MICE stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions. It is a type of tourism in which large groups, usually planned well in advance, are brought together for a particular purpose. MICE tourism consists of large groups attending conferences, conventions, seminars, workshops, meetings or exhibitions. Lately, there have been many names to refer to this niche market such as “meeting industry” “business tourism” or “events industry”. However, all of them have the same concept behind.
This is a niche that catches most people’s attention, a fast-paced business that involves an exquisite client management which is also very rewarding, as results are visible right away. It also provides great opportunities to connect with other sectors, such as Pharmaceutical, Automobile, Financial, Insurance, Medical, etc., allowing to expand your level of knowledge and always keeping you up-to-date in the latest trends in market to cater to these specific clients.
The financial benefits of MICE industry cannot be ignored. The meetings and events industry creates more direct jobs than large manufacturing sectors such as automotive, chemicals, and food. The industry also employs more workers than the telecommunications sector or oil and gas
Financial benefits that meetings tourism can bring to a destination, are quite substantial. Putting an end to the seasonal nature of a destinations is one of these. Normally meetings are organized outside of the holiday periods, this means that the financial benefits generated are spread over the year more uniformly and the jobs created by the tourism industry become more stable.
Another great advantage of meetings is that the average daily spend by a business traveler is double or triple that of a holiday traveler, and a high percentage of these business travelers will return to the destination at a later date for a leisure trip or even take the opportunity to extend their stay and discover more about the city or destination.
Greater profitability, future inward investment, less environmental impacts, makes MICE an attractive segment for many destinations In Kenya. The Kenyatta International Conference Center, United Nations office in Nairobi, Gigiri, Safari park Hotel in Nairobi and the Whitesands hotel and Sun-n-sand hotel in Mombasa have been among others the strong forces behind development of conference tourism, coming out as the main host venues for most of the international events/conferences coming to Kenya.
MICE business is here to stay, and it is also creating new ways of traveling, such as “bleisure” the combination of Business and Leisure which ultimately provides a higher revenue and impact for the destinations that we represent.
These facts reveal the importance that MICE tourism has for the destinations that encourage it. In order to position yourself as a destination for meetings and to compete at international level with other destinations, it is essential to have an action plan, create good infrastructures in travel connections, accommodation and event celebration as well as being able to provide other necessary services.