The Moscow City Tourism Committee organizes conference for key stakeholders from Indian MICE market

Business tourism is one of the most promising directions for Moscow. In 2023, the capital was visited by 3.7 million business tourists – 7% more than in 2022. And India remains one of the leaders among visitors from non-CIS countries in terms of the number of business travelers. The Moscow City Tourism Committee recognized the market demands and organized the Shaping MICE Future Conference for representatives of the Indian MICE industry, to introduce them to the tourism strengths of the Russian capital. The event took place on April 19 in Delhi and brought together over 100 participants from MICE agencies of both countries, corporate customers, representatives of the travel industry in Moscow, Aeroflot and the Indian branches of Sberbank.

“The Russian capital as a center of business tourism and corporate events is already an established and a strong brand in the international arena,” – commented Anastasia Popova, Deputy General Director for International and Industry Cooperation of Project Office for the Development of Tourism and Hospitality in Moscow. – Now our task is to demonstrate to our Indian partners all the possibilities of organizing high value MICE events in Moscow in combination with already proven tourist programs”.

At the Shaping MICE Future Conference industry experts from Russia and India pronounced statements and speeches on the future of MICE events in these two countries, a presentation of the MICE potential of Moscow was showcased, and an analytical report on the state of the outbound MICE market in India was presented to the visitors. During the panel discussion participants assessed the current status and interaction peculiarities with the MICE market in India, and developed recommendations for the MICE industry in Moscow during the general brainstorming session. Representatives of the Indian MICE industry participated in B2B negotiations to find new cross-partners in the Moscow business environment and among representatives of the hospitality industry. 

The Moscow City Tourism Committee

Representatives of the MICE industry took part in the event from Moscow. Among them were DMC (Grand Rus, Academservice, Headed Goose, Satguru Travel, Isba Rus, Hug the Bear, Millennium Group)) as well as representatives of other partners interested in the development of MICE cooperation between Russia and India: Global transfers provider i’way and hotels Edge Seligerskaya & Edge Vinogradovo Moscow by Rotana.

“In 2024, we have witnessed a significant surge (more than quadruple) in the demand for transfers by Russians visiting India, both for business and leisure purposes. Muscovites are leading the trend, with 80% of transfer bookings originating from the capital since the beginning of the year. Additionally, we observe a growing interest from Indian tourism agencies in exploring Russia, resulting in a substantial increase in our collaboration,” commented Dmitriy Saraykin, co-founder of Global Transfer Provider i’way.

The Shaping MICE Future conference allowed the Moscow City Tourism Committee to form a pool of MICE industry representatives in Moscow to prioritize incoming requests for events, clarify India’s requirements for business and corporate events to build mutually effective work. Indian colleagues received up-to-date information about Moscow as a safe and attractive MICE destination, and were able to find potential partners among representatives of the MICE industry of the Russian capital and were able to present the MICE market in India.

“The event served as a remarkable platform for fostering meaningful dialogue and collaboration within the tourism industry. The event provided us with invaluable opportunities to engage with key stakeholders from the tourism department, as well as tour operators and service providers. The insights gained during the event underscored the Moscow City Tourism Committee’s keen interest in the Indian outbound market, and we are optimistic about the promising prospects for Moscow as a destination, particularly in the post-pandemic landscape. We firmly believe that with concerted efforts and strategic initiatives, Moscow has the potential to emerge as a top-choice destination for Indian tourists,” shared Mudit Mathur, director of Tours Delite India, representing Academ Service – Russia in India.

The conference also assessed the solutions to foreign demand for non-standard venues and elements in MICE programs, such as museums, parks, theaters and others. Holding MICE events at offbeat locations, such as the State Historical Museum, the Moscow Planetarium and Khudozhestvenny Cinema, is becoming popular. This helps to attract conference organizers and creates a unique experience for the participants. Working in this format, many visitors who came to Moscow on a business trip want to return with their families and spend time as regular tourists.

In 2023, 60 thousand guests from India visited Moscow – a quarter more than a year earlier. This year, according to the results of January and February India entered the top 5 countries in terms of the volume of e-visas issued. E-visa was one of the significant factors in the recovery of demand for hotel services and high utilization (76%) of Moscow hotels in 2023 and, as a consequence, the growth of international tourist traffic, the activation of business and classical tourists from India, China, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and so on.

One of the significant initiatives launched to support the growth of the tourist flow is the Moscow MICE Ambassadors Program – an online certification program for representatives of the Indian market, which aims to create demand for Moscow as a MICE destination. The Moscow City Tourism Committee and NIMA (Network of Indian MICE Agents) jointly launched the pilot project last year. The first 50 people from the Indian side who underwent the training and learned the intricacies of organizing business events in the Russian capital have received the relevant certificates. In 2024, the program will be made available to other MICE operators as well and is expected to expand to a total of 200 Moscow MICE Ambassadors by the end of the year.

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