China expanding as a meetings destination: survey
Monday, December 15, 2008: The MICE industry in China remains strong despite the downturn, as the organisers of CIBTM released their research predicting an increase in event numbers held in China.
The meetings sector continues to focus on the big cities, with Beijing and Shanghai remaining the most popular destinations.
The second China and Pan-Asian study into the meetings industry was conducted by Reed Travel Exhibitions, and after independent analysis by The Right Solution, a positive outlook for domestic and international markets in China has been forecasted.
The research was undertaken during the Olympic Games period, in August 2008, and remained positive despite the recessionary push of the global financial markets.
Over 650 buyers responded to the survey, based in 12 countries, but China and India seemed to have the highest representation, as well as the highest investment in conference and event facilities.
According to Paul Kennedy, MBE and Group Exhibition Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, “Our research continues to play an important role in the gathering of data which does not exist elsewhere.”
China, Hong Kong and Macau came joint third of the Asian countries ranked in the top 40 destinations in the world seeing 255 international association meetings during 2007 in their countries.
Mainland China was also subject to the highest number of attendees at events during 2007, and 40 percent of the buyers and 69 percent of suppliers predicted that the numbers of events hosted in China would increase within the next year, due to cost being the most influential factor.
The factors which influence suppliers in selecting a meetings destination were ranked with location as key, followed by cost, the quality of meeting facilities, and the quality of accommodation.
Out of the suppliers surveyed, 91 percent were found to have interest in developing new business from mainland China, although 87 percent were looking to place business elsewhere in Asia.
Kennedy continued, “There is no better time to demonstrate the economic importance of the meetings industry generated by those involved in the business of organising/planning of meetings; those in the supply chain such as hotels, venues, DMCs and those in a representative capacity such as Convention bureaux or city, regional and national tourist boards.“
“This report demonstrates that the meetings business in China and Asia is growing and the predicted increase in outbound meetings from China is proven.”