India strives towards national MICE policy

INDIA is expected to unveil a national policy for MICE by end-September this year, the absence of which has crippled the country’s endeavour to position itself as an international MICE destination.

India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) vice chairman, Chander Mansharamani, said: “Deliberations for the policy are underway. We recently had a meeting with the additional secretary of the Ministry of Commerce with regards to the finances necessary for aggressive marketing. The ministry is positive about the policy.

“We are working to announce the MICE policy by end of September at the celebrations of ICPB’s silver jubilee…. We have plans to get some top 50 buyers from the world at the function so that we can interact with them and provide a peek into what all we can offer.”

According to ICPB, the new MICE policy will include a system to record MICE-related statistics in the country, a guidebook providing information on India’s various MICE facilities for foreign buyers, and education programmes for state governments on the economic benefits of MICE events.

“We at ICPB feel that we need the support of a city if we are looking to attract international events. In countries like Singapore or Australia, the city goes and bids for a conference, not an individual. So, we need to convince our governments to get international conferences to our cities. We will try to engage local governments and all the stakeholders of the city,” said Mansharamani.

Anup Nair, managing director, Incentive Destinations, said: “(Having a) MICE policy will help the segment. However, it is important that through the policy, the government is proactive in finding solutions to various issues hampering the growth of the MICE market in the country.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism has begun talks with the state government of Maharashtra for the introduction of a single-window clearance system for MICE, and is likely to seek discussions with other state governments once the system is up and running in Maharashtra.

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