E-Conference Visa Will Now be Available for the Private Sector: Suman Billa

The Travel and Tourism ministry is now focused to facilitate the Indian e-conference visa by making it available for the private sector and it can be used to attend the conferences help by private corporations in India. Earlier, e-conference visa was only available for government and public organizations.

The MICE is now the major concern of the Travel and tourism sector and thus Suman Billa (IAS), Joint Secretary, MOT and Chairman ICPB, has announced to support the MICE movement. He said “We had already opened the e-Conference visa earlier but that was only open for events that were organized by the government and for the PSUs, so now the door has been opened for the private sector as well. It is open to all private conferences. However, if there are some listed countries, and if you have delegates from those countries you need to take special permission for them. Also, we understand that GST is high, especially if you are dealing with a price-sensitive and cost-competitive industry like the MICE segment.  We are also trying to get the GST reduced, hopefully, we will be able to do away with the 28 percent slab. We are also planning to have a bidding corpus, if there are conferences where you need go out and bid for, to help sweeten the deal with a certain amount of money we will put on the table to better the opportunity. We are thinking this should be done with a collaboration with the states on a matching basis. In the next four to five months, we should be having this ready. ”

He also made a statement on India Convention Promotion Bureau “We have been working on the idea to restructure ICPB for some time. We had commissioned this study a while ago, but we are also picking up from there. We have already changed the constitution and are bringing it in line with the recommendations of this report.”

To support the words of Suman Billa, the ICPB vice-chairman added “The marketing role of ICPB will be emphasized and that it should be able to bid for international conferences. Also, we have opened up the categories of memberships to include individual entrepreneurs, associations, as well.”

Amaresh Tiwari, the Honorary secretary, ICPP has raised his support to this move of government with his statement “Earlier, getting a visa for private conferences was a tedious process that included the need of taking permissions and complex documentation. Now delegates visiting the country for private conferences can apply for e-Visa from the comfort of their homes. It augurs well for India’s inbound business.”

The expectations from the MICE study report are really high as it is supposed to provide direction for the new strategies and required changes in the Travel and Tourism policies of the nation so that the maximum growth could be attained.

As per the reported of concerned research agency, the MICE holds the share of INR 37576 crore in the market and 60% of which produced from the meeting, incentive and conference verticals.

With this change, the organization ICPB can now make a profit from international conferences taking place in the country by making the bid. But, as per studies, engaging tourism boards and PCO’s in bidding, will be better.

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