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April 19, 2012

A tale of two cities

Shanghai (pictured) and Beijing have closed ranks and embarked on a groundbreaking collaboration to jointly develop MICE tourism and target international events.


Kicking off the partnership by co-hosting this year’s China (Shanghai) International Meetings & Conferences Forum, Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development (BTD) and Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration (SMTA) this morning signed an MoU which outlined future cooperation with regards to jointly bidding for international MICE, sharing of resources like the Shanghai Meetings Ambassadors programme, and joint marketing and promotion efforts targeting overseas markets.


The agreement will also extend to cooperation when either city plays host to international events, such as during next year’s ICCA annual conference in Shanghai, which will see pre- and post-event tours to Beijing.


“Beijing and Shanghai have always had some form of cooperation, but this is the first time that we are joining hands to promote China as a single MICE destination,” said SMTA vice chairman, Connie Cheng.


“Shanghai on its own is relatively small and what we can promote is limited, thus we need to engage bigger players to increase our competitiveness. Both cities have their unique advantages. Beijing is the political and cultural centre, while Shanghai is the financial centre. The collaboration will better enable both destinations to meet the needs of different events.”


Sun Weijia, deputy director general, BTD said: “Through the agreement, we will create synergy in promoting each city in overseas markets as well as the overall China brand.”


Aloysius Arlando, CEO, Singex Group said: “Beijing and Shanghai are the two MICE powerhouses in China. The partnership is an important and logical step moving forward, especially in view of heightened regional competition. It makes sense to pool their collective resources and evolve into a powerful magnet for the country.”


“When there is single mindedness at the government level, it will filter down to industry, and this (partnership) is a great move given China’s focus on trying to get the industry to work with the government.”


Noor Ahmad Hamid, regional director, Asia-Pacific, ICCA said: “People have always been talking about the rivalry between Beijing and Shanghai, but now that the two largest players in China are sitting at the same table, the cooperation is important and will better enable them to snare international events. Instead of killing each other, it is very important they have acknowledged the need to cooperate and win more MICE business together.”



Martin Sirk, CEO, ICCA said: “All of us are really excited to see this close collaboration between Shanghai and Beijing. Three to five years ago, the leaders in both cities did not even talk to one another.”


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