Xiaoshan, a new calling card to the world of sport, business and leisure
Xiaoshan District, which will house the Hangzhou Olympic Center, has become an important MICE (meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition) destination in the Yangtze River Delta region, thanks to enriched tourist resources, surrounding parks, resorts and hotels, and government’s support.
Xiaoshan is the new city center of Hangzhou by virtue of its historical opportunity to host the G20 Summit and 2022 Asian Games, according to the Xiaoshan Tourism Commission.
MICE industry is listed as one of its pillar industries. The district has quality infrastructure and solid foundation to develop the industry.
In recent years, the local government has launched a plan to promote it as the “meeting room” in southeastern China.
For a long time, the city lacked large exhibition halls to host high-end activities. That has changed now. The Hangzhou International Expo Center, which was built for the G20 Summit in 2016, has become the city’s new calling card.
The center has joined a couple of world-famous MICE organizations, including International Congress and Convention Association, International Association of Exhibitions and Events, and Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.
Last year, the 1st China International Tea Expo was hosted in the venue. The expo organizers announced that Xiaoshan District will be the permanent site for this event.
In 2017, Xiaoshan District hosted more than 8,000 meetings, 227 large-scale conventions and 62 exhibitions.
To date, World Leisure Expo, Conference and Incentive Industry Fair and Silk Road International Association have announced to set up in Xiaoshan District permanently. Meanwhile, the local government has cooperated with e-commerce giant Alibaba to hold Global Conference on Women and Entrepreneurship, Netrepreneureship Summit and Taobao Maker Festival in this area every year.
A series of big events was held in Xiaoshan. The cluster effect of MICE industry attracted more and more investors.
Thus far, dozens of organizations have signed contracts with the district. About 10 percent of them are international conferences. The 14th FINA World Swimming Championships and the 2022 Asian Games will give a higher profile to Xiaoshan’s MICE industry.
The plentiful achievements have helped spread Xiaoshan’s image around the world. The local government, encouraged by the result, has accelerated plans to further develop the MICE industry.
To allure international event planners and enterprises to invest here, local authorities have put forward a series of preferential policies in the fields of talent recruitment, brand building and rent.
International conferences, especially those verified by prestigious MICE associations, could be rewarded up to 2 million yuan according to their economic benefits if they decide to settle in Xiaoshan. MICE-related companies set up in the district could be subsidized up to 2 million yuan depending on their actual revenue within three years.
In order to take advantage of an array of tourist attractions, Xiaoshan has designed a batch of MICE products to meet the market demand. The government has created new tourism routes, as well as new theme packages.
This year, the local government initiates the “Tourism International Year” to deepen the internationalization of incentive tourism industry.
Last year, the headquarters of World Tourism Alliance was announced to establish at Xianghu National Resort in Xiaoshan District. This non-government, non-profit international tourism organization is expected to boost the local MICE industry of the district.
Five cities, namely, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Xi’an and Chengdu, were considered candidates for the headquarters, and Hangzhou’s Xiaoshan District was finally chosen because of its tourism service levels and policy support from the local government.
In the future, Xiaoshan District will focus on upgrading facilities and infrastructures. Today, its largest exhibition room is only 3,000 square meters, which can hardly host an international conference with more than 2,000 participants. A qualified international MICE destination often requires a 5,000-square-meter exhibition space to accommodate 3,000 to 5,000 people. To reach that goal, Xiaoshao will continue to construct the Hangzhou International Expo Center in the future and build new venues alongside the Xiaoshan International Airport.
In 2019, Xiaoshan plans to hold more than 10,000 conferences with international conventions accounting for 10 percent, and around 100 exhibitions with 40 percent international-level events. The total venue space will achieve 250,000 square meters, according to the government’s plans.
On the other hand, Xiaoshan will emphasize on exhibitions of seven emerging industries, namely, high-end machine manufacturing, information, new energy vehicles, health, tourism, cultural and creative, and three traditional industries with cutting-edge technology, namely, chemical fiber, textile, printing and dyeing.
These industries are expected to make up for the shortages of Xiaoshan’s industrial development, promote its existing competitive industries, and integrate the productions and sales with exhibitions.