The time is right for MICE business

The MICE hotel segment is attracting interest again as most developed economies are showing signs of recovery, and several countries are experiencing positive GDP growth rates.

After cutting back on conferences and events since 2008, corporate accounts are starting to loosen up their T&E budgets.

According to the latest figures released by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the world’s MICE business is headed by the United States at a global level, followed by Germany and Spain. At an individual city level, Paris is now the world’s leader in MICE, followed by Madrid, Vienna (tops in the ranking since 2005 until now) and Barcelona (which has climbed one position).

Regarding the outlook for the remainder of 2015, the latest Global Meetings & Events Forecast by Amex already stated that hotel suppliers surveyed were positive in their predictions for meetings activity overall across the year. It is not a coincidence that  Wyndham decided to enter this space through the acquisition of MICE specialist Dolce Hotels & Resorts last February.

Dolce Sitges Hotel, Spain
Dolce Sitges Hotel, Spain

Hoteliers interviewed by Amex anticipated a 3.7% increase in MICE business for 2015. The predicted growth was particularly salient in the resort segment, reflecting increases in incentives and higher-end leisure travelers. This is particularly relevant since one of the most interesting aspects of the MICE business is how its activity volume distribution across the year can overlap and reinforce the regular occupancy curve of conventional holiday resort destinations. The occupancy curve that results from combining and superposing these two lines of business allows MICE resort operators to reach higher staff and F&B optimization levels at their properties.