MICE Situation in China Market
MICE, including meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, is usually planned well in advance to bring large groups together for a particular purpose.
In 2013, 340 meetings took place in China, making it 8th largest meeting destination in the world. Moreover, the majority of Chinese event planners predict that there will be more meetings in next few years, although these meetings are likely to be shorter and more cost-efficient in response to the Chinese government’s efficiency measures. Tier 2 and tier 3 Chinese cities such as Chengdu, Wuhan and Tianjin are building convention centers, hotels and other venues to keep up with growing domestic and international demand for meetings in China.
The world’s most renowned hotel chains have set up facilities in the major MICE destinations of China market such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, as well as the less known locations, such as Xi'an, Guilin, and even the tropical island Hainan in the south of China. It is estimated by 2023, China’s hotel industry will become a $100 billion industry, with 6.3 million rooms and reaching 8 rooms per 1,000 capita (approximately on par with the U.K.)
China also has the additional advantage of world-class service at relatively inexpensive rates. As the host of great international events like the Beijing Olympics Games 2008 and the Shanghai World Expo 2010, China market is home to a wealth of new opportunities.
There are many barriers to develop a sustainable MICE industry in China market. First of all, China’s rapid development and urbanization make it difficult to invest in services that may not return an immediate profit. Secondly, there are cultural practices and attitudes that work against the idea of reduction and reuse in China. Thirdly, there are infrastructure limitations in China that make it difficult to follow sustainable best practices – for instance, limited recycling and composting opportunities.
In China, “Green MICE” is still in the beginning stage if compared with North America and Europe, although government policies are supportive of the trend. Only about 6% of Chinese venue managers and buyers report that a facility’s sustainability policy is a top priority when deciding where to hold a meeting or an event. Certainly, China has an opportunity to take a leading role in green MICE by operating it in a more responsible way from the start and by picking up best practices from others around the world.
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