Domestic exhibitions a key driver of growth for MICE industry

MICE industry expected to reach USD 2307.4 Million by 2027.

The global MICE Industry is valued at USD 1468.2 Million in 2020 and expected to reach USD 2307.4 Million by 2027 with the CAGR of 6.5% over the forecast period, according to a recent study by Brandessence Market Research & Consulting

North America led the highest recovery for global travel sector. The region registered a growth rate or CAGR of 36.8% in 2021, followed by Asia pacific with a CAGR of 36.3%. Leisure spending promises the most robust growth in the global MICE market, with China promising a growth rate of over 60% in 2022, and US with an estimate growth rate of 51.4% in 2022. Surveys in countries like the UK show that travellers are planning a domestic vacation, with staycations expected to rise in countries with longer restrictions. 

The global lockdowns and emergence of new covid-19 variants has also impacted future forecast of the global MICE market.

According to a study in 2020, over 58% travellers preferred booking flights that offered flexible cancellation policies. On the other hand, over 76% travellers opted for the same in relation to hotel bookings. 55% noted free cancellation as primary concern while booking, and this figure stood at a meager 20% before the pandemic. Furthermore, this preference varies widely between regions, with 89% of travellers from Spain, 87% from France, and 84% from UK highlighted the importance of the free cancellation policies. On the other hand, 82% of travel industry executives noted that they have made changes to their existing policies to accommodate the growing demand for free cancellations. While 69% have eliminated the need to keep a deposit, 61% are changing rules that mandated minimum duration stays. Despite growing demand, financial implication for free cancellation are difficult to accommodate for the industry, and postponement options are increasingly being offered to travelers to tackle their challenges. 

The trend of ‘staycation’, promises new opportunities for growth. Furthermore, the increased eagerness of business travelers also remains a promising driver of future growth. Over 80% business executives report that their travel arrangements have at least some impact on their job offer consideration. Similarly, business clients also convey comfortable and convenient hotel preferences as the top comfort in travelling. The growing demands for domestic exhibitions also promise to remain a key driver of growth in the MICE market. 

The pandemic has also resulted in major changes in air-travel bookings, as travellers opt for short-bookings increasingly. The average time-span for air-travel bookings dropped to 23 days, as opposed to earlier trend of 53 days in advance. Furthermore, hotel bookings also have witnessed this trend with advance booking dropping from 32 days in advance in 2019, to 10 days in the first half of 2021. Major hotels like Hyatt have reported that most of their bookings were made just 4 days in advance in 2021, in the US. 

Domestic travel continues to outgrow the international travel segment globally. It remains to be seen, how this trend will impact growth of the MICE market. However, the international travelling is estimated to outpace growth of domestic travel in 2022. The increased prospect of global vaccination, and ease of restrictions globally remain key drivers of growth. The international travel is expected to grow at a robust CAGR of 9.3% CAGR during 2021, while witnessing a massive projected increase of 93.8% in 2022. The growing active response from tourism industry to emerging consumer trends and eagerness to welcome business prospects lead the way for increased resilience.