In early December, two weeks after the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives announced the results of a survey showing a natural disinclination to send business travelers to India and Pakistan in the short term as well as for travel managers and meeting managers to step up their reviews of safety and security at hotels in the region.
Nearly half of the 134 international business travel managers who replied to the survey said their companies sent travelers to the region frequently, and 48 percent indicated they were curtailing travel to India “until the situation became more settled.” Just seven percent claimed they were doing so indefinitely; another seven percent of respondents claimed that travelers were requesting not to travel to the destination at any time. Fifty-one percent of respondents indicated their travelers had not specifically requested not to travel to India or Pakistan.
One-third of survey respondents said they would be looking for hotel security improvements, including more detailed coordination with local authorities (police, fire, and military), staff training for evacuation and assistance, backup communication systems for guests trapped in rooms, and better surveillance systems.
Download a PDF of ACTE’s Traveler Safety Recommendations.
About a week later, Reed Travel Exhibitions, organizers of the China Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition, released the results of its second study into the China and Asia meetings industry conducted during the Olympic Games in Beijing in August, before the recession took hold globally. Independently analyzed by The Right Solution Limited, the results show a positive outlook for both the domestic and international markets in China and elsewhere in Asia.
The vast majority of the 650 buyer respondents—some 70 percent—were based in Asia, with 56 percent from China. Forty percent of buyers predicted that the number of events held in China would increase in the next 12 months. Cost was still the number-one consideration (74 percent), followed by location (71 percent). Quality of accommodation, ranked fifth in 2007, came in as the third most-important factor. Quality of service and security and safety were ranked next in importance.
Of the 428 events held in Mainland China by survey respondents during 2007, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong were the most popular meeting destinations.
China and India continue to invest heavily in conference and event facilities, with 28 exhibition center developments in Asia under way, according to Reed. CIBTM 2009 takes place at the China National Convention Centre September 8-10, 2009. Visit www.cibtm.com for more.