Incentives are back in fashionITCM is in touch daily with scores of MICE correspondents around the globe. We are very pleased to report that we are receiving more and more notices stating that MICE business is on the up.
In addition to news material, we welcome enquiries from event organisers asking if we can be of assistance in bringing them up-to-date on specific destinations or venues that they are considering. These enquiries, too, are on the increase.
There is also a third flow of information that is becoming more and more encouraging. We receive announcements of additional staff that buyers and suppliers are appointing. We can see a rise in the number of chefs that catering companies are hiring, in the numbers of sales people being recruited by venues to cope with growing requests for quotations.
The forecasts for events business in 2015 and into 2016 are, therefore, more optimistic than in the past six or seven years.
There is no doubt that a substantial portion of the impetus for growth is coming from the ‘emerging markets’. Notably these are China, India and Brazil. Russia has been a big supplier of corporate travellers, but is expected to fall back a little as a result of the drop in that country’s oil revenues.
China impressed global MICE observers with the 1,400 delegates it sent to Dubai on a single incentive in 2014. Now, the same client in Beijing has booked a similar event in Sydney, Australia, for 2016. These individual projects each contribute several tens of millions of dollars to the local economy of the destination.
Even during the recent difficult years it has been noticeable that new facilities have continued to come on stream. Of course, hotels, conference centres, airport extensions and the like are long in the planning and construction, so they can’t be turned off at short notice. But from now on, we believe, those additional amenities will repay their investments.
Conferences and meetings have dropped back in recent times, but, as purses have tightened, incentive groups have shrunk the most. But there is now definitely a feeling in the air that those workforces that have had to strive even harder to keep companies prosperous during the hard times, now deserve rewards. And there is no more effective way of saying ‘Well done’ and ‘Thank you’ than with a well organised incentive trip.