Grow­ing meet­ings in Spain

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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.

Ignacio Du­casse

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