Currying favour

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 September, 2011, 12:00am


New Delhi and its satellite city of Gurgaon is one of India's most important destinations for the meetings industry. One of four satellite cities, Gurgaon is 30 kilometres from the nation's capital, and both form part of the National Capital Region, northern India's powerhouse.

Kapil Chopra, senior vice-president of The Oberoi Group, says the region is growing rapidly as a meetings destination.

'India is seen as surprising, mystical and also a world powerhouse - everyone is interested,' he says.

More than 20 per cent of the business at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, which opened this year, comes from MICE business, according to Chopra. The hotel has 11 meeting venues, including three outdoors, and six restaurants, with MICE packages available to match various budgets.

Most international and many domestic MICE events include a day or overnight trip to Agra and the Taj Mahal.

The expanded Delhi International Airport is a boon to international visitors and Delhi has a wide range of accommodation options, including major hotels from the Hyatt, Taj, Oberoi, Sheraton and Aman groups, all of which have MICE venues of varying scale.

A major drawback in Delhi, or anywhere in India, is visas. 'It can take two weeks for India visas to come through for foreigners,' Chopra says.