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South China's MICE boosts business tourism
Latest Updated by 2006-12-13 09:26:32

During the past 20 odd years since implementing the policy of reform and opening up, Dongguan city of Guangdong Province has become one of most economically dynamic regions in China as one of China's top 30 cities in light of comprehensive economic strength.

Dongguan is renowned as an international processing and manufacturing center at home and abroad. The MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) industry in Dongguan also enjoyed the same reputation as its developed manufacture industry. For the time being, there has shaped up a Pearl River Delta MICE Belt with Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen acting as the axle, which involves Foshan and Zhuhai, across the whole province of Guangdong; and each year, the whole MICE industry will obtain a growth rate of over 20 percent. In 2005, 73 conventions and exhibitions had been convened in Dongguan, thus the trading volume added up to RMB35 billion yuan.

The annual Dongguan International Computer Communication & Consumer Electronic Products Expo, which is the fourth largest of its kind in the world, has attracted various traders as exhibitors from all around the world. At GD Modern International Exhibition Center situated at Houjie Town, Dongguan, preparations for an industrial machinery expo have been launched as soon as an Auto Expo just ended. Two to three exhibitions of such a kind will be held at Houjie Town every month and the International Famous Furniture (Dongguan) Exhibition Fair, the largest furniture exhibition fair in Asia, grew up right here.

MICE would bring more visitors for commercial and tourism purposes

The MICE industry with meetings, exhibitions and incentive tourism included is a tremendous industry as well as an important part of the metropolis tourism industry in the word for the moment. For the time being, the amount of travelers on business in the world accounts for one-third of total travelers. It is found after a survey on many international famous chain hotels that the amount of business travelers have accounted for 53 percent of lodging customers in the world and 60 percent of chain hotels customers. The rapid development of economic globalization and regional economic integration has made it possible for business tourism to show itself rapidly out of the traditional tourism industry.

As the concept of tourism concerning the Beijing 2008 Olympiad and the Shanghai World Expo 2010 Shanghai China has gradually warmed up, China's tourism industry has also begun its attempt to make a breakthrough with large-scale MICE (an abbreviation of meeting and exhibition tourism and incentive tourism). An analysis on the structure of China's inbound tourism market issued by China National Tourism Administration shows that business and meeting travelers account for 39.9 percent of the total amount, having approached or even surpassed the level in certain developed countries. But data from China National Tourism Administration also show that since the beginning of this year, the inbound tourism market has been increasing by a small margin with a narrower growth margin. To accelerate the development of tourism with MICE will offer a point to break through. Dongguan with its developed MICE industry is even advantageous in this filed.

It is forecast by the International Congress & Convention Association that "China is likely to become a primary destination for international MICE tourism in the 21st Century". A survey launched by American Express shows that it is forecasted that China will attract over 137 million business travelers, accounting for 8.6 percent of global business tourism market, by 2020. It is expected that China will become the largest market business traveling in the world by then.

MICE tourism is an important approach to get the tourism united with other relevant industries so as to form an industrial chain. Though MICE itself is not the objective of tourism, it can become a new carrier and media for tourism activities. MICE can also incur dissemination and advertisement effects by virtue of the potential customers brought about by tourism while obtaining economic benefits so as to make it possible for both MICE and the tourism industry to find a new growth point. Considering that there are over 15,000 sino-foreign joint ventures, sino-foreign cooperative enterprises, and foreign-funded enterprises and over 330,000 privately owned enterprises in Dongguan, its social and economic configuration has provided a huge space for the development of business tourism in Dongguan. And it is expected that the tourism industry will become a promising industry in Dongguan.

As of November 2006, there are 95 star-level hotels including 15 five-star hotels, 25 four-star hotels, 30 three-star hotels, 23 two-star hotels and 2 one-star hotels in Dongguan. For the time being, there are 13 more high standard star-level hotels having been put into operation without having their star-level evaluated. The amount of five-star hotels in Dongguan, a Prefecture-level city, is only less than that in Beijing and that in Shanghai, thus Dongguan has become one of the areas with the densest high star-level hotels in the world.

It is the vast number of customers as business travelers that has promoted the construction of infrastructure facilities for tourism including the hotel industry. Although there are numerous hotels in Dongguan, more than 90 percent of the hotels have been built up with private funds after their detection of demands in the market. This is also a unique scenery in the nationwide hotel industry.

In the Houjie Town where the MICE industry is the most prospering, there stands the modern GD Modern International Center where over 30 large exhibitions will be held every year. 16 International Famous Furniture (Dongguan) Exhibition Fairs have already been held, and each fair has attracted nearly 100,000 traveling visitors and exhibitors. From 3 days before the fair to 3 days after the fair is the most prosperous period for hotels in the Houjie Town. With demands in the market, hotels in the Houjie Town are sure to emerge.

Data from various aspects show that for the time being, the annual amount of businessmen visiting Dongguan on business has exceeded 8 million persons/times. Business travelers account for over 70 percent of the total amount of guests in many hotels and certain hotels even just serve business travelers. With the further development of Dongguan economy including the MICE industry, it is expected that the situation that MICE, business tourism, the construction of tourism infrastructure and the operation of hotels promote one another in a favorable cycle will develop in a sustainable manner.

Editor: Yan

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By:He Dongxian Source:China Economic Net
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