SICILY, A POTENTIAL MICE HUB IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AREA: SICILY CONVENTION BUREAU LAUNCHES THE CHALLENGE
A look to the East towards the Asian countries and Eastern Europe. A look to the West towards the USA, without missing to focus on the emerging Scandinavian market. Sicilia Convention Bureau changes its target and renews its Marketing & Sales Plan for 2016 to expand the MICE range of the destination, increasingly candidate to become a hub for meetings and events in the Mediterranean Area.
One boost to the MICE industry in Sicily will be given in 2016 by the new flight connections, which have been intensified on both the airports of Palermo and Catania. From Turkish Airlines, that has strengthen the offer in Catania airport with new and frequent connections with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Eastern Europe and Asia, to Alitalia-Etihad’s direct flight Catania-Abu Dhabi, an opportunity to intensify connections and deals with the Emirates, an emerging market for MICE in Sicily.
If the Eastern Coast of Sicily moves its focal point to the East, the Western side of the destination will open, however, the doors to the business with USA, thanks to strengthened links overseas.
Even the low-cost carriers invests on the destination. Volotea has included both new international routes from the Airport of Catania (to Malta) and the Falcone-Borsellino Airport in Palermo (towards Nice and Crete), while Ryanair continues to rule at the Comiso Airport, additionally confirming its routes on Catania and Palermo, already new entries in 2015, and reaffirming its confidence in the potential of Trapani Birgi Airport.
Thanks to renewed flight connections and encouraged by the new openings in Sicily which will give an assist to the accommodation and congress halls offer (it is expected the opening of the Hilton Capomulini in Catania between 2016 and 2017 with a congress hall for 2200 pax and over 400 rooms; the multiple openings in Siracusa, Ragusa, Taormina and in the western coast of Sicily), the SCB Marketing&Sales Plan for 2016 expects a focus on a vertical promo-commercialization strategy towards the new target markets in and outside Europe.
Firstly, the participation in selected international trade fairs, accompanied by the Sicily Happy Hours, the successfully tested format of Sicilia Convention Bureau which entertains corporate buyers and agencies with networking and tasting of Made-in-Sicily-gastronomy. Secondly, the translation into an experience of what has been originally introduced and promoted by tales, pictures and tasting thanks to Educational Tours in Sicily that will welcome foreign buyers met abroad by the SCB. An ascending climax for the commercial strategy of SCB in 2016, which will be condensing the energies on selected markets which have already shown sensitivity to the Sicilian MICE proposal.
The Convention Bureau is preparing to meet the ambitious 2016 encouraged by the various strategic partnerships developed in the last months on the territory, both with institutional and professional partners. Synergies, co-marketing, new business tools to strengthen the bargaining power of Sicily destination for MICE.
Among the novelties of Sicilia Convention Bureau, a booking engine on the web portal of the CB to sale or book the rooms for participants in meetings, events and conferences through an exclusive event code anytime provided by PCOs in the SCB network. Moreover, a renewed education&trainingprogramme for the SCB partners to raise the quality standards of the tourism supply-chain, a weekly updated agenda of events in Sicily available for leisure visitors and MICE participants interested in discovering the Sicilian tourism offer through the web portal of the Convention Bureau (www.siciliaconvention.com ) , a constantly updated bulletin on new hotel openings in the area.
The potential Sicilian incoming now has a plus. The MICE destinations match in 2016 awaits the starting whistle.