Chinese MICE travellers spend marks steep industry growth

Chinese business travellers spent a total US$110 billion during trips in 2014, announced a study compiled by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) at a seminar jointly hosted by Starwood Hotels & Resorts and the GBTA at this year’s ITB Asia.

The Market Assessment of MICE Business Travel in China report also found that a total 138.5 million domestic trips were taken for MICE purposes, with nearly one third of Chinese business travellers expecting the number of MICE meetings to increase over the next year.

Shanghai and Beijing were named among China’s top meetings destinations, hosting 27 and 25 per cent of the country’s business events respectively, followed by Guangzhou (24 per cent) Hong Kong (11 per cent) and Macau (6 per cent).

Vice president of sales Apac for Starwood, Nichlas Maratos said that the findings supported the group’s expansion in the region.

“As we continue our aggressive growth strategy across China, the findings not only help us better understand the nature and the size of the MICE industry, it will also help shape the future of our business. It’s also reassuring to see that the study affirms our efforts and growth plans in China, where we currently have over 150 hotels in operation and more than 150 hotels in the pipeline.”

GBTA Foundation vice president of Research Joseph Bates agreed, saying “This first-ever assessment of China’s MICE market shows just how large this segment is in China making up 42 percent of total domestic business travel and producing spend of $110 billion USD – second only to the United States. The MICE segment presents a large opportunity for travel suppliers and we expect it to continue to grow at a rapid pace as China’s economy expands.”

The report concludes that the average MICE traveller in China spends an average of US$1,100  per trip. Chinese MICE trips last 2.9 days on average with the majority of trips (59 per cent) lasting between two and four days. Most business travelers (64 per cent) reach their MICE destinations by air while 18 percent travel by train and 14 percent by car. 

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