Yunnan Tourism Co., Ltd: Developing Garden Expo '99 Site into a First–Class Urban Eco–Cultural Complex
Russell Arthur Smith; Wee Beng Geok; Chen Wei
Case (Pub Mat)
The Asian Business Case Centre, NTU
In 1999, the International Horticultural Exposition was held in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province in China. Recognised as an international exposition by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the event was organised by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), based in Paris, France.
It was the first international mega–exposition hosted in China, and had strong support from Kunming's local government agencies. The six–month long exposition (Expo Garden) attracted more than 9 million visitors from around the world with a daily average of 49,000 park visitors and hitting a peak of more than 110,000 visitors in a single day. After the exhibition ended, Kunming government decided to continue to keep the venue open as a tourist destination, and major transformations were made to Expo Garden's management structure and business operations.
A decade later, Expo Garden had lost its position as a prime tourist destination in Yunnan, as other destinations such as Dali, Shangri–la and Lijiang became the top tourist draws. During this time, domestic tourists emerged as the main engine of growth in Yunnan's tourism industry.
In 2012, the group that owned and managed Expo Gardens, Yunnan Tourism Co. Ltd, a state–owned company listed in the Shenzhen stock exchange, needed a turnaround strategy to enhance the attractiveness of Expo Garden, its major asset. The aim was to:
transform Expo Garden into a major player in Yunnan Province's tourism industry; and
to boost Expo Garden's income growth substantially and improve the financial performance of the company.
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