The Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) industry has been a huge part of many country’s tourisms for many decades. But as the world comes back from a global pandemic, many countries are fighting to get their tourism back, and to get more money injected into their economy. We’re looking at the world’s leading MICE destinations and what makes them the best in the business.
Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik won the Best MICE Destination in Europe 2017 by Business Destinations Magazine. Since then, the city continues to be at the forefront of MICE tourism in Europe.
Reykjavik makes such a great MICE destination for many reasons, one of which is safety. The Icelandic pride themselves on their peacefulness and their low crime rate. Their police force does not carry guns, gay marriage is legal, and they’re military-free, all of these elements make visitors feel safe and incentivise people to travel to Iceland.
As well as their safety, Iceland has a rich history and culture which they keep alive to this day. They still make traditional meals, for example, rye bread cooked in geysers and dried fish. Choosing Reykjavik as a MICE destination will allow delegates to try Iceland’s traditional dishes first-hand.
If there were ever a place for MICE tourism, it would be Madrid. Spain’s capital city has been recognised as the best in the world three years in a row at the World Travel Awards. This award positions the city as a top destination for the organisation of international MICE events. Even through a global pandemic, Madrid found a way to keep its MICE tourism going. Madrid City Council and the city’s tourism sector maintained the highest standard of quality as well as professionalism despite the ongoing situation.
Madrid has a key focus on sustainability policies, as well as legacy and positive impact. The city’s MICE tourism sector has announced the new ‘Commitment with Agenda 2030’ plan. This is the first of its kind in Spain. It is a digital platform to support organisers to manage events in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set out by the UN in their 2030 Agenda. The agenda creates sustainability reports specific to each MICE event in Madrid with recommendations on ways to further minimise social and environmental impacts. This can also be done before the event takes place, meaning organisers can adapt their event to reduce impacts from the get-go. The agenda also creates a post-event report. This details the total CO2 emissions, as well as suggests ways to make up for the event’s impact on a local level within Madrid.
Thailand’s capital of Bangkok is a giant in the MICE industry. The city has several world-class exhibition and conference centres, for example, the award-winning IMPACT Muang Thong Thani. This centre has 140,000 m2 of exhibition space and a convention centre that can host up to 10,000 delegates.
The theme of Bangkok really is effortless travel. The city has two airports, making transport to the destination effortless. The newly opened Suvarnabhumi International Airport is the hub for most of Thailand’s international travel. With around 50 million visitors a year, handling over 900 aircrafts a day, the airport is great for overseas travel. Passengers can even get a shuttle bus directly into Bangkok from the airport. Within the city there is the underground railway and the skytrain, so wherever guests are, they can get to their venue in the blink of an eye.