To be in effect from April 1, the new Champion Sector scheme initiated by Ministry of Tourism will help boost the M!CE sector by reimbursing part of the hotel expenditure incurred for the guest, subject to certain terms and conditions.
For India’s tourism ministry, M!CE is an important component and a key focus area, says Rakesh Kumar Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. “India has great opportunities for growing this sector. We have recently launched a Champion Sector scheme to give impetus to M!CE tourism. We are trying to improve our rank and increase the number of meetings happening in the country. The scheme reimburses part of the expenditure on hotel stay by foreigners during the event. We will start this scheme from April 1 this year. Though there are certain conditions, broadly speaking, for the first night’s stay, the GST charged on the stay will be reimbursed to the customer,” he adds.
To attain the government’s target of being a $5 trillion economy by 2025, Verma says that M!CE tourism could play a crucial role. “We may be growing at 12 per cent and be at the 25th position, but in the next five years, we will want to be in the top 10 or top five; our schemes will have to match that vision,” he adds.
Upcoming convention centre
The convention centre in Dwarka will be ready soon and it will be a big advantage for the M!CE sector, while offering the opportunity to organise more conventions in India. “ITPO is also going in for a refurbishment, which will be a good addition. We are trying to develop these facilities at other locations as well, so that we can have more meetings and M!CE events in the country. M!CE is also one of the priority sectors in the new tourism policy of 2020; we have a lot of provisions for it,” Verma says.