Trade & Investment

Characteristics of MICE industry in Xiamen

Updated: 2011-03-03
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Xiamen International Conference & Exhibition Centre
There are three basic conditions that make a city a center for meetings, incentive travel, conventions, and exhibitions: a suitable location and convenient transport, comprehensive meeting facilities, and a sound tertiary sector that can provide comprehensive and efficient social services for MICE activities. 
Characteristics of MICE in Xiamen
In the conference sector, Xiamen and most of its surrounding areas have many industry categories but small industry clusters, there are few industries that have a larger market share in China. From the point of view of the city's characteristics, location, infrastructure and reception capacity, it would be good for Xiamen to develop a characteristic conference market.

Statistics show there were about 2,000 conferences held in Xiamen in 2009 that were not hosted by local organizations, more than 320,000 people participated in these conferences, and over 30 of these conferences had more than 1,000 attendees. Straits Forum, International Investment Forum, Chinese Medical Association conferences, The International Boxing Federation Executive Committee Conference, Association of International Marathons and Distance Races Convention, IDA Annual Meeting, Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo, and other national and international conferences have been held in Xiamen regularly and irregularly. The unique climate, coastline, and tourism resources also make Xiamen the perfect place for teambuilding activities.

The economic output of Xiamen is not very high, plus it is far away from economic centers like Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta, which has limited the development of exhibition industry to some degree. Based on the location and industries of Xiamen, the focus will be professional (trade) exhibitions. Exhibitions can be categorized into many types, and the three most popular ones are: professional (trade) exhibitions, consumer fairs, and comprehensive exhibitions (expositions). In the future the city will concentrate on hosting professional trade fairs where exhibitors and visitors are both businessmen, and all participants will aim to do business at these fairs. These fairs might not be on a large-scale, but need better environment for talks, seminars, and reporting sessions. Transportation and the city environment are suitable for international and Taiwan related exhibitions.

Travel Industry and MICE Inspire Each Other
Compared with general tourists, MICE guests are high-end customers in the tourism industry due to their higher spending power, longer stays, and bigger team sizes. Until now MICE has not brought many opportunities to the tourism industry. The degree of tourism market segmentation is not very high in Xiamen, and there are no mature MICE products either. Some professionals comment that Xiamen has only a few MICE organizers and most MICE events are undertaken by the organizer or the planner, and most of the time they only show participants around attractions in Xiamen during or after the conferences or exhibitions. Tourism departments and enterprises are not engaged in the development and the construction of MICE products.

Now Xiamen is improving the quantity, quality, scale, and influence of MICE, which largely depends on the improvement of soft environment, rather than the construction of conference and exhibition venues. The city will combine MICE with tourism, give full play to the effect of the MICE economy.
Expand Cooperation with Taiwan
Its geographic advantage allows Xiamen to expand exchange and cooperation with Taiwan to make Xiamen the major MICE center city in the West Strait area, the gathering place for cross-Strait MICE cooperation, and the premium city for Taiwan enterprises participating in mainland exhibitions. According to "2009-2015 Development Plans for Xiamen MICE Industry Cluster" issued by Xiamen Municipal Trade Development Bureau, the city will enhance its cooperation with existing exhibitions, especially China Xiamen Machinery and Electronics Exhibition, Strait Travel Fair, Cross-strait (Xiamen) Cultural Industry Fair, Cross-Strait Book Fair, China (Xiamen) International Food Procurement Fair, and West Taiwan Strait Auto Expo. It will also invite Taiwan industry associations to host or co-host new exhibitions like China (Xiamen) International Boat Show and China Xiamen International Vegetarian Food Fair. On the other hand, Xiamen will establish and enhance exchanges and communication with MICE industry organizations and commercial organizations like the Taiwan Convention Association, Taipei Exhibition & Conference Association, Taipei World Trade Center, World Trade Center Taichung, Taiwan External Trade Development Council, Taiwan Electrical and Electric Manufacturers' Association, and Taiwan Textile Federation.

To attract more Taiwan organizations to hold conferences and exhibitions in Xiamen, the city will take the advantage of the broad mainland market and the excellent environment of Xiamen to hold new exhibitions in cooperation with Taiwan organizations or to transfer Taiwan exhibitions to Xiamen. Meanwhile Xiamen will invite banking, insurance, securities, and large corporations in Taiwan to hold annual meetings, forums, and other conferences. In addition, it will encourage Xiamen MICE organizations to establish branches in Xiamen to expand MICE business. 
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