The 12th edition of Conventions India Conclave, a premier international meet on MICE tourism, will be hosted at Grand Hyatt Bolgatty in Kochi from August 29-31, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, and the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala.

Organised by India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB), sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism to promote the country as a global hub of conventions and exhibitions, the event will see convergence of major players of MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions)  and connected stakeholders  from around the world for transacting businesses.

The theme of the conclave is “Mapping the sustainable MICE future of India,” with its focus on creating an opportunity for the participants to look for new avenues of business development. The exhibition and B2B meetings with pre-scheduled appointments will be key components of the three-day event.

“This international conclave has been conceived and structured on the lines of global meetings and world exhibitions like IBTM World (Barcelona, Spain), IMEX (Frankfurt, Germany) and IMEX  America (Las Vegas). As the largest MICE event  of South Asia, the conclave will showcase our strength before the international buyers,”, Kerala Minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran said while unveiling the  details of the three-day event.

“It is significant that this is taking place at a time when Kerala Tourism is poised to make big leaps in all segments. Kerala was very strong in MICE tourism. Due to some policy shifts over the years the state had lost some ground. Now we are set to regain the lost ground make further strides, ” the Minister said.

He said Kerala has made quick recovery from the damage suffered from last year’s devastating floods. There has been steady increase in the footfalls since then. The heavy downpour that battered some parts of the state recently did not have any serious impact on major tourism centres.

The Minister also said the fresh schedule of the Champions Boat League (CBL), deferred due to heavy rains, will be announced without delay.  The CBL stake-holders are eager to hold the event as early as possible, he said.

Around 300-350 delegates are expected to attend the conclave, who include prominent speakers, domestic and international buyers, exhibitors and mediapersons. Over 30 international buyers from USA, UK, Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Turkey, Cyprus, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Malaysia have confirmed participation.  Also, 100 domestic buyers and 70 exhibitors will be participating in the conclave.

“MICE and adventure tourism are the niche products Kerala Tourism is promoting in a big way. Kerala has the infrastructure need to emerge as a major MICE hub and the state will be doing more to promote this   sector,” said State Tourism Secretary Rani George

The Department of Tourism will be forming ICPB- Kerala State Convention Bureau which will enable Kerala to participate in bids for getting national and international conventions to Kerala and to promote Kerala MICE tourism opportunities aggressively across the world.

Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB, said the Kochi conclave has been planned as the largest event CIC has ever held. “The response to the event from around the world has been extremely encouraging not only in terms of numbers but in terms of the profile of the participants”, he added.

“India Convention Promotion Bureau , a marketing arm of Ministry of Tourism , Govt. of India is looking forward to opening the State Chapter in Kerala during the Convention to promote Kerala in collaboration with all stake holders as a preferred MICE destination and also to bring Kerala on International map of World Convention Industry ,” said Mansharamani.

During the Convention, the report of the Research conducted by Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India initiated by ICPB on the Economic impact of MICE Tourism will be shared.

A strong platform for business networking, knowledge sharing and updating on industry, the conclave will facilitate meetings of organisers from international and domestic source markets. It will also be a forum for interactions with planners from Indian associations including medical, non-medical, academia and corporate domains to showcase various MICE products and services.

Leading suppliers of the industry including Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs) Professional Exhibition Organisers (PEOs), convention centres, hotels, travel organisers and service providers will present their services and products at the conclave.  The event will be packed with informative sessions and panel discussions on various connected topics.

Keynote speaker Senthil Gopinath, CEO ICCA, will share his perspective and experiences in his address. Other sessions focussing on the growth of the MICE industry include ‘Hard Talk’ with Suman Billa, Joint Secretary Tourism, Govt. of India, Rani George, and Tourism Director P Bala Kiran, moderated by Senthil Gopinath. A salient feature of the Conclave is launch of ICPB MICE Planner, as a ready reference to Convention Venues in India.

By Manoj

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