Hangzhou Hosts High-Level Asia Pacific MICE Symposium
MICE Tourism (i.e. Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) was on the agenda for UNWTO Asia Pacific Member States this month, with participants from 16 countries attending the first ever UNWTO/HTC High-Level Asia Pacific Symposium on MICE Tourism in Hangzhou, China from the 15th-19th of October.
The importance of the event was noted by Hangzhou´s Deputy Mayor Mr. Zhang Jianting, who opened the four-day event and later treated participants to a welcome dinner hosted by Hangzhou Municipal Government.
Other high-level attendees of the symposium included Mr. Li Hong, Director of Hangzhou Tourism Commission and his deputy Mr. Wang Xinzhang, UNWTO Tourism Expert Madam Xu Fan and consultant Mr. Gary Grimmer of GainingEdge Australia.
Keynote presentations were given by Mr. Xu Jing, UNWTO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Gary Grimmer, Madam Xu Fan, Ms. Nancy Tan of ACE:Daytons Direct (Int´l) Pte Ltd and Ms. Jennifer Ma, Deputy General Manager of Grand China Express. Complementing these, representatives from six countries in the region (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea and Vietnam) presented country-based best practice case studies of MICE tourism on the ground.
¨Asia and the Pacific will be a strong growth region in the future, ¨ noted Madam Xu Fan, ¨but this comes with challenges. While some challenges (and opportunities) can be closely linked with regional patterns, all countries and cities face their own unique obstacles in developing their MICE industry.¨
This advice comes at a time when countries around the world are again facing economic downturns, as well as continuing socio-economic and environmental challenges.
However, tourism, as noted by Director Xu Jing, and specifically MICE tourism, can bring a broad spectrum of benefits to a host destination, including jobs, trade linkages and new business. Beyond this, MICE, or the meetings industry, can enable knowledge-building, network development, progress in research, a platform to showcase innovation, investment, exports and an opportunity to share ideas.
As part of the symposium, international participants were treated to some of Hangzhou´s most popular tourism attractions, including a boat trip on the West Lake, a visit to the Lingyin Temple and a viewing of the world famous production, The Romance of the Song Dynasty.
For more information about the symposium, please click here: Symposium Website