By Laura Bradley

A global industry leader has claimed that China is ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to MICE recovery. Addressing the more than 200 virtual participants of the Society of Incentives and Travel Executives’ (SITE) latest Motivate Series webinar, The Future of Air and Accommodation last Tuesday, Senior Vice President, sales and hotel marketing for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Ben Trodd said that the country is recovering with “such great pace.”

“Once you take out the element of international travel, [China’s] domestic market is appearing to operate in a relatively normal way,” he said.

Mr Trodd said that while meetings are returning to China, they are on the smaller side with social distancing measures in place as well as different styles of food service. He added that while there have been some recent examples of city-wide conventions in China, a vaccine would need to reach a certain level “before we see the return of large-scale, city-wide group travel and movement.”

Closer to home, Hilton has reported that New Zealand’s business events activity is resuming at an encouraging rate. At the Hilton EventReady with CleanStay media event, which took place at Hilton Sydney last Thursday, commercial director for Hilton Australasia Shaizeen Contractor said that New Zealand did a great job of getting case numbers down and is out-performing its neighbouring countries.

“Small-to-medium meetings are returning in New Zealand, especially Auckland with no social distancing requirements anymore,” she said.

“Hilton Auckland has seen good pick up with social events too, being one of the few hotels without quarantine, we have been available for both corporate and leisure events.”