Earlier, in October the top tourism promoter in the Maldives had marketed the island nation as a potential and emerging MICE tourism destination at the MICE India and Luxury Travel Congress (MILT Congress).
This is perhaps one of the first and most prominent efforts by a state initiated body of the Maldives to promote the tourism heavy destination as a MICE Tourism avenue. But this niche tourism concept is still raw and fresh in the minds of many while most travel aficionados may face trouble explaining the concept in detail.
MICE Tourism is in fact a component of business or corporate tourism which encompasses four niche areas that are Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conferences and Exhibitions (thus, MICE). This concept is a tourism provision that are generally planned and scheduled to a specific timeline to follow through, and targets large groups of people for a specific purpose.
This type of tourism involves large-scale events focused in various areas such as travel and tourism or any other business-focused fair with aim of attracting industry stakeholders, affiliates, suppliers and businesses to network, connect and seek prospective opportunities to strengthen their respective corporate ties.
Some major countries where MICE Tourism is popular include Thailand, which is considered as the top destination when it comes to this type of tourism while Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, USA, Germany and Switzerland are among top destinations attracting MICE Tourism – mainly due to the pantheon of rich and luxurious hotels and in-land resorts that cater to such needs.
The Maldives is no longer an unfamiliar face when it comes to MICE Tourism since it has been the host nation for several regional and even international scale events such as trade fairs and shows. Among some of the most identified and lauded efforts in the island nation will be the South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) Gala as well as the International Maldives Travel Market (IMTM) travel and trade fair.
These events have attracted global figures affiliated in the tourism industry and have gathered into the designated hosting venue in the Maldives in their hopes to network and reach out to local investors and tourism industry hotshots to improve on their corporate portfolios.
It was based on these already successful initiatives, that Visit Maldives, the top tourism promoter of the Maldives, banked their hopes when it came to marketing the island nation as the 'next big thing' in the South Asian region with regards to MICE Tourism.
The country boasts a pantheon of top-notch luxury resorts and hotels that have their own conferencing halls and similar auditoriums among other amenities. On top of that, MICE Tourism initiatives will run smoothly in a country like Maldives where the resorts are geographically separated from residential islands.
Meaning, the participants or attendees of any given MICE Tourism-based event will have exclusive access without the hassle of encountering the local traffic or other nuisances such as traveling longer distances between the lodging and the event venue – since both are provided in the same slip of land.
Another benefit is the privacy and seclusion from the bustling livelihoods that may be unwelcoming to individuals attending a fair with a specific motive; so they may not wish to have distractions while they are attending these events where bonds of business are forged and formed, and achieving such means become their absolute priority.
On top of this, the beautiful and pristine islands provide a peaceful safe haven for travelers visiting the country for MICE Tourism based purposes. This will result in higher productivity rates most obviously while it creates a soothing environment for these individuals to easily interact with one another.
There is little to no doubt that MICE Tourism can become the next strongest tourism component for Maldives; mainly because the advantages are significant and potentiality for a wholly new and authentic MICE Tourism experience unlike ever witnessed before; or elsewhere.