Latest Outpost in China to Encourage Travel to OC for Group Meetings and Large Business
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (April 18, 2016) - The Orange County Visitors Association (OCVA) announces the opening of the Beijing-based MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions) office this week. The OCVA is implementing a China MICE marketing team centered in the Beijing office this week to promote Orange County as a world-class MICE destination to the China market. The Asian public announcement will be made by OCVA President and CEO Ed Fuller at a press conference in Beijing on May 17.
Along with the booming Chinese leisure travel market, China's MICE market is increasing in tandem with the rapid growth of China's economy and corporate spending over the past decade.
Given the huge potential for growth in MICE travel from China to Orange County, illustrated by massive MICE groups in the past 12 months including the 7,000 person Perfect Group in 2014; and supplemented by a continuous flow of extremely high-spend, mid-size and smaller luxury incentive groups, the OCVA has created a targeted program for 2016 and beyond.
The MICE office operation launch is supervised by Sr. Vice-President of Global Sales and Marketing for OCVA, Chip Stuckmeyer; this team will join OCVA's current marketing initiatives in China, including OTA, C-TRIP and WeChat. To tap into China's MICE business market requires specialized skills and networks, different from the OCVA team already in China targeting the OTA and leisure travel market.
"Under Chip Stuckmeyer's leadership, we expect this initiative to deliver significant growth in the group meetings and incentive arena. We are committed to making this a major win for OC tourism, bringing incremental revenue and opening new markets," says Ed Fuller, President and CEO of OCVA.
Ninety percent of current MICE business from China consists of corporate incentive groups organized by companies as rewards for sales performances. The typical incentive group size is 100-200 pax but exceptionally large groups of several thousand pax are also seen, spending over $30 million per group on the ground in California. The length of travel varies widely depending on the seniority of the MICE group participant, but average corporate incentive groups from China stay approximately 7 days in California. Chinese incentive groups spend massively on luxury brand and entertainment for their top performers - with the largest incentive groups spending $30-50 million dollars in California on dinners, entertainment, and in-state attractions for its participants.
Brand USA projects China will overtake the U.S. as the #1 business travel market in the world in 2016, generating 20 percent of global business travel spend. They also recognize the importance of business and tourist visas recently been extended to 10 years, with student visas extended to 5 years and the conveniences of a new online system helps facilitate international travel like never before. From November 2014 through August 2015, China visa issuance increased 44 percent. 2.1 million tourist visas were issued in China in the last 10 months - one-quarter of the global total. 600,000 Chinese have used the new visa renewal program in the past 10 months. The National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) currently projects more than 5 million arrivals to the U.S. from China by 2019 (more than 2 times the number of 2014 arrivals.)
About Orange County Visitors Association
The Orange County Visitors Association (OCVA) represents more than 700 members of Orange County, California's tourism community and is the leading resource for visitor information about the county's 34 cities. OCVA serves as steward of The OC brand, recognized worldwide as the home of world-famous theme parks, unparalleled shopping, 42 miles of pristine coastline, renowned beachfront resorts, and innumerable activities ranging from watersports to world-class performing arts. OCVA promotes the destination both domestically and internationally, with tourism offices in four international cities. Orange County is located in the heart of Southern California and provides easy access to all the attractions the region offers. For more information, go to www.VisitTheOC.com or call the California Welcome Center at (714) 523-3441. Follow OCVA on Facebook (VisitTheOC) and Twitter (@VisitTheOC).
McCue Marketing Communications
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