MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) travel is crucial to tourism destinations and a key driver of economic, intellectual, and cultural growth. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has brought the entire tourism ecosystem—including MICE—to a standstill. UNWTO predicts that the overall tourism volumes could contract by ~80% in 2020. Our consultations with the ecosystem stakeholders and convention bureaus assert that some segments of the sector are particularly vulnerable and could face irreversible damage. Others, with prudent interventions, could weather the storm.
Destinations are itching to resume MICE activity as soon as safe travel is possible. But the ecosystem is fragile. Destinations will need to carefully align their strategies to the recovery outlook of MICE sub-sectors. Not all sub-sectors will recover, and the rate and pace of recovery will be uneven.