The MICE sector will continue to expand globally, despite perceived threats, and Asia Pacific will lead the way. This is the view of Paul Brown (pictured), Hilton Worldwide’s President of Brands & Commercial Services, who addressed buyers at ITB Asia this morning as the event’s opening keynote speaker.
Brown said that concerns over the global economy and the rise of technological solutions, such as teleconferencing, the sector would grow from strength to strength in future years.
“Data is in our favour,” Brown said. “A Forbes survey revealed recently 85% of executives favour face-to-face meetings, and an Oxford Economics study found that 28% of existing business would be lost over time if face-to-face meetings ceased. In fact there is a 12-to-one return on travel for business meetings.
“The fact is, companies cannot afford to cut back on their meetings if their competitors aren’t doing the same. Ninety percent of human interaction is non-verbal,” he continued, citing a UCLA survey. “This aspect of communication and personal relations cannot be substituted by
technology. We should all have confidence in the future of the MICE industry,” Brown concluded.