MICE waves across Hyderabad

Realising the importance of the Indian Corporate Meetings and Incentives, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) revived joint promotions with Srilankan Airlines with the approval of Tourism Minister Navin Dissanayake. The first such country promotion of MICE for this year took place in Hyderabad on 23 July at Taj Banjara with multiple activities, namely a press conference, industry one-to-one meetings and evening interactive session.

Over 100 Indian MICE buyers based in Hyderabad attended the event with both print and electronic media covering the event and the message of Sri Lanka on MICE potential, with stories carried by the newscasts from the same day.  Reactivating the agreement with SriLankan Airlines, SLCB took the full advantage of the strength of national airline’s Hyderabad office to use their network and organise the event, which was attended by heavyweights in the MICE industry, SLCB Chairman Udaya Rupasinghe, CEO Vipula Wanigasekera, SriLankan Holidays Manager Gayan Peiris and MICE Division Executive Thivanka Danapala.

Twelve MICE industry members had the opportunity of meeting the Hyderabad based buyers specially the ones who had not hitherto marketed Sri Lanka among their clients. They continued their dialogue during the interactive session in the evening.
SLCB presented to the media as well as the industry why Sri Lanka should be their next choice for MICE with the new locations and products for MICE activities while SriLankan Airlines explained their plans for India. “‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is the game in India and we need to do these promotions regularly to maintain and develop our market share in India,” said Wanigasekera.
“We lost some percentage of corporate meetings and incentives from India for some time but this  was veiled by the increasing number of visitors from India  either as tourists, business people or transiting passengers with a couple of days shopping in Sri Lanka. Corporate meetings and incentives are a separate segment with high spending and what we did was to revive this market and then we will move on to other cities with the help of SriLankan Airlines,” he added. “Today, even tier 2 cities such as Chandigarh, Jaipur, Mysore, Pune, Lucknow and Asansol are also important MICE generating markets.”

Sources said Indian MICE segment was enticed for Sri Lanka in 2008/2009 with a consistent effort by SLCB and SriLankan Airlines and over 200 Indian corporates had their events in Sri Lanka afterwards. The momentum gradually lost with lack of focused promotions specially targeted to MICE thereafter. MICE experts believe that SLCB should be given more autonomy to do their specialty which seems to be forthcoming with their recent undertaking including this promotion at a time quality tourists are desirable over the numbers.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/article/450571/MICE-waves-across-Hyderabad#sthash.5mMiIGeX.dpuf

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