(Yicai Global) Dec. 6 -- China hosted 410 international conferences last year, an annual increase from 333 the year before, indicating the growing role the sector plays in the country’s tourism market.
The country ranked joint 7th globally with Japan in the industry, data from the International Congress and Convention Association show.
Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) have become a key growth driver for local tourism with major domestic holiday destinations stepping up efforts to hold such events, said Zhou Weimin, an inspector at the Beijing Municipal Tourism Development Committee.
The total number of international conferences in Asia Pacific rose 7.97 percent from 2,546 in 2015 to 2,749 last year, with China and Japan tying for first place. Beijing hosted 113 MICE events last year, up 18 on the previous year. The capital increased its regional ranking to fourth place behind Singapore, Seoul and Bangkok.
Of the 77 new international conferences in China in 2016, Beijing and Shanghai hosted 18 and 24, respectively. The cities of Hangzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo, Guangzhou and Nanjing gained greater global exposure their development in the sector, while the number of MICE activities in Chengdu and Xian hit all-time highs last year, the report said.