Long known as one of the world’s most exotic tourist destinations, in recent years India has firmly established itself as a leading MICE hub, allowing visitors to experience the country’s melting pot of cultures alongside its burgeoning global presence in the business world. In 2019 the country ranked 52nd on the Global Innovation Index, and as a MICE destination, it ranks 28th globally and seventh in the Asia Pacific region with the International Congress and Convention Association. The capital, New Delhi is well-established as the nation’s top city for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions, ranking 62nd globally and 14th within the Asia Pacific region.
New Delhi’s meeting and event spaces represent a city that not only honors its rich cultural heritage but also embraces the ever-changing face of the business world. Globally accessible, the city offers visitors the opportunity to experience some of the best cuisine, shopping, history and UNESCO World Heritage sites India has to offer, making it an ideal location to host conventions, conferences and exhibitions.
In addition to the technological and cultural draws, a major attraction for attendees is the opportunity to stay in one of the city’s luxurious 5-star hotels. Properties such as the Oberoi (220 rooms), the Taj Palace (403 rooms) and The Ashok (550 rooms) offer lavish accommodations and provide a peaceful oasis amid the commotion and chaos of the surrounding city. Each of the city’s 5-star properties offers its own impressive MICE spaces, making them ideal choices for events that want to capitalize on the indulgent surroundings.
A standout is The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel Delhi, located in the city’s Shahdara neighborhood. The Leela proudly boasts the 25,000-square-foot Grand Sapphire Room, the nation’s largest pillarless ballroom, which can be divided into five separate spaces to accommodate various types and sizes of events. This property, which offers 70,000 square feet of meeting space and can accommodate up to 6,000 attendees, boasts 480 luxury rooms and suites and sits in close proximity to the city’s premier tourist sites such as Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb and India Gate.
Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi’s most well-known existing conference center, has hosted events such as Non-Allied Movement and Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the past. This space is ideally located within Connaught Place, the city’s largest financial, commercial and business zone. The large plenary hall can host more than 1,200 attendees, while the six smaller halls can house anywhere from 65 to 375 attendees for summits and seminars of various sizes. In addition to meeting spaces, it also offers a VIP lounge, an exhibition hall, a media center, a studio, a business center and an office block to accommodate the on-site office needs of traveling business professionals.
Pragati Maidan International Exhibition Centre, currently the largest exhibition center in India, is undergoing renovations expected to be completed by May of this year. The updated space will be a state-of-the-art venue ready to compete with the world’s most impressive MICE locations. It will consist of a 7,000-seat plenary hall divisible into smaller spaces; a 3,000-seat amphitheater; 11 exhibition halls; and two auditoriums capable of seating 600 and 900 attendees.
As the city continues to embrace its past, it also makes major strides toward cementing its rightful place in the future with new spaces like the India International Convention and Expo Centre. Located about six miles from Indira Gandhi International Airport, the center will house five exhibition halls; a multifacility convention center; a multipurpose arena with a retractable roof and a seating capacity of 20,000; and an auditorium accommodating up to 10,000 attendees.
The complex will also include a mixed-use area for office and retail spaces and entertainment facilities and will offer 3,500 hotel rooms. The IICC will provide easy access to public transportation services, with a metro station located on site.
Once completed, the IICC is slated to be the largest convention space in South Asia. The infrastructure will implement sustainability measures such as rooftop solar panels, rainwater harvesting and efficient energy consumption practices. The complex will be a no-car zone and will offer eco-friendly, on-site transportation services. It is being developed as a platinum- rated building with the Indian Green Building Council.
The entire venue was designed to showcase the traditional architecture, symbols and colors of India, making it a true mixture of the nation’s cultural heritage and the city’s growing role in the world of business. With its variety of multiuse spaces, it will be ideal for hosting conventions and conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, cultural events, music and sporting events and much more. The first phase is set for completion by October 2021, and the site should be fully completed by 2024.
“With the upcoming world-class convention centers in Delhi, the capital city is poised to be positioned as the MICE capital of India and significantly improve India’s ICCA ranking as a MICE global destination in the near future,” said Madhu Dubey, executive director, India Convention Promotion Bureau.
Located in the Rajouri Garden neighborhood of Delhi, The Mellow Garden offers rooms decorated in garden décor, with beautiful flowers adorning the walls and hanging from the ceiling of the indoor spaces. With both indoor seating and a rooftop space, the venue can accommodate groups up to 100 for private parties and events.
Outdoor venues prove a popular way to celebrate in India, and Delhi abounds with them. They incorporate nature to create beautiful spaces for a variety of functions. Manaktala Farm features an outdoor space ideal for catered events such as parties and dinners. Located on three beautifully landscaped acres, the lawn at Manaktala can accommodate up to 1,200 guests.
Vintage the Farm also employs the Indian tradition of celebrating in beautiful outdoor spaces. With a two-story farmhouse as a backdrop and a sprawling lawn lined with palm trees, this venue can accommodate up to 150 guests on the lawn and up to 200 guests at the poolside area. While commonly used for weddings, the event spaces at Vintage the Farm are perfectly designed for product launches, team building events, cocktail parties and corporate dinners.
The Hamilton Hotel, located steps from the White House, was the perfect place for a relaxing weekend getaway. Upon arrival, the staff was extremely friendly and helpful with a quick check-in process. The lobby was immaculate with shining marble flooring, velvet couches and an arched ceiling design that brought a sense of sophistication. For added security, the elevators are only accessible to those who have a key card to a guestroom.
Luxury destinations around the country partnered with Bryte to introduce The Restorative Bed and enhanced sleep programming at their hotels. The revolutionary, AI-powered Restorative Bed uses real-time technology to intuitively adjust based on the individual’s needs and preferences. An embedded sensory network detects biometrics, like heart rate and breathing patterns, when a sleeper enters the first stage of sleep, triggering cooling features and lulling sleepers into deep sleep. Computer-controlled air cushions alleviate pressure points, and the technology also leads sleepers naturally out of sleep.
Tauck announced plans to fully restart its U.S. tours by July 1. Departures of the Southern Charms: Savannah, Hilton Head and Charleston tour have already begun, with other popular tours across the country relaunching in the coming months. Check the Open for Travel page for information on specific tour departures.
Turkish Airlines resumed its premium onboard dining and hot meal service on all business- and economy-class flights longer than two hours and 15 minutes. The resumption of service is in accordance with all health and hygiene applications.
Denver’s The Source Hotel offers its new Passport Program. Overnight guests receive The Source Passport at check-in and from there can enjoy restaurants and retail establishments across The Source Hotel + Market Hall with exclusive discounts. Exclusive discounts are available at The Woods, Safta, Reunion Bread, Beet & Yarrow, Melted and more.
With the vaccine rolling out and U.S. air travel expected to pick up in the upcoming months, the personal finance website WalletHub released a report on 2021’s Best Frequent-Flyer Programs, to help travelers make the best decision for their wallets.
TAP Air Portugal now offers all passengers COVID-19 testing service at Lisbon Airport at a discount. Depending on a destination’s various restrictions, the Rapid Antigen Test is €21; the PCR test is €85; and a PCR Test plus Rapid Antigen Test is €106. TAP customers enjoy priority access to this service.