The government is giving final touches to the formulation of a National Tourism Policy, which is expected to provide single window clearance for organization of meetings and conferences.
This was indicated here today by Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, while addressing the second edition of Global MICE Travel Mart, an exclusive MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events/Exhibitions) Inbound Tourism platform in India, organized by FICCI jointly with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
Concurring with the view of stakeholders, Rajan said that there was a need to provide incentives to this sector to make it competitive in the world market. He added that there was a pressing need to conduct a study to assess size of the industry and a consultant was being appointed to suggest a workable roadmap for the development of the sector.
On the occasion, FICCI-MRSS Knowledge Paper on ‘MICE Tourism Powerhouse of a New Era Tourism’ was unveiled by the dignitaries.
The six-point agenda :
The study suggests the following six-point roadmap for development of India as a MICE Tourism hotspot:
Promote concept of exclusive MICE tourism to target markets
To make the dream of the honorable Prime Minister true, it is recommended that the concept of sustainable and exclusive MICE tourism be adopted and practiced. Case studies from around the world need to be studied in order to make it a resounding success. Introduction of concept of Customized travel experiences, luxury spa sessions, rare animal sanctuaries, religious pilgrimage tours are what the foreign travelers believe in. There is enough opportunity in India to promote medical, wellness and spiritual tourism in the state. MICE destinations should be encouraged as tourism for the purpose of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions are no longer limited to big cities. Major markets of inbound tourism should be targeted for this exercise.
Maintain co-ordination and align with the Central Agency
MICE Promotion Bureau with industry representation has been set up at the national as well as the state/destination level. They need to work in close coordination and take time bound actions.
Developing Time bound action plan
Developing time bound action plan and monitoring them has to be an essential pre-requisite. A working group under the aegis of ICPB may be undertaken with representation for each state Government and industry in order to take this task forward.
Imbibe Skill Development and connect it with livelihood
Honorable Prime Minister’s mission of Skill India, Start Up India and Stand Up India needs to be interlinked with the overall objective of promotion of MICE tourism.
Imbibe latest technological upgrades and incorporate them in marketing communications
The latest concepts of VR, AR, Big data needs to be incorporated in order to enthrall visitors and make them recommend India compared to the other preferred destinations across the globe. It is important to communicate that India is abreast with the latest in technology and implements them as well. As more and more events are governed by technological upgrades, this can be a key differentiator in the world MICE market for India and can place it favorably.
Create experiences for the visitors and ask for recommendations
A visitor should go back enriched in knowledge and with a sense of a great experience. To make this happen steps can be taken to make the tour replete with tour guides, tourist police, activities for the children, culinary tours, interactivity for the tourist with the culture of the place etc. New tourist destinations may be identified and further developed for offering innovative tourism products or experiences. MICE tourism should be used as a tool to make India an attractive location so that the foreign travelers may keep coming back to India again and again… for MICE as well as non-MICE tourism.
Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB and Managing Director, Alpcord Network Travel & Conferences Management Company, said that MICE was an economic activity and there was an imperative need for the creation of a market for the sector. Besides, he emphasized on the need for readily available comprehensive database, building capacities and capabilities while taking into account competition to make India a MICE hub.
Highlighting the immense potential of MICE tourism in West Bengal, Amitava Rathod, Deputy General Manager, West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation, said that the state with advanced technology, rich cultural heritage and superior hospitality with wide-ranging landscape was considered miniature India. He added that with new convention centres projects such as HIDCO, Digha and Bagdogra coming up in the state, West Bengal is bound to lead the country in MICE tourism.
Alluding to the business opportunities in Maharashtra, Aashutosh Rathod, Director of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra & Joint Managing Director - Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation Ltd., said that instead of states competing with one another, they should work in collaboration to harness the potential of the sector. He added that there was a need for an integrated approach and closer coordination among the various industry players.
Dr. Sanjaya Baru, Secretary General, FICCI, said that the government should energize tourism as the sector had the potential to generate employment in large numbers and added that India should look at East Asia as its competitor and not the Western countries.