Thomas Cook India sees growth in MICE segment as Covid vaccines roll out

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on March 07, 2021

Volumes for cruises and weddings in MICE segment have also seen pick-up

Thomas Cook India has started seeing a positive impact of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, with a rise in physical conventions and exhibitions. The travel company is now organising close to 35 physical events on a monthly basis and approximately 10 virtual events. In contrast, in October, Thomas Cook conducted close to 40 virtual events, and merely a handful of physical events. The travel company expects a 10 per cent quarter on quarter rise in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) segment.

Meera Charnalia, Senior Vice-President & Head, MICE, Thomas Cook India Ltd, said that the volumes for cruises and weddings in the MICE segment too, have seen a good pick-up. “We have at least seven to eight enquiries for these segments. We are seeing green shoots, and our pipeline looks extremely good. We expect close to 10 per cent quarter on quarter rise in the MICE segment.”

All-time favourite destinations for MICE travel are Goa and Rajasthan. However, Kashmir and the Andamans too are seeing a steady rise.

In order to boost MICE travel, Thomas Cook recently started an initiative called MICE Travel Mart.

Does this mean virtual events were a short-lived trend? Speaking to BusinessLine, Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head – Holidays, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, said that in order to tide through the pandemic, the travel company had deviated to organising virtual MICE events. “While the hotels are gearing up for physical events, virtual events are the new normal and here to stay as it has its own benefits,” Kale said.

With the easing of quarantine travel norms, the industry outlook has become positive. “We have been doing these virtual events for almost a year now and have seen at least a handful of event bookings each week since.”

He added that while this can be an ancillary revenue for a travel company, it cannot be the most important revenue-generating product. “The return on investment in physical versus digital event is no match to each other. We are confident that while the time is not opportune for mass events the smaller group events are working quite well.”

Published on March 07, 2021

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