Ministry of Tourism creates new incentives to support MICE operators

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The Ministry of Tourism has set up a new fund under the Champion Sector in Services Scheme (CSSS) to encourage MICE operators to bring more conferences and seminars to India.

The MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) operators will now be able to avail financial incentives in the form of GST reimbursements. The incentive would be made available for a period of three years.

A prior approval from the Ministry will be required to avail these incentives along with a no-objection certificate from the concerned travel trade association.

The Ministry has made India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) as the nodal agency for steering and promoting the scheme who in turn would motivate Indian travel planners/societies/associations towards publicising the scheme.

A report by industry body FICCI says the rapid emergence of India on the global horizon is poised to drive the growth of MICE tourism at a much faster rate. India is a late entrant in the segment with a small share of the global pie. Of the total 12,563 international meetings in a year, it hosts only 175 or just 1.4 % cent to rank 24th worldwide, as per last year’s figures.

In 2018, MICE tourism in India was pegged at Rs 25,000 crore with 8% growth year-on-year, according to the FICCI report titled ‘India Inbound Tourism: Unlocking the Opportunity’.

The industry is estimated to have a space of 5 lakh square metres, which is expected to cross 15 lakh square metres over the next two to three years.

The global MICE tourism is estimated to be growing at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5% and reach 1.2 trillion dollars (about Rs 70 lakh crore) by 2023. Asia Pacific region is expected to lead this with 8.6% growth.

India ranks fifth in the Asia Pacific region behind Japan, China, South Korea and Australia.