Positive signs of recovery continue to emerge from the Chinese events
market, with the sprawling Design China Beijing 2020 trade show taking
place last week and the Beijing Music Festival (BMF) set to take place
The four-day design event saw more than 15,000 visitors and 100
exhibitors gather at the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre, while
BMF (10-20 October) will feature a mix of live and virtual performances.
As China continues its recovery trajectory, the Beijing Municipal
Bureau of Culture and Tourism on 23 September led a forum, gathering
industry heavyweights over candid discussions on new market ideas and
opportunities moving into 2021.
Titled ‘Restart Travel, Together with Beijing’, Chen Dong, director
general of Beijing Tourism addressed domestic and global groups and
suppliers eager to restart business not just in Beijing but across
He highlighted that “fundamentals for the recovery of travel are
still there,” and that key developments and events are pushing ahead as
planned — this includes the opening of Universal Studios Beijing in May
2021, and the 2022 Winter Olympics.
On the hotel front, 70 per cent of hotels – that’s 343 properties – in Beijing have resumed operations.
“We recorded 70 per cent occupancy in August for all our hotels, and
380 hotels are [back in operation] today, said Becky Cao, VP of global
sales at Marriott Greater China. The hospitality group is also expanding
their footprint in China, adding more than 300 hotels in over 100
cities to the pipeline.
“In Q4 we see a larger scale of groups coming back to our hotel, and
anticipate more conventions and corporate meetings will happen.”
Kris Van Goethem, managing director MICE, leisure & sport at Thomas Cook China, is also seeing a resurgence.
“Domestic MICE business is coming back, and more than 1,000
conferences are already happening. We have some hotels doing even better
this summer than last summer," he said.
Goethem also believes that MICE will be the first sector to return, followed by sports and leisure.
“When the gates of China reopen [and] visas are out, I assume the
business community will be the first to come back, since many people do
businesses here. Leisure groups will be more hesitant, I don’t see them
coming this year even if they can – quarantine rules will have to be
totally abandoned first,” Goethem said.