post by : justine.bonvalla
What is MICE tourism?
MICE market or; Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions/Events “refers to a specialized niche of group tourism dedicated to planning, booking, and facilitating conferences, seminars, and other events, which is a big money-maker in the travel industry”.
MICE tourism in Switzerland
Switzerland has a very good reputation as a destination country for MICE and especially in the meetings sector individual business events that companies organise for their own staff and/or business partners.
In 2015, MICE tourism generated CHF 1.8 billion.
A guest who stays in Switzerland for MICE generates an average of CHF 333 per day; this is more than a leisure tourist.
Meetings - “general term to indicate the number of people in one place, to confer or carry out a particular activity.”
With 6.3 million overnights, the meetings industry accounts for 17.7% of Swiss hotel overnights.
The main meetings locations are in Basel, Zürich, Lucerne and Bern.
Incentives - “typically given to employees as a reward. It is a non-business vacation with the aim of continued motivation for performance.”
According to Miss Bettina Mumenthaler, the UK & Ireland Manager at the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau London Office, in general big incentives are coming from Asia; especially from China and India. There are some from Europe of course, but they are smaller.
Switzerland was just recently rated as one of the host list incentive destination for 2020 by the Global DMC Partners which means that there will be an arise of UK companies that come to Switzerland for small incentives.
A few months ago, Switzerland welcomed its biggest tourist group ever for an incentive. They were 12,000 Chinese people coming together which required a huge and efficient organisation. They were expected to spend about CHF 14 million during their stay. For a matter of availability, they had to be split between 3 different cities.
Conferences - “participatory meeting designed for discussion, fact-finding, problem solving and consultation”.
Switzerland has a lot of international conferences which means that it draws many tourists from all over the world. For example, recently, Lausanne hosted the 11th World Conference of Science Journalists. There were more than 60 different nationalities and more than 1000 journalists and Scientifics in communication.
Events/Exhibitions - “products or services are displayed and are the primary focus of the event.”
According to “myswitzerland.com”, there are about 17,319 events in Switzerland.
Finally, thanks to its tolerance and neutrality, Switzerland has attracted hundreds of international organisations.
MICE is an important support for the tourism low season. That is why it is very important for us to keep promoting it as much as we can.