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September 6, 2010

CIBTM research predicts major growth for Chinese meetings industry

The China Incentives, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition’s Fourth China and Asia Meetings Industry Report 2010, presented last week, has provided valuable insight into the developing meetings industry across China and Asia.

At a time when China has become the world’s second largest economy, the report predicts significant growth potential, with increased numbers of events using a wider range of destinations.

Sally Greenhill, managing director of The Right Solution, who compiled and independently analysed the report, commented: “We have had a very positive response to the survey, with 396 buyer respondents contributing this year, the largest number since the survey began four years ago.

“There is no doubt that this is a particularly exciting time for all those involved in the meetings industry in China.

“China, in light of its growing economy, is now becoming a compelling destination for meetings and incentives, offering a broad and wide range of experiences; not surprising bearing in mind the country has one of the oldest cultures. All indicators point to continued growth from both within China and outbound.”

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Xu, CIBTM’s exhibition manger, said: “Our bespoke research continues to play a vital role in gathering data which does not exist elsewhere, helping those within the meetings industry in China to develop and grow their businesses.”

The 4th CIBTM China and Asia Meetings Industry Research Report 2010 can be found at www.cibtm.com.

Key finding from the CIBTM China and Asia Meetings Industry Research Report 2010:

Buyers research:
(396 respondents – 67% based in China, 60% corporate, 7% associations/’not for profit’ and 33% third parties)

• Increase in volume of events organised in China to mean of 5.6 events per buyer from 3.7 last year, events overall up to 4.8 per buyer from 4.0
• Numbers of attendees for events in China are up to 200 from 135 last year
• Mean duration for events in China up to 5.5 days, compared to 4.4 days last year
• Lead times have shortened to 5.2 months, compared to 6.8 months last year
• Growth in volume of events predicted to continue with 64.3% of buyers expecting to organise more events in China in next 12 months
• Mean annual budgets is RMB2.3 million for organisers based in China is (up 34%), and US$1.8 million for international organisers (down from US$2,425,000). Average 42.5% spent on events in China
• International air routes and the visa process have become more important issues for buyers while security and safety are now far less of a concern
• Satisfaction levels with most recently used destinations are high with a mean of 3.8 (out of 5), for the majority this relates to Beijing
• The economic climate and pressure to reduce costs remain a key concern for the next 12 months, despite the increase in budgets anticipated
• Buyers remain optimistic with 74% predicting an increase in the volume of events they organise and 51% predicting an increase in budgets for individual events
• 75% of buyers think World Expo will have an impact increasing business tourism in China

Suppliers research
(223 respondents, 78% based in China)

• 87% of respondents said key clients were based in China
• For 64% of respondents, over 50% of their business is taking place in China, with clients predominantly corporate (57%) and from a wide range of industry sectors, in particular pharmaceutical/medical
• Corporates remain the sector suppliers are trying to attract business from in future although there is more focus on not-for-profit organisations this year
• Suppliers view capacity and quality of meeting facilities as important (more so than the buyers) and the overall appeal of destinations. Only 5% of supplier respondents were from airlines, which may explain their low ranking of international air routes as an important factor, a very different view to the buyers
• 75% of suppliers agreed with buyers that the volume of events will increase in future and 58% are increasing their promotional budgets
• 65% believe that China and Asia offer most growth opportunities for the future, with 51% focusing on the Yangtze River Delta

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