MICE travel has become an important component of tourism industry in India in the recent years. A revival of this segment is due by the year end.
A survey by a leading travel company SOTC has found that almost a third of the companies could start looking at planning their MICE travel schedules, including overseas travel, as early as August this year. However, a majority, 55 pc of those surveyed, felt that they could look at resuming discussions on MICE only in the last quarter of this calendar year.
The effect of the pandemic can also be seen as most companies say hygiene and safety would be crucial parameters for them while planning the MICE trips. The survey involved key corporate clients and was conducted to understand their MICE plans. It also found that 25 pc of companies would look at foreign destinations while the remaining would still stick to domestic destinations. Encouragingly as many as 39 pc of those surveyed indicated that their budgets for MICE would remain the same despite the pandemic and the lockdown.
“Post COVID the business environment is different from the first two decades. These unprecedented times have given us an opportunity to rethink and re-imagine our offerings to our customers. The MICE sector will face a gradual return over the coming months as the new norms in travel set in and as the sector shifts to the new normal. At SOTC Travel, we are working in close partnership with our airline, hotel and supplier partners within the ecosystem to ensure our customers are up to date with the new protocols and health standards. We do see a shift in preference for bigger brands for trust and reassurance with the future of MICE travel,” SD Nandakumar, president & country head, B2B & Foreign Exchange, SOTC Travel, tells India Outbound. The recommencing of domestic operations will also aid in the revival of corporate MICE travel, he adds.