KOCHI: After being hit by the flood for nearly two months, the tourism in Kochi is back on track with Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition (MICE) events being hosted in the business capital of the state.
With Kochi Muziris Biennale all set to take place soon, a huge inflow of tourists is expected in Kochi.
Girish Bhagat, general manager, Grand Hyatt Kochi, told Express in the past one month, Grand Hyatt itself has been a venue for 10 major events.
Similarly, more international events are on the card in the coming months. “We can confidently say MICE tourism is back on track in Kochi. A number of events are being organised here. Grand Hyatt has been a venue for major events, including international conferences, since October 15.During the flood, the entire hotel industry was affected as several bookings were cancelled. The situation is expected to be similar with other hotels in Kochi as well,” he said.
According to Girish, Kochi Muziris Biennale can be a game changer for the tourism industry.“Several associated events linked with Biennale will take place in Kochi in the next few months. Several visitors from foreign countries will be arriving in Kochi to take part in the Biennale. Currently, tourists from GCC countries and domestic tourist are coming to Kochi in large numbers. The city has all kind of facilities to host major MICE events,” he said.
K P Nandakumar, joint director, Kerala Tourism, said January is the peak time for MICE tourism in Kochi.
“Already, MICE events are being organised in Kochi since October. In December, Kochi will host several such events. However, we have high expectations about tourist inflow to attend two major MICE events associated with the medical sector with participation from across the globe,” he said.
Now Kochi is turning out to be a favourite place for Destination Weddings. Girish said they have hosted three such weddings in the past one-and-a-half months.
“Two more destination weddings are to be held later this month. We are getting several queries about destination weddings now. The scenic beauty of Kochi and traditions of Kerala are attracting people to Kochi to tie the knot,” he said.
E M Najeeb, former chairman of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) and chairman of ATE Group, said a number of tourists from other state are selecting Kochi for destination weddings. “Mostly Keralites residing in other states or countries used to organise weddings at hotels here. However, recently we have seen people from other states having no links here organising destination weddings. It is an encouraging trend. Our state can be promoted abroad as a wedding destination,” he said.