Why revenge travel is helping to boost MICE industry

Surge in travel is pushing up prices as well as making certain destinations more desirable.

Europe, including Paris, is a trending destination for Asian incentive groups.
Europe, including Paris, is a trending destination for Asian incentive groups. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/Netfalls

Revenge travel – people’s desire to travel more after missing out on time and experiences during the pandemic – is providing a welcome boost to the MICE industry.

Nelson Khoo, head of events, Singapore & Indonesia at CWT Meetings & Events, says there has been a sharp rebound in travel for in-person meetings and events this year, while virtual events have "fallen off a cliff".

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"Companies have been extremely eager for their employees to get more face-time with each other, as well as with clients and business partners," he says.

"We’ve also seen a huge resurgence in incentive trips, companies still see this as a very effective way to motivate and reward their people. Planners in Asia Pacific have been focused on destinations within the region this year, but we’re getting many enquiries and requests for destinations that are further out, particularly in Europe, for 2023."

Khoo adds that the surge in demand, coupled with various supply side challenges, has resulted in prices going up across the board.

“We are seeing more hotels exercising dynamic pricing on their rates to match demand”, he says. “At the same time, given the industry-wide staff shortages, many hotels are not opening up 100% of their inventory to ensure they can maintain their service levels. It has become much more difficult to secure availability of flights, accommodation and venues for events with short lead times.”

The Middle East is one region that has seen a major surge in travel, underpinned by the World Cup football tournament.

“Revenge travel will of course have an impact on the MICE industry as individuals become aware of certain destinations,” says Natalie Crampton, founder and director of TEC.

“Inbound tourism to Dubai is booming, especially with individuals escaping the cold climates of Europe for a bit of winter sun. The Asian market is somewhat back, if not fully, now that they have more freedom to travel post-Covid. We also have a massive influx of tourists who are here to watch the World Cup from all over the world.” 

Each year we usually add one or two new destinations into our portfolio but in the last quarter alone we’ve added five – Tel Aviv, Stockholm, Paris, Geneva and Athens.
Natalie Crampton, founder and director, TEC

Crampton adds that In terms of outbound, the agency has had an unusually busy period of working with new destinations.

“Each year we usually add one or two new destinations into our portfolio but in the last quarter alone we’ve added five – Tel Aviv, Stockholm, Paris, Geneva and Athens,” she says.

“The appetite to travel certainly seems rife – whether it’s for personal reasons or business. Two years of living under restrictions has made everyone evaluate their lives and travel and experiences lands very high on the lists of what people want out of life.”



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