The symbol of the Indian Bureau of Immigration as seen on a counter inside the new T2 terminal of Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. (Indranil Mukherjee | AFP | Getty Images)

The government is likely to extend the e-visa facility to conference delegates soon to encourage Meetings Incentives, Conferences Exhibition (MICE) tourism in the country, a senior official said, May 19. (@Siliconeer, #Siliconeer, #MICETourism, #GovtofIndia, #India, #TraveltoIndia)

“The e-visa for the delegates would soon become a reality as the government was aware that e-visas would enable Meetings Incentives, Conferences Exhibition (MICE) tourism to thrive,” said Joint Secretary in Tourism Ministry Suman Billa, who is also chairman of India Convention and Promotion Bureau (ICPB).

He was addressing the first edition of ‘Global MICE Travel Mart’ (GMTM), jointly organized by FICCI, Tourism Ministry and the ICPB.

Billa said India offered world-class MICE facilities across the country but there was a need for creating awareness about the segment and providing end-to-end solutions.

He said as per a latest release by International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), more than 11,000 large-scale meetings have been organized across the world.

The U.S., Germany, Spain, the UK and France are the top five countries in the world in organizing meetings, he said.

On the occasion, a ‘FICCI-MRSS’ White Paper on ‘India Inbound MICE Tourism Trends and Opportunities’ was also released which suggested a five-point agenda to boost MICE tourism.

Globally, the MICE segment, with a 54% market share, has overtaken the traditional business trips segment.

The report states that there are a few issues – including high tax structure, availability of trained manpower, and compliance to international standard – in relation to MICE tourism in India which can be perceived as possible bottlenecks to the industry as a whole.