The MICE sector has once again become a driving force in Italy and around the world. BIT 2024 will know how to represent this new trend, both through a rich schedule of conferences and through its exhibitors, who are increasingly informed on the new challenges and opportunities in the supply chain. We talked about this with the MINOR Hotels Group.
The meeting industry has recovered its strength. After a forced halt in recent years, already in 2022 the conference tourism sector has resumed growth again, regaining about 70% of events compared to those held in 2019.
After all, in 2023 Italy climbed the ICCA world ranking, reaching third place globally in the number of meetings and second, in Europe, with more than 520 business events after Spain (528) and the U.S. (690), in first place.
In this context of growth, BIT is positioned as the only exhibition in Italy for the MICE sector, thanks to the dedicated area at the event, the MICE VILLAGE, which calls together companies relevant to the sector, and offers a vast conference schedule "Bringing Innovation into Travel" that through three main branches -- Macro-trends, Innovation and Sustainability -- provides vertical insights into the supply chain and into current and future trends.
Therefore, the meetings on the agenda together with the exhibition proposals, will tell the story of the renaissance of the MICE world, with the challenges and opportunities originating from the new needs of business travelers; among them the so-called "Bleisure” that is the propensity, born also with the consolidation of smart-working, to combine a business trip with an extended vacation, before, during or after the business event.
We have anticipated some of these issues with one of the leading hospitality companies in the corporate sector that has already confirmed its presence at the fair: MINOR Hotels -- owner of the NH brand -- and an example of how the hotel industry is quickly adapting its offerings to meet the renewed demands of business travelers, with an increasing commitment to sustainability, innovation, and comprehensive travel experiences that go beyond the business purpose alone.
"The MICE sector has certainly seen exciting growth in 2023 in both the domestic and international markets," reported Ambra Lee Agnoletti, Director of Business Development - Director of Sales, MINOR Hotels. "Our group, MINOR, views MICE as a strategic segment and our hotels are equipped to host either XXL events, such as the NH Milano Congress center, or luxury incentives, at the Anantara Grand hotel Convento in Amalfi. The 3 big pillars we are investing in are definitely sustainability, digitization, and immersive and original experiences. In fact, we have opened innovative new spaces for out of the box events, such as the Vertigo rooftop at the Nhow in Milan.”
The concept of immersive experiences, which take into account the well-being and entertainment of business travelers, underlies the aforementioned "bleisure," which MINOR has been able to interpret with particular attention, adapting its offerings through fully customizable services; for example, with "GHA Discovery, thanks to which," Agnoletti says, "we can offer tailor-made experiences to best enjoy the hotel and the destination in the transition from business to leisure travel."
MINOR Hotels is just one of the companies that have already joined BIT, a responsive and all-encompassing space for discussion and new business, which has an international outlook, but also a very solid grip on the Italian market. "In fact," Agnoletti said, "Italy is considered a country to invest in and with great opportunities especially in the luxury world. The desire is to continue to grow and open with the Anantara, Tivoli, and Avani brands. In June 2023, we opened the first Tivoli in Trieste, Tivoli Portopiccolo Sistiana Resort & Spa and rebranded to Avani, Avani Palazzo Moscova in Milan and Avani Rio Novo in Venice. Many news are coming in 2024."