Starting on August 29, the 10th Conventions India Conclave (CIC) of India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) is underway until August 31, at the Hyderabad International Convention Center. The event started with the lighting of lamp, in the esteemed presence of dignitaries including Chief Guest, Madhusudana Achary – Speaker, Telangana Legislative Assembly; Guest of Honour, B Venkateshan – Principal Secretary Tourism, Government of Telangana; Christina Z. Chongthu – Managing Director, Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation; Suman Billa – Chairman ICPB & Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Chander Mansharamani – Vice Chairman, ICPB; and Amresh Tiwari – Honorary Secretary, ICPB.
During the inaugural address, Billa revealed how 52 per cent of travel revolves around MICE and the need to leverage this market and tap its potential internationally as well. He also mentioned about the implementation of a corpus fund, created half by the government and the remaining half by ICPB, to help open the Indian conference market to the world.
The Conclave shall have an exhibition, where the over 330 registered buyers and sellers aim to interact and exchange business. B2B meetings and sessions on topics of sustainability and associations to help member engagements are also scheduled to be held during the event.
During the press conference, Billa talked about setting up an agency to procure relevant information for the destinations globally. They shall get a world-class consultant to help the government prioritise destinations and put a roadmap in place to help know the different nuances of different industries so as to structure and organise the meetings and conferences industry. On the follow-up of the announcement of e tourist visa and group visa for MICE, he said that the ministry has been doing well and they have also brought the medical visa under electronic framework. The ministry is in talks with Niti Ayog to implement conference visa so as to support sensitivities for global destinations coming here. On GST for MICE, he said that the regime has not hampered the MICE industry, in fact, it has been marginally an advantage. He feels when the revenue of the country kicks in, the tax rate will get moderated in line of competing destinations; also, with VAT, refund taxes can be eased out.