Takeaways from 2nd MICE India and Luxury Travel Congress


Incentive travel has long been recognized as a powerful business tool for helping organizations achieve key business objectives and drive bottom line results. Smart business leaders in India know that the skills and attitudes of their employees can be the very thing that sets them apart from their competition.

“Incentive travel is one of the fastest growing segments within India's outbound MICE movement. Many Indian companies organise annual incentive travel as a business tool to reward and motivate top-performing employees as well as external channel partners to drive topline sales. As Indian incentive groups become more mature and discerning, Singapore aims to provide a selection of customised, value-added experiences that cater to the tastes of this important market through its INSPIRE incentive programme. ”says Chang CheePey, Executive Director, South Asia, Middle East & Africa, Singapore Tourism Board.

Indian Corporates from Pharmaceutical, Cement, FMCG, Retail, BFSI and other industries are seeking new destinations for MICE trips beyond traditional destinations and themes, thereby providing their employees and distributors unique experiences and are actively holding regular MICE programs abroad with departments dedicated to take care of business travel & incentive groups of sizeable proportions.

India's new "elite middle class" who are spending exorbitantly for their holidays abroad as well as Indian HNWIs & “Closet Customers” are also a segment that are too important to be ignored.

According to Mischa Mannix-Opie, Regional Manager - South & South East Asia at Tourism New Zealand, “New Zealand currently hosts many Indian incentive groups annually with group sizes usually ranging from 50-150 passengers. However it is not uncommon for larger groups of up to around 400 passengers to travel to New Zealand from India. The eagerness of Indian travellers to explore and experience new places, coupled with the increase in their spending power, makes India an important market for luxury travel as well.”

Mr. Byungsun Lee - Director, Korea Tourism Organisation, India Office adds: "India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world with rising travel potential. With stronger business prospects and the rupee getting stronger, business travel and MICE from India all set to grow. Korea offers unique travel experience with state of the art facilities and outstanding services that is fairly unexplored in the Indian market.”

In the current business scenario, it is vital that suppliers have direct access to senior executives, with final decision on vendor selection, and the ultimate sign off on all budgets. Reaching the decision maker, however, is costly, time-consuming and hard to achieve. This is where the 2nd Annual MICE India & Luxury Travel Congress organised by QnA International comes in, a curated gathering of India’s biggest spenders for MICE & Luxury Travel from the largest enterprises & agencies from all across the Indian sub-continent.

"As a part of our marketing plan in India we are targeting corporate houses, MICE planners, event management companies and travel agents to market MICE destinations in Korea. MILT congress was appealed to me as an event bringing genuine buyers from all our target industries under one roof which makes it a must visit congress for us." – says Mr. Byungsun Lee - Director, Korea Tourism Organisation, India Office.

Estimates show that the number of Indians travelling abroad by 2020 will increase making India one of the fastest growing tourism markets. Teresa Santos from AIM group Portugal estimates “We strongly believe that Indian market has the same potential than Chinese market probably more for some segments and less for other. Chinese market started to operate to Europe before but it is turned especially to a leisure target while Indian will position itself much more on a Mice target.”

“There is a growing interest in European destinations that are a new alternative to the traditional main destinations. Portugal has been one of the leading MICE destinations for European and North and South American continent and it is now becoming relevant for the Indian tourism. “ Her colleague Raffaela Polla from AIM Group further adds: “Italy is also recognized as one of the most important tourist destinations in Europe and in the world, able to offer a complete experience Made in Italy from culture, art, food to fashion and nature. Indian tourists love the city of art, but also our Islands and the South of the country. Bollywood films attest they are also interested in the countryside landscaper. Italy is a popular destination for Indian tourists and it is becoming more and more a mono destination.”

With a number of suppliers rebooking for the 2014 edition of MILT Congress, the expectations with the upcoming event in July are soaring high. Ramzi Assily, Cluster General Manager, Avari Dubai Hotels & Apartments says:  “This  is our second year at the MILT congress. Due to the extensive contacts we have made in 2013, we are looking forward to do the same in 2014. Our data has showed an increase of Indian nationals using our properties over the last year. It has also given us the opportunity to get in touch directly with major corporate entities, enabling us to make direct deals with them, on the corporate level.

Switzerland Convention & Incentives Bureau who are continuing their support to this year as well also believe that MILT Congress is an important event in their calendar. “We did participate last year and it was a good experience. The pre scheduled 1:1 appointments with top buyers were very good, had an opportunity to meet more buyers then scheduled. The panel discussions were helpful too. For this year edition, we are expecting the same high quality. The strong & positive image of Switzerland in India along with the high awareness levels, the comfortable flight connections from various Indian cities to Zurich/Switzerland, the economic growth in India make it an ideal offer for Zürich/Switzerland as a MICE and luxury travel destination” says Aishvarya Guhagarkar From Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau.

Organised by Dubai based QnA International, the MICE India and Luxury Travel Congress took place in Mumbai on 24 and 25 July as a by invitation only business driven congress with a deal driven format of pre arranged meetings.

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