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Making room for MICE

ALREADY famous as a tourist destination for its rainforest hills, sparkling coastline and resort atmosphere, Sanya is going full steam ahead to become a base for international conferences and exhibitions.

The aim is to make Sanya the "capital of MICE" (meetings, incentives, conferences, events).

With the recent development of incentive travel, China's "Forever Tropical Paradise" is not only a tourist mecca of azure sea and golden sand, but also an ideal place for meetings, exhibitions and leisure services.

Accommodation is surging and the skyline features star hotels and resorts that bolster the city's MICE potential.

"Sanya is undoubtedly the No. 1 tropical destination in China blessed with year-round sunshine, pristine beaches, lush forests, hot springs and a rich, historical culture," says Michel L. Goget, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya. "It is a great MICE destination and its market is evolving rapidly."

The hotel on palm-fringed Yalong Bay is one of southern China's first international luxury lifestyle resort hotels, built two years ago, and has established itself as a key choice for MICE groups.

Well-known names such as Louis Vuitton, Bvlgari, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen are on the list of those that chose the hotel for annual conferences, taking advantage of the state-of-the-art conference facilities, luxury accommodation, leisure activities and personalized services. The hotel provides a professional, tailor-made experience for delegates.

"With a vast and versatile space for events, we are able to offer guests precisely what they want in terms of meeting and conferencing needs," Goget says.

Opened in April 2008, the resort includes 1,700 square meters of flexible space for meetings, conferences and special. The entire venue covers 150,000 square meters.

The 910-square-meter grand ballroom can be divided into four rooms. Nine meeting rooms seat 50 to 1,200 visitors. The business center has an executive board room.

Each of the spaces is equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment including plasma monitors, smart boards, electronic flip charts, portable computers, LCD projectors, wireless microphones, WiFi broadband access, mobile phones and fax machines.

The hotel offers 1,055 square meters of pre-function area, including a private lawn for garden parties, an outside deck with mangrove view for cocktail parties and amphitheater-style courtyard that lends itself to business or social functions where weather-proof AV equipment can be utilized.

Air connections are excellent, making this an ideal location for meetings. There are direct flights to Sanya Phoenix International Airport from many major cities. Airport transfer to the resort takes just 40 minutes or less. Luxury limousine transport is available for MICE delegates, as is 24-hour access to the full-service business center.

For companies incorporating staff motivation and team-building activities into a weekend away, the hotel offers a number of possibilities, such as a Challenges and Climbing Wall for developing communication skills and teamwork, and Volun Teambuilding to combine team building with volunteer activities.

The resort features a professional scuba diving center and extensive water sports; two championship golf courses are just minutes away.

"It's spectacular," says General Manager Goget of the hotel's business performance in the past two years, making it a leader.

"The city's MICE market still has great potential," he says. "Now more Chinese realize the benefits of gathering their employees with team-building benefits. This is just the beginning for Sanya. It needs time to grow. For the MICE market, there is a great future."


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