The Mice Tourism And Evolving Culinary Trends

Akshay Bector, Chairman & Managing Director, Cremica Food Industries LimitedCremica, a name that has always spelt quality, practical and great tasting food, is fast becoming a household name in India. Today, Cremica is known for its unique recipes, health oriented ingredients and state-of-the art standards.

As per world travel and tourism Council, India is one of the favorite tourist destinations from the year 2009 and will continue to bask this glory in the years to come. Further-more, the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum, has ranked India in sixth place in tourism and hospitality. To corroborate the impact of tourism on our economy, here are some figures ­ In 2018, the tourism segment earned India Foreign Exchange Earnings of US$ 28.59 billion, an increase of 4.70 percent year-on-year. Over-all, the sector generated USD 247.3 billion (INR 16.91 trillion) in 2018, accounting for 9.2 percent of the total economy. There's better news in store - Foreign tourist arrivals is likely to touch 15 million by 2020, as per FHRAI figures.

India's rising popularity as a hospitality tourism destination is not only an employment generator but a significant source of foreign exchange for the country, the aforementioned figures confirm this beyond any doubt. This further authenticates a surprising fact that economic slowdown has not impacted this sector, in fact, tourism business especially the influx of foreign tourists have seen a steady rise in the past few months. Besides traveling to India for pleasure, foreigners or to be specific international corporate houses are viewing India as a serious MICE - destination. MICE is an acronym for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions. To put it lucidly, MICE is nothing but business tourism which is a combination of business and sightseeing in the host city. It has emerged as an important sub-sector of the travel industry and is slowly climbing the popularity chart in India. Our country, which is blessed with a tropical climate, is seen as an ideal destination by foreigners for business purposes and leisure activities.
It will, therefore, be no exaggeration to say that MICE, though a nascent phenomenon supports the thriving tourism industry and our economy with the inflow of foreign currency. The credit for this burgeoning popularity goes to our hospitality industry that makes incessant efforts to put in their creative best by offering specialized services for MICE travelers. Let's look at some of the obvious benefits of MICE. Besides promoting culture, local development, tourist activity, MICE has emerged as a major factor for transforming conventional cuisine trends. The immediate outcome of this is the proliferation of outlets specializing in various global cuisines. Such places are visited by foreign travelers and locals too. Since MICE travelers are largely restricted to one city, they do not shy away from getting experimental in trying out local delicacies. In fact, the hospitality industry has been curating different kinds of cuisines, food and beverage styles to cater to the palates of their discerning international guests.

MICE has emerged as an important sub-sector of the travel industry and is slowly climbing the popularity chart in India

As far as our thriving hospitality industry is concerned, their creative culinary abilities are tested to the hilt, when there is an influx of foreign tourists. Hotels are slowly moving away from using their standardized menu, by crafting a unique a la carte menu for each event depending upon the audience profile and their cultural sensitivities. Their cuisine style/buffet spread is generally a mix of local delicacies and international dishes, to give their guests the best of both worlds. Our hospitality industry is leaving no stone unturned to elevate customer service and culinary experience for both domestic and foreign tourists. Conventional cuisine trends are definitely getting a facelift as the role of F&B defines the overall experience of a guest. Gone are the days when F& B offerings in a hotel had to match the personality of the city or reflect the local cuisine. With MICE tourism taking center stage and Indians getting experimental with their culinary preferences, the hospitality industry is reforming their cuisine, food and beverage styles like never before. The standardized menu no longer spells quality and taste. Get-ting inventive has become the name of the game for the Indian hospitality industry. This trend not only helps in catering to the taste preference of their patrons but also in staying ahead of their global competitors.

While India has always been a food-loving country with each region having its own special cuisine, we have never shied away from trying new cuisines or for that matter re-forming our cuisine style for the sake of our foreign guests. In recent times, food and beverage have become an integral part of any successful event. The catering style has certainly transformed in the last few years. Today, it is seen as a necessary tool to make an impression on the guests.

Business travel will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years. Likewise, we shall continue to witness changing food and beverage trends. Be it home style menus, exotic international gourmet or experimental beverage styles, no one is likely to complain as long as the taste, flavor and quality meet the highest standards and is tailored to their needs. Both MICE travelers and avid domestic travelers are sure to relish and cherish the eclectic culinary delights.