The seventh edition of the IT&CM China welcomed almost 3,000 MICE professionals from across all sectors of the industry with extend international participation. More than 700 exhibitors met with 362 buyers, of whom 60% were new buyers to IT&CM.
The long haul MICE travel to China seems to increase despite the global economic crisis as the prices in the county are reasonable, this is the outcome of the seventh edition of the IT&CM in Shanghai, China, last week. Also, there is an increasing demand for trips to Europe from Chinese that have already traveled around Asia and want to meet new destinations. On the other hand, the hotel infrastructure in China is booming with many new hotels to be built around the country. Big players were exhibited this year to promote their meeting facilities such as the Millennium Hotel & Resorts, Marina Bay Sands, The Venetian Macao, Melia Hotel International, Fujita Kanko Hotels & Resorts, New Century Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La etc. Furthermore, China’s domestic travel spend is predicted to grow by 15,2% in 2013, and16,9% in 2014.
View of the stand of Thailand. “With China as Thailand’s second largest MICE markets and an increasingly important trading partner, this year’s IT&CM here in Shanghai carries special significance as we gear up to the formation of the single market under the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. And with this in mind, IT&CM certainly offers an ideal platform to present the Thailand opportunity to businesses and organizations as well key leaders in the meeting and incentive travel industry.”, said Mr Thongchai Sridama, acting president of TCEB.
The stand of Accor promoting the hotel brands of the well-know hotel chain. “Our first international market is Japan, following by USA and Australia. China for us is very important as Pullman Guangzhou Baiyun Airport hotel is only one hour by car from Hong Kong and very close to Guangzhou.”, said Mr Ghandy Assistant Director of Sales of Pullman Guangzhou Baiyun Airport hotel.
“Fraud is the biggest concern for MICE organizers”, said Mr Nicholas Wang, vice president Account Management Commercial payments solutions MasterCard Worldwide. MasterCard presents a Chinese-friendly payment mode that facilitates travel spend. The card works as a traveller’s cheque, which is targeted at Chinese outbound travelers and can be used at over 37 million merchant points world-wide.
The stand of Malaysia presents the new brochure ‘Malaysia – Asia like Never Before’ for the Chinese business travel and incentive market focusing on Theme Events & Experiences, Teambuilding, Corporate Social Responsibility and Unique Venues giving innovating ideas. Tourist arrivals from China into Malaysia rose from 1.25 million in 2011 to 1.55 million last year, while inbound MICE specialists in the country had also reported growth in corporate events.
Hong Kong Tourism Board, HKTB, focuses on growing the meeting and incentive segments from China, as MICE arrival from the country grew 8.5% to 730,000, accounting for 45% of overall traffic. Its strategy includes bigger marketing budget to enhance the meetings and incentives especially from the medical, pharmaceutical, IT, personal selling, and insurance sector.
Indonesia received last year 618.223 visitors from China, with 30% of them expected to be business travelers, despite the limited flights and the high cost of the trip. The MICE sector just started to be developed with small groups especially in Bali, in 2011 the number was very small but in 2012 the figures doubled. The expectations of the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, as well as of the hoteliers for 2013 are great, targeting one million arrivals. The new regulation for Visa on Arrival, VOA, will facilitate the trip to Indonesia for the citizens of 64 countries and one territory.
For Japan, China is a very important market as the country attracts 1.4 million tourists per year. “Soon, we will launch our new web site for meetings www.japanmeetings.org, that will be one-stop online information source for the incentive tours and meetings event organizer need.”, said Mr Bun Cho Assistant Manager Business Development Section Japan Convention Bureau.
Melia Hotel International, with Grand Melia hotel in Shanghai, presented the Latin passion of the hotel chain, which has an international portfolio of both leisure and business hotels across its seven brands. “Melia offers to the Event Organizer the opportunity for unique experience with premium brand hotels”, stated Mrs Sharon Lee, Area vice President Sales Asia Pacific.
After four years of absence, Starwood returned to IT&CM China this year with a bright white booth presenting the new hotels of the chain such as the recently opened W Guangzhou – the first W-branded hotel in China, the architecturally stunning and iconic Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, and the largest hotel in Starwood’s portfolio – Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central. “China is Starwood’s second largest market outside of the US and very important to us”, said Carol Chung, Director of Starwood Sales Organization, Greater China, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and she added that “2012 was a record-breaking year in China, as we opened 25 hotels and sealed 36 hotel management deals”.
Representatives from 18 Shangri-La properties were in the booth of the famous hotel chain this year in IT&CM China promoting the meeting facilities. Shangri-La announced the opening of 8new hotels this year in London, Istanbul, and China. The buyers had the opportunity to meet with the sales team of the distinguished hotel Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai which is situated in the heart of the Jing An central business district with 4,465 sqm of meeting and conference space.
The famous hotel was present at this year’s IT&Dm China with Mrs Connie Gao, Regional Sales Coordinator promoting the superb property.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.