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December 12, 2014

German Convention Bureau Refocuses on China; Boosts Presence in Market

For 2015, the German Convention Bureau will increase its presence in China and strengthen its focus on the key Asian market. The decision was confirmed by the GCB’s Board of Directors, chaired by Petra Hedorfer, CEO of the German National Tourist Board.

This partnership is significant on several fronts: Germany has been at the frontline of Europe's economy since the Global Financial Crisis began, while China has been a key player in Asia's economic scene as the "C" in the rapidly emerging BRIC countries. 

But more than that, the two countries already have a strong business partnership that seems poised to grow—and to increase international business travel with it. With a trading volume of over €140 billion in 2013, Germany is by far China's biggest trading partner in Europe. Likewise, China is Germany's most important trading partner in Asia. There are currently around 900 Chinese companies operating in Germany, and over 5,000 German companies operating in China. 

Business trips account for 40 percent of the total number of journeys to Germany from China (i.e. 964,000) – a level not seen in any other source market. This is set to increase further with more business trips expected from China’s meetings, conventions and incentive sector in particular: according to a prediction by the Global Business Travel Association. Research indicated that China may well overtake the USA as the largest nation of business travelers.

The GCB’s office in Beijing will build on this trend. "Following the launch of our activity around the theme 'Germany as a business travel destination,' developing the GCB’s presence in another key market is the next important step," Hedorfer said in a statement, adding that the new office would let Germany benefit "from the rapid developments in China.”

The representative office in China will be the second external representation office of the marketing organization, following the launch of the GCB’s office in New York. The European markets are covered by the GCB’s headquarters in Frankfurt.

Marketing Activities in China

"Having our own representative office in China provides clear advantages for members and partners of the GCB," Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the GCB, said. "Proximity to the market will enable more intensive marketing work with a large number of new activities in which members can participate."

The forthcoming marketing work will build on the current successful marketing activities which the GCB has carried out together with the GNTB in 2014. For example, in June, a group of Chinese event planners visited Munich and Nuremberg’s meetings and events venues as well as inspiring excursion locations. The participants were also introduced to the local expertise of the automotive industry – an important sector for business cooperation between Germany and China that also provides opportunities for meetings and conventions. 

For more information, visit www.germany-meetings.com

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