An archive photo
MINSK, 18 December (BelTA) – The capacity of Minsk-based conference hotels reaches almost $70 million a year, taking into account the accommodation, catering, hosting conferences, and also transfer (not including the cost of air tickets and entertainments), head of the MICE in Minsk project Anatoly Akantinov told BelTA.
“There are ten conference hotels in Minsk, which can host any kinds of conferences and forums. They feature about 80 conference halls able to seat from 20 to 600 people, and also around 2,600 hotel rooms. There are nearly ten modern conference venues in the capital suitable for groups from 150 to 15,000 participants. There are over 20 active leisure and entertainment facilities near Minsk, too,” Anatoly Akantinov remarked. “Such activities can be organized by more than ten companies representing the destination. These conditions position Minsk as a venue for international conferences and corporate events. Other advantages include visa-free entry, safety, accessibility, and beauty of Minsk,” he added.
This information is featured in the new edition of the catalogue MICE in Minsk. Meeting Planners Guide 2018. MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) is a type of tourism related to organizing and holding various corporate events. “R&C Market Research Company estimated the turnover in the global meetings industry at $885 billion in 2016. One delegate generates four times more revenue for a city than a regular tourist. Some 40 million events are held in the world every year. The leading cities in this regard are Paris, Vienna, Madrid, Berlin, Barcelona, London, Singapore, Amsterdam, and Prague. The number of convention bureaus organizing events totals 732 in the USA, 250 in Europe, 55 in Asia, 19 in Africa, and 17 in South America. There is no such organization in Minsk for the time being. The only project is the public–private partnership MICE in Minsk. It is only beginning to operate as a convention bureau,” Anatoly Akantinov said.
There are many instruments stimulating MICE activity abroad: participation in presentations and exhibitions with government compensation, participation in tenders to arrange large congresses, construction of exhibition centers, and others. Funds often accumulate resources from tourist taxes. Payments received by organizers from some cities and countries as compensation reach 50% of the expenses. Business tourism generates revenue from indirect sources, too: shopping, visits to museums, restaurants, and casinos. It also promotes the country as an export-oriented one which is attractive for investors.
Minsk may vie for an advantageous position on the international market of the meetings industry. The infrastructure, however, is not enough. Active work should be done to promote the services overseas and enable favorable conditions for staying in the country and arranging events, Anatoly Akantinov believes. Minsk competes not only with Russian cities but also with Tbilisi, Baku, Yerevan, Kiev, Lvov, Riga, Vilnius, and Warsaw. The publication of the catalogue Mice in Minsk. Meeting Planners Guide is just the first step towards promoting the city as a comfortable venue for events. A working meeting of the MICE in Minsk project participants is scheduled for mid-January to discuss cooperation and development in 2018.
Launched in February 2016, the MICE in Minsk project unites destination management companies (DMCs), event agencies, hotels, out-of-town venues, and government bodies. It is designed to develop Minsk and Belarus as venues for hosting conferences, congresses, forums, corporate and teambuilding events, and festivals.