The India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) is expected to complete its restructuring process by the end of this fiscal year. The restructuring will result in ICPB being able to bid for international association events.
“We expect an increase of almost four times the number of association meetings taking place in India once the restructuring process is completed,” enthused Chander Mansharamani, ICPB’s vice chairman.
“We also want state governments to establish their own bureaus so that a corpus can be formed, where 50 per cent of funds can be contributed by the government of India, while the rest of the contribution comes from state governments interested in bidding for an event,” said Suman Billa, ICPB’s chairman and joint secretary of ministry of tourism.
To support this new responsibility, a division will be created to help in the preparation of bid documents and to assist in visa application process.
The restructuring will also involve the hiring of marketing professionals who will participate on ICPB’s behalf in all international tradeshows, and organise roadshows in India.
In addition, ICPB is looking at ways to generate revenue such as by charging local association chapters a fee for compiling bid documents or a visa facilitation fee.
And on top of all that, ICPB intends to engage an agency that can help it gauge the total number of business events taking place, their economic benefit, and how to grow the segment for India.
“We already have invited companies to express their interest. We expect the process to be competed in the next two months,” added Mansharamani.
Meanwhile, the ministry of tourism is looking to have a mechanism in place to reflect the number of business event arrivals, as well as easing the process of obtaining conference visas. An option, according to the National Institution for Transforming India think tank, was to add conference visas to India’s e-visa facility.
“We have requested the government to simplify the process of getting conference visas, as many conference delegates tended to visit the country on a tourist visa (which is easier to obtain),” shared Billa.