With 2012 expected to be a successful year for the hotel and hospitality industry, boosted by the events that are due to take place in the UK throughout the summer, it is interesting to see that some companies have reported large increases in the number of meetings, incentives, conference and events (MICE) enquiries in 2011.
The growth of the MICE industry has undoubtedly been helped by new technology, in particular the internet, as it now allows arrangements to be made for conferences and meetings with extra ease. Websites have sprung up that lets organisers to select the perfect venue for their event based on a list of criteria, including number of rooms, meeting venue size and location. They are then presented with multiple quotations to select from and can make their booking with one click of a button.
It is therefore important for hoteliers to recognise this shift in booking patterns and ensure that their hotel or business is represented, but is also advertised correctly and with as much information as possible.
MICE Enquires Increase
The London based Great Hotels of the World sales and marketing alliance has released figures reporting a 50 per cent increase in its enquiries, which helps to illustrate a potential growing trend in the MICE travel market for UK hotels during this year.
Of the company’s MICE enquiries, 53 per cent came from the UK and Ireland, 16 per cent from Germany and 13 per cent from France. It was also revealed that new enquiries from the UK and Ireland had also increased significantly by 39 per cent since 2010, furthering the notion that the MICE market is upwardly mobile and is performing strongly in this country.
Elsewhere, based on 2010 figures, new enquiries from Germany rose by 18 per cent in 2011 and from France a considerable increase was seen of 96 per cent. Other queries that have come in to the company’s MICE desk were from the Belgian and Scandinavian markets, as well as from the USA, Middle East, Russian and Asian markets.
This rise in enquiries last year continues the trend for growth as London announced that the hospitality sector had welcomed its largest number of business travellers in four years during 2010, a rise of 10.5 per cent since 2009 from 4.64 million visitors to 5.13 million. This increase had helped overall figures for business visits to the UK to climb by almost 6.5 per cent.
MICE 2012: All Eyes on London
With global eyes focussing on the UK and especially London for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Olympic Games and Paralympics, the capital will be ‘the’ place to hold meetings, exhibitions and conferences, as millions of worldwide visitors arrive to soak up the atmosphere of what is hoped to be a ‘golden summer’.
The MICE industry is set to be big business in 2012 and making a good impression could help the growth that the sector has been experiencing in difficult times, to continue to enjoy success for years to come.