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India showcases Mice, wedding tourism potential at Expo 2020

January 13, 2022
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India will soon become a mega conferences and exhibitions hub as it possesses excellent convention & hospitality infrastructure, historic attractions and added to that a rapidly growing economy, said a senior government official at the ‘Tourism Fortnight’ event being hosted at the India Pavilion in Expo2020 Dubai.

Rakesh Kumar Verma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, and Chairman of India Convention Promotion Bureau was speaking virtually at a special session to promote sustainable tourism and Mice(meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) segment in the country.

The India Pavilion hosted the sessions titled, ‘Tourism at Crossroads – Mainstreaming sustainability for future of tourism’ and ‘Meet in India: Emerging Hub for Business and Social Events’, respectively as part of ‘Tourism Fortnight’ event.

These sessions have been crucial in showcasing India’s geographical diversity, potential as a tourist destination and highlighting important aspects for the growth of the sector in India.

During the session, Verma put spotlight on India’s impressive combination of accommodation and conference support facilities that makes it a successful Mice destination globally.

'Mice industry is an important contributor to national economies as it contributes to income generation and creates huge employment opportunities, provides an impetus to hospitality services including sectors like accommodation, food and beverages, convention services, transportation, tourism, and entertainment,' he noted.

'India possesses excellent convention and hospitality infrastructure, unparalleled cultural, natural attractions and a rapidly growing economy all of which act as catalysts to India emerging as a hub of business and social events,' he explained.

He added that India is also a very attractive market for exhibitions keeping in view the rapid economic growth and rising demand from consumers and industry destinations. Another crucial sector, stated Verma, is the Wedding Tourism.

'Wedding is another important niche area that is growing rapidly with many tourist hotspots fast turning into wedding destinations. The industry is now getting more organized,' he added.

On the roadmap of Mice Tourism in India, Verma said: 'We are working on a strategy to position India as a Mice destination in the world and a hub of mega conferences and exhibitions. It is working towards creating enabling conditions and institutional framework at the central, state and city level for the growth of Mice industry.'

'The short-term goal of the ministry is to enhance India’s share in Mice business to 2% from the current share of 1% to promote the growth of Mice industry in the country,' he added.

Addressing the session on Sustainable Tourism, G Kamala Vardhana Rao, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, said: 'Tourism is one of the important sectors globally as it provides almost 11-13% of employment globally, and ranges between 7-9% of the GDP of many countries.'

'The World Trade Organization (WTO) has clearly defined guidelines for Sustainable Tourism which are to conserve government resources, protect biodiversity while respecting resources of the cultures, benefiting the local communities and to address the needs and benefits of the tourism industry,' he added.

He pointed out that planning was a pivotal element of urbanization, and it needed to be addressed meticulously, for the future generations to thrive.

The Tourism Fortnight at India Pavilion has hosted various sessions around Medical, Luxury, Adventure, Heritage Tourism as well as discussed, the roadmap for the investment opportunities that lie in the sector, since its inauguration early this year.

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