What: In a major development impacting the MICE segment, the government is at the final stages of formulating a National Tourism Policy. With the inclusion of the provision of single-window clearance for organising meetings and conferences, a long pending demand of the industry has been finally addressed. This development was indicated by Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, while addressing the second edition of Global MICE Travel Mart at a FICCI event in the capital.
A typical clearance for any MICE related event, today, requires well over two dozen clearances which is a relatively cumbersome process. Single-window clearance is a norm in many countries and India’s decision to join the bandwagon is a good news for the industry.
Six-point Agenda for driving MICE movement: In a related news, FICCI-MRSS Knowledge Paper on ‘MICE Tourism Powerhouse of a New Era Tourism’ was also unveiled. The paper has presented a six-point agenda to drive MICE tourism in the country. The check-list includes ensuring better coordination between states and the centre in driving initiatives, stronger outreach in key international markets and harnessing the power of youth by skill development initiatives. Making a patch for creating a time-bound action plan, the report states “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.”
The paper has rightly outlined the need for extensive deployment of technology in making the experience more immersive. Countries that have tapped MICE outbound have used VR (Virtual Reality), Big Data, and artificial intelligence to better assess consumer need and tailor-make their products in accordance. Also, the paper mentions the need for creating experience for visitors and ask for recommendations which is likely to aid the identification of new tourism assets offering innovative tourism products.
The Big Picture: While the official notification may be some time away, implementation of a futuristic and progressive National Tourism Policy is in the larger national interest. MICE is a lucrative segment. It not only drives larger movement of people, but has multiplier effect in driving leisure tourism as well. With single-window clearance in place for exhibitions and conferences, India will make a stronger case for itself in international markets.