Converting MICE Travelers into Future Tourists
There are so many types of tourism and so many more types of tourists and travelers around the world. People travel for leisure, fun, adventure, to meet friends and relatives, to see different types of places, and for so many other reasons. Then there are people who are doing business, purely business, and it is for this reason they travel, they actually travel a lot: to attend meetings, to meet a client, to discuss issues with their suppliers. Going further deep, there are people who travel for business purposes and they travel specifically to attend seminars, meetings, conventions, conferences, exhibitions and trade shows. This is called MICE travel and it is the sub- sub-segment of travel and tourism industry.
One factor of MICE travel distinguishes this sector in two ways, first, it is slightly different from business travel and, second, it involves the characteristics of the usual travel and tourism. It is this factor that it involves the perks, attractions or leisure and fun aspects of usual vacation of a normal travel which makes it all the more exciting and challenging.
Now there is MICE events then MICE travel, and MICE venues and destinations. All these three factors are planned focusing on making the events and travel business worthy and attractive for the visitors. The venues and the destinations are an important aspect in any business event. The destinations are critical for the event organizers, they are important from the visitors' point of view, as they enhance the attractiveness of business events.
Why is the destination so important in business events? The answer to this will bring us right to the core of objective of this article. MICE events are usually large gathering events like the exhibitions, trade shows. So they attract visitors from all parts of the world. And well, yes, the business event itself is the main attraction or reason for the visitors. But for the organizers, visitors are their customers, and they need to be served well. And of course they are travelling to a new or different place for the event. So they need to be provided best hotels, best services and another strong reason for them to be there, which is the destination's attractiveness.
And then any business event that is held in a city is very important and beneficiary for the local tourism industry and tourist destinations and places of that city and the surrounding regions. It enhances the value of those destinations and tourist places, and provides larger exposure by bringing large number of visitors. The immediate benefit received by the tourist places, areas and markets is the travel spending. So these business events bring large group of visitors not only to that event but also to the tourist spots of that area. In business terms, for the tourism sector it is like getting institutional clients rather than individual clients. For this reason, having sound MICE infrastructure is critical for a tourist place, which also boosts its image, reach and visibility. And the other immediate benefit is that the venue gets substantial revenues from the event, which also is an opportunity for a repeat business.
Now if we look at the visitors, they are there for the event. Most of them otherwise would not have been there and many of them are there for the first time. As, not all business visitors would be tourists. Many of the visitors are there just for the event and they get to visit the places. So, some of them may return to that place in future with their friends or family for a vacation. And if they like the experience, they may even refer that place to others as a vacation or as a business event spot, or even both. So here is the opportunity to showcase your tourism attractions to them, which are your potential tourists or travelers. And so, the opportunity for that tourist place is that they can get back some of the visitors as tourists in future.
So, MICE events and travel, not only bring revenues for the venues and spending for the tourist places, they are also an opportunity for the local tourism industry as a whole to serve well and attract and retain those MICE travelers, or at least some of them, as future and prospectus inbound tourists and give a boost to the local tourism industry.