China’s meetings and events industry can expect to see greater cooperation between the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which was established in mid-March.
The merger of the culture ministry and the China National Tourism Administration is still a work in progress, according to Jack Yao, vice president, China Business Event Federation and secretary general, CCPIT Commercial Sub-council.
The consolidation and streamlining of departments and staff at the provincial level of China’s 31 provinces is likely to continue until the end of 2019, he noted.
While it would be difficult for China to form a centralised convention and visitor bureau like some other Asian countries, Yao – who has just been named second vice president Asia Marketing Federation – said the government will now “pay more attention” to develop and promote a “national image”.
He is optimistic a new marketing campaign will be launched by next year and more will be done to foster cooperation between the public and private sectors to promote culture, tourism and trade.
Yao continued: “For the first time, CCPIT is cooperating with the new ministry and the private sector to identify and create business opportunities centred around culture,”
SMEs in the industry TTGmice spoke to said more destination marketing support is definitely needed, especially if China wants to spread business to second- and third-tier cities.
The founder and CEO of a DMC with offices in Beijing and Shanghai said the company has had to rely on its own resources since it was set up about 10 years ago.
She said: “Negative stories about China still prevail and they need to be better addressed, while strong points like the fact that China is one of the safest countries to visit or do business in, the wonderful culture and other positives, should be played up.”
A meetings and incentive veteran commented that because China is no longer a “cheap” destination, it needs to value add by applying technology to create “smart travel”, more meaningful and in-depth experiences.
“For SMEs to survive, we need to know early if city or provincial government support will be given, or not, or else it will be difficult to cap costs. Industry standards are still not uniform in China and the availability of English-speaking staff to be able to attract more international events and business assistance for smaller companies are some of the issues I hope the new ministry will address,” the managing director said.