MICE sector eyes over 150,000 travellers this year
Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) tourism sector, a
pivotal cog in the tourism industry targets around 155,000 travellers by
the end of this year, CEO, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), Vipula
He said that reaching this target is a huge milestone in the MICE
sector which makes a salient contribution to the economy by bringing in
much needed foreign exchange.
The number of MICE sector travellers increased from 80,000 in 2006 to
to 144,000 last year. The conference sector increased from 20
international conferences in 2011 to 62 in 2014. Of the 62 international
conferences and congress associations, 30 were world-class conferences.
“The number of international conferences will surpass 70 this year,”
The SLCB will launch a series of initiatives to promote MICE tourism
with additional allocation of funds from the Budget. Among them are
Familiarisation tours (FAM ) tours for MICE buyers and corporates,
partnerships with organisations for staging of events and bidding for
major conferences are some of the moves in the pipeline, according to
Tourism Ministry sources.
“The SLCB will launch a mega FAM tour next week with around 50 MICE
buyers to whom the diverse locations of Sri Lanka will be showcased. It
will hold many events with partners in the next few months to raise the
profile of the country as a venue for MICE events,” Wanigasekera said.
Sri Lanka is one of the most sought after destinations for MICE
tourism in Asia. Apart from being one of the safest destinations, the
diversity of locations and attractions is expected to woo more
travellers for MICE events each year.
The conference of Attorneys, symposium on ‘Environment Management and
Planning’- Asia Pacific Central Securities Depository Group, 16th
Conference of the International Coloured Gemstones Association, IFIP WG
9.4 Working Conference, Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation,
Conference on Geotechnical Engineering, Global Conference on Entomology,
Asian Conference on Intellectual Disabilities are some of the major
global conferences due to take place this year.
“A number of medical conferences are also in the pipeline,” SLCB CEO
He said the MICE sector helps position Sri Lanka on the global travel
map due to its diverse locations such as beaches, mountains, ancient
cities and wildlife. The creative programs offered by the industry,
combining team building and motivational programs attract MICE
There is enormous potential for growth in the MICE sector which
should be promoted aggressively. Regarding income derived from the
sector, Wanigasekera said it is difficult to access the real revenue
earned from the MICE sector which is a global phenomena.
“We reckon this to be around US $ 250 million per annum,” he said. A
large number of corporates from India are keen to hold meetings in Sri
Lanka. Colombo is a vibrant city with many activities and nightlife.
Incentive travellers prefer to spend time in new attractions such as
The SLCB will conduct its second training program in Kandy next week
for hoteliers in Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. The first program was conducted
“The SLCB will issue the MICE statistical data shortly, after a lapse
of six years. Apart from the promotion in Hyderabad next month, several
road shows are due to held to entice Indian corporate meetings in the
coming months,” Wanigasekera said.