Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Dubai remains 'top choice' for GCC Mice destination

The Meetings, incentives, conferences, and events (Mice) market is growing rapidly in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai, as it remains the top-choice for business, incentives and meetings and luxury travel from the GCC, a study conducted by event management company QnA International revealed.

Dubai has been at the forefront of the GCC’s Dh4.7 billion ($1.27 billion) Mice industry, and accounts for more than a quarter of the GCC Mice market, showed an earlier study conducted by Strategy& in 2015.

While the survey results indicate that Dubai’s popularity has not waned, other countries in the Middle East including Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco and other GCC nations are gaining momentum as they develop their respective Mice and luxury travel sectors.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, outbound travel expenditure from the Middle East is expected to reach $165.3 billion by 2025 - a high number when compared with the worrying statistic that suggests only 2 per cent of global exhibitions take place in the Middle East.

The survey conducted by QnA International on the global Mice, business & luxury travel industry revealed insights on industry trends and challenges, emerging global destinations and emerging trends and challenges within the industry.

The results indicate some new destinations of choice for business and luxury travel. For instance, France was indicated as the most preferred business travel destination in Europe with Greece too making an appearance while Morocco and Australia were listed as destinations of choice for luxury travel.

The complete list is as follows –

Top destinations for Business Travel include European countries such as France, Germany, Spain, Italy, UK, Greece, and Asian countries such as China, India, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan along with Australia, UAE and US. Top destinations for Mice include Australia, Europe specifically Eastern Europe, Central Asian countries such as Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia as well as the South Asian subcontinent and Far East.

Mediterranean countries such as Montenegro, Albania, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and countries from Middle East & Africa like UAE, Kuwait , Kenya, Tanzania also featured as top destinations for Mice.

Australia, US, New Zealand, Fiji, Bora Bora, UAE, Mauritius, Croatia, Morocco, Hawaii and other European destinations have been marked as top luxury travel destinations from the GCC.

Delegates were also asked to identify emerging destinations that could overtake developed markets as a tourism and hospitality destination. Fascinatingly, countries from the Middle East, Mediterranean, Baltic, Eastern Europe and Far East Asia were identified and include Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Siberia, Taiwan, Brunei, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand to European countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden to Mediterranean countries Monaco, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and last but not the least Russia, Middle East countries such as Oman, Bahrain, Egypt & Saudi Arabia.

Amongst the trends changing the Mice, business and luxury travel landscape from the Middle East, the delegates identified the integration of technology and technological breakthroughs in the industry as pertinent. Other trends considered important were creating authentic experiences, high end luxury luxury, focusing on needs of the Islamic traveller, mobility, and value for money deals whereas some of the challenges identified by survey respondents include delivery timelines, budget constraints, availability of Halal food, finding the correct supplier and the appropriate destination, security, competitive rates, cultural understanding and cultural protocols.

“Taking these market findings into consideration, the sixth annual Mice Arabia and luxury travel Congress has put into place a conference agenda that will discuss the trends and challenges in these sectors and propose practical solutions, while retaining a dominant focus on the one-to-one prescheduled business meetings between the buyers and the suppliers," said Sidh N.C, director, QnA International.

The sixth annual Mice Arabia and Luxury Travel Congress will be held from February 27-28, 2018 in Dubai, UAE. - TradeArabia News Service

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