MICE Affairs Media group, News Bureau, 26th June 2023
MICE has been one of the fastest growing segments of outbound travel from India. S D Nandakumar, President & Country Head – Corporate Tours, SOTC Travel says, “
India was the fastest growing inbound market for Melbourne, Victoria pre-Covid. This was predominantly leisure travel, however Melbourne has been steadily seeing increased business event interest out of India and now presents the largest source of leads out of the Asia-Pacific market. The future pipeline of Indian Incentive Groups is strong with the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) currently managing $50 million worth of incentive bids out of India with decisions expected this financial year.
“With MCB’s support, we have successfully for MICE Groups from India. The scenic destination offers a plethora of sightseeing options, state-of-the-art hotels, meeting venues, and has easy availability of Indian and international cuisines as per client preferences. delivered unique experiences and the best of Australian hospitality to our clientsBFSI, Insurance, Banking, FMEG, FMCG, Cement, Paints, Lifestyle, Construction, Pharma, Agriculture, Automobile , says Nandakumar.
MCB is Victoria’s leading full-service agency in acquiring and delivering international and national conferences, incentive travel reward programs and corporate business events.
MCB's integration into Visit Victoria gives it an edge over local and international competitors in accessing these major events and generating opportunities for incentive groups that are new and immersive. Commenting on the support received from MCB Nandakumar adds, “The Melbourne Convention Bureau supports us greatly by suggesting activities suitable for MICE groups as per their preferences, connecting us to vendors for appropriate meeting venues as per group size and location shortlisted by the corporate as per their budget, catering to the food & beverage requirements of our MICE corporates. MCB can also provide financial support to Indian corporates travelling for a range of group sizes.
Melbourne is a preferred destination for MICE groups. SOTC Travel believes this is strongly to do with Melbourne’s strong events calendar and the destinations attractions. Nandakumar says, “Melbourne is a versatile destination known for its vibrant cosmopolitan diversity, panoramic ocean views, exotic wildlife, museums, galleries, theatres, sporting culture, cafés, vineyards and the largest convention and exhibition venues in Australia - the pinnacle of which is the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, making it a preferred venue for MICE corporates. What is interesting is that Melbourne plays host to some of the world’s major international sports events such as cricket, Australian Open and Formula 1.
Indians love cricket and the Melbourne Cricket Ground - being one of the biggest grounds in the world makes for a popular attraction to visit as well as host special events like gala dinners for large groups. The city boasts of its café culture and interestingly, one taste the world’s best croissants in Melbourne. The vineyards and wineries around the city and within easy reach in regional Victoria offer unique wine tasting experiences for aficionados.
Melbourne’s most popular attractions include the Great Ocean Road – offering magnificent views over the southern coast of Australia, the Twelve Apostles - magnificent limestone rock stacks rising out of the sea, Phillip island - known for its nightly parade of penguins returning ashore and heading to their boroughs at sunset at Phillip Island National Parks, Sovereign Hill - claimed to be Australia's foremost outdoor museum giving a glimpse of life during the Gold Rush; also going on a gold mine tour, and many more.
Melbourne is one of the most sought-after destinations for our high-end MICE groups owing to its fast and easy visa application process coupled with air connectivity almost at par with pre-covid levels.” Indian food is a pre-requisite for Indian incentive groups and Melbourne has an array of Indian and vegetarian restaurants. Adding to this, Nandakumar says, “The provision to access the hotel’s kitchen for chefs accompanying the group from India plays a crucial role while shortlisting a destination - especially for mega groups. At SOTC Travel, with strong and continued support from MCB, we have managed to offer Indian food seamlessly to our MICE corporates.”
SOTC Travel is operating groups with a total of 1500 delegates in the next few months, and their robust forward pipeline indicates a strong and growing appetite for MICE travel to Melbourne.
Find out how the Melbourne Convention can support you in bringing your next incentive program to live in Melbourne. Visit www.melbournecb.com.au.