Kochi is fast becoming the centre of MICE tourism (tourism which consists of meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) in the state. Since majority of these events are concentrated at main city centres, the traffic conjunction is high in the city. Multiple venues on the outskirts of the city is a remedy for the problem, experts say.
They say that the recently-inaugurated Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) Trade Fair and Exhibition centre can well be a major venue for international conventions in the state.
The traffic woes caused in the city owing to the conduct of such events can be reduced if CIAL exhibition centre is selected as a venue. Apart from this, delegates from across the globe can reach there without entering the city, experts say.
“The majority of the international conventions are being organised to woo common people. This is the major reason why these are held in the heart of the city. If venues in the suburbs of the city are selected for these types of conventions, at least the traffic inside the city can be eased,” said James Vadakkan, a consultant in the field of transportation. But the lack of sufficient accommodation will be a major problem on the city outskirts, he added.
Echoing the same opinion, Riaz Ahmed, managing director, Abad Hotels and Resorts said that the suburbs of Kochi city is gaining momentum as preferred locations for convention tourism.
“The CIAL Trade Fair and Exhibition centre is the emerging a hotspot in the state. Since more hotels and other facilities are coming up in and around the airport premises, more conventions can be organised there. The traffic conjunction inside the city can also be reduced,” he added.
As many as 500 hotel rooms have come up in Nedumbasserry and Angamaly area recently. Around six major hotels have started functioning in the area.
CIAL officials said that around 10-12 functions are happening at the venue on a monthly basis.
“Three major hotels are coming up on the premises of airport which will solve the accommodation worries. Now the main hall can accommodate 3,500-4,000 people. We are planning to split it into two halls. In the future, it will be a major convention venue in the state. This will liberate Kochi from traffic worries during convention times,” they added.
CIAL Trade Fair and Exhibition centre consists of fully air-conditioned 43,500 sq ft area suitable for 175 business stalls in addition to conference halls, meeting halls and a parking space for about 350 cars. It was inaugurated in June last year.