SITE Plans Adjustment For MICE Sector In China

Beijing Tourism Administration and the Society of Incentive Travel Executives China recently held the SITE China 2009 Annual Conference and Training Session on Beijing Incentive and Meeting Travel in the Kunlun Hotel, Beijing.

SITE Board

More than 200 people attended the conference, including SITE China Chapter members, representatives from tourism destination management companies and five-star hotels, and the organizers of the conference. Five international speakers from organizations such as Meeting Professionals International, SITE, and the International Congress and Convention Association gave presentations at the conference. There were group on topics such as the challenges the global financial crisis has brought to MICE market, the prospects for China's MICE sector, challenges the crisis has brought to hotel sector, and what hotels should do to cope with the financial crisis.

Four Tasks For SITE China Chapter
Gu Xiaoyuan, vice director-general of the Beijing Tourism Administration, has been elected the new president of SITE China. In her speech entitled "Developing SITE China Chapter and Promoting the Meeting and Incentive Industry", she proposed that SITE China Chapter focus on four areas this year: promotion, training,event participation, and self development.

Promoting Beijing and China as a High-end Tourism Destination
It is planned to officially launch the SITE China Chapter this March. Information about its by-laws, its meetings and events, and its MICE resources will all be available online.

SITE China Chapter is planning to apply to hold the SITE Annual Conference 2011in Beijing. About 400-500 MICE professionals worldwide would gather in Beijing. This offers a good opportunity for SITE members to know more about Beijing's MICE resources, and provides an opportunity for MICE practitioners from Beijing and from China to get in touch with international MICE professionals.

High-end Travel Training
SITE China Chapter will work with professional international organizations such as MPI, ICCA and Destination Marketing Association International to launch a series of training and education activities to foster more high-end travel professionals. SITE China Chapter plans to spend three years to train a group of high-quality talented people who will be active in the international tourism market for many years with a high level of professionalism and strong organization skills.

Organizing Members To Participate In Various Events
Beijing Tourism Administration will organize groups of companies to participate in overseas professional tourism exhibitions in 2009. Examples are AsiaPacific Incentives & Meetings Expo in Melbourne in February, Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami in March, World Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings & Events in Frankfurt in April, the Motivation Show ITME in Chicago in September, Barcelona Global Meetings & Incentives Exhibition in November, and annual conferences of SITE, ICCA and MPI from November to December. In March SITE China Chapter will invite international MICE media to Beijing to review the city's MICE resources; in August SITE China Chapter will invite international MICE businesses to Beijing.

The Beijing Tourism Administration will allocate CNY3.4 million in 2009. This will be used to apply for holding international conferences and exhibitions and for the daily work of SITE China Chapter.

Self Development
The by-laws of SITE China Chapter will be available for its members before March 15, 2009.
SITE China Chapter will develop more members in China and exert itself to offer its members excellent service and information exchange platform.

How Will The MICE Sector Deal With The Financial Crisis?
Participants agree that China is no more a "cheap" destination to MICE customers in Japan, the US, and Europe due to the appreciation of the Yuan Renminbi. MICE professionals should research the market carefully, develop more new products, improve service quality, and develop e-commerce. Besides, more effort should be put in the design of events to make them more interesting.

When talking about the challenges the global financial crisis has brought to MICE, Guo Junhua, the senior deputy general manager of China CYTS MICE Service said that CYTS still has confidence in the MICE market this year. Despite the fact that MICE plans have been affected by the crisis, the MICE market still offers a lot of business opportunities. Some companies have moved their incentive travel from overseas to China, so CYTS has made make corresponding adjustment to develop domestic market.