India publishes first MICE study, considers industry roadmap

India’s Ministry of Tourism has released its first-ever MICE Study Report which spells out business events’ contribution to the Indian economy and will help pave the way for the creation of a roadmap for the implementation of strategies and policy amendments to advance the industry.

Initiated by the India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) and conducted by a market research agency, the report finds that the country’s business events are valued at 375.8 billion rupees (US$5.2 billion), with 60 per cent coming from meeting, incentive travel and conference verticals. Space rental contributes 48 billion rupees.

A fund may be set up to help ICPB and state tourism boards bid for international conferences

The study also notes that business events have a multiplier impact on India’s economy, in terms of accommodation, travel, advertisement, remuneration to skilled workforce, and more.

According to ICPB vice chairman, Chander Mansharamani, the MICE Study Report also provides a recommended structure for the bureau, based on interviews with 18 to 19 CVBs across globe.

“We contacted (them) to know how they function, their structure and how they are marketing their destinations,” he said.

“We have since changed our constitution, bringing it in line with the structure recommended by the study. Recommendations to the government have been made accordingly in the report.”

Some of the recommendations for ICPB include positioning it as a single point of contact for business events in India and the development of market intelligence that can help the country bid for international conferences.

Mansharamani also noted that most international CVBs are funded by the government while ICPB depends on membership fees.

With the change in ICPB’s constitution, it can now bid for international conferences. However, the study advises ICPB to refrain from bidding on its own. Instead, it should engage state tourism boards and PCOs in the process.

Presently the Ministry of Tourism is looking to create a corpus fund in association with state tourism boards in order to bid for international conferences.

Amaresh Tiwari, honorary secretary, ICPB, revealed that a request for 200 million rupees has been made to the Ministry of Tourism for the creation of the fund.

“We expect the respective states to contribute equal amount to the fund. It will help us in activities like offering incentives to international conference organisers,” said Tiwari.

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