first_imgTravel News Digest spoke to some of the key industry people to know their opinion on the present state of MICE, Business, and Luxury Travel markets in India. The Industry believes that the segment is poised for vigorous growth. Thus, creating an efficient, productive business travel platform will facilitate in addressing the specific needs of these segments, and fully leveraging the growth opportunities.By Sulagna GhoshBusiness Travel industry in India is emerging as a specialised market with differentiated needs, in tandem with the global trends. The strongest growth in travel from India in the recent years has been by business travellers, with an almost five-fold increase in travel expenditure for business purposes over the past five years. As Indian companies are globalising, and the Indian market integrating with the world economy, Indian business travel is surging. The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) predicts that 15 years from now, India will likely be a top-three market in business travel spending.Luxury travel is also growing rapidly, buoyed by the new phase of conspicuous consumption by the affluent Indian traveller, where the demand is fuelled not only by FITs, but also uniquely Indian markets for weddings and other social occasions. The future of luxury tourism sector in India looks promising taking into consideration the increasing demand for exotic and unique holiday experiences from Indian travellers. The holidaymakers are becoming more evolved and they do not want to compromise on anything less than the best.Gaurav Sundaram, Regional Director, GBTA India, said, “The Indian market is seeing aggressive growth across the segments. With the increased economic and political stability in the country, these positive trends are more pronounced in the last two years.”Karan Anand, Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings, said that India is one of the fastest growing travel market in the world and business, MICE and luxury travel markets are growing at a very fast pace. “Top corporates, film production houses and destination wedding planners in India contribute to most of this business and are keen to explore newer destinations- domestic as well as international,” he said.Sharing similar sentiments, Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travels, said, “MICE, Business and Luxury travel markets in India have emerged as important segments of the travel industry. India is going the global way and MICE is fast becoming a major part of its travel and promotional budgets. Meeting demand, size and space is crucial for rapid growth within the segments. Each of the segments would require high levels of innovation and customisation.”A huge growth can be seen in these sectors as India is emerging as one of the largest markets for Outbound, MICE, opined Gajesh Girdhar, Founder Member and National Coordinator, Network of Indian MICE Agents (NIMA). The current growth shows that by 2020, India should be on the top of the global list.India has emerged as the 10th largest business travel market in the world, spending over US$22 billion and is expected to grow by 13.5%, year-on-year, as indicated by a survey conducted by Deccan Herald. At present, India’s share of outbound business travel is pegged at US$4.8 billion worldwide. Industry experts say that the luxury travel market is growing by around 20% annually and over the next 10 years; it will grow around 15-20% every year. Also, Outbound MICE and Business Travel from India are predicted to increase by 62% by 2017.In order to further promote these segments, the industry has to strategise and reinvent itself to face new challenges and leverage fully the opportunities.Sundaram opined that in order to boost this industry further, the government needs to maintain and increment policy stability and incentives for industry. “Further efforts should be made by the External Affairs Ministry to improve the efficiency and ease with which business travellers can secure visas for travel purposes with limited documentation and speed. Continued investments in infrastructure related to the travel industry will also facilitate Business Travel,” he said.Anand said that we need to recognise the changing way in which the world is conducting business; the changing trends which are influencing global economies; the technological revolution which is changing the way in which events and meetings are being conducted. Assimilating these changes seamlessly and responding to it with strategic initiatives will only make the industry stronger than before.Corroborating with Anand, Suri said that the future of the industry will be influenced by the following major factors: Economic uncertainty, better, cheaper technological options for live events, Faster, shorter business cycles, placing their best foot forward to attract and support business groups from various industries in India.Suri further adds, “What is always needed is to recognise the changing way in which the world is conducting business; the changing trends which are influencing global economies; the technological revolution which is making its presence felt in the way in which events and meetings are being conducted. Assimilating these changes seamlessly and responding to it with strategic initiatives will only make the MICE, Business and Luxury industry stronger than before.”As India’s Business Travel industry is maturing, there is a growing need among Indian business travellers for information on the latest trends in this sector. The industry needs to make a conscious effort in educating the niche audience. This will help it to keep pace with the ever growing needs of the Indian traveller.At present in India, GBTA is the only industry body that looks at Business Travel as a special niche segment in India. They conduct events, networking forums, education and professional certification in this domain.Sundaram mentioned that a focused Business Travel Mart will allow industry partners specialising in this domain to showcase their capabilities and products to the buyer community. This will also allow for greater interaction and appreciation of best-in-class solutions for the client’s needs. He said, “Such a mart should provide a platform for industry partners to showcase their solutions and products, ability for buyers and sellers to interact effectively to address the pressing concerns of today, an education forum that provides insights into global best practices that are being used across the world and which can be implemented in India.”Suri believes that attending travel marts and conferences is an important business practice that can benefit tour companies in many ways, including building professional relationships, meeting the media, leveraging tips from other like-minded businesses, learning new ideas from industry experts. “Creating an efficient and productive business travel platform will benefit trade relations, help take advantage of business opportunities and learn about new trends and innovations within the Business Travel industry,” he said.According to Anand, specialised Business Travel Marts can help to address the specific needs of this segment. He further said that such a mart should have maximum business opportunities, community of qualified hosted buyers, delegates from multiple destinations across the globe and involvement of different industry segments in forums, talks and roundtable discussions to keep abreast of industry updates.With India set to be the 3rd fastest growing market in Business Travel from 2010-2019, this is the perfect time for a marketing and networking platform for this high-potential market.last_img read more

first_imgIf you’ve booked tickets to your favourite music festivals, but are still craving something off the beaten track, there are plenty of unusual events you can go to. From mud wrestling to UFO spotting to tomato throwing and fire-eating, here are 10 football-free events this summer.1) Eukonkanto Wife-Carrying World Championships, Sonkajarvi, Finland (4th – 5th July 2014)Eukonkanto is a Finnish sporting contest where men must run through an obstacle course whilst carrying their wife (or their neighbour’s wife, or a suitable female friend) on their back! The course involves tackling water traps and jumps, and if you drop her, you get a time penalty (and possibly a slap from the missus). The winner will receive his wife’s weight in beer – perhaps the only benefit of carrying a woman on the slightly plumper side. 2) Boryeong Mud Festival, Boryeong, South Korea (18th July – 27th July 2014)We’ve all tried mud face packs, but this is one step further. At the Boryeong mud festival, visitors dunk their bodies in pools of mud then have the choice of various mud-related activities such as mud wrestling, mud massages, mud sliding and even the ‘mud king contest’. People swear by its healing properties and if you’re worried about a mud-overload, fear not as you can just take a dip in the sea and wash it off. 3) Nantwich Cheese Show, Nantwich (30th July 2014)If the mention of cheese makes your mouth water, then this is a must-visit event. Nantwich cheese show is the biggest cheese show in the world, and there are over 4000 cheeses from 24 countries with a whole host of unusual flavours such as chocolate chip cheese!4) La Tomatina, Buñol, Spain (27th August 2014)Whether you love or hate tomatoes, there’s an undeniable satisfaction in throwing one at someone’s face. If you’re in Spain in August, be sure to take part in the world’s largest tomato fight. Around 20,000 people come from all over the world simply to throw overripe tomatoes at everyone in sight. Yes you read that right. It’s a stress buster, it’s a lot of fun and can you think of a better thing to do with 90,000 pounds of rotten tomatoes? 3,2,1…food fight! For more about Budapest, take a look at: Top 10 things to see and do in Budapest9) Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh (1st – 25th August 2014)Every August, Edinburgh becomes home to the largest arts festival in the world. There’s comedy, cabaret, circus and dance to name a few and nearly 3000 different shows to choose from. So if you fancy a giggle and a cheap day out (well, at the Free Fringe at least), this three-week extravaganza is fun for all the family. 10) Bregenz Festival, Bregenz, Austria (23rd July – 24th August 2014)If you’re a self-confessed culture vulture with a passion for opera – then Bregenz festival will be the highlight of your summer. A month-long programme of events including: ‘Tales from the Vienna Woods’, ‘The Magic Flute’ and ‘Life at the Edge of the Milky Way’. One of the best things about this festival is its lakeside location with some performances on an open-air stage and others in the traditional opera house. Want to read more about music festivals? Check out this guide to the [20 best music festivals of 2014.](  )ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedThe top 5 festivals to add to your bucket listPlanning your trip to coincide with a national holiday can be a fast-track way of getting to the heart of a culture. You can try out your best samba in Brasília or get stuck into a plate of dumplings in Beijing because we’ve got the inside knowledge on how to…10 Music Festivals Around the World 2010Skyscanner introduces ten excellent music festivals around the worldMusic Festival Fun: Skyscanner’s Top PicksHere at Skyscanner HQ, we love festivals; the music, the mud, the beer and the bandscenter_img Want to read about more food fights? Check out 7 best food fights in the world ever5) Ana Desetnica Theatre Festival, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2nd July – 7th July 2014)The Ana Desetnica international street theatre festival is the place for the wild and wacky! It’ll have you gasping in awe as you see fire-eaters, tightrope walkers and dozens of talented circus and street performers! It’s famous for showcasing Slovenia’s most talented and creative individuals and it’s the ideal way to experience the city’s vibrant art scene. 6) Roswell UFO Festival, New Mexico (3rd-6th July 2014)If you’ve always been a fan of ET and are convinced you’ve spotted alien life, then this is the one for you. Roswell is known as the capital of extraterrestrial activity. The residents believe that a spaceship crashed in the desert here in 1947, and ever since then, the city has been a mecca for UFO enthusiasts. The festival features guest speakers, a costume contest (one for humans, one for pets), live entertainment, a parade, an alien hot air balloon ride and of course some obligatory ‘alien spotting’. 7) Notte Delle Luci, Puglia, Italy (5th – 7th July 2014)This is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular events you’ll ever witness. Notte Delle Luci translates as ‘Night of Lights’ and the festival involves the illumination of castles, cathedrals, arches and towers that are spread over four kilometres. You’ll be dazzled by the millions of twinkling lights which are accompanied by fireworks and music, all perfectly in sync.8) Vajdahunyadvár Summer Festival, Budapest (July 10th – August 7th 2014)The Vajdahunyadvár Summer Festival is a series of events around the picturesque courtyard of Vajdahunyad Castle. The programme of events includes traditional Hungarian gypsy music performances as well as classical and swing. The closing concert on August 7th is headlined by the famous Budapest Gypsy Symphony Orchestra – with its 100 members, it’s the biggest gypsy orchestra in the world. A unique event in front of an ancient background in this quirky and romantic city. last_img read more