Sri Lanka chases Indian MICE

Sept 21, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is targeting Indian firms to persuade them to hold their business meetings in the island in a bid to boost its flagging leisure industry which has been hit by an internal conflict, officials said. Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, an agency that promotes the Meetings, Incentive travel, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) market says it has already conducted two campaigns in the tech cities of Bangalore and Hyderabad.

“We wanted to focus on the corporates who like to have their meetings in Sri Lanka,” Prema Cooray, chairman Sri Lanka Convention Bureau told reporters.

Officials are planning to hit Bombay and Delhi next.

Some companies send their employees through company-paid incentive packages to other countries, on vacation and corporate business.

The delegation to India promoted Sri Lanka as a MICE destination to hold meetings, exhibitions and conventions such as the recently held international conference on HIV/AIDS awareness in Colombo.

MICE market mainly consists of corporate customers who organize corporate meetings, conventions and exhibitions on different countries.

Out of Sri Lanka’s half a million tourist arrivals each year, about 15 percent were in the MICE secto