Hangzhou aims to become major convention, exhibition city

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Hangzhou, the host city of 2016 G20 Summit, has witnessed strong growth in the MICE (meetings, incentive travels, conferences, conventions and exhibitions) industry since the summit took place.

A global promotion campaign for "Hangzhou, Inspiring New Connections" kicked of in Hangzhou in September, a year after the summit.

A total of 20 global conference purchasers and leading Chinese conference organizers attended the activity, which provided a platform for attendees to experience the full array of Hangzhou's MICE resources.

The campaign also organized several activities, such as tours to China National Silk Museum, cruises on West Lake and tea-picking in Longjing Village to highlight Hangzhou's tourism resources and culture.

To build up closer ties with potential overseas purchasers, the Hangzhou Tourism Commission organized an array of projects in Paris for the first time, as a supplementary activity to the campaign.

During the Paris activity, two pop-up venues - Hangzhou Reception Room and the Hangzhou Mobile Conference Room, were designed to deliver Hangzhou's message to welcome European-based conference organizers.

At the end of the campaign, a banquet and sharing session was held at Hangzhou International Expo Center, the main venue of the G20 summit.

At the scene, conference organizers from various countries had in-depth exchanges with top executives from Hangzhou local companies. A large number of the organizers expressed their intent to choose Hangzhou as the destination for one of their future events.

The commission has also launched a new round of promotions for the remainder of 2017, enabling domestic and foreign meeting organizers to discover the city's charms and see more possibilities for their events in the city.

Leveraging its growing popularity as the host city of 2016 G20 Summit, Hangzhou held the 2017 Conference and Incentive Travel Industry Fair, attracting a total of 122 professional buyers in MICE industry and 160 conference service providers.

Tourism is not new to Hangzhou, of course. In 2011, the World Tourism Organization invited domestic and foreign experts to Hangzhou and conducted a special survey there. After the investigation, they concluded that Hangzhou has the potential to become a top MICE destination in Asia Pacific region.

In recent years, Hangzhou has received a wide range of awards and gained worldwide fame. The city was awarded as one of the "Top 10 Glamorous Conference Destinations", and has been named "Annual best MICE city of China", "Annual best MICE destination", and "China's most creative international MICE destination".

According to a rank released by International Congress and Convention Association, Hangzhou has been ranked as the third place among the Chinese mainland cities on the rank of the global conference destination for five years from 2011 to 2015.

Moreover, the local government compiled Hangzhou incentive tourism brochures, a Hangzhou MICE Handbook, produced promotional video about Hangzhou's MICE industry and established domestic and overseas media promotion platforms including an official microblog and website, and participation in WeChat and LinkedIn.

As part of this initiative, the city government set up the Hangzhou International Meeting Bidding Service Center in June. The center will work together with local companies, organizations and convention ambassadors and provide bidding services for international association conferences and other meetings.

The establishment of the center is expected to strongly boost Hangzhou's MICE sector in its ability to win more conference bids, especially bids for international events.

Along with the development of the conference industry, the local government also makes an effort to cooperate with trade associations and institutions, to further develop the urban economy, improve the urban environment and generate more cross-border exchanges.

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