MICE makes up 55% of IHG's business in the Middle East
In a competitive MICE market in the Middle East IHG tells Hotelier how they reinvent the wheel and what makes them different
"The MICE industry in the Middle East is significant. If you took InterContinental Hotel Group's (IHG) hotels, approximately 45% of our business is room revenue and 55% is MICE and F&B," said IHG vice president of sales & marketing, India, Middle East & Africa James Britchford to Hotelier Middle East at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2017.
However, in a competitive MICE market in the Middle East, Britchford told Hotelier how the operator reinvented the wheel and what makes it different.
"Differentiation of MICE is essential and one of the things that works well for IHG in the Middle East is our experience of what MICE customers are looking for. We've been here since 1961 so we have a very firm understanding of how people like to buy and we can cater to big events and small events at our Holiday Inn's," Britchford added.
Britchford said that most hotel chains now have business loyalty programmes like Shangri-La, but IHG isn't feeling the strain from its competitors.
"We also recognise that the way the MICE business works is through trade. If you don't have a loyalty programme to entice that trade to come to your hotel then that limits your attractiveness to clients. Keeping that in mind, IHG recently launched IHG Business Rewards which is a business to business loyalty programme that was created specifically to drive the MICE business," he said.
"We regularly measure our market share through Revenue Generation Index (RGI) and I'm encouraged to see over the last 18 months, which has been particularly trying for hoteliers that we've grown share in the Middle East by 1.9 points. You cannot do that without winning in the MICE sector. If you lose in the MICE sector invariably you lose in shares," he added.