The Paris Convention and Visitors' Office (PCVO) is now planning to tap the Indian outbound MICE segment, after promoting Paris as a tourist destination in the Indian market. PCVO is working closely with the Indian travel trade to showcase its MICE products in India. PCVO aims to establish itself as a MICE destination in the Indian market over the next two years. PCVO will partner with ViParis which manages ten venues of convention centres in Paris. It will highlight Paris Opera, Academie Diplomatique Internationale, Gustave Eiffel Meeting Hall and the Chantilly Castle as some of the niche locations for conducting MICE events in the city. Currently Paris receives about 2, 20,000 visitors from India and PCVO is looking at increasing this number to eight lakh visitors in the next ten years.
“India is a relatively new source market for Paris. While we have seen an increase in the FIT travellers from the country, we now find the market developed to tap the MICE segment. Since our past two visits to India, we have met more MICE market managers who see potential in this segment,” informed Patricia Barthelemy, Leisure Marketing – Promotions Manager (Asia, Japan, Russia and CIS Markets), Paris Convention and Visitors' Bureau (PCVB).
Paris Convention and Visitors' Bureau has been studying the Indian MICE segment for the past two years. It is now working towards conducting familiarisation trips for the Indian travel agents. In a recently conducted a familiarisation trip and showcased the city's convention centres, as well as the city's niche product offerings. “It is important to educate the market that there are no language barriers or food issues that tourists and conference groups will face in Paris. There are several Indian restaurants in the city who we are closely working with to cater to the Indian market,” stated Barthelemy, adding that, breaking the myth of Paris being an expensive destination, we want to deliver the thought that there is variety of accommodation facilities available here across various price points.
Speaking on the potential of Paris as a MICE destination, Rajesh Nambiar, Vice President, Saltours International stated, “Paris has a lot of potential to cater to various segments in the MICE market. It has accommodation choices in every category as well as a range of activities across different budgets and interests. Hence any operator should be able to offer the right mix of elements to their respective MICE customers.”