How Kochi Is Preparing To Become India's Next Mice Capital

The proposed budget for the tourism sector in 2024-25 is Rs 351.42 crore, with an allocation of Rs 78 crore for branding and marketing initiatives


Kochi is witnessing a surge in Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences, and events) tourism, marked by the successful hosting of several national conferences in January. Events like Pedicon, Octicon and the KMA international conference, which collectively attracted 7,000 doctors, showcased Kochi's potential as a preferred Mice destination.

Tourism, recognised as a key sector alongside IT, IT-ES and startups, receives attention in the budget presented by Finance Minister Balagopal. The proposed budget for the tourism sector in 2024-25 is Rs 351.42 crore, with an allocation of Rs 78 crore for branding and marketing initiatives. The minister emphasised the tourism sector's status as a sunrise industry in the post-Covid era, showcasing robust recovery in domestic and international visitor numbers.

The city's favourable climate, enhanced transportation and accommodation options contributed to this trend. However, stakeholders emphasise the need for improvements in waste management and transportation infrastructure for Kochi to solidify its position in Mice tourism.

Acknowledging the state's inclusion in the top 50 global must-see destinations, the minister stressed the necessity of establishing large convention centres to meet the rising demand for extensive conferences and events in the state. To attract private investment in this endeavour, a forthcoming policy will be devised, aiming to streamline the process with the involvement of institutions like the Kerala Financial Corporation.

With studies indicating a projected demand for an additional 10,000 hotel rooms in the next three years, the Finance Minister aims to catalyse private investments of Rs 5,000 crore in the tourism sector within the next year through favourable policies.

Furthermore, plans are underway to create accommodation and conference facilities for a minimum of 500 individuals in 20 selected destinations across the state. The initial phase will focus on developing these facilities in areas such as Varkala, Kollam, Munroethuruthu, Alappuzha, Munnar, Fort Kochi, Ponnani, Beypore, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Bekal, with an allocated budget of Rs 50 crore from the annual budget.

Despite challenges like traffic congestion on key bridges, Kochi's beaches, village tourism and expanding hotel options are drawing companies and associations to organise summits in the city. The influx of international hotel brands, coupled with sectoral developments, positions Kochi as a vibrant hub for global interactions and economic activities.

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