New technologies making travelers’ journey and stay easy and efficient, and a more personalized touch are among the trends that will take MICE travel to the next level, according to Anke Ebinger, WorldHotels director of sales Central Europe, and Ganessan Suppiah, regional VP sales for Asia Pacific.
According to WorldHotels’ two executives, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism is growing at a fast pace, generating millions in revenues. This said, venues must keep abreast of the advances made in several areas including technology, human interaction and alternative forms of accessibility to events, as well as address new challenges such as the General Data Protection Regulation that recently took force in Europe.
Event apps and virtual assistants will be as much a major part of the travel experience as will human interaction. The two executives also said they expect an increase in virtual attendance at events, which means that venues will need to provide opportunities for online attendance and intervention through 360-degree images, virtual reality, Youtube, Facebook and Periscope. They added that delegates will be seeking a behind-the-scenes experience wishing to actively participate in the communities they visit. At the same time, “unique experiences count… Spa treatments, team building, cocktail courses, venues need to offer fun activities alongside the serious business focus,” said Ebinger.
The two men went on to add that younger generations are also more conscious of wellbeing and health, which means that wellness will become a much higher priority complete with fresh and healthy food, which also needs to be “Instagram-worthy”, they said.
For almost half a century, the newly re-launched WorldHotels Collection has been offering sales and distribution solutions and consultancy to over 350 independent hotels and resorts in 45 countries.