Xiamen ready to become international city
Authorities in Xiamen, a city in Southeast China's Fujian province, vowed to build itself into an international destination for conventions and exhibitions by strengthening ties with international industry organizations and introducing more overseas resources.
"The convention and exhibition industry in Xiamen maintains sound growth momentum, and the local government has put it as a pillar industry for the city's development. Now, we want to make more efforts to promote the industry to new heights by accelerating the international development pace," said Wang Qiongwen, director of the Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Convention and Exhibition Affairs.
Wang noted that the development of the international high-end convention and exhibition industry will be a key direction for the future.
"So far, the industry's competition is very fierce. We need to create a more favorable international marketing environment for the industry to further develop," Wang said the city will combine the development of convention and exhibition industry with local tourism industry and go with the tides of world industry, especially to carry out cooperation with industry companies and organizations.
In February, Xiamen's convention and exhibition affairs bureau announced to officially join the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), an international organization that aggregates a large number of industry service providers, venues, accommodation providers and governmental organizations related to tourism and convention and exhibition affairs worldwide.
Headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the ICCA was founded in 1963 and has a membership network of more than 1,000 suppliers in the international meetings industry from about 90 countries.
Joining the organization will help the bureau gain access to global markets and stay informed of the latest industry news. Meanwhile, it can also widen its networks by participating in various related events, themed seminars, and training and refresher courses, local official said.
"Through joining the ICCA, we will learn more international development experiences from other members, Meanwhile, experts from the ICCA will also give their insights and thoughts on how to better develop Xiamen's convention and exhibition industry," Wang Qiongwen said.
Wang said joining the ICCA is just the first step for the city to march towards the international stage, and in the near future the city will also join more industry organizations to learn and introduce more international quality resources.
Noor Ahmad Hamid，Asia Pacific Regional Director of ICCA said Xiamen has great potential to develop into an international destination for convention and exhibition.
"Xiamen not only has beautiful scenes but also has a specialized bureau to promote the industry's development. Meanwhile, local government has strong passion and interest of positioning itself as international destination of convention, exhibition and tourism," he said.
Noor Ahmad Hamid noted that Xiamen should do a lot of work when it decides to compete in the international stage, and create its own way to develop convention and exhibition industry, which combines the city's own characteristics.
Earlier this month, a forum on international marketing of Xiamen convention and exhibition international marketing was held in the city, where experts from the ICCA, industry professionals as well as government officials discussed how to carry out effective marketing work through international platforms and channels to promote the city's convention and exhibition industry development.
In 2015, the country's convention and exhibition industry kept stable growth by holding 193 various conventions and exhibitions with a total area of 1.91 million square meters, 10 percent higher than previous year. Among them, a total of 120 convention and exhibitions attracted more than 1000 people participated, according to the local authorities.
The total economic benefit of convention and exhibition industry in 2015 reached 31.8 billion yuan, increasing about 15 percent than previous year, it said.