With China recently overtaking the US as the number one business travel market in the world and double digit growth predicted for the Chinese market in 2016*, it is a trend, she believes, that looks set to continue.
Chen describes the Chinese business travel industry as “booming”, and its MICE market evolving and growing rapidly.
“Our 11th edition [of ibtm china], in September 2016, was our most successful yet, with 5,500 attendees and 7,700 pre-scheduled appointments; up over 10% against 2015,” says Chen. “In particular we’ve seen a huge surge in international exhibitors – up in 2016 by over 45% against the previous year. This is mirrored by a large increase in the number of domestic hosted buyers – up by almost one third (29.5%) compared with 2015.”
“With more international organisations than ever before targeting the Chinese market, it’s essential that Chinese cultural nuances and ways of doing business are understood and adhered to, in order to get the best return,” Chen adds.
The MICE industry in China still relatively young, although big investment is being made in educating future industry leaders and improvements to the country’s infrastructure, exponential levels of hotel and venue development and government support for the industry means that it remains on a steep upward trajectory, believes Chen.
“Plans for our 2017 show are already well underway and we’re expecting the next event to be even bigger and more successful,” she says.
The 2017 edition of ibtm china takes place 23–24 August in Beijing.
* GBTA BTI™ Outlook – China 2016 H1, a report by the GBTA Foundation