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Monday, 30 September, 2019, 15 : 09 PM [IST]

‘India is emerging as a huge market for a variety of MICE events’

Realising the potential of MICE sector, the government is extending financial support for developing international convention centres and tourism-related infrastructure across India, says Vipan Sharma, Director, Vue India Events, in an interview with TravelBiz Monitor
Q How is the MICE business in India evolving? What are the important changes you have observed over the years?
There is rapid development happening currently in the field of MICE in India. As per the statistics shared by at the World Trade Organisation- there will be 10 billion international travellers by 2020 and business travel is expected to account for approximately 14% of international travel. These numbers, combined with the fact that India is being received in the international market as a source of growth and value for money, tell us that our country is emerging as a huge potential market for a variety of MICE events.

Our government has also understood that long-time subsistence of MICE business can be ensured through a proactive attitude and an extensive network of allied infrastructure, like high-end hotels, excellent connectivity, a well-developed transportation network, & proper tourist attractions. In fact, they're actively providing financial support for developing international convention centers and tourism-related infrastructure across India.

Q What is your marketing strategy in terms of reaching out to your target groups?
We maintain a data bank of major corporate accounts in India who usually require MICE services. Along with staying in touch with them through online marketing and networking, we keep them updated by providing periodic information about various MICE destinations.

We are also associated with several agencies focused on promoting MICE business, like SITE and ICPB which are actively holding annual events to bring together the MICE community, and semi-government organisations like FICCI that regularly arrange MICE focus-shows to promote India as a destination.

Q The competition in the MICE business segment is gradually becoming intense. How are you creating a niche for your company?
Vue India already enjoys a strong reputation, owing to our 23 years of experience in the industry and a shining record of delivering the best services at most competitive rates. But, I believe in constantly upgrading and adapting my offerings. Keeping that in mind, we follow an aggressive marketing approach, constantly share our services and products with foreign tour operators through regular newsletters, and leverage the power of social media to target buyers from across the world who are looking at India as their MICE-destination. We also participate in mega international MICE shows to establish direct contacts with international buyers, incentive houses, and corporate, having such requirements.

Q Food is one of the most important elements in this business. How do you address the issue especially when you take out MICE groups outside the country?
In the past, most of the outbound groups we handled have been high-end clients with flexible food requirements. Nevertheless, it's a mandatory procedure in my company to take note of any and all special meal requirements, and deliver accordingly, ensuring no compromise is made at any level.

However, I must mention that taking care of food peculiarities

is a non-issue now because there are plenty of Indian restaurants available across the world. Even in India, most of the hotels are catering to international cuisine. We just pay close attention to the client requirements and match them with services from the right vendor.

Q Ground handling is your greatest strength, how does it help you in business?
Having a very strong presence at the ground-level has always helped our clients. That's why we provide concierge services with a dedicated staff available 24x7 for all major conferences and events. Right from the point of arrival in the country till the moment they leave, we make sure to provide international standards of transport for them on every tour. Our representatives meet the guests at the airport, welcome them into the country, and escort them to their respective hotels. Likewise, we handle all travelling arrangements including pre & post-tour requirements with ease, thanks to our ground handling capability.

Q What is your future plan with respect to MICE business?
The travel industry has gone through various changes and the biggest one is its transition to the World Wide Web. Almost all services are available online now and many clients prefer to avail them directly.

But, MICE travel is still a niche area where every corporate and tour operator requires a reliable partner to look after the arrangements and handle their prestigious events and take accountability. This area requires expertise and these services are very specialized. You need professionals to execute the perfect event. That's a major factor which makes me hopeful for the future of MICE organizers in India and worldwide. I see very positive growth of MICE tourism in India, for both inbound and outbound divisions, in the next few years.

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