Hangzhou, becoming an international meetings city

22nd Aug, 2016

The ICCA rankings don’t lie. In 2014, Hangzhou was the third convention city for the fourth consecutive year among all mainland cities in China, just behind Beijing and Shanghai. In 2015, Hangzhou climbed up three places, a testament to the city’s positioning as an international meeting city.

Rémi Dévé reports

Catching up

Hangzhou, the capital and largest city of eastern China’s Zhejiang Province has ambitions to catch up with its more developed counterparts in the meetings industry. 

The lovely lakeside city, which boasts a UNESCO World Heritage site in the West Lake, is an ideal location for events—not only because of its natural beauty, which offers delegates an alternative meeting landscape, but also because of Hangzhou’s easy accessibility—it’s only two hours by train from central Shanghai, or a 90-minute flight from Hong Kong.

With the hosting of G20 as well as the 2022 Asian Games, Hangzhou is set to become an international player on the business events map. The capital of the Zhejiang Province has all the necessary infrastructure to accommodate international associations: more than 250 star hotels, including 23 five-star properties, and the soon-to-be-open Hangzhou International Expo Center in the Binjiang District, which will be the largest MICE venue with 61 conference rooms and the city’s largest conference hall – just to name a few!

Better news

The G20 summit is just one of the big events Hangzhou has secured so far. Among others, let’s name the 9th International Youth Nuclear Congress which was held in July, the 8th World Congress of Herpetology in August and the 1st Internet Public Charity Convention in October with high-profile speakers such as Ban Ki-moon, Bill Gates and Bill Clinton. There is also the 50th AIPPI World Intellectual Property Congress in 2020 with an estimated attendance of 3,000 participants.

And there is even better news for association planners. 2016 is the third year now that a “MICE Hangzhou Conference & Meeting Special Offer” program is launched. Initiated by Hangzhou local government, hundreds of hotels, travel agencies and conference companies have indeed come together to promote conferences and meetings in Hangzhou.

And now a discount of maximum 27,000€ on meeting rates is possible: the idea is to attract companies outside of Hangzhou and even worldwide to hold conferences and meetings in the city. This win-win endeavor, the first of its kind, can benefit organisations that are not based in Hangzhou and greatly stimulate the city’s business tourism economy.


Roger Shu

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