Chinese business travelers took 138.5 million domestic trips to attend meetings and conventions in 2014, spending a total of $110 billion in the process, according to the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), which today published what it says is the first-ever assessment of China's meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE) industry.
Titled "Market Assessment of MICE Business Travel in China
," the GBTA Foundation's report found that MICE activity comprises 42 percent of total domestic business travel volume in China and 45 percent of total business travel spending. Other key findings:
• In the past 12 months, 86 percent of business travelers have taken a trip for MICE purposes in China, and each business traveler spends an average of $1,100 per trip.
• Chinese MICE trips last an average of 2.9 days, with the majority of trips (59 percent) lasting between two and four days.
• Most business travelers (64 percent) reach their MICE destinations by air while 18 percent travel by train and 14 percent by car.
• MICE meetings are typically held at conference and convention centers (38 percent) or hotels (33 percent).
• Nearly one-third (29 percent) of Chinese business travelers expect the number of MICE events they will attend to increase over the next year.
• Shanghai (27 percent) and Beijing (25 percent) hosted the majority of MICE trips in China over the last 12 months, followed by Guangzhou (24 percent), Hong Kong (11 percent), and Macau (6 percent).
"This first-ever assessment of China's MICE market shows just how large this segment is in China, making up 42 percent of total domestic business travel and producing spend of $110 billion -- second only to the United States," said GBTA Foundation Vice President of Research Joseph Bates. "The MICE segment presents a large opportunity for travel suppliers and we expect it to continue to grow at a rapid pace as China's economy expands."