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Mice Net : August 2008
asia update growth A report recently by economist Albert Keidel of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace says China’s economy will overtake that of the United States by 2035 and be double its size by 2050. In the report Mr Keidel said growth was being facilitated by domestic growth and not exports which meant that it would continue to experience single digit growth rates from now and for the forseeable future. This latest speculation is clearly not unfounded. In late 2007 a speaker at an international business travel event predicted that within the next 10 years one third of the entire world’s air travel would emanate from China. As one that moves with the times, the Pacific Asia Travel Association recently released a report on China, with the focus being on maximising its tourism potential, including MICE business. Endorsed by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), and sponsored by Visa, Realising China’s Tourism Potential, Recommendations for Future Development is the first definitive international study that presents a roadmap for growth and management of the US$100bn industry. It says that China is poised to become the world’s most popular tourist destination within a decade. It recommends for the meetings sector that China consider establishing a national convention bureau, further develop purpose- built facilities, undertake a training strategy for those working in the sector, and increase regional cooperation. If and when this does happen, then watch out world! All eyes Are on AsiA, and for good reason. continues It is little wonder that Australia’s leading business tourism offices are clambering over each other to get their foot in the door. Nevertheless, there are plenty of difficulties; communication barriers possibly being the biggest at this point in time. But it’s not just China that is experiencing considerable growth. Many parts of Asia are on an upward spike, particularly in the business events realm, spurred on by competitive pricing, quality venues and facilities, and governments that have caught the business events bug and are recognising the value events can have to a city or destination. The International Congress & Convention Association’s 2007 Statistics Report on the International Association Meetings Market clearly shows that Asia is having a global impact on the business of meetings. Once more, Europe as a whole recorded another percentage point drop after a reduction in the number of association meetings being held there. On the flipside, the Asian MICE community’s market share grew one percentage point in 2007, giving the region a formidable 19 per cent global market share of association meetings business. In terms of countries in Asia, Japan has leapt up the rankings from 12th position in 2006 to seventh in 2007, while Singapore remains third in the city rankings, just behind Berlin (2nd) and Vienna (1st). Beijing is a newcomer to the top 10 city rankings, climbing from 13th place in 2006 to eighth position in 2007. Taipei is another strong performer, securing 18th position from position 40 in 2006. mice.net 109