As part of its strategy for revitalising the MICE market (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions), New Caledonia Tourism is organising its first workshop “Expectations & Trends of the MICE Market” on Thursday 19 September at the Chai de l’Hippodrome in Nouméa.

The MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conference & Events) market is a burgeoning tourism market. According to the International Trade Centre, it now represents 9% of world tourism. Added to which, according to Allied Market Research’s 2016 study, the sector would experience cumulative annual growth of 7.5% between 2017 and 2018, with sales rising from $752 billion to $1.2 trillion. According to this study, the Asia-Pacific region would experience the highest growth rate during the same period at 8.6% (source: www.lemanager.tn), hence the need for New Caledonia Tourism (NCT) to be in a strong position.

Indeed, developing MICE has a positive impact on the entire tourism sector of a destination, especially in the low season when this market stimulates activity to an observable extent. In addition, MICE customers, who are more demanding in terms of quality, can also encourage providers to improve their infrastructures. The development of MICE also boosts tourism revenue: a business tourist spends, on average, twice as much per day as a simple holidaymaker. Also, a business traveller is a prospective tourist and may return with his or her family.

In 2018, this type of tourism had already generated more than A$10 million, equivalent to 800 million francs, for the country (sources collected from the local tourism industry), as a result of hosting around 20 groups from Australia and New Zealand, ranging from 30 to 250 people. It is, therefore, in NCT’s best interest to develop this sector, which has strong economic potential for the territory.

The majority of MICE groups come to the territory from Australia and New Zealand. Local operators are also heavily involved in welcoming these groups with their very specific expectations. In preparation, NCT is carrying out a number of MICE initiatives in these two priority markets, Australia and New Zealand: strengthening the budget, recruiting a dedicated representative, redesigning the website and promotional materials (brochure, video, etc.), and creating a mainly digital communication campaign aimed at event planners, etc.

This is why, in a continual effort to improve our tourism strategy and provide ongoing training for local industry, NCT wished to offer its first workshop for all New Caledonian service providers to help them position themselves in this rapidly growing Australian and New Zealand MICE market.

On the agenda for this workshop: a half-day workshop on the Australian and New Zealand MICE markets with a focus on the latest trends, working groups on sector-specific themes, and a networking cocktail event.

Some fifty tourist service providers, representing nearly 40 organisations, are expected to participate. Hoteliers, restaurateurs, reception agencies, transport operators, activity providers, “places of interest” managers, all of whom are in a position to receive a MICE audience, will be among those attending this event.

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