Residents of Beijing and organizers of MICE events looking for relaxing venues do not have to travel far to find suitable resorts in and around Beijing. For both leisure and MICE events many of the guests come from the Beijing area itself and the majority from inside China.
Unlike resorts in areas with lakes or the sea which feature water sports, Beijing resorts feature land-based activities such as golf, archery, and tennis. And in the case of the Moon River Hotel & Resort, even horseriding.
MICE events provide a significant percentage of the business for the resorts with an average breakdown of between 1:1 MICE to leisure and 4:1 MICE to leisure. For many of the resorts the peak season is the traditional convention season between September and February. So with more but shorter holidays has the change in government holiday policy affected the occupancy of the resorts? There is a small but definite increase in occupancy during the new holidays but there is little impact on the MICE market.
What are organizers of MICE events looking for and how do the resorts around Beijing meet their requirements? Susan Xu of Ericsson, who is responsible for travel agencies sourcing and management as well as MICE management and books an average of ten activities a month, has some specific requirements that she looks for when booking venues for meetings and team-building events.
"When choosing a resort I look for nice sightseeing around the resort, the resort's facilities, and their service level," Xu says. "Their leisure facilities [dedicated areas, special equipment etc.] are very important. We need more choices on the leisure facilities."
Asked if she has any advice for hotels and resorts she says, "It is best if the hotel arranges a single point of contact for the event. Living conditions are very important, especially the room hygiene. And of course we always want delicious food."
So where are locations in Beijing for a MICE outing? Jiuhua Resort & Convention Center is located in Xiaotangshan. With 2,368 rooms, 12 restaurants, and total area 15,500 square meters, this is a prime location for business gatherings.
Managed by Tianlun International Hotels, the Beijing Longxi Hotspring Resort is in Daxing District. While it only has 282 rooms, it has 1,424 square meters of conference space and 624 square meters of ballroom space. With projectors, stages, screens, banners and other conference needs, this location offers the soothing facilities of a hotspring with the immediate needs of a large business conference,
Planning for a high-class corporate event? Loong Palace Hotel & Resort has 937 rooms, including 73 club floor rooms and suites and 102 duplex suites. It contains 4,300 square meters of conference space. when you are not attending business meetings, take your work outside on the resort's golf driving range, tennis courts, or basketball courts. Likewise, the Moon River Hotel & Resort Beijing, while only holding 198 rooms and suites, has a full golf course driving range covering an area of 100,000 square meters, 330 yards in width and 400 yards in length. It is the largest open golf driving range in Beijing. Plus, Moon River's Equestrian Club has more than 20 European purebred horses and provides various types of professional horse riding training.
Finally, the Tianlun Xingming Lake Resort contains 218 rooms,10 suites, and five villas. With two Chinese restaurants and one seafood restaurant, this venue is good for smaller gatherings. Meeting facilities include a total of 2000 square meters of conference space, plus 500 square meters of ballroom space.