Hyderabad will continue to be in the reckoning for the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) segment. The number of events happening in the city is increasing every year. The city has good infra to attract events. However, focus should be on strengthening its offerings so that tourists increase their average length of stay in the city, says Manish Dayya, General Manager, Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre and Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC), in a talk with B Krishna Mohan. Here are the excerpts:
Hyderabad on MICE map
We have been here for more than a decade. We have a 288-plus room hotel and on the same campus we have the largest convention centre facility with over 1.5 lakh sqft of event space. These have put Hyderabad on the global MICE map. We have been part of the Hyderabad Convention Visitors Bureau, which pitches for holding events in the city. We have been able to bring many congresses and conventions of international and national relevance here. On an average, almost four lakh delegates are hosted by us every year. The convention space has 37 varied meeting rooms to meet the event needs of the organisers. The largest pillar-free hall is about 65,000 sqft and that can seat about 6,500 delegates in one go. This facility is unique and is still the only purpose-built convention facility in the country. It gives the Hyderabad a whole lot of recognition and identity as the Convention Capital.
Revamp of Novotel
We have refurbished the Novotel Hotel. We also relaunched the bar and have launched our signature all-day dining restaurant, which has a lot of flexible seating. It has a lot of live and interactive cuisines to offer. This will be an integrated with the overall Novotel brand. We have already grown in the city. We have got two brands and three hotels- Novotel Airport and Novotel Hyderabad and we have got the Ibis at Hitec city.
It is important for the tourism industry players to innovate and curate new experiences. We are also part of the effort to Destination Telangana campaign, which aims to attract more foreign and domestic tourists to the State. We are adding tourism to our offerings so that have much more to offer than just host MICE events. We are positioning ourselves to provide a wholesome experience to national and international tourists. The ecosystem is in place to cater to such demands.
Efforts to get more events
We are founding members of HCVB, which is under the tourism department. We represent the State and Hyderabad at various forums to impress upon the international congresses and association-based events to choose Hyderabad. It helps several people associated with hospitality sector including infrastructure providers, dining spaces and venues. New convention facilities are coming up towards Shamshabad. It is a good thing to happen as such facilities will add to the existing demand. This is all healthy and will attract more events. We will be able to bring repeat delegates to the city.
Order book at HICC
The current pace is holding good. It is a good sign. Currently, Hyderabad is performing well. The city is in demand and we should all be able to put our best foot forward to showcase what we have. The number of events happening in the city is increasing year-on-year. This reflects the overall growth of the city. We have able to push ourselves as a MICE destination. Now, we are becoming popular in other segments like weddings and social events. Destination weddings will be the next big wave here in Hyderabad. Social and lifestyle events are on the rise. The city is geared to handle any large events that come here in any form of MICE.
Tourist stay in the city
Hyderabad is well connected. The infra here is amazing. We could drive at a good pace to connect with other cities. We have convention, leisure and heritage spots. But we as a State needs to package them well for the audience. We need to connect them well with tour operators. This will aid increasing the length of stay here to 3 or 4 days from the current 2.4 days.