Ethiopia can induce huge benefits from the Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism industry because of its strategic importance in terms of relative stability and booming economy, claim stakeholders.
The MICE tourism industry which is more of a business form of tourism than leisure has recently become increasingly important in global economy, said Tourism and Hotel consultant Kumneger Teketel speaking to The Ethiopian Herald.
There are a number of reasons for the global boom of MICE industry according to Kumneger, most importantly, the participants in such business affiliated travels are sponsored by companies and organizations as opposed to leisure travels who pay for themselves.
Hence, added Kumneger, MICE tourism always has the opportunity to flourish since people need to travel around for business meetings and conferences with high spending power that is estimated to exceed leisure tourism spending power by 400 per cent.
"Besides, as a nation become more suitable for MICE tourism, there would be a high tendency to enhancing the conventional tourism sector as it open doors for the exploration of attractions", said Kumneger.
The development of this sector depends on infrastructural developments which are now booming in Ethiopia with top hotels, conferences venues, and transportation expanding, in addition to sector platform that promotes its development. "That's why we established MICE East Africa - to promote the sector", exclaims Kumneger.
For Kumneger, the availability of infrastructure alone doesn't guarantee development, whereas there exists a need for a comprehensive understanding from all stakeholders regarding its benefits and techniques to sell it.
Diego Malvarez, a consultant in the sector for his part told The Ethiopian Herald, "Ethiopia needs to capitalize on the quality and price of the services it provides in the sector to harness the huge potential the Nation is endowed with".
MICE East Africa Forum and Expo 2017 was recently held in Addis Ababa, which is expected to generate about eight million US dollars in revenue for Ethiopia.