RUSSIA and the CIS countries are emerging as hot markets for MICE into India even as longhaul sources such as the US and UK have slowed or stabilised.
Alpcord Network Travel & Conference Management Company managing director, Chander Mansharamani, said despite there not being any promotional activity on the MICE front in Russia thus far, numbers had been on the rise.
“The Ministry of Tourism is conducting its regular roadshow in Russia in September and for the first time, there will be a MICE component. We’re expecting 18 to 20 Indian participants.
“India is a new destination for the Russians and we’re getting small meetings at the moment. These are from the pharmaceutical, power and IT sectors and they are spread out to Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata,” he said.
Mansharamani added that he had seen about five per cent growth from the market this year, which could climb to 10-15 per cent next year.
Travelite (India) director-business development, Amrita Ahluwalia, said the DMC used to depend on the “wow market” of the US for incentives, but was now focusing on Russia and the CIS countries, as well as the Middle East and South America.
She surmised that the Russian market was growing by 20 per cent year-on-year.
“I have a feeling that the US will become a thing of the past,” said Ahluwalia. “The value of the US market is decreasing; same for the UK. Clients used to commonly ask for palace hotels and villas, but are now exploring even three-star options.”
Mansharamani said while he had not seen much of an impact on meetings from the West, budgets had been affected, with clients booking hotels that were one level lower, such as a five-star instead of a five-star deluxe.
Read more in TTG Show Daily – IT&CM India 2012