KOCHI: Stakeholders in the tourism sector have set their focus to turn Kochi as a prime hub of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition (MICE) tourism in the country. The 12th edition of Conventions India Conclave (CIC) organised by Indian Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) to be held in Kochi from August 29 to 31 is considered it as the stepping stone for the growth of MICE tourism here.
Rashmi Kamboj, director, Convention Sales, Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty, said the full potential of MICE tourism is yet to be tapped by Kochi. Grand Hyatt will be hosting the CIC. “In spite of having the infrastructure, the 2018 figures show that only 2 per cent of international level MICE events were hosted in Kochi. However, MICE tourism is picking up the pace and Kochi is competing with other venues in the country to host numerous MICE events.
We are attempting to bring more MICE events to Kochi and Kerala. Kochi is well connected by the air route. There are tourism destinations to visit for MICE tourists. The tourists also can enjoy experiential tourism here,” she said.
MICE tourists are better money spenders compared with leisure travellers. “A conference travellers on an average spends around $1511 a day. While inbound leisure travellers spent around $600 a day. In last one year, we have organised numerous conferences in Kochi. With ICPB, all the stakeholders unitedly make attempts to bring more MICE events to Kochi. Even the Kerala government and tourism department are taking the initiative to attract more MICE to the state,” Mausam Bhattacharjee, director, Sales and Marketing, Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty.
As part of promoting MICE tourism, a Kerala chapter of ICPB will be formed. Kerala Tourism will also be a part of the ICPB Kerala chapter. “There are around 70 exhibitors including Kerala tourism which will have a pavilion at the (CIC). There will be around 90 domestic and 30 foreign buyers. The foreign buyers will be coming from eight countries. There will be discussions on improving MICE events in the country. Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran, Rani George, secretary, Kerala Tourism, and Suman Billa, joint secretary, India Tourism, will also take part in CIC,” said Shrikant Wakharkar, general manager, Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty.