Food is serious business in Shanghai. The world’s largest city with 24 million people is recognized as a global financial hub. Less known is the city’s dedication to food.
From steaming Xiao long bao pork dumplings cooked on the side of the road, to ‘smoked’ fish slices and beggar’s chicken, which originated in the Qing Dynasty, Shanghai’s 15,000 restaurants, 2,000 snack houses and stalls create masterpieces of culinary art. Mouth-watering.
Eating is reason enough to visit Shanghai. There is also bargain shopping, sightseeing of old and new attractions, and a vibrant nightlife.
Food though is the highway to the Shanghai soul. All tastes and budgets are catered for. Cuisine ranges from Asian to European in an effortless meld of quality and professional attention.
Top restaurants in Shanghai include the first Michelin 3-star restaurant in China, the T’ang Court located in The Langham hotel, which has only six tables. Seven restaurants have been awarded two-star Michelin honors. They include the delicious Canton 8, which serves a $10 lunch making it perhaps the least expensive two-star restaurant in the world. And 25 restaurants that have received coveted Bib Gourmand awards, where a high quality meal costs less than $40.
The business side of Shanghai hospitality is also gaining momentum. The city caters for every imaginable style of meeting or function: weddings of 15 through to the World Expo 2010 that drew 75 million visitors.
Improving the Shanghai ‘visitor experience’ is being achieved by MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) specialists using food to promote sightseeing and traditional ceremonies with newer activities such as the performing arts and retail.
“Food is a competitive advantage for Shanghai to promote itself as a global meeting destination,” says leading wine marketer, Mr David Dean. “It also provides a way to link its attractions with its culture and history, and create visitor value.”
It is a theme not lost on authorities who have recently issued licenses for select 5-star hotel groups to provide outside catering in Shanghai for small, high-end gala dinners for the MICE sector. These new resources enable local MICE organizers to offer a stronger meetings and events product and stay ahead of global competitors.
The MICE market is growing at 10%, and continues to be one of China’s leading industries.
The 226-room Radisson Exhibition Center Shanghai, which opened late last year, assesses that 60% of its growth will come from the MICE sector. Resources developed to meet this demand include1,500 square meters of meeting space and a 600-square-meter pillarless ballroom with a wall-size LED screen. The hotel also provides a complimentary shuttle service between Hongqiao International Airport (SHA), Shanghai Railway Station and the National Exhibition & Conference Center.
The IT&CM exhibition co-located with CTW China is being hosted from 21 – 23 March, 2017. It is being managed by TTG Events, a business group of TTG Asia Media and co-organized by Carlson Wagonlit Travel, China.