In order to give a boost to the MICE tourism and attract more Events and Conventions to the country, the Government of India has decided to extend the benefits to the meetings / conference organisers under Champion Sector in Services Scheme (CSSS), administered by the Ministry of Tourism (MOT). For this purpose, a MICE fund has been set up under the CSSS. Ministry of Tourism has made India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) as the nodal agency for steering and promoting the scheme who in turn would motivate Indian Travel Planners / Societies / Associations towards publicising the scheme. This move will surely boost MICE tourism in the country by encouraging the meetings / conference operators to bring more International Conferences / Meetings / Seminars to India, emphasized Amaresh Tiwari, Vice Chairman, India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB). It will also lead to increase in foreign tourist arrivals, employment and foreign exchange earnings for the country.
As per the guidelines –
- The Conferences will require to have minimum of 500 participants and must comprise at least 20% foreign participants to be eligible for the incentive.
- The Financial Incentive would be extended to International Conference/ Convention organisers in the form of reimbursing 50% of GST on hotel rooms for International / Foreign participants / NRIs on actual basis subject to GST being paid to be not more than 18%.
- The incentive of the GST incurred on hotel stay up to a maximum charge of Rs. 8,000/- per day per room would be made for 1 (one) night/ first night only.
- The Incentive would be made available for a period of three years.
Also, it would be mandatory for the event organisers to obtain prior approval of the Ministry of Tourism for seeking the financial incentive under the scheme. It would be mandatory for all the applications to have a letter of No Objection Certificate (NOC) / Letter of Support of the ICPB/IATO/Organisations/Associations recognised by the Ministry of Tourism.
Sharing his thoughts on the development, Amaresh Tiwari, Vice Chairman, ICPB shares, “ICPB has been pursuing this issue with the MoT for the past six to seven months now and we are delighted with the move, which couldn’t have come at a better time. However, going forward. ICPB will be recommending / suggesting few alterations to the guidelines so as to broaden the scope of work. We would recommend inclusion of additional events such as weddings, corporate events, etc. and also pursue to bring other associations under the umbrella of the scheme. However, ICPB shall continue to remain the nodal agency for the implementation of the scheme.”