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Wednesday, 11 March, 2020, 15 : 00 PM [IST]

Euromic calls on industry stakeholders to convince MICE clients to postpone travel plans instead of cancel

At a time when the countries reporting new cases of coronavirus are on the rise, the biggest casualty has been the travel industry with major cancellations of trade fairs, MICE bookings, ports suspending cruise ship permits, and the overall leisure inbound and outbound segment virtually coming to a standstill. Airlines have curtailed frequencies, are offering discount on fares and waiving off fees for rescheduling of tickets. Offline and online travel agents are facing the heat with the massive cancellation of air tickets, and tour packages dealing a deadly blow to their upcoming summer bookings at a time when the market sentiment in India was already subdued due to the economic slowdown.

In such a scenario, stakeholders and travel associations in India and global, are requesting customers to postpone their travel plans instead of calling them off altogether.

Huw Tuckett, Executive Director, Euromic, says, “As an industry we should be doing everything in our power to convince and assist clients not to cancel travel incentives, meetings and events. Instead encourage a wait-and-see attitude, work with suppliers and partners to honour deposits paid for use on future dates, check future availability, and work on moving programmes and events to 6 or 9 months from now. Help gain commitment for future dates.”

Tuckett has called on industry colleagues to communicate with clients and channel partners. “My message to the MICE industry - whether you are the hotel, supplier, event planner, end client or the DMC providing the programme - is to communicate with your clients. Sell the benefits of travelling at a later stage, focus on the positives, offer more time to plan and more time to research and make programmes better. Why not highlight the fact that buyers will soon have tremendous buying power if they are willing to commit to future operations? Discounts will be found everywhere instead of incurring cancellations fees that in reality are a lose-lose situation. Our mindset should be one of how do we make our programmes happen, rather than just accepting cancellations, never to be seen again.”
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