How Chennai Is Riding The MICE Wave!
Beam me up, Scotty! With the rapid technological boom across the world, the distance between A to B isn’t measured in kilometers but in hours. Conventions in Tokyo are attended by companies based in New York and business travelers utter ‘travelling to so-and-so’ with almost airy nonchalance. MICE travel has never been easier.
What Is MICE?
Short for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions, MICE travel is proving to be a huge boon to the travel and tourism industry. According to the MICE World India website, such events are “a highly specialized business, and corporates don’t necessarily have the expertise to put such events together”. Millions of business travelers prefer traveling long distances to host their meetings in places that are fully equipped with the tools needed. This led to an increase in the number of cities that cater specifically to the needs of the corporate world.
Chennai As a World-Class MICE Destination
In India, Chennai is gearing up to be one of the hottest MICE destinations for both domestic companies and beyond. It’s an attractive option as it offers easy access to one of the most bustling commercial districts in the country. One of the main objectives of MICE travelers is to exchange ideas in an environment that’s conducive and comfortable. Chennai offers just that – a seamless blend of corporate luxury and efficient networking solutions.
Metropolitan cities are often magnets for such events as they often have the facilities required by the organizers. Such cities have accessibility and ease in functioning which is the key to becoming prime spots for such tourism. True to this, Chennai has long since been a favorite of companies looking to spice up their annual meetings.
This is where large, opulent hotels come into play. Capable of hosting hundreds of visitors at ease, these hotels offer so much more. Hilton, The Leela Palace, Westin– all these are world-class brands that are doing wonders to boost the MICE scene in the city. If a company wants a premium destination to host its annual meeting, it need look no further than Chennai.
The number of visitors isn’t a problem either. With the increase in the number of hotels in these concentrated areas, there’s an increase in room inventory as well. Whether you want to bring a party of 20 or 2000, either way the city has you covered. Thanks to the massive new banquet spaces in the city ITC Grand Chola, Feathers, M Weddings and Conventions, Confluence. Here’s a quick video walk-through of these massive spaces.
Rapid industrialization in various parts of the country has drawn corporate groups to such hubs of commerce. However, meetings are not all that these groups look for – they aim at achieving several objectives. Meetings are only one of these; which is why event management is becoming such a buzzword in the country. Chennai provides for the same – be it convention centers or conference halls, the city has plenty of it all!
MICE And Chennai Tourism
Chennai, being a cornucopia of wonders both modern and ancient, provides endless varieties of choices for corporate groups. Regardless of the objective of their trip, these travelers also aim at making the most of the trip. This includes soaking in all of the charisma and appeal that the city has to offer – whether it involves eating local food or visiting landmarks.
One can gaze at wondrous, beautiful monuments built by kings of yore, and then minutes later grab a Continental breakfast at one of the plush hotels nearby. Sandy deserts, quaint villages, scenic towns tucked away among the rolling hills, stretches of glittery blue rivers… what more does a weary traveler need?
Since MICE travelers are ready to spend much more than their leisure counterparts, their expectations are also higher. Pre-conference and post-conference tours are high in demand and it doesn’t show any sign of decreasing. Such groups demand well-outfitted services from both the organizers as well as the tourism providers. And what more exciting place to visit than ECR? This long, sumptuous stretch is home to some of the most happening spots in the city. Surfing at Covelong beach, adventure parks, tranquil lakes- these are but a few of the choices. Prefer dancing the night away? Chennai has a thriving nightlife with several clubs and bars entertaining visitors well into the young hours of the morning.
As such places compete with established MICE destinations such as Dubai, Singapore, etc., world-class services and luxurious options are crucial. Hotels already entice corporates with their tailored programs and exotically decorated event venues. It’s now time for the tourism board to step up a notch. Quality experiences soaked in native allure and charm are the way to go in order to cater to the modern business traveler.
How Chennai Is Leading The Way
Move over, ‘Hello Singapore!’- it’s time for ‘Vanakkam Chennai!’
Previously, there had been very little infrastructure in the way of providing such solutions in the country. Domestic companies preferred to travel to foreign locations for meetings rather than host them here. However, the entry of high-profile hotels that offer luxurious options for corporate customers has boosted the options available here. Due to such hotels, Chennai has seen a significant rise in the number of such travelers.
Speaking of infrastructure, Chennai’s ongoing Metro rail project is doing wonders in making Chennai more appealing for corporate travelers. Traffic snarls during time-sensitive projects are no longer nightmare situations that haunt event organizers. The reason? Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL) traverses tens of kilometers in 1/3rd of the time it would take above ground. Plus the newest phase of the metro rail connects the international airport to Little Mount – an added incentive for travelers.
Another plus point for the city is the Outer Ring Road – a smooth stretch around the periphery of the Chennai Metropolitan Area. Connected to 4 national highways, the area around the large transport corridor is said to be a prime spot for future development. In a PricewaterhouseCoopers study, it was suggested that this area development could lead to many 5 star hotels and retail segments. Apart from that, an ‘auto main street’ was proposed which would connect the ORR with the industrial suburbs. These industrial suburbs are home to several giants like Hyundai, Ford and Renault Nissan. Also, several facilities like hospitals, multiplexes, residential and commercial spaces are in talks.
All this adds up to make Chennai a highly specialized option for corporate groups, as it has consistently focused on providing a hassle free and smooth experience.
What Lies Ahead
Two words – event management. With more and more corporates and private groups choosing Chennai as their venue, event management is going to be one of the most popular choices available to them. Already international artists and groups are looking at India with stars in their eyes. It’s in its primary stages, of course, but just take the example of the Sunburn festival. It’s only a matter of time before Chennai wows artists like them over.
The availability of professionals who take an ordinary event and add a bit of pizzazz is enticing many people across the globe. Especially in a city like namma Chennai, which the Incredible India website has called “…the ‘Cultural Capital of India’ for its deep-rooted traditions and age-old heritage. A city younger than its image, Chennai has blossomed into a charming city within a span of just over 350 years”
As mentioned before, MICE travelers aim at finding a balance. A balance between having global standard facilities, and having the quintessential native experience. And who can blame them? The golden sands of the Marina, the warm, frothy kaapi, the world-class hotels and centres…. all mix into a heady cocktail of experiences that are truly global, and truly desi.
Don’t believe us? Take a sip of your filter coffee and find out more about what hotels Chennai has to offer for MICE tourists!