Good infrastructure, presence of MNCs plus a supportive CVB and state government have placed the Indian city in the favour of planners.
Presence of a supportive local convention bureau and state government has enabled Hyderabad to enjoy a triumphant year in inbound business events.
For Gorav Arora, director, sales & marketing with Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre & Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC), the year 2017 was in fact the “most successful year in the recent past” for the capital city of Telangana state in India.
“We have seen double-digit growth. HICC hosted some major conferences and association events last year,” Arora revealed.
He gave credit to a supportive state government, saying: “(It) has been proactive in supporting new businesses in the city which has (in turn brought more business events) to Hyderabad. The government has also supported many conferences (held in Hyderabad), such as the recent Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) that has placed the city in the global spotlight.”
GES is an annual gathering of emerging entrepreneurs, investors and supporters from around the world.
Chander Mansharamani, managing director, Alpcord Network Travel & Conferences, also commended the state government for being proactive in attracting global conferences, adding that Hyderabad’s current infrastructure also brings value to interested event planners.
He explained: “Hyderabad boasts of a purpose-built events venue in the form of HICC. The ecosystem of the city includes hotels, conference venues and transport providers (that allow events to be coordinated seamlessly).”
Gary Khan, CEO of the Hyderabad Convention Visitors Bureau (HCVB), added that the entry and expansion of global business conglomerates like Samsung and Google in Hyderabad had also helped the city in its bids for trade association meetings.
Other notable business events that took place in Hyderabad last year included World Endoscopy Conference 2017, InterDrought-V, International Union of Crystallography Congress and SKAL World Congress.
According to major PCOs and PEOs in the city, Europe and the US are traditional main source markets for association events. However, 2017 witnessed the emergence of South-east Asian demand out of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
Swadesh Kumar, founder, Shikhar Group of Companies, also observed more conferences coming out of the Middle-East.
He said scientific, medical and IT meetings were the most common in Hyderabad, and were the biggest drivers of business for the local meetings industry in 2017.
“Even the domestic market performed extremely well for Hyderabad last year,” he added.
Khan revealed that HCVB has now decided to push Hyderabad aggressively to corporate incentive buyers in global markets.
According to industry players, so strong is Hyderabad’s appeal for business events that even the new Goods & Sales Tax imposed last year had failed to dampen interest.
With the new tax, the highest tax rate of 28 per cent applies to hotel room rates of more than 7,500 rupees (US$118) while an 18 per cent tax on F&B applies.
Arora expects the city’s good performance to continue into 2018.
“We have a good pipeline of business for 2018 and we expect this year will be better than 2017, even though it is too early to gauge the impact of the new Goods & Services Tax on business events performance,” remarked Arora.