While zoom calls and webinars have overtaken boardroom discussions, it is certainly not a match for face to face interaction that has been proven so effective over the years. As we discuss here the growing opportunities of MICE in Indian states, the question that pops out of our minds - ‘Is India really prepared to host MICE events”?
Well according to statistics furnished by state/UT governments and other information available with the Ministry of Tourism reveal 1.82 billion domestic tourist visits all over the country during 2018, compared to just 10.89 million foreign tourist arrivals during 2019. Although the tourist visits would combine both business and leisure travel, but it clearly states - India was always prepared. “But did we explore enough”?
With more than 300 hotels in the 5-star category in different cities, India is one of the best MICE destinations with excellent amenities and services of international standards. Several convention centers at prime locations are perfect to conduct big conferences, meetings, and other events. Few of the largest properties are Renaissance Mumbai Convention Center, Mumbai, Grand Hyatt, Mumbai, ITC Royal Bengal & ITC Sonar, Kolkata and ITC Grand Chola, Chennai, that have fantastic staying accommodations between 600 – 700 rooms. Other prominent ones are Hyatt Andaz Aerocity, New Delhi, JW Mariott Aerocity, New Delhi, Hyderabad International Convention Center, Hyderabad, Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, Kolkata, Lulu Bolgatty International Convention Center, Kerala and much more where the seating capacities can range up to 6000 people.
Moreover, standard operating protocols (SOPs) from central and state governments have made these hotels safe for travelers. Security scans, thermal screenings, sanitizations, increase in area, spaces between tables are now a part of daily routines of the standard hotels. Contactless services, Mandatory safety protocols and Air Travel are posing much lesser risk of contamination now (Read Low Risk Of Virus In Air travel).
According to an online article published by Business world, MICE tourism is continuously growing and increasing with an estimate of 15-20% annual growth in the inbound MICE segment. Also, the Union Government aims to achieve 2% of the global MICE market share by 2025. Interesting, right!
According to a digital conference conducted by Economic Times, Indian states are now well prepared with various amenities and facilities to host MICE events post COVID 19 lockdowns. Interestingly, Kerala, Goa, Rajasthan, West Bengal and many other states are now offering a lot on their platters by combining MICE with leisure including the experience of local culture, traditions, food, historical spots and much more.
So, the Corporate can rethink their strategies to incentivize their employees by holding the seminars and conferences within India, a country that offers from mountains to oceans and forests to deserts, most of which are still unexplored. What’s more encouraging is that India has done well to combat the virus in comparison to other countries giving a lot confidence to the domestic and foreign corporate travelers.
Irresistible India! what more can we ask for!