China – The Eco Destination of the Future?
You may think we are being provocative but we like to think we’ve got a pretty nifty crystal ball here and there’s some exciting developments bubbling in China. The government has been focusing on soft power and investing more money in science & green tech industry than any other nation these past years.
It’s clear to us that China has set it’s sights on being a science and sustainability world leader. From building the world’s latest radio telescope with a 1650 ft dish through to becoming the world’s largest investor in renewable energy last year, spending a total of $103bn, or 36% of the world total- the evidence is clear. Daily, the stories continue to mount- most recently the Chinese government announced dietary guidelines reducing meat consumption and green house gas emissions by 1bn tonnes by 2030 and an ambitious plan to cover nearly a quarter of the country with forests by 2020 turning China into “an ecological civilization”. President Xi Jinping has pointed out that “green is gold” and that moving towards a new era of “Eco-civilization” and building a “Beautiful China” are key to realizing the “Chinese Dream” of rejuvenating the nation.
So what does this mean for the MICE industry? Well, simply- no industry is immune from the power shifts and effects firstly of globalization and secondly of the era of sustainability. Earthcheck already have 30 projects under operation in China from Langham properties through to Alila, Radissons, Banyan Tree venues and integrated resorts in Macau.
MICE Destinations in China are rapidly developing but with a newly discovered environmental consciousness front of mind, take Chengdu- capital of Sichuan province, focus is very much on Wenjiang a satellite feeder city of the main capital. Banyan Tree and Hong Leong Group are planning to invest 2.5 billion SGD in this province alone. By 2020 the city will have a population of over 1.2 million lured by the environment and business opportunities. Mr Xiong Zong Hui, vice-district head of the peoples government of Chengdu Wengjiang district stated that “the quality of life is better here. We think it’s important to preserve our ecology and environment, including our lakes and rivers. We want to turn Wengjiang into a garden city”. Watch this space for Sustainable MICE venues coming online.
Elsewhere Hainan has been the clear choice for environmentally conscious planners in China so far with it’s lush tropical landscape, green environment and leading hotels but it’s not going to rest on its laurels. Boasting a great history as the signing place of a key UNEP Sustainable tourism declaration the govt is continuing to look to the future by delivering on a strong sustainable tourism development plan with a green building focus.
Watch out for more developments in the pipeline such as the 346 room Dhawa Bo’ao the first hotel in Bo’ao offering a quality spa with vibrant sustainable design elements. With over half of its guest rooms facing the sea, the hotel will have extensive banquet and meeting facilities, a restaurant and pool
The future is green and the future is definitely being “Made in China”.