3 May , 2022 - MICE tourism

Although we usually associate travelling with a period of disconnection for holidays, leisure and fun, there are many tourists who do not travel for pleasure but for work. This is what we know as MICE tourism.

How important is MICE? To the extent that 1 in 4 tourists worldwide travel for business. No more and no less than a total of 280 million tourists who travel every year to attend professional events, carry out work activities or attend business meetings, congresses, conventions, incentive trips, etc. Furthermore, business tourism has a significant economic impact on the locality where it takes place.

In addition to explaining in this post what MICE tourism is, we also address the resurgence of MICE tourism in the Canary Islands after the pandemic.

Mice tourism event attendees
1 in 4 tourists worldwide travel for business / Image by Mikael Kristenson

What is MICE tourism?

You may have heard that MICE tourism is one of the main drivers of development in the services sector. But what exactly is MICE and what does it mean?

MICE is an acronym (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions/Events) used to define meeting tourism. That is: travel motivated by business activities or by attendance at business meetings, congresses, conventions, incentive trips and any other event organised for professional reasons.

There is a wide variety of events under the MICE umbrella, such as trade fairs, conventions, exhibitions, incentive trips, congresses, conferences or seminars.

book to take notes
MICE is an acronym that stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions/Events / Image by Sincerely Media

Characteristics of MICE tourism

Basically, MICE is the term and acronym we use to refer to international business tourism, a booming and very important sector, which brings benefits such as those mentioned below:

  1. It promotes positioning and deseasonalisation in destinations. As it is not dependent on the season, professional events can be organised in any month of the year.
  2. Employment generation that goes beyond the tourism sector.
  3. Raising awareness and improving the international competitiveness of the destination, as the flow of congress and trade fair attendees also seeks, in their free time, to discover the culture, gastronomy, architecture and leisure of the city.
  4. It increases the demand for services in the area, be they hotels, restaurants, shops, shows, etc.
  5. And of course, there is the economic impact.

Impact of the MICE segment in figures

MICE is probably the type of tourism most appreciated by destinations: the traveller tends to have a medium/high purchasing power, and serves to activate many sectors. Did you know that on a business trip, although they tend to be shorter, more is spent than on tourism or leisure trips?

Travellers in the MICE segment spend approximately 53% more than those who travel for pleasure, according to figures from ICCA (the International Congress and Convention Association).

In Spain, business tourism moves around 12,500 million euros (data before the pandemic). In 2019, a total of 595 international MICE events were held in our country. Madrid and Barcelona are, in fact, the third and fourth cities in the world that receive the most tourists for MICE events, with more than 320 congresses between them.

MICE tourism in the Canary Islands

After a few years of unstoppable growth in MICE tourism in the Canary Islands, the pandemic stopped this type of international tourism. However, the sector is already optimistic: this congress and meeting tourism is expected to recover by 50% by the end of 2022, according to Augusto Hidalgo, mayor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and president of the Spain Convention Bureau (SCB), an organisation that brings together 57 meeting tourism destinations.

After the crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic in the world economy and, therefore, in the Spanish tourism sector, the current situation of uncertainty is not a handicap in the demand for meeting tourism.

The Canary Islands have seen how this tourism model has experienced remarkable growth in recent years. Without going any further, in 2018 nearly 210,000 people came to the archipelago to participate in professional meetings, whose average expenditure of 145 euros generated a turnover of 178 million euros.

Among the islands, the most popular destination for this type of activity was Gran Canaria, with Las Palmas leading the way.

Tax advantages for MICE tourism in the Canary Islands

Given the ease of attracting this type of tourism and the potential of the Canary Islands as a MICE destination, the Parliament of the Canary Islands itself has asked the Spanish Government for tax advantages for congress tourism.

This MICE segment is a sector with a long history in the islands and represents a diversification of the tourist offer, so that, in the coming months, congress tourism in the Canary Islands will be able to obtain the same tax advantages as other industries such as film productions, audiovisual series and live performing arts and music shows.

Event attendees with raised hands
Soon congress tourism in the Canary Islands will be able to obtain the same tax advantages as other industries / Image by Jaime Lopes

5 reasons to choose the Canary Islands as a MICE destination

Every year, many people choose the archipelago as a meeting point for congresses.

MICE tourism in the Canary Islands is becoming increasingly important in the tourism sector and is a segment with many possibilities. And much of its importance is due to the advantages of the archipelago compared to other destinations where this sector is also developed. These advantages are:

  1. The wide range of professional services on offer.
  2. The availability of hotel infrastructure and facilities adapted to host this type of event, such as the Conference Centre in Gran Canaria or the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium.
  3. Accessibility from anywhere in the world and good air transport connections.
  4. A favourable and mild climate all year round.
  5. An attractive landscape and fantastic gastronomy.

In short, Gran Canaria and the rest of the islands are the best choice for bleisure (business + leisure) because they combine quality hotels and congress infrastructures, tourism and leisure, gastronomy and all the services available to congress participants.

Hotels and flats for corporate stays

If the Canary Islands are able to offer all the guarantees for MICE tourism, it is due to their complete range of hotels. In particular, there is a wide range of hotel options in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria such as Tusity OMG Poniente or Tusity WOW to provide accommodation for all those guests who come for business purposes and take advantage of their stay to enjoy the benefits of the Canary Islands paradise.

At Tusity, specialising in corporate stays, we have Tusity OMG Poniente, a comfortable hotel with all the basic services covered, with a privileged location whether you are travelling to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for leisure or work.

Just 200 metres from Las Canteras beach, from Tusity OMG and the seafront promenade you can walk to the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Conference Centre or the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium in just 20 minutes.

On the other hand, if you are looking for or need a coworking hotel in the Canary Islands, Tusity WOW is the place. Also located on Las Canteras beach, we have flats and suites with the style of a hotel, but with the comfort and flexibility of a home. Here you can work at your own pace in our coworking space, where you have tables and comfortable chairs, high speed wifi connection, cafeteria…

Spaces for corporate events in Gran Canaria

Tusity OMG Poniente and Tusity WOW, as well as being two of the best accommodation options in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, are also the perfect spaces for holding corporate events.

If you want to organise a company event, bring your collaborators together, hold a team-building session, etc. we can offer you:

Now that you know what MICE tourism is and the value that Gran Canaria can offer as a destination for events, congresses, etc… We look forward to welcoming you to the islands to celebrate your event!