has to offer. It is also of great essence, the B2B sessions allow MICE agents and tour operators to learn more about the
destination. Another key element of our marketing strategy is organising FAM trips exclusively for MICE. This year, we sent several travel trade professionals for a FAM trip to Valencia. These educative trips give the agents/tour operators the chance to experience the MICE offerings that our destination can provide their customers.
What is the average length of stay for a MICE/ business delegates in Madrid/Spain? What is the average amount that they spend?
The average length of stay for MICE/business delegates trip to Spain from India is about four days. The average spend is around €100-€200 euros per day.
From where do you receive the maximum traffic for MICE in Spain? Which are the new market opportunities and challenges for MICE in India?
We receive maximum traffic from Delhi since we have the greatest seat capacity from the city, closely followed by Mumbai which competes with the capital for an increased connectivity. Emerging cities such as Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai are new market opportunities with tremendous potential to grow and a robust demand to travel to Spain. We are also experiencing growth from Tier II cities such as Nagpur, Ludhiana and Amritsar. New airlines are now thriving to penetrate into these cities and capture a sizeable share of the market. As far as challenges are concerned, the issuance of visas remains a hindrance for MICE especially in the wake of stronger immigrations policies implemented across Europe, however, we are hoping that this will smoothen out over the next few years.
How was the year 2017 been for you? How was 2017 vis-e-vie 2016. What main events, convention and exhibitions do you have lined up for the coming months in 2018?
The year 2017 fared well for us so far and we have crossed 100,000 arrivals by the end of October 2017. We received until October 31, 2017, some 107,888 Indian tourists which indicates an increment of 16.3 per cent vis-à-vis 2016. We are very positive that the MICE segment will continue to grow in 2018 as well. FITUR 2018, the largest tourism trade fair, organised in Spain is being held from January 17-21, at IFEMA in Madrid, where India has been invited as the partner country. In 2017, FITUR had beaten the participation record with 9,893 exhibiting companies from 165 countries/regions, 135,858 trade participants and 107,213 people from the general public. Among
Until October, 2017, some 107,888 Indian tourists were recieved, increment of 16.3% vis-à-vis 2016
the participation figures of note was the increase of 18.8 per cent of international trade visitors compared to the previous staging. Morever, the volume of agendas organised by FITUR within the different B2B has reached 6,800 business appointments.
Which is the largest MICE group that you have had from India so far?
The largest group that we have received from India were over 20,000 people that travelled to Spain for the IIFA Awards, celebrated in Madrid from June 23-26 in 2016.
What kind of incentives do you offer to big corporate groups from India?
One of the main incentives we offer big corporate groups from India is the liaison with the convention bureaus of different destinations across Spain. These bureaus offer free advisory services to organise meetings, congresses or events in their respective cities. They advise on a spectrum of services such as the most suitable venue to host an event to cost effective accommodation, fun filled activity programmes, city tours and excursions at an attractive price, coordination of inspection visits and more. Everything is seamlessly put together. These 56 destinations, distributed across Spain, have sufficient human and technical means to organise meetings and events at a large scale.