By Jorge J. J. Martínez
The meetings industry (MICE) is going through a stage of general redesign, a process in which it is not separated from tourism, but does attempt to present itself as an autonomous industry and generator of transversal economies, collaborating with many other industries and sectors.
This is the main idea of the second Meetings Talks podcast, featuring Elizabeth Tovar, president of COCAL, and Francisco Cachafeiro, immediate past president of MPIs Mexico chapter.
“MICE is attached to tourism in an obvious way, but it is a promotor of business and of academic excellence and a generator of economic activity. It must have its own area, without forgetting that tourism is also important,” stated Elizabeth Tovar.
“MICE is an economic catalyst with a domino effect. Mexican tourism represents eight percent of the gross national product and the meetings industry generates two percent, which is a measly amount. Little by little the government has noticed that we are an important muscle, and has given us more tools,” said Francisco Cachafeiro.
Recognizing the need of COCAL to have its own identity as an industry, its president marshalled international Latin American organizations such as MPI, PCMA, SITE and ICCA, to create a unified strategy, a common front with homologous objectives.
“Each of our associations fulfills a different function; we must produce statistics at the Latin American level so that governments understand how useful and necessary our industry is,” proposed Tovar.
“I think there is a lack of training for government personnel, because they have good intentions but lack knowledge. Also we must reach other niches so they will see that we generate more than just tourism,” emphasized Cachafeiro.
Of fundamental importance is disseminating the idea of the MICE industry as a catalyst for economies. To this end, both leaders urged diverse MICE organizations to invite to their events press specializing in economics and finance.
The economic impact of MICE became more visible during the pandemic, since virtual meetings generated an 80 percent loss of participation of the value chain.
The proposal to reconfigure the meetings industry in all of Latin America is done; now it needs to be organized to create new ways to position the MICE industry.
Listen to the whole program of Meetings Talks on Spotify.
Boris Iraheta, marketing manager for Corsatur, stated that El Salvador is ready to host international events.