MICE trends that will dominate year 2019

Prasad Palival | Founder & MD | Quality Travel World | Business magazine
Prasad Palival | Founder & MD | Quality Travel World

With large conglomerates throwing an incentives programs, the MICE segment in India, though young, is projected to show remarkable growth.
2019 looks bright for the Indian hospitality segment. Last year, most hotels in the country showed a positive performance in both Average Room Rates (ARR) as well as occupancies. With hotels now focused on experiential hospitality, it looks like 2019 will see a healthy outcome as well.
The India hotel sector’s occupancy are inching closer to the 70% mark. In 2017-18, India’s nationwide ARR was INR.5,759/- for all hotels. This is primarily because the hotels have begun experimenting and are open to new ways to grow their brand due to MICE. “The hospitality industry has taken a step away from the traditional and keeps exploring and growing, adapting to needs and demands of users who want to push boundaries and 2018 was no different.
Mumbai grabbed an occupancy rate of 75%, and continues to rule the roost. With an average rate of Rs.7740, Mumbai achieved RevPAR growth of 3.7% in 2018.
With enhanced connectivity and world-class meeting facilities in the pipeline, Mumbai is all set to top the charts. “The tier-2 and tier-3 cities played a major role in the expansion of mid- to economy scale hotels in India. The luxury segment will continue to expand, keeping only metropolitan cities as their major base.
2018 witnessed a balanced MICE business with India coming to terms with the aftermath of demonetization and GST effect nullification. With large conglomerates throwing in meetings and incentives programs, the MICE segment is India, though young, is projected to show a remarkable growth this year. Thanks to the efforts of the Indian government, preparations are in full swing to introduce new policy changes that would make India one of the most preferred MICE destinations in the world.
In an effort to aid the MICE segment, the government is working on easing the visa process, which currently requires multiple visa clearances to attend short-term conferences. Once this is done, Indian hotels can expect more footfall than they can handle as India, as a destination, has already made its mark as safe and spectacular.
2019 looks like a MICE-dominated year with many city sold-out events, including Pharma and Aero India 2019. Successful competition of such events will promote India as a responsible country with the infrastructure to cater to much larger events in the future. With diverse cities and cultures along with International Brands, India is a hot pot full of excitement for the organizers. Hotel companies investing in the MICE segment have opened up opportunities for international corporate travelers significantly.
Even hotels that were not MICE-centric is beginning to see the potential. “The Hyatt Hotels though not a very large market for MICE has seen its fair share of events picking up. The weekend MICE business which was non-existent for corporates has now evolved and weekends are now busy. Most large MICE events in cities are now over weekends. Thanks to a lot of factors like transportation, infrastructural development, the boom of corporate companies that have added to the same.
The MICE in 2019 is expected to grow at an average of 7% to 10%. The sizes of MICE will become larger, making it a buoyant 2019. The meetings above 500 delegates are expected to grow from 74% in 2018 to 80% in 2019. This means the size and the scope of corporate events are getting bigger. This growth of the size would obviously increase the spending budget. India has a lot of destinations which are being geared up for a larger MICE business in terms of infrastructure and preparedness. The use of outdoor facility and technology would be among the top trends in 2019.
India has huge potential when it comes to being a major MICE destination as it has such a varied landscape – from a beachside setting to cool calming hill stations, from buzzing cities to sprawling deserts, there is something for every kind of meeting organizer. The buoyant growth in the tourism sector and the support from various government agencies and private players to improve tourism infrastructure will help India become the most sought-after MICE destination.
Personalized experiences: Increasingly meetings are becoming areas for creative collaboration, instead of a standard meeting room, there are emotionally intelligent event spaces such as sensory lounges, recreational rooms and experience zones that help to facilitate greater partnerships.
Social Media: For the past few years, live feeds and Q&A via social media platforms are being used to keep the audience engaged throughout the events. Utilizing these social networks can be a big asset to any event organizer who is keen on collecting useful data analytics about their attendees.
Virtual reality/Augmented reality: Virtual reality or Augmented reality enables users to have a perspective of how a room/meeting space would appear with certain changes. This technology is increasingly being used to enhance attendees’ experience at events.
Metro cities: International MICE of Small & Midscale is not only looking at Leisure destinations but have started trying Metro cities as well with strong travel connectivity.
Green initiatives: Domestic MICE, attract a lot of energy-saving initiatives offered by hotels.
Ideal time: Major months for large MICE activities are October, November, February, and March.
The airline industry is also opening up the skies, adding new destinations, making travel accessible and time short. This will grow by leaps and bounds bringing cheer to the hospitality network and in extension the MICE segment.
About the Author
Prasad Pallival is the Managing Director of Quality Travel World Pvt. Ltd., established in 2013,with a vision to provide the Indian traveller with SUPERIOR QUALITY package tour facilities. He ensured that the services of Quality Travels would be totally customer focused and would maintain their exclusivity. The objective was to make family holiday tours more comfortable, more exciting and most memorable.

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