Never Give Up！
China Star was officially founded on July 25, 2005 over ten years ago. The ten years bear all the painstaking efforts and hardships of pioneering as well as joy of success. It is worth looking back and remembering. We need such an activity to boost morale because it takes willpower and courage to persist in doing inbound MICE in China under the current situation. Moreover, we need such an opportunity to share with industry colleagues the path of our development and to express our gratitude.
The main purpose of this party is to say “thank you”, not to celebrate. I think the moment of celebration has not come yet for China’s MICE industry, especially inbound MICE. What we more need to do is work together and seek common development.
When China Star was founded in 2005, we were ambitious full of hopes, but deep in our heart we knew we needed to prepare for a rainy day. It was good times for inbound tourism and it was not uncommon a group series product could support a travel agent. The main product of China Star was “People to People Ambassador Programs”, a high-end travel program incorporating professional and cultural exchange. It was a program of strategic cooperation between Ambassadors Group ( former Ambassador Programs ) and People to People International, a not-for-profit organization established by President Dwight Eisenhower. The program was so successful and influential in China that most clients knew People to People before they knew China Star. That’s what I was worried about-putting all our eggs in one basket with low anti-risk capability.
Then we began to shift our focus to developing the MICE market. In the first three years, business was stable and the company was making pretty good profits. When inbound tourism was partially affected by the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China Star however received over 4500 international guests during the Olympic Games, which made our performance of that year the highest so far. Not long before the games, the company organized a team building trip to Beidaihe to celebrate the 3rd anniversary. There we wrote our wishes on a small note and put all the notes in this bottle. We decided we should open the bottle when celebrating the 5th anniversary of the company. But after the Olympic Games, inbound tourism began to decline. In 2010 we didn’t open the bottle because we had no confidence. Now seven years has passed. I believe not all our wishes have come true. But I decide we will open the wish bottle tonight when the party is over when no one else except China Star staff and former colleagues who were in Beidaihe in 2008 is present. Actually these years, there have been people who tried to steal their wish notes from the bottle. But no one succeeded thanks to my strong defense.
What we were worried about finally happened. Inbound travel remained sluggish because of the weak global economy and the number of delegates of People to People groups continued to drop. In October, Ambassadors Group announced it would stop operating the student and adult travel programs at the end of this year. Fortunately China Star is prepared. Our growing MICE business has laid a solid foundation for the company’s development.
To conclude, in the past ten years what’s worth our celebrating? I think it is our strong willpower and perseverance. We successfully transitioned to a DMC and PCO, worth celebrating! We have crossed the threshold, now sit as equals at the same table with the world’s leading MICE companies and compete with them, worth celebrating! Through ten years’ study and hard work, China Star has expanded its influence, improved the quality of its service, increased its ability to deal with risks and laid a foundation for sustainable development. This is worth celebrating!
Joining Site in 2005 and the establishment of Site China Chapter in 2006 are two milestones of China Star. Since then, we became a member of the big international MICE family. Later we joined ICCA, MPI and had the honor to be one of the founding members of WPCOA.
If we clung to old ideas and made no attempt to make progress, we wouldn’t have been what we are today.
The road of development will never be easy. We met a lot of difficulties and obstacles when groping our way forward. Sometimes it was getting worse and it seemed we were back to where we started. In 2003 China was hit by SARS, the travel and meetings industry suffered a heavy blow. Today, the haze weather is responsible for affecting China’s inbound MICE tourism. SARS was temporary and over, but to solve the pollution problem is a long-term challenge. Therefore, we are in a more severe situation. But we will never give up!
If we work together and pursue common development, we will have louder voice and bigger power. Let’s join hands and create a more beautiful future, which is the final purpose of our party tonight.
Again, our heart-felt thanks to all our friends who have supported, helped and witnessed China Star’s growth. Thank you!