The demand for MICE industry has been on a declining trend after 2006 but the largest downfall was seen in 2009 when demand fell by 22% due to the economic recession of 2008. A further decrease of 5% was also seen in 2010. The UK has been one of the most popular destinations for the overseas meeting. In 2009, the UK ranked fourth in Europe after Italy and Spain but was ahead of France. In 2010, another trend observed was the decrease in the number of participants in the meetings. (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions(MICE) in the UK)Current Trends in the UK MICE MarketThe extended recession in most parts of the world including Europe has affected a lot of industries that have a positive correlation with the economy of the country.
The MICE industry is facing a similar situation where a lack of economic growth and activity has slowed the growth of the overall industry in the UK. The industry which was already in its maturity stage has faced further impediments in its growth due to lack of budgets. Although the number of events planned in the last couple of years has increased most have been low budget events reflecting the state of the industry and overall economy.
(Promising EU export markets for MICE, 2011)Most events planned are of short-haul nature whereby participants meet at overseas destinations nearer to the UK. Domestic events are not well perceived and therefore the turnout for local events is also low as compared to overseas events. Most preferred short haul destinations for various British agencies include Spain, France, Germany and Italy. Short haul events are favored by the agencies as they help them arrange more events in the given budget.
Participants, on the other hand, are more for long haul events where they get greater value for their money. United States has maintained its position of being the most favored long haul destination for events arranged by the British agencies followed by other renowned destinations such as United Arab Emirates, China, South Africa, etc. (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions (MICE) in the UK, 2012)
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