‘Made in Germany’ is a guarantee of quality that is recognised worldwide, and the same goes for business meetings in Germany, where the MICE sector is top-notch and of premium quality. Offering the highest levels of professionalism at competitive prices compared to the rest of Europe, German hospitality rates are quite affordable while standards are high. Whether organising a major convention or an elite strategy meeting, a product launch, or a cultural event, Germany has the right setting for every occasion, says Romit Theophilus, Director, German National Tourist Office (GNTO) India, as he shares more details about the current MICE scenario in Germany.
– Prashant Nayak
In terms of MICE movements, Germany had witnessed a very positive trend in the first quarter of 2022, which is a good indication that the situation is turning to normal. The current strength for Germany still remains Trade Fairs and Multi-Country group travel, i.e., travellers covering eight to ten countries in 12-15 days.
In Europe, Germany is the most preferred destination for incentives. Germany’s prominence as a global MICE destination includes first-class infrastructure, a diverse and strong network of providers, and an effective price-performance ratio. Among the cities, Munich and Berlin continue to be the top favorites and are becoming very popular for MICE visits. The country is now also being included in itineraries for a longer duration. While earlier, most itineraries included only a drive-through in Germany, now many itineraries cover a minimum of two overnights. The most popular region continues to be Bavaria, The Southwest of Germany, and Frankfurt and its neighboring regions.
“Two thirds of the world’s flagship trade fairs take place in Germany. More than 6,000 event venues ranging from state-of-the-art congress halls to ultra-professional hotels and unusual locations are available for conventions, conferences, and other events. With outstanding infrastructure, reliable and professional partners, state-of-the-art technology, and high-quality service factors Germany as a strong MICE and travel destination. Germany’s wealth of business hotels is among the world’s best, along with excellent transport connections, fantastic venues, top-class equipment, and superb service,” shares Romit.
This year, the country, including Berlin, has opened several key attractions, adding to its attraction for Indian visitors. Thus, the MICE segment is likely to continue its steady upward trajectory for the German capital. Germany’s diverse mix of cultural, natural, and leisure attractions is a big hit with Indian tourists. Indian travellers rate overall satisfaction, choice and quality, and accommodation among the highest fulfillment factors in the Quality Monitor Survey done for the German tourism industry.
Romit says, “Germany’s biggest and most popular cities attract many visitors from India. Everyone will find whatever they’re looking for from business travellers and cultural aficionados to shopaholics and party animals. Indian travellers are sure to be enchanted, whether in a UNESCO World Heritage Site or a lesser-known gem of Germany.”
The country has taken several steps to accommodate safe events in its respective venues. Naturally, they have expanded their hygiene and safety concepts and support event planners with any requisitions that may come up. The events industry in Germany is coming to life again. New regulations by respective states are making small-big-scale events possible again, with congresses and trade fairs occurring once again.
“Germany’s perception in India is also slowly changing and we also look forward to offering affordable accommodation and world-class infrastructure in the leisure and MICE segments. While the preferred choice of accommodation remained budget hotels, Indians want to spend more on experiences and exploring the destination as well as shopping, food, and drink. International travel is no longer confined to the rich in India — the middle class is taking the plunge more often and their average spending is increasing. VFR and luxury travel will dominate the first half of 2022, after which leisure and family travel will begin. We will see stronger growth demand from India in 2022. In the coming years, GNTO India has set its target of 2 million overnights of Indians travelling to Germany by 2030,” says Romit.
Indeed, Germany has a longstanding tradition of being one of the most popular MICE destinations. But what makes Germany a unique destination is the world-famous “Gemütlichkeit,” its great connectivity, proximity to nature, cosmopolitan outlook and hospitality traditions, and the country’s excellent MICE infrastructure. Many cities in Germany have recently shared exciting news about their city’s new hotels, venue openings, and great events awaiting visitors in 2022 and beyond.
“Also, in our one-on-one interactions with DMCs, city tourism authorities, and other potential German partners across the country, we suggested developing new and creative MICE routes in each city. These new and refreshing routes can be very much tempting for those looking for authentic local experiences in the post-COVID era. This can range from local cultural visits, beach activities, historical sites, and mountainous experiences, to exploring rural or suburban regions of big cities which can be then available for extraordinary and re-energising experiences,” concludes Romit.