India gets less than 1% of world conference business: Parliamentary Panel
India gets less than 1% of world conference business: Parliamentary Panel

In New Delhi, even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre have been working hard to make it easier to hold MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions), India has less than 1% of the global MICE business despite having one of the fastest-growing economies.

The lack of a focused approach to MICE tourism is one of the main reasons for India’s bad performance in MICE tourism, according to a report from a high-level Parliamentary group that was given at the end of a special sitting of Parliament. This is happening at the same time that PM Modi started the G20 Summit at Bharat Mandapam and opened a huge MICE infrastructure called “YashoBhoomi” in the national capital.


The Modi government made Bharat Mandapam and Yashobhoomi two of the most important places for supporting MICE.

In its report, “Development of Niche Tourism (including Spiritual Tourism), Theme-based Tourist Circuits, and Potential Tourist Spots,” the Rajya Sabha Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism, and Culture made a very important point: “India was ranked 28th with 158 meetings in the 2019 International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranking of countries. ICCA’s international ranking of cities by the number of foreign association events gives Indian towns a low score.

“Only seven Indian towns are in the top 475, with Delhi at the top at number 75 with 37 talks and Ahmedabad at the bottom at number 424 with only four meetings. Even Goa, which is one of the most popular tourist spots in the country, is ranked 307th with eight meetings,” the report said.

The committee also noticed that, according to the National Strategy document on MICE, India’s core MICE infrastructure and amenities are on par with those of most developed countries. However, the main reasons for India’s poor performance in MICE tourism are the lack of a focused approach to MICE tourism, the lack of a system for collecting information about different national and international MICE events and preparing for winning bids, the high tax structure and costs, and the lack of standardisation.

“Also, most great towns around the world have their own convention bureaus to help promote events and help the groups and clubs that are organising them, but there are no city convention offices in India. Singapore, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, China, Macau, and Malaysia are already popular places for MICE events in the region, and it was said that India would have to compete hard with these countries.

The group also said that the event business can help a place become better known and more visible.

In the study, it was also suggested that the MICE investments in the city could be helped, cared for, and promoted by having a marketing body.

“The committee recommends that the Centre do everything it can to make sure that such MICE promotion bureaus can be set up in the six identified cities within a certain time frame to market and show off the respective destinations as a good place to hold business events and activities,” the report said.

The panel also observed that there are about 80,000 4- and 5-star hotel rooms in approved hotels, which, for a country the size of India, is quite insignificant.

“There are almost three times as many rooms in Bangkok as there are in India. Having enough good hotels can help a place gain an image as a good place to hold MICE events, which can lead to satisfied participants, return business, and word-of-mouth recommendations. For MICE travel to reach its goals, there would need to be more four- and five-star hotel rooms.

The committee also observed that connectivity, especially by air, is one of the important aspects that promotes MICE tourism.

“Since good international air connectivity cuts down on travel time and logistics problems, the government should work with the ministry of civil aviation to make sure that international flights are well connected in the cities that have been identified as MICE destinations,” the panel said.



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