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August 15, 2012

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Shanghai suffers shortage of convention specialists

SHANGHAI is suffering a severe shortage of professionals in the convention industry, experts told a forum on tourism and conventions yesterday.

The talent gap reaches nearly 100,000 and international talent specializing in marketing, operation and management of the convention sector are urgently needed, said Wang Jiming, general manager of the Shanghai International Convention Center and deputy director of the China Tourist Hotels Association. Wang said most international conferences and exhibitions held in Shanghai are brought by overseas marketing teams as their counterparts in the city don't have enough resources, thus fail to explore and spot promising markets.

The city is continuing to bring in convention professionals from other cities at home and abroad, while local universities said some of their graduates in convention-related majors are not working in the industry.

Wang Chunlei, chair of the Event Management Department of the Tourism Institute of Shanghai Normal University, said nearly 40 percent of its graduates in event or tourism management are not working in their major-related fields.

"Some of our graduates turn to other industries after they find the pay is not competitive," he said.

They started as salespersons at exhibition booths and they don't perceive a bright future in the business, so they try something else, Wang said.


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