5 Key Trends in MICE and Luxury Travel Segment No more meetings in packed walls, the new trend of MICE is giving corporates' travel goals

By Bharathi Shetty

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The MICE industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the travel sector generating millions of dollars in revenue every year. India in fact is the second fastest growing nation in gross numbers of outbound travellers after China and continues to be one of the top performing source markets for outbound MICE travel. As corporate India witnesses a surge in outbound travel, more and more corporates recognize the importance of MICE activities as a key driver to engage their internal as well as external customers. Making buyers from the country travel far and wide in search of MICE friendly destinations and unique experiences. In a constantly changing industry and adapting to newer environment every day. In order to taking advantage of the tremendous potential from this ever growing market needs both corporates and travel companies need keep abreast with the new developments and trends in the industry. Here are 5 major trends that will drive the MICE and Luxury Travel segment:

User Friendly Technology Innovations

In the recent days conventional meeting rooms have taken a backseat with more inspiring places. Apart from the high speed internet connectivity and improved technology, people want recreational offerings and comfortable surroundings which MICE travel provides.

Like all the other sectors, MICE is also adopting new technologies to keep up with the pace. Technology driven innovations like are helping the industry to reach out more and more customers, improving user experience and helping the organiser is making the process of event arrangements easier. Innovative technologies like augment reality, webtools, mobile apps, make the whole process of MICE simpler and customers can approach the organisers without any hassle. Use of technology has brought the whole venue booking process online, publishing all details about a venue upfront - including costs – putting the customer in control.

Vacation Destinations are Gaining Immense Popularity

MICE travel is not just restricted to the meetings and events. Companies request the MICE operators to plan for the meetings in locations such as where their valued employees can have a short vacation with their family as well. Which is why destinations that offer unique experiences in terms of adventure, entertainment, cuisines and cultural experiences top the list of most preferred destinations. It is also a key reason why we have seen increased demand for culturally rich countries like Japan and East Europe and adventure destinations like Australia this year.

Investment in New Segments

People are moving on from the trend of visiting offshore destinations only for meeting or conferences purpose. Cruise vacations, adventure sports, experiential travels thrills the customers. And countries are realising this, which is why we have seen increase in investments in these segments in popular MICE travel locations like Singapore and Thailand. These investments will increase the demand for MICE and corporates choose the operators based on the varied service provided by them.

On Arrival Visa is Making MICE Travel Simpler and Hassle Free

To attract the customers, tourism departments of many countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka are offering on arrival visas. Corporates who wants to take the team, need not wait or spend time on procedures and processing the visa. These initiatives are making the destinations popular for MICE travel.

Flexibility and Personalisation

To attract MICE business, organisers and hotels needs to be open for customisation of events and each event or meetings needs to be personalised. Team activities, team building is a major expectations during MICE travels. Therefore, organisers and hotels are working together to change the experience of MICE right from the seating arrangements, new welcoming styles to planning unique outdoor activities tailored to each corporate's requirements.

Being the third fastest growing economy in the world India holds immense potential for outbound MICE and luxury travel. While the increase in demand for meetings has resulted in many foreign destinations implementing a focused strategy to target the Indian outbound MICE segment. It is very important for all the player to understand the Indian market's changing preferences and benchmark from the success stories.

Bharathi Shetty

Managing Director and CEO, Frontier Holidays

Bharathi Shetty, Managing Director and CEO of Frontier holidays, has been one of the travel industry leaders, with extensive industry knowledge and expertise in local, regional, national and global travel management. Under the aegis of Bharathi, Frontier has penetrated travel destinations in Middle-East, the Far-East, Asia Pacific, Europe, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, America, Canada, the UK and Ireland.

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