Mice - Prospective And Challenges

Pradipta Mohapatra, Asst Vice President - Sales & Marketing, MAYFAIR Hotels & ResortsMAYFAIR Hotels & Resorts are synonymous with excellence in hospitality and being able to offer unforgettable holidays and stay experiences to guests in the most exquisite of settings. MAYFAIR also, offers some of the best luxury hotels in India in captivating settings like mystical mountains, tranquil beaches and vibrant cities.

India with its diverse portfolio of tourism offerings in terms of Scenic Sites, Pristine Places, rich wild-life and places of outstanding cultural and aesthetic value is a nation with tremendous tourism potential. Effectively unlocking this potential remains, inter alia, the key to attain economic prowess on a global scale. Apart from being a revenue spinner, this sector being an employment intensive sector also is best suited to our demographic proposition. The very fact that tourism alone contributed by generating 2.67 Crore jobs speaks volumes of the importance that it has to offer to a developing country like ours. Even in this phase of much talked about economic recession; it remains one of the fastest-growing one sector registering a growth of around 21 percent in tourist arrival on e-visa during six month period from January - July 2019 for the same period last year.

The growth graph of this industry is progressively on an upward trend. From the macro-economic perspective, the importance of this sector can be hardly overstated. However, it for long failed to garner the traction at the policy level that it deserved but of late there has been a growing recognition of the importance of this sector. Accordingly, appreciable efforts have been undertaken by Central and State's Government to create a conducive travel and trade regime. The huge significance being attached to Tourism at the policy level bodes very well for the Industry overall.

With the impactful marketing of niche tourism products, India is eventually becoming the hotspot destination for Medical Tourism, Adventure Tourism and Eco-Tourism but the sector that emerged as a Goldmine is the MICE and Wedding Tourism. An overarching concept that combines in itself all other forms of tourism, the kind of business potential that this particular sector has to offer the Indian Market is incredible both in individual aspects as well in terms of its multiplier impacts. The estimated size of the market in 2017 was around $808 Billion and with reports of Eminent
Organizations such as World Tourism Organization suggesting that Business Travel will account for a major chunk of international travel in the coming years, MICE is poised to grow by leaps and bounds. Its market size is expected to touch $1200 Billion in the upcoming Five years.

MICE Industry has so far remains dominated by the European and North American Countries who more or less have maintained a consistent growth rate of around 10 percent. The notable growth rates commanded by this country are partly an outcome of favorable MICE Policies and Infrastructure and partly their economic clout. However, the global economic dynamics are gradually witnessing a change in favor of the Asia-Pacific region which now contributes a lion share of over 42 percent to the World GDP. The new World Economic Order will be shaped by these emerging economic powers and it is but the corollary that with economic advancement of these countries MICE market will make a gradual transition to this region, a prospect also underscored by leading re-search organizations.

MICE Industry in India continues to grow at a pace of 7.5 percent but considering the kind of possibilities that exist in India, it is still way behind the aspired level of growth rate

The development puts India on the tip of a major breakthrough which is increasingly becoming a global in-vestment destination with relaxed FDI Norms, Improvement in Ease of Doing Business rankings as well as the availability of the huge skilled manpower. The increasing inflow of investments, improvement in core infrastructure, drastically improvement intra-country connectivity, relaxed e-visa norms and the presence of a strong Hospitality Industry offering services at par with International standards give India an edge over other countries in the region facilitating the long term growth of MICE.

However, notwithstanding this edge, the absence of a coherent framework has hindered the country from attaining its full potential. MICE Industry in India continues to grow at a pace of 7.5 percent but considering the kind of possibilities that exist in India, it is still way behind the aspired level of growth rate. As a country, we can ill-afford to forego this opportunity of becoming a global market leader in this segment.

Comprehensive measures have to be undertaken to tap effectively on this emergent opportunity. We need to inspire our policies from countries like North America, Europe & Singapore who have consistently led the global MICE market with a high growth rate. Incorporating best practices from across the globe pertaining to this sector should be done in a mission mode. Efforts in silos will not produce the aspired growth rate and Govt here has to play the role of catalyst, converging synergies of various stake-holders and giving it a direction that propels expeditious and sustained growth and development of this sector.

An effective way forward to provide the needed fillip to this sector can be instituting a Dedicated Institution under the aegis of the Ministry of Tourism to look after its overall aspects with active & meaningful participation of private players. Partnering with the Predominant International Organizations that drive the global growth of the MICE industry also needs to be undertaken in a prioritized manner.

In Sum, tourism in general and Mice, in particular, offers the key to resolve all major macro issues concerning the country and the envisioned goal of attaining a 5 trillion dollar economy could be realized at the earliest by effective mining of the prospective offered by this sec-tor. What is needed is a robust vision document outlining an action-oriented approach to scale up the contribution of tourism to 14-15 percent of the GDP in the Five years to come.