The first Annual Destination Index Special Report is released by Pacific World, the integrated global DMC and Event Management organization. The report finds out the most popular MICE destinations in the world, reveals top 12 trends in those popular MICE destinations.
Italy, UAE, and France made the top 3 most popular MICE destinations in EMEA region. South Korea, Indonesia, and Hong Kong is listed as the top 3 most popular MICE destinations in Asia.
Here are the top 12 trends for top MICE destinations:
Compliances and Corporate Governance:
International clients are increasingly requesting suppliers to offer guarantees in the areas of Corporate Governance and Compliance.
Reinventing the destinations
TOP destinations have been able to reinvent themselves taking advantage of the their cultural and natural heritage & investing in new/trendy/modern structures. Ancient and new – destinations offering a combo of historic and state of the art venues and hotels are the most demanded.
Dispersed Company HQ & Operation Locations
Important international companies have their Headquarters or factories in a majority of the TOP destinations in the Index, influencing positively the development of the MICE business. Visits to factories combined with conventions and meetings are often demanded especially among leading Asian cities
The immigration policies and VISA requirements are still a strong a decisive factor when choosing a destination. VISA free destinations are always preferred.
High-end activities are back
Interest in high end exclusive activities Is back and growing especially at destinations that fit the stereotype of luxury as Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
International Hotels Chains investment generating trust
The opening of new international well-known brand hotels in the destinations generates trust and interest for a destination. These investments are seen as a sign of confidence : if an international chain is investing in new hotels in a hidden city in China there must be potential and something attractive not just for the leisure but also for the MICE industry
Big events and world famous figures helping to generate interest
Big international events contribute in generating a buzz, a sense attraction for specific destinations. Events such as the F1, international politic meetings with world leaders, big international congresses and visits by world famous figures as the Pope in Rome, generate excitement. This year’s EXPO Milan has put Italy in the spotlight, contributing to growth of the MICE business
Destination Clichés: Image matters
Preconceived images of a destination and how it fits the meeting, incentive or event goals & values of the host company still play an important role in city selection. Conventions Bureaus, tourism institutions but also DMCs play an important role helping to transmit, influence or change the perception of a destination.
Accessibility: Flights & trains
Good connections & new routes bolstered by the promotional campaigns that airlines ran in key markets positively affected MICE travel. Strategic movements have been key in 2014 for TOP destinations: such as ETIHAD – ALITALIA partnership offering new perspective for Middle East in Italy and improvements in connectivity and scheduling allowing Hong Kong airport to be better connected worldwide.
Crisis Management: Security
Political crisis represented challenges but also opportunities for destinations last year. The ability of the key MICE players (DMCS, hotel chains, airlines, etc.) to manage a political and/or economic crisis, keeping fluent and transparent communication with customers helped avoid a negative impact to the business: Hong Kong had a wonderful year despite the political situation.
Venues: Symbol of a destination
Breathtaking landmark venues that symbolize the destination but which are exclusive and not open to the public are capturing the imagination of event planners. In Bali or South Korea guests might be treated to a themed dinner in an exclusive private temple not open to the public whilst in Dubai luxury and exclusive venues at the top of Burj Khalifa or trendy ones such as Armani Hotel are highly coveted. In Italy, planners can opt for locations like Cinecittá Film Studios which symbolize one of the most important cultural expressions of Italian culture: the cinema.
Technology & Social Media at MICE Programs
The introduction of technology at conventional cocktail events and incentives remains an outstanding account. Clients show interest for new technologies to enhance their programs but still conservative when making a decision. Ipads, smartphones are already present in the incentives proposal sent and confirmed by clients as this still have been around during years already. The integration of Social Media is not yet consolidated and common on the programs
Emanuele Pinna, Destination Manager Italy at Pacific World, commented, “Italy has benefited from great visibility thanks to important events celebrated in the country last year such as The International Conference on Nutrition whose world headquarters are located in Rome and the World Summit of Nobel Peace held in December. In addition, the Etihad and Alitalia partnership has offered new perspective for the Middle and Far East markets in the region, making it more attractive.”
“Great and creative destination promotional campaigns have helped to overcome the North Korea threat related issues from the previous years that had affected tourism drastically. The relationship became stable in 2014, thereby making the tourists feel attracted and safe to visit South Korea. The growth of the Chinese economy-middle class and the VISA facilities to access South Korea have impacted the overall tourism business. VISA Exemption for USA travelers, the wide offer of direct flights to Seoul and the presence of Korean brands headquarters in the United States generated a growth of the MICE business from this market”, said Ej Fieldhouse, Country Manager South Korea.