Hotels have begun to see the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) business coming back as Covid restrictions ease and international travel resumes. Industry executives have exuded confidence that the business would grow as chances of any future wave which is lethal enough to bring in any kind of disruption is very remote.
Marriott International South Asia senior area director for sales and distribution Monisha Dewan told FE that the MICE business is in full swing from Q2CY22 with customers choosing different destinations and brands within the Marriott portfolio. The company has seen the MICE segment recovering almost 80% in Q1 compared with CY19 levels.
With the easing of restrictions, we are seeing companies shifting to in-person and socially-distant meetings and seminars. We are entertaining several requests, albeit with a longer booking window, and observing a month-on-month improvement in meetings from our corporate clientele,” Puneet Dhawan, senior vice president, operations, Accor India & South Asia, said. Dhawan said there will be a pick-up and escalation in demand for MICE in the remainder of Q2 and Q3 of this calendar year as most companies are now gathering their staff for various activities.
Shangri-La Bengaluru’s sales and marketing director Saharsh Vadhera said the hotel has seen a sudden jump in MICE from February with a double-digit growth.
Hilton Garden Inn, New Delhi, has witnessed a three-fold jump in overall events since January. With respect to MICE, the hotel has seen a robust growth of 160% in Q1CY22. “With a steady decline in the Covid-19 restrictions and relaxations on travel guidelines, there has been a rise in demand for social events and conferences,” said Abhinav Mehra, assistant director – sales.
With the cumulative impact of pent-up demand, easing of restrictions and now the reopening of India’s scheduled flights driving the positive corporate sentiment, we have witnessed a surge in demand from our volume driver MICE segment,” said Meera Charnalia, senior vice-president and head, MICE, Thomas Cook (India).