The General Office of the State Council promulgated its "Opinions on Promoting the Construction and Development of Hainan International Tourism Island" on December 31, 2009. The document sets the goal that by 2020, the tourism service facilities, management, and service levels of Hainan Island will meet international tourism service standards, making Hainan a world-renowned island recreation and vacation resort.
According to the plan, by 2020, the value added by tertiary industries will account for 60% of Hainan's GDP and workers in the tertiary sector will account for 60% of all employees on the island. The tourism industry is becoming more and more important in the economic restructuring of Hainan.
The first strategic positioning of Hainan International Tourism Island is as an experimental area for innovations in China's tourism industry. As one kind of end consumption, tourism has a direct pull effect on dining, accommodation, transportation, sightseeing, entertainment, shopping, communications, and many other industries. It is predicted by China National Tourism Administration that tourism will bring CNY670 billion in revenues to aviation, railway, highway, and water transport, and CNY1 trillion to the catering industry.
On June 8, 2010, National Development and Reform Commission officially approved the "Hainan International Tourism Island Construction and Development Plan", according to which Hainan will be divided into six functional areas — North, South, Central, East, West and Marine. The south area will include Lingshui, Baoting, and Ledong counties with Sanya as the center, a total of 6,955 square kilometers, accounting for 20.41% of Hainan Island's total area. Meanwhile the island will focus more on hospitality, entertainment, recreation, health care, and catering industries. It will construct some tourism projects, foster a bevy of festivals, exhibitions and sports events, and build the Sanya Tropical Beach Scenic Area, making Sanya a world-known tropical tourist destination.
Sanya's Development Opportunities
With the best tourism industry in Hainan, Sanya is definitely the focus of the International Tourism Island.
Sanya is the southernmost city of China, located at on a latitude of 18°N. Endowed with sunshine, sea, beach, air, forest, hot spring, and tropical scenery, Sanya is favored by the gods. Along its 200 kilometers beach, there are many fascinating bays including Yalong Bay, Dadonghai, and Sanya Bay, which are not only famous for their coastal scenery, but for various water sports such as diving or sailing.
Sanya now is more than just a vacation paradise it is also a popular MICE destination. The blue sky, blue sea, and silver sand have already become the basic colors of Sanya. Each year events like sports, corporate meetings, work conferences, cultural exhibitions, and trade shows held there have attracted many visitors. MICE in Sanya mainly depends on the city's unique tourism resources, which means tourism development has driven the development of exhibitions. Now more and more meetings are held in Sanya, with more and more participants.
The Hainan International Tourism Island Construction and Development Plan indicates that MICE will be one of the development priorities of Sanya. MICE will stimulate consumption, enhance communication with other places and share the economic accomplishments.
It is worth noting that the strategic positioning of Hainan International Tourism Island is to make Hainan "a garden in all seasons for the whole country". Shao Qiwei, the director of China National Tourism Administration, once said that the Chinese people had never really enjoyed Hainan Island. Deng Xiaogang, the vice director of Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission and the drafting group leader of the Hainan International Tourism Island Construction and Development Plan (2010-2020), stated that in the next 10 years, there will still be more domestic tourists than foreign ones visiting Hainan. The next few years are quite critical to economic cooperation between China and the ASEAN region, while investment and modern service industries will be the key for bilateral trade liberalization, and more and more ASEAN tourists will come to Sanya instead of the traditional destinations like Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. At the same time, there will be more direct flights to Sanya from outbound areas, more and more domestic tourists will choose Sanya as their tourism destination, the high-end FIT market will flourish, and there will be much more outbound tourists from Russia, Europe, the US, Japan and South Korea.
Hotels have already become one of Sanya's major industries. Many international hotel management groups like InterContinental Hotels Group, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and Marriott International have opened luxury hotels in Sanya. Some experts say only when hotels, scenic areas and travel agencies are at the same high level, will Sanya see a sound, healthy tourism industry.
Horizon Resort and Spa
The general manager Thomas Sun opines that Horizon Resort and Spa has several advantages in terms of meeting facilities. First, the hotel has 16 meeting rooms in different sizes ranging from 50-square-meter ones for small meetings to 850-square-meter for group meetings with a seating capacity of 1,155 attendees. Multiple choices of meeting space and the most advanced lighting, audio and wiring facilities can fully meet professional demands of various meetings. Second, the "perfect meeting guarantee" facilities of the hotel are second to none in Yalong Bay: the hotel's self-contained power supply equipment restart up all power supply facilities in ten seconds after a power failure to ensure the success of meetings; Yalong Bay experiences several power failures caused by emergencies such as typhoons and municipal rush repairs every year. During typhoon Conson typhoon and a 24-hour power failure in July 2010, Horizon was the only resort that could supply power normally when other hotels could not even provide normal lighting, which is an important guarantee for meeting guests. Also, Horizon boasts the only pure water ozonization system in Yalong Bay, its super-silent Trane three-stage compressing and centrifugal air conditioning unit makes rooms cozy all the time; of course, and all guest rooms and meeting rooms are conveniently equipped with computers and provide free broadband access. Meeting guests account for about 20% of all the hotel's guests according to Sun.
With nearly 1,000 guest rooms in various types, the hotel was designed by its US architect in the architectural style of Bali. Many details of rooms are tailored to guests, such as the elaborate matching of room tone and light that increases spaciousness and coziness, convenient free broadband access, bedside LED reading lamps in deluxe sea-view suites that facilitate night reading and protect eyes, super large space of sea-view suites, semi-open toilets, double wash basins and separate shower rooms.
The hotel enjoys the widest private beach and best sea view in Yalong Bay, is home to the most diverse tropical ecological landscape, and offers the best experience of seaside leisure. The catering is also famous in Yalong Bay, over 10 distinctive restaurants, in luxurious, original, exotic and economical styles, for business and holiday purposes, can live up to the expectations of guests from different regions. Also, the hotel offers rich sports and recreation activities to create healthy and agreeable holiday experience for business guests: the swimming pool is particularly popular in Yalong Bay, the 2,000-cubic-meter double-layer heated freshwater swimming pool is also Hainan's first swimming pool disinfected by the internationally popular method of ozonization, which is totally safe and harmless to humans. Equipped with three water chutes with a fall of five meters, the pool give guests excitement and fun of aquatic sports. Additionally, the hotel has imported a deluxe sailing catamaran from France.
As a designated media reception hotel of the Boao International Tourism Forum, Sanya Horizon Resort and SPA offered professional and high-caliber reception services in March 2010: the hotel offered GRO language service targeting journalists from different regions and countries; also it opened separate restaurants for hugh numbers of media and guests from all walks of life; the VIP club offered in-hotel airport check-in service; there was also a site as the press conference hall for information release; and media guests were provided with a vehicle rental service for interview purposes.
Furthermore the hotel once hosted Volvo annual conference reception services. For the reception, the hotel placed the customer's cars on the garden lawn.
Meetings and Recreation are Equally Important
Huang Wenli, the project control manager, of the electricity generation and power system department, of ABB (China) Limited says that ABB (China) holds customer communication meetings and technical seminars in Sanya on an ad-hoc basis. Numbers usually range from a few dozens participants to several hundred. At a good venue, the company expects there should be fully-equipped and modern meeting rooms of various sizes to choose from. Participants can get to the beach easily during the breaks in meetings. There should be beach, grass, lake and coconut trees near the venue. The hotel should be beach resort, recreation style. Meetings are usually serious new product promotions, and Huang hopes the hotel would have a recreational atmosphere to help meeting participants get involved into in the events under easy circumstances. Services and food are also very important of course.
Huang's favorite hotel is Horizon Resort and Spa which has fine hardware facilities and is quite near to the beach. Meanwhile its service and in-room amenities guests with relaxation fully. Guests who stayed at the hotel were quite satisfied, saying it has the most beautiful garden among all hotels in Yalong Bay.
Narada Resort and Spa Sanya
Liu Kaiqiang is the general manager of Narada Resort and Spa Sanya. He estimates that 15% of the hotel's overall profit comes from MICE customers and says the Narada Resort and Spa Sanya is the perfect venue for meetings, incentives, corporate events. The pillarless 800-square meter Grand Ballroom with 10-meter-high ceilings, a spacious foyer, several break-out rooms, and an adjoining tropical garden to hold a full scale conference, a formal banquet or a high level meeting. The hotel offers eight meeting rooms with a total of 1,400 square meters, that can accommodate 15 to 1,000 guests, and all meeting facilities are located on one level with a business centre and convention services centre and a separate entrance. The tropical Lawn area is ideal place for exhibitions, photo shoots or a cocktail party. Several outdoor venues in the tropical gardens or the exclusive beach are ideal locations for corporate events and theme parties.
A major European car launch was held in the hotel's convention center garden and on the beach. As the beach is private and exclusive, resort was able to offer the client the possibility to have the car displayed on the beach whilst their team events and a cocktail party were being held. The setting and the event itself were so spectacular and breathtaking that they impressed not only the clients but also all invited media and guests.
Sheraton Sanya Resort
Stephen Ford, the general manager of Sheraton Sanya Resort, says that the Seven Seas Ballroom is the largest in Yalong Bay with a capacity for 1,000 people in a meeting or 900 people at a banquet. With a ceiling height of 10 meters, it can cater for rear projection presentations comfortably. The 11 smaller meeting rooms, some of which have natural daylight, can be used as breakout rooms or for smaller meetings for 20 to 90 people. The extensive outdoor facilities can accommodate up to 1,000 people for a sit-down dinner as well as providing a venue for team building events. A team of very experienced resort associates can help organizers to create team building exercises on-site. A purpose built Laguna stage located just outside the Seven Seas Ballroom is the perfect setting for an outdoor event, ranging from a cocktail event to a product launch dinner for up to 150 persons.
Taking the Boao Forum for Asia as an example: Sheraton Sanya Resort has been appointed to accommodate state leaders and ambassadors officially. In order to provide the most professional and exclusive services, the resort has conducted special training for associates which fully reflected the brand culture. The resort has also organized an associate amenity team to warmly welcome VIPs and made them feel at home.
Grand Metropark Resort Sanya
Thomas Guan is the general manager of Grand Metropark Resort Sanya. He thinks that business travel is becoming more and more popular, and what a hotel needs to provide more than just a hotel room or a meeting venue. In order to have a pleasant, comfortable and convenient environment to encourage company morale, unite employees, and to release pressure, guests usually like to choose a different destination out of their company for business.
Grand Metropark Resort Sanya boasts a 500-square meter ballroom and other meeting venues, which are equipped with full and advanced meeting facilities and audio visual equipment and can accommodate groups of different sizes. All guest rooms have free Internet access and wireless Internet access is available in the lobby, swimming pool and all meeting venues. The hotel also offers a variety of cuisines, including traditional German, Cantonese, Jiangzhe, Taiwan, Japanese , and local Hainan food. The hotel also provides an intimate pillow service so that guest can choose from five kinds of pillows and three types of quilts. After business activities, business guests can relax themselves at V·SPA, enjoy a professional oil massage or Thai massage in an outdoor pavilion.
The hotel emphasizes that it provides an all-round service for the guest, the mature doormen to strengthen the guest loyalty, rapid check-in and check-out procedures, special guest rooms and bedding according to guest habits, a welcome drink and snack, a customer relationship manager, and a birthday wishes service. Warm, thoughtful, considerate, and patient service is most important.
The official approval of Hainan international Tourism Island brings great development opportunities for the transformation and upgrading of Hainan's tourism industry, while Sanya is becoming the first choice for holiday or business travel. At present, Sanya has 23 domestic intercity routes and nine international routes to Singapore, Macao, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Seoul, Osaka and Tokyo. Business travel has occupied an important position in the Sanya hospitality market, especially during the traditional low season. Meanwhile, more and more supporting facilities, activity facilities, and entertainment projects are being financed and constructed. These will bring significant development for Sanya MICE market.
Business and Travel in Sanya
Lin Hui, the Beijing marketing director of Haikou Civil Holiday Travel Service, says that the agency has 45 branches all over China, and each of them boasts abundant aviation resources. In Hainan, Civil Holiday has 16 years of experience in receiving tourists.
The most important thing when choosing a suitable venue for an event, according to Lin Hui, is to see if the venue can meet the requirements of the activity. And price is also an important factor. Nowadays there is little difference between hotels' facilities, and that's why the style of the hotel is so important. A hotel's service, such as the sense of responsibility of its meeting team and their work attitude.
Lin has used many hotels in Sanya including Grand Metropark Resort Sanya, Yalong Bay Villas and Spa, Yalong Bay Mangrove Tree Resort, and Yalong Bay Universal Resort Sanya. Grand Metropark Resort Sanya surrounded by golf course has impressed Lin the most with its beautiful environment.
The most attractive thing of Sanya to MICE guests, according to Lin Hui, is the unique natural tropical island environment. Here in Sanya one can join business activities in a relaxed atmosphere, traveling while doing business.
Pullman Sanya Yalong Bay
Peter Wise, the general manager of Pullman Sanya Yalong Bay, believes that a good environment creates a quality meeting. The Pacific Grand Ballroom is the place for upscale meetings, dinner parties, product promotions, and cocktail parties for 350 people. The 11 meeting rooms and multifunctional rooms offer flexible choices for meeting organizers, while the garden, the lake and the swimming pool have provided nice background for the hotel. All the meeting rooms of the hotel are equipped with advanced meeting facilities, multimedia equipments and wired/wireless Internet access. The featured relaxation area of Pullman hotels enables guests to enjoy wireless Internet access, a massage chair, and meeting breaks. The hotels professional meeting consultants will help guest to customize their meeting planning.
In Wise's opinion, there are many factors that make Sanya a popular MICE destination, such as the sunshine, the sea, the pleasant climate, the rising popularity, the tourism facilities, and the improved environment construction. Sanya has successfully held many major events such as Miss World final contest, Mr. World final contest, New Silk Road Model Contest, Golf Tour, International Triathlon, and Around-the-Island Cycling Competition. Now Sanya is striving to develop MICE, including the construction of large-scale venues. When Sanya has convenient logistics system, enough talent and higher popularity and reputation, it will be the most popular MICE destination in southern China.
Hotel Should Have Unique Self-positioning
Zhou Zhou is the regional director of Ctrip.com's hotel business division. He explains, Sanya boasts many high-quality resorts and golf courses which are quite attractive to MICE guests. He is of the opinion that, because of the Expo in Shanghai, Sanya might see a relatively muted MICE market in 2010.
Location, facilities, service, /performance ratio, and brand, all these are very important when choosing a proper hotel for an event, Zhou states. He has used almost all the major hotels in Yalong Bay, Dadonghai and Sanya Bay, and Pullman Sanya Yalong Bay with its unique culture and fine hardware and software facilities is the best among all these hotels.
Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa
The general manager of Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa Jean Pierre Mainardi told China Hospitality News about the six features of the hotel's meeting facilities. First, hotel has an independent conference center offering full meeting facilities, convenient for meeting organizers to arrange their work. Second, there is 800-square meter outdoor lawn just beside the ballroom, suitable for tea breaks and dinner parties of up to 300 people. Third, the ballroom has natural light and is quite spacious. Fourth, the garden poolside is the right place for a BBQ buffet of 100 people. Fifth, hotel boasts 3,000 square meters of beach lawn for a 1,000-person banquet and performances. Sixth, the hotel also has a private beach and swimming pool which enable meeting organizers to plan exciting teambuilding activities such as beach volleyball, beach soccer, water basketball, or swimming competition.
Mainardi estimates that 20% of the hotel's overall profit comes from MICE guests.
The hotel has many special services for MICE guests. For example, there is personalized guest room for MICE guests, and pillows of various materials for guests to choose from. The in-room high speed Internet access and wireless Internet in public areas enable guests to surf the Internet anywhere at any time. The business center provides copying, fax and translation services. Tea breaks together with yoga, Tai Chi, and archery can help guests relax themselves after meetings. It also provides various cuisines that can meet most guests' taste. In addition, guests here can have special teambuilding activities such as canoe relay races on the sea.
To attract more MICE guests, Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa has many programs to meet their requirements. Mainardi has shared a successful case. In June 2010, the Mercedes-Benz C class wagon launch ceremony was held in Sanya. As a luxury brand, Mercedes-Benz has strict requirements for hotel service and facilities. Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa had key cards made with the Mercedes-Benz logo on them. When guests turned on the TV in their room, a video about Mercedes-Benz would appear first. Meanwhile magazines and newspapers including Mercedes-Benz ads could be found in the rooms. These measures made a successful event for the company.
Seven Advantages of Sanya to Develop MICE
Xinghai Holiday Travel Service Co., Ltd has been involved in Sanya's high-end tourism industry for ten years and owns ChinaHN.com, Xinghai MICE Co., Ltd, and Sanya Jiayi Business Travel Co., Ltd. Headquartered in Haikou, Xinghai also has branches in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Sanya. The Beijing branch will be set up in October 2010. The general manager of Xinghai Holiday Travel Service Chen Long said all the branches and reception service companies are invested in only by Xinghai Holiday Travel Service and are under the uniform strategic management of their headquarters.
In general Sanya's MICE market is increasing in 2010, says Chen. Many small and medium sized enterprises in east, south and central China are tending to choose Sanya as their MICE destination. Currently Sanya's MICE industry is still in the initial stage, and the city is not ready for large-scale conventions and exhibitions due to restrictions from hotels, exhibition centers, transport, and reception capacity. China is becoming the focus of the world, and more and more international enterprises are paying attention China now. Participating in exhibitions is one of the best ways to improve their awareness. Meanwhile the demand for conventions and exhibition in China is increasing as there are more and more small and medium sized privately owned enterprises and joint ventures. As the only tropical city in China, Sanya boasts unique irreplaceable natural resources to be one of the prior choices of MICE destinations in China. Moreover, the International Tourism Island plan approved by the State Council has made Sanya the focus in China's MICE industry due to its distinctive natural and tourism resources. All these have stimulated the development of the MICE industry. Yet MICE is also susceptible to other industries. For example, due to the impact from the slowdown of real estate industry and the stock market from February 2010, Sanya's MICE has turned to consumer industries like cosmetics, medicine and automobiles. Yalong Bay area hosted fewer meetings after April, while Sanya Bay and Dadonghai areas have seen growth in MICE for its high price/performance ratio.
Based on Chen's experience, the following are necessary to make a successful event. The most important thing is to choose a proper meeting service company. Inspecting a meeting company for registered capital, reception capacity, planning ability, coordination ability and many other aspects is the prior factor to hold a successful event. Meanwhile the meeting company's suggestions and proposals are very important too. Second is the location, which is directly related to cost, convenience, timeline, reliability of the event. Currently Sanya can be divided into four areas, Yalong Bay, Sanya Bay, Dadonghai, and urban Sanya. If you have chosen the wrong place for your event, a series of problems will occur that will influence the effect of the event.
Xinghai has cooperated with most five-star hotels in Sanya according to Chen. Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa has an independent MICE building; an independent gallery hall for exhibitions, product launches, and other activities; and meeting rooms equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual facilities.
In December 2009 Xinghai undertook an event in Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa. As required, Xinghai needed to show people the charm of Las Vegas in Sanya. As the largest city in Nevada, Las Vegas is famous for its gambling industry. In fact, Las Vegas' major industry is conventions and exhibitions; and luxury exhibitions about fashion, car and yacht have brought much energy to the city. Xinghai made very detailed arrangements on the dinner party.
As a MICE destination, Sanya has obvious resources advantages: First, Sanya is China's only tropical ocean city, a unique MICE destination in winter with rich natural resources. Second, the International Tourism Island national strategy has laid foundation for internationalization, also pointed out the future development model of MICE. Third, many international brands have had their China region flagship in Sanya, such as Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental, Starwood, and Accor. Those resorts ensure Sanya has the capacity to accept large-scale events. Fourth, the rich tropical marine resources in Sanya enable people to hold their events in ballrooms, on the beach, on the lawn or even on the sea. Fifth, Li and Miao ethnic groups have very special cultures. Companies can use some of the elements in their events for gifts or when dining. Sixth, Sanya is a place for various teambuilding activities based on natural resources: camping on the beach in winter; rafting in the waters of Wuzhishan, finding dinner among the reef… these activities will surely impress employees. Seventh, Sanya has various delicious foods. One can enjoy a meal in a luxury hotel restaurant, enjoy seafood on a fishing boat, or have a barbeque on the beach while listening to the music.
International Asia Pacific Convention Center and HNA Resort Sanya
The general manager of International Asia Pacific Convention Center and HNA Resort Sanya, Liu Jinting, told China Hospitality News that the hotel has a total of 16 meeting rooms of 5,400 square meters, suitable for events of 20 to 1,000 people. All of them are equipped with advanced digital meeting systems and recording equipment: sufficient for an international ministerial conference of 600 people. The hotel also has venues for dinner parties and teambuilding, such as the poolside, the beach, and the lawn. Liu said MICE accounts for 10% of the hotel's total revenue.
Liu says that the hotel has different personalized services for different MICE guests. If the participants of a large-scale conference are all from the same country or same city, the hotel will adjust the menu for breakfast accordingly. Room arrangements, means of payment, and venues will also be adjusted according to guests' requirements. The hotel undertook an even for a clothing company. According to the client's requirements, the hotel set up a runway by the fountain, and provided several function areas for photography, locker rooms, media, and VIPs.
Reasonable Price Shows Sincerity
Wu Xianghui, the marketing and communication manager of Teradata (Beijing) Co., Ltd, told China Hospitality News that the company had held two Greater China Region customer meetings in Sanya, in 2006 and 2010, each having 400 to 500 participants. When choosing a hotel, the first thing to consider is the scale of the conference venue. Wu will check first if it can accommodate all the participants. The second thing is facilities, including the number of conference rooms, the scale of the lobby, the space in the dining room and how many people the dining room can accommodate.
The company prefers high-quality hotels since the participants include senior executives from its U.S. headquarters, and speakers from home and abroad, as well as participants from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. So, when choosing a hotel, the company will first check its accommodation abilities, including hardware facilities and the scale of the conference venue scale. The price also matters. Wu will compare and choose hotels with higher performance. In addition, the company prefers hotels that can offer customized services.
Hotels in Yalong Bay are great, said Wu, especially the Sanya Marriott Resort and Spa and Sheraton Sanya Resort. The price was quite reasonable when the company held a meeting in Sanya Marriott Resort and Spa in late May 2010. In addition, the company was very satisfied with the hotel's meeting facilities and software services. Wu's company has had different kinds of cooperation with several hotels in Sanya, such as Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa, Gloria Resort Hotel Sanya and Yalong Bay Mangrove Tree Resort Sanya.
Feel the Zeal of Sanya
Wu Tong, the national trade marketing manager, Sara Lee (China) Trading Company Limited, says that that the company holds distributor assemblies for about 120 participants each year. In 2010 the assembly will be held in Sanya. A venue with full facilities and large enough to accommodate all participants will be the company's choice, especially those can assist the meeting company to set their own meeting venue. If the meeting is to be held in a hotel, convenient transport, a fine environment, good hardware and software facilities should also be considered.
InterContinental Sanya and Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa have impressed Wu a lot with their service. The company's distributor assembly was held in InterContinental Sanya this year. This was the first meeting case the hotel has received since its opening. Great changes have been made in the hotel one month after the company signed the contract, and everything seemed perfect when the guests finally arrived here. The hotel had arranged a welcome ceremony with flowers. The hotel did very well in following up the assembly. The background music it used during the signing ceremony was quite suitable. The hotel has very special guest rooms with 180 degree sea views and elements of Hainan's Li ethnic group. Its restaurants are at the beach. The staff of the hotel are very considerate and friendly.
The company has also cooperated with Crowne Plaza Sanya.
A MICE Destination with Blue Sky, Clear Water and Silver Beach
Wang Hongjun is the planning director of Hainan Hibo Conference and Exhibition Co., Ltd. He says that Hibo is committed to integrating and optimizing local resources, and has formed strategic partnerships with professional MICE and PR companies in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. The company has successfully undertake the 1,000 person annual conference of NAVECO Ltd, the 1,200 person annual conference of Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co., Ltd as well as a test drive, a 450 person annual conference of Taiping Life Insurance Co., Ltd, and an annual training session for China Construction Bank. The company's services have covered various fields such as automobiles, medicine, finance, insurance, real estate, telecommunications, energy, and electrical appliances.
According to statistics from Sanya Tourism Administration about the number of MICE events in 2009, even if there are 6,000 MICE events a year this is still not enough to fill all the hotels in Sanya. Due to the Expo, some companies and organizations might choose Shanghai as their MICE destination. Yet based on the consultancy Hibo has received for holding MICE events in Sanya, from September 2010 to April 2011, there will be as many as MICE events as there were in 2009.
Now that the International Tourism Island stragegy has been approved nationally, Hainan is now striving to be a real MICE destination. The Sanya Convention and Exhibition Center, Haikou Exhibition and Convention Center, and BFA International Convention Center have made the island a MICE destination through the south (Sanya, Wanning), the east (Boao) and the north (Haikou) parts of Hainai. Thanks to its unique resources including its beaches, coconut trees, the sea, yachting, golf, and its tropical climate Sanya is becoming quite popular to buyers from east, north and southwest China, as well as outbound buyers.
Sanya boasts rich tourism resources: Nanshan Kwan-yin, Tianya Haijiao, ah Noda rain forest, yacht, fishing, diving, beach, rafting, and performances by the Li and Miao ethnic groups, all can be used in MICE events. The natural beauty can help to encourage MICE groups to cooperate with each other, and realize the goal of MICE. Sanya could be the prior choice for meeting and recreation.
The total price/performance ratio of a hotel's meeting service is Wang's first consideration when choose a suitable hotel. For example, the capacity of guest rooms, ballroom, multifunction rooms, and meeting rooms, the quality of hotel service, and the traffic cost are all should be taken into consideration. Rating of hotel rooms is another important factor to decide the final destination. In addition the supporting facilities of a hotel such as swimming pools, entertainment programs, physiotherapy, dining, beach, and nearby resources, should also be considered.
Hibo has cooperated with many hotels in Sanya, including Howard Johnson Resort Sanya Bay, Sanya Marriott Resort and Spa, Sheraton Sanya Resort, Yalong Bay Mangrove Tree Resort, Narada Resort and Spa Sanya, Visun Royal Yacht Club, and Resort Intime Sanya. Sofitel Boao and Golden Coast Lawton Hotel are hotels the company used in Boao.
Howard Johnson Resort Sanya Bay, which has 1,160 seaview rooms and 38 seaview villas and is capable of receiving a MICE team of 1,500 people, has impressed Wang a lot. The hotel has a 19-meter high and 3,500-square meter lobby, a 4,300-square meter indoor and outdoor swimming pool, and hot spring baths. The 1,100-square-meter grand ballroom, two 600-square-meter multifunction rooms, and 13 meeting rooms are equipped with full meeting facilities. The 10,000-square-meter lawn is the place for outdoor dinner parties and outreach activities. There is VIP access directly to the beach. Plus the lower price than hotels in Yalong Bay, the eight-minute drive to the airport, and five-star service, Howard Johnson Resort Sanya Bay is the prior choice for MICE buyers in Sanya.
Usually large-scale events can be divided into three categories, receptions, exhibitions, and seminars. Hibo was been involved into the test drive of Shanghai Volkswagen Tiguan and the annual conference of the company with 1,200 participants. Large-scale event like this need full communication with client in advance to know client's needs clearly. Hibo has set up care centers at the airport and in the hotel, as well as 120 people to receive guests in three shifts for three days.
Hibo's partner, meeting operation manager Zhou Yi from Shanghai Yangzi Meeting Consulting Company Limited, commented that the cooperation with Hibo at the Shanghai Volkswagen annual conference was the easiest of all the five conferences he has ever undertaken.
Sanya's MICE market is burgeoning, said Wang. As the key focus of the International Tourism Island, it will be an international, professional brand as well as market oriented in structure, services and operational efficiency. Now hotels already have state-of-the-art hardware facilities: what they should do is to improve their services. The lack of talent and professional international professional will hinder the rapid development of MICE.
Hotels in Yalong Bay, the development of Sanya Bay and Haitang Bay, along with development of many other bays, have offered diversified choices for MICE buyers.
Boao Forum for Asia-Tourism Conference, Miss World contest, Mr. World contest, World's Strongest Man, New Silk Road Model Contest, World Taijiquan Health Conference, Volvo Ocean Race, Around-the-Island Cycling Competition, and golf tour all have laid a good foundation for Sanya's MICE market. The Sanya Convention and Exhibition Center, which is currently under construction, will be another accelerator for MICE. In the future, Sanya will be one of the most popular MICE destinations.