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Reporting from IT&CM China and CT&TW China in Shanghai
Search for China DMCs begins  
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Raini Hamdi, Shanghai (2007-04-24)

BUYERS say tenders for meetings and incentives in China have surged due to clients' rising interest in the mainland, but with it comes a pressing need for DMCs (destination marketing companies), and suitable ideas, that are crucial to successful events.

Australia-based Conference Online managing director, Mr Stephen Poole, said he had proposed a 10-day meeting in Beijing and Shanghai to LG Electronics based in Sydney recently, but believed a lack of information on "out of the ordinary" products might affect the tender. Mr Poole said it was hard to find DMCs.

But Ireland-based Top Events marketing director, Ms Annette FitzGerald, believed China would give other destinations a run for their money, as the 2008 Beijing Olympics was boosting its image, and planners such as herself were finding it was cheaper to hold an event in China compared to Europe.

Ms FitzGerald said: "The cost of flying to France from Ireland is 300 to 400. To China it's about 500, so it's not much more. Then, the ground costs are much lower, the standards of hotels much higher and the exchange rate is favourable to us, so the value for money is immense."

France-based Europasia Commercial Agency general manager, Ms Eka Moncarre, said the timing was good now to start featuring China for MICE, as "facilities had become better". She echoed the need for proper DMCs, but believed at the rate China progressed, even the issue of a lack of DMCs would not be an issue two to three years from now, as the country learned fast.