The communication and marketing agency specializing in the tourism sector publishes for the fourth consecutive year its annual study of MICE trends on the French market. Positioning itself as the interface between international tourist offices/convention offices and event professionals in France, the MICE department of Interface Tourism questioned agencies, companies and associations on various subjects: resumption of events and incentive trips abroad, types of events envisaged, geographical areas considered in 2023, changes in the criteria for selecting a destination.
The study was carried out between December 2022 and January 2023 with 50 French event organizers, operating both in France and internationally. Composed mainly of MICE agencies (78%), business tourism agencies (12%), associations and PCOs (6%), the sample includes 54% managers and 21% project managers . These are spread over the whole of France, a large part of which is in Ile-de-France and Rhône-Alpes.
The recovery continues in 2023!
Events and incentive trips should continue to grow steadily in 2023 with a more concrete projection favored by the reopening of borders and the resumption of international travel. 84.9% of professionals surveyed expect to return more than 50% of their volume of activity to pre-crisis levels this year. More than a third of respondents are optimistic about the idea of regaining at least 90% of their volume of activity in 2023 and 18.2% of them even hope to exceed 100%!
The growing desire to meet face-to-face and the return of trips abroad
For 97% of respondents, face-to-face events and meetings are essential and remain the main format to be favored in 2023. In addition, the reopening of borders and the lifting of entry conditions such as the PCR test or proof of vaccination encourage the organization of international events. A large majority of the sample (87.9%) plan to organize their events abroad in 2023. Although French and European destinations remain in demand, the desire to organize events in these destinations decreases in 2023. This trend can be explained by the fact that events were limited to short-haul destinations during the previous two years. Indeed, in 2023, event organizers prefer to have more information on medium-haul destinations such as North Africa and the Middle East (75.8%), but also show great interest from destinations long-haul such as Asia and the Pacific Ocean (57.6%), South America (57.6%), North America (54.5%) and Africa (48%) . If we focus only on long-haul destinations, respondents say they are most interested in South America (66.7%), Asia (63.6%) and Africa (54.5%) .
New developments in the criteria for choosing a destination
In the choice of the destination, the sanitary conditions have less importance than during the two previous years. On the other hand, the quality of local service providers (hotels, event venues, receptives, transport companies, etc.) remains the decisive criterion for choosing a destination. Furthermore, local infrastructure and the budget unsurprisingly remain important factors in decision-making.
Thus, to attract MICE buyers, promotion and communication will always be necessary since the attractiveness of a destination is an influential criterion for 45% of respondents. In addition, 33% consider destinations according to the originality and uniqueness of their offer.
CSR: more than a trend, a necessity
This is not new, aspects concerning sustainable development and CSR policy are increasingly required by companies. According to 78.8% of respondents, companies have placed more emphasis on CSR in the organization of events and business trips for the year 2023. Although the environmental impact is a brake for 45.5 % of buyers, trips abroad will not be completely abandoned. Customers prefer to limit their carbon footprint at the destination and favor responsible activities and establishments and thus continue to travel.
This shows the need for destinations to further develop CSR strategies or establish one if one is not already in place. For some companies, a lack of CSR aspect can be detrimental to the destination and thus push them to favor a place or a destination with a real strategy in place.
The still relevant role of tourist offices and incoming agencies
The study reveals that 78% of respondents plan to contact tourist offices to ask for general information on the destination (45%), find out about service providers (42%) and news (33%). In addition, DMCs offering high-quality services are also a major asset for a destination since event organizers are very inclined to rely on the expertise of these local players, more particularly in less “known” destinations. » and whose habits and customs are sometimes specific, requiring a particular approach that only a local actor knows the subtleties.
To receive the study report