9th Conventions India Conclave – 2016 October 13 -15, 2016 The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel Delhi
The 9th “Conventions India Conclave”, was successfully held from October 13-15, 2015 at The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel Delhi. The Conclave was supported by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India with Delhi Tourism as the Host State, The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel Delhi Partner Venue, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation and the Department of Tourism, Government of Gujarat as Gold Sponsors.
In continuation to the theme of last year’s 8th Convention India Conclave “Unleashing the Potential”, with a focus on “Marketing, Networking and Skill Development” in the MICE sector, the theme for the 9th Conventions India Conclave event was “Harnessing the Potential”.
The Conclave provided an opportunity for participants from many different but related disciplines to interact, seek information and share experiences. Also, with the aim of strengthening the brand positioning of `Incredible India’ as a MICE destination, buyers from overseas were invited to meet with suppliers from India’s MICE industry and experience the product for themselves.
The two days Conclave was attended by over 250 Delegates from different segments of the Industry attended the conclave including Speakers, Buyers (Domestic and International), Sellers /Exhibitors, Delegates, Sponsors, Students and Media, the Conference Planners from Overseas and from within the country besides representatives of hotels and tourism industry including hotel chains, travel agents, tour operators, event organisers.
The event was inaugurated by Sh. Vinod Zutshi, IAS, Secretary Tourism, Government of India and the opening remarks were delivered by Sh. Suman Billa, Chairman ICPB & Joint Secretary (Tourism), Government of India. Mr. Chander Mansharmani, Vice Chairman ICPB welcomed the Guests.
Mr. Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism shared the good news that as per ICCA, India’s ranking has gone up from 35 to 31 in the MICE sector and observed that India has potential to be one of the top 20 destinations in the world to hold International Conferences.
The Ministry of Tourism supports Single window clearance for organizing meetings and conferences in India. Further, Secretary (Tourism) informed that a proposal for generation of a corpus fund is being proposed again to the Ministry of Finance for bringing International Conference to India.
According to Mr. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, India has a significant amount of infrastructure, but the challenge is to bring together all the stakeholders -conference venue, world heritage sites, stakeholders, professionals & experienced conference managers, tour operators and to connect the dots.
Mr. Billa also emphasized on the high level of taxation which is a major bottleneck in bringing international conferences in India, especially in the context of competing countries like Singapore with low tax rates. He informed that GST has given opportunities to re- set the high level taxation. For this, Ministry of Finance and Tourism together are considering to bring tourism taxation on the lower bracket under GST. At present, we have 0.68% of all global tourist arrivals in India and to meet the target of 1% by 2020 and 2% by 2025 it is possible with MICE leading from the front.
The other challenge is we need to incentivize conference organizers to bring big conferences to India. To understand the value proposition of MICE segment, ICPB should be reconstituted as a parent body to work together with State Chapters / destination chapters to create corpus fund to promote and support the bidding process across the country.
Vice Chairman ICPB, Mr. Chander Mansharamani expressed his views over the huge potential in the country for convention business to take off in the coming future. India’s booming economy and resurgent tourism sector augur well for the future of the Convention Tourism in the country. But there are some challenges – one of the key problem facing India’s MICE Industry is lack of Research information, secondly, there is no single body either at city or central level to track the Meeting Industry, its growth and impact on the economy. Unless we know the size of the Industry, it is difficult to work on economic development of the MICE Industry.
He also suggested that the way forward through marketing activities. Source markets need to prioritize and develop an Annual Marketing Calendar for tapping the source markets. ICPB as a Nodal Agency should bid for International Conferences and create State Chapters to bring all stakeholders on one platform for effective marketing.
Mr. Mike Williams – Gainingedge.Com; Consultant – Destinations & Convention Bureaus, from Australia addressed the audience as a Keynote speaker on Competitive Best Practices – what are the destinations doing to build a sustainable business events industry.
The two days event was packed with four sessions and panel discussions. SESSION I PANEL DISCUSSION – ‘INFRASTRUCTURE – THE BIG PICTURE’, SESSION II PANEL DISCUSSION – ‘MICEE DE-CODED’, SESSION III – ‘MILLION REASONS TO MEET IN INDIA’ And SESSION IV – ‘OPPORTUNITIES IN THE EXHIBITION INDUSTRY’. Further, there was a parallel Round Table session with Industry Experts for Hospitality Students. 44 Students attended the program.
The Exhibition and B2B Meetings with pre-scheduled appointments was an important component of the Conclave, allowing adequate time for meetings and interaction between the buyers and sellers. The 45 exhibitors showcased their MICE products during the event with attractively designed booths.
On the last day, i.e 15th October 2016 post tour to Agra was organised for the buyers.