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Monday, 10 August, 2015, 10 : 00 AM [IST]

‘PPP has given excellent results for Hyderabad Convention Visitors Bureau’

Established in April 2011, the Hyderabad Convention Visitors Bureau (HCVB) is truly an initiative in itself as it is the only convention visitor’s bureau in the country today. Gary Khan, CEO, HCVB, in conversation with Akansha Pandey, urges other states to gauge their respective USPs and engage tourism partners so as to increase visitor footfall
Gary KhanQ. When was Hyderabad Convention Visitors Bureau constituted and how has been the journey so far? How many (big and small) conventions and conferences have been undertaken since inception?
Hyderabad Convention Visitors Bureau (HCVB) was borne out of a thorough study conducted by the ISB - Indian School of Business for the lucrative opportunities and feasibility to form a bureau. This very detailed and elaborate report that was commissioned by the state government called for the viability to form the convention visitor’s bureau (CVB), which eventually rendered the initiative for HCVB.

The journey has been extraordinary. The MICE sector in Hyderabad has been bolstered and every time Hyderabad is given reward in the MICE arena, we take pride in being the only CVB in India, promoting the ideology of ‘Taking Hyderabad to the World and Bringing the World to Hyderabad’. From the generation of hot leads at tradeshows and the HCVB team’s efforts in bidding against other cities in the world, we have had a plethora of victories in the past four years, totalling 15 major international conferences.

Q. How has this public-private-partnership mode (PPP) worked for the MICE & tourism industry of the destination in general, and developed the local economy over the years?
The PPP model has proved to give excellent rewards for HCVB, in terms of the victories that have been harnessed by the Bureau since its inception. MICE is a growing segment of all forms of tourism and is attracting considerable attention from various private, public and PPP entities across the world. It has helped transform the economy of Hyderabad. Hyderabad with its above par infrastructure is poised to grow its tourism sector in umpteen ways, and this has been amalgamated together for HCVB, routed by the PPP model.

Q. Considering the renewed focus of both state governments (Telangana and Andhra Pradesh) on attracting global investments as well as the Centre's 'Make In India' mission, how is it going to reflect on the convention and conference industry in India in general, and Hyderabad in particular in the coming years?
Right from the IT industry to the airways arena, global conglomerates are showing their interests and are willing to partake onto new adventures in Hyderabad. For instance, Korean electronics giant, Samsung, has come forward to establish an electronics hardware manufacturing unit in Hyderabad with an investment of USD 100 million (approximately Rs 630 crores). Vistara Airlines of the Tata group has also expressed interest in expanding its services with Hyderabad as its centre of operations. Additionally, Hyderabad will soon be boasting of a new Google campus, the biggest outside the US. To make it happen, Google has invested USD 236 million on the campus, which will focus on its super-fast Google Fibre broadband services, Street View and Google Education. Furthermore, leading investment and technology development company, DE Shaw, headquartered in New York, has come forward to invest USD 200 million in Hyderabad.

In conclusion, all these data figures and facts give a good image for Hyderabad, in terms of bidding for a mega conference. This eventually leads to capitalising on such details that draw the attention of delegates who partake in research and studies in the fields of IT, medicine and other research work. Thus, the reflection of such investments means for Hyderabad to bask in the glory of the MICE arena which translates for growth and visibility for Hyderabad.

Q. Hyderabad is the only city in India that has an official Convention Bureau of its own. How did you make this happen and what advice would you give to other states?
Indeed, Hyderabad is infused with all the right ingredients to render for itself the best city to visit in 2015 by National Geographic Traveller November 2014 issue. HCVB being the only CVB in India has been given its due status and recognition by the state government and its respective members. The joint effort of the public and private sectors has given rise to the MICE segment in India. HCVB sets foot to carve a niche in setting trends for increasing MICE tourism, as it renders good economic impacts in Telangana and India as well. My advice to other state governments would be to gauge all their respective unique points and engage tourism partners to increase visitor footfall into their cities. This can be translated from the facts and figures, derived from the state government’s statistics.

Q. What is the unique selling proposition (USP) of Hyderabad as a convention destination? How have you been able to sell this to the global conference industry?
HCVB is India’s first and only regional CVB initiated by the state government to promote Hyderabad as India’s premier MICE destination. It is a non-profit organisation with the State’s Tourism Department being the promoter and stakeholder. It acts a one-stop shop and a catalyst for all MICE business enquiries. The Bureau views its members as partners operating together to showcase Hyderabad as a premium MICE destination that is attractive to national and international business visitors alike. Driven on membership basis, HCVB’s members are high-profile properties like the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC), numerous PCOs, Hyderabad GMR Airport, etc. With the Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Cooperation (TSIIC) also being a member, we foresee the induction of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) into HCVB.
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