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Jain...'Rise of incentive travel in India is opening a new dimension of opportunities'

Global travel suppliers eye India’s outbound tourism market

MUMBAI, May 31, 2018

Travel and tourism businesses around the world are looking to capitalise on India's double-digit annual growth in the outbound Mice and luxury travel segment, with the value of India’s business travel market expected to reach $93 billion by 2030.

As global travel and tourism suppliers eye a slice of this lucrative market for new opportunities to tap into, they are once again turning their attention to the annual Mice India and Luxury Travel (Milt) Congress, which has become a must-attend event for anyone interested in capitalising on India’s outbound Mice and luxury travel buyers’ needs.

Organised by Dubai-based QnA International, the Milt Congress will be held this year in two iconic Indian cities – in Mumbai, the country’s commercial capital, from July 25-26, and in national capital Delhi from July 31-August 1.

Noting that Indian corporates remain largely unaffected by the global slowdown and continue to spend big on corporate travel, Hassan Madah, director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines, said: “Indians are now travelling abroad throughout the year for business. We had a total of around 60,000 Indian tourists visiting Israel in 2017. Platforms like the Mice India & Luxury Travel Congress are crucial as it offers an opportunity to connect and network with travel decision-makers at leading Indian corporates. We see a lot of growth in the outbound Mice segment from India in the coming years.”

Stephanie Tanpure, vice president of sales, Sands China, commented: “As Asia’s leading integrated resort for business and leisure, Sands Resorts Macao is delighted to be the Platinum Partner of Mice India & Luxury Travel Congress. With over 85 per cent market share of overnight Indian guests coming to Macao, India is one of our most important markets, and this key event provides the opportunity to connect with existing and potential clients looking for the ultimate meetings experience. The key to sustained growth is diversification, and since opening The Venetian Macao in 2007, we have increased our hotel offering, which now includes The Parisian Macao; Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip; The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central; Conrad Macao, Cotai Central; Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central; and Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central. In this way, we are able to appeal to both the luxury and family markets.”

Speaking about how Sydney is emerging as a popular destination for business travellers from India, Liza Bajracharya, assistant director of South East Asia, India & Japan, Business Events Sydney (BESydney), said: “Sydney is a drawcard destination for Indian companies looking to reward, motivate and inspire their teams. We have seen significant growth from the Indian market in terms of both number of events and number of participants recently. Overseas arrivals from India have tripled in a decade and our popularity with Indian incentive trips reflects this continued rise in interest in the Harbour City.”

India’s emergence as the world’s fastest growing outbound travel market after China has coincided with the steadily rising reputation of the GCC, and particularly the city of Dubai, as an attractive Mice destination. By far the most popular location in the Middle East for trade shows and exhibitions, Dubai accounts for more than a quarter of the GCC’s $1.27 billion (Dh4.7 billion) Mice market. The city is India’s top outbound Mice market, ranking ahead of Singapore and Bangkok.

The UAE’s capital city Abu Dhabi, too, is making significant strides in attracting Mice tourists. The emirate is targeting 3 million business visitors by 2021, by which year it also expects the MICE industry to account for 4 per cent of its GDP. Not surprisingly, India is among the largest source markets for Mice tourism in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and the travel and hospitality companies in both the Emirates are looking to further expand their reach in the Indian market by taking advantage of the unique networking opportunities provided by MILT Congress 2018 with its high-profile buyer lineup.

India recently moved up two places to become the eighth largest business travel market in the world, and business travel spending in the country is projected to record a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12 per cent through 2020. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), meanwhile, has forecasted that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. Business and luxury travel is expected to make up a significant share of the total volume of outbound travel, with one report indicating the country is on track to generating 6.5 million outbound luxury and Mice tourists annually by 2020.

Ackash Jain, director, QnA International, said: “India has been maintaining an annual GDP growth rate of 6-8 per cent since 2013, and this strong economic momentum is rubbing off on the country’s outbound Mice and luxury travel sector, enabling these segments to post a double-digit year-on-year growth. Additionally, the rise of incentive travel, which has emerged as one of the fastest growing segments within India’s outbound business travel market, is opening a new dimension of opportunities for travel and hospitality suppliers around the world.”

“The Milt Congress is the only event that allows travel and tourism businesses in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere to meet and engage one-on-one with decision-makers from India’s leading corporations and luxury travel specialists who are involved in finalising Mice and luxury travel activities,” he added. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: India | travel | Congress | MICE | Outbound | MILT |

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