India a priority MICE market for Moscow

Moscow holds a special charm for Indian travelers. It is interesting in a way that it sports a unique yet spectacular blend of historical grandeur and an urban utilitarian landscape.

As an architectural wonder, Moscow is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, particularly its historic Red Square, and buildings such as the Saint Basil’s Cathedral and the Moscow Kremlin. Moscow is also a well-connected transit wonderland. The city takes pride in its comprehensive transit network: It has four international airports, nine spacious railway terminals, a well-planned tram route, an all-encompassing monorail system, and more. The Moscow Metro is the busiest in Europe and one of the largest rapid transit systems in the world.

The aesthetic and utilitarian aspect of Moscow is what makes city the perfect MICE destination. Over the years, the number of business events being held in Moscow has increased significantly. This growth has been both qualitative and quantitative, with top-quality service guaranteed. There are already more than 150 PCOs based in Moscow, as well as a multitude of tour operators currently offering MICE tourism services. The capital boasts over 30 specialized congress and exhibition venues, each with a capacity of up to 10,000 visitors, and more than 1,600 certified hotels, many of them affiliated with various international hotel chains, both luxury and budget.

Ksenya Boykova
Ksenya Boykova

Moscow has also witnessed a gastronomic revolution over the past years. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list already includes two Moscow-based restaurants. In 2021, Moscow will become the first city in the former Soviet Union to receive ratings from the prestigious Michelin Guide.  The city’s Indian visitors have little trouble finding authentic Indian cuisine throughout Moscow.

Focus on India

India is a priority market for inbound tourism in Moscow. The number of travelers from India to Moscow has almost doubled over the past 10 years, reaching 89,000 in 2019. In 2019, India ranked third among Asia-Pacific countries, excluding China, by the number of tourists visiting Moscow.

“Today, India is an international leader in economic growth. Travel is on the rise in India, and Indians are increasingly choosing to travel abroad. Many Indian IT, pharmaceutical and energy companies are achieving great success in the global market. We would be thrilled to welcome our Indian friends in Moscow for both strategic business networking and an exchange of ideas, as well as to showcase the capital’s unique capabilities as a top tourist destination,” said Ksenya Boykova, Head of International Affairs & MICE, Moscow Project Office for Tourism and Hospitality Development.

The Moscow Project Office for Tourism and Hospitality Development recently hosted a digital roadshow in India, which brought together 25 representatives from the Moscow travel industry, including representatives from hotels and inbound tour operators that also specialize in MICE, to present their new tourist and MICE products to potential Indian partners and conduct more than 1,500 online negotiations.

“The event attracted more than 600 Indian representatives from the travel industry from all corners of the country. We plan to organize new digital roadshows in the upcoming year,” said Boykova.

Regarding the b2b audience, the tourism office is closely following the international pandemic situation and are developing various programs to promote Moscow to target audiences via a range of channels, including both in-person and through online channels, such as the ones that received a powerful impetus over the past year.

In recent years, the Government of Moscow has invested heavily in creating a comfortable urban environment through the development of new pedestrian areas and improvement of existing ones, launch of new services for locals and visitors (such as the Visitor Information Centre), and renovation of public transport facilities. In addition, the Government has worked to update and create new tourist infrastructure in various areas around the city that have long been hotspots for tourists.

As indicated by Moscow’s international rankings, MICE tourism already plays a prominent role in the life of the Russian capital. Moscow ranks among the top 100 cities by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and was awarded Best City for Business and Event Tourism Worldwide at the Business Traveller Russia and CIS Awards in 2018. Moreover, the capital was named the World’s Leading City Destination at both the 2019 and 2020 World Travel Awards.