New York is world’s most Iconic MICE Destination. A colourful city, vibrant, with so much energy, enthusiasm and speed, New York is a 24×7 city that is always on the go. MICE India Editor Shekhar in an exclusive conversation with Ms. Makiko Matsuda Healy, Vice President, Tourism Development – Asia Pacific at NYC & Company
Shekhar | Editor | MICE INDIA | 11 March 2017
New York: Attracting Indian MICE
NYC & Co Ms. Makiko Matsuda Healy, revealed that in 2016, New York City welcomed an estimated 317,000 Indian travelers, of which 40% travelled for MICE. An astounding 9% increase in overall visitation had been recorded over the previous year. For New York, both Leisure and MICE saw rising numbers as Indian travel to NYC continued to be fueled by the country’s emerging role in the global marketplace. In terms of MICE from India, travel could be attributed mostly to Corporate Incentive Travel in terms of percentage, followed by meetings, conventions and exhibitions.
Ms. Healy continued that an action plan had been developed to bring in more MICE events to New York, it being one of the world’s most iconic meeting destinations, offering a wealth of classic and new hotels, expansive meeting spaces and venues, only-in-NYC incentives and infrastructure upgrades; making the five boroughs a perfect draw for MICE planners.
For Indian MICE groups looking at competitive pricing and variety, Brooklyn emerged as NYC’s most popular upcoming choice for meetings and events. With new hotel developments, meeting spaces, world-class event venues and multiple transportation options, Brooklyn is fast becoming an attractive option for meeting planners looking to offer attendees an authentic New York City experience – all without breaking the bank.
Travel figures illustrate that in 2016, NYC had welcomed groups from industries ranging from Paints to Electronics such as Crompton Greaves Electronics, Essilor India, Epson, Hitachi, Samsung, Asian Paints etc.
On being asked about other more American cities preferred by Indian corporates, Ms. Healy affirmed that besides New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas were attractive options for India’s meeting planners.
Moreover, this year New York City’s neighborhood Lower Manhattan has gone through a complete renaissance with brand-new hotels such as The Beekman and Four Season Downtown, the opening of the Westfield World Trade Center shopping complex in the Calatrava – designed Oculus, Brookfield Place luxury shops, One World Observatory and celebrity chef-owned restaurants. Also on the horizon are The Javits Center expansion, which will add more than 1.2 million square feet of event space in the coming years, including the largest ballroom in the Northeast at 60,000 sq ft. Ground breaking expansion of the Javits Center will commence early this year.
New York City encourages MICE groups to book events in the winter months, ie Jan-Feb, as it is the most beautiful, intimate and affordable time of the year with deals on dining, attractions, live theater, and hotels rooms. NYC & Company’s bi-annual value programs offer savings for travelers looking to enjoy live, restaurants and attractions in New York City. Included are popular programs NYC Broadway Week, NYC Restaurant Week, which will be celebrating their 25th anniversary this summer.
In her closing statement, Ms. Healy reiterated, “India is the 10th largest business travel market in the world. With nearly 1.5 million Indians traveling only for MICE purposes, it is emerging as one of the strongest outbound MICE markets in the world. We are keen to further develop this segment to increase outbound MICE travel to New York City.”