We are delighted to invite you to participate in the 2015 International Holistic Centers’ Gathering in Beijing, China, October 17-22, followed by a conference to provide access to the Chinese market if you are interested in presenting and introducing your centre to the market in China.
Trends in China
This is the context for our initiative of the conference. Over the past five years or so, we have noticed the trend of Chinese people going abroad for taking programs and retreats. For example, when I was at The Haven in Canada participating in the 2014 Gathering, a group of our Haiwen Community people were traveling in Machu Picchu for a Shamanistic workshop. Around the same time, another graduated participant of our community organized a tour to Australia for a retreat experience. One more example yet is that a friend of mine led a group of business people last year to Israel to do a workshop on the theme of team-building. Last but not the least, beginning from 2008,we have sent to The Haven on Gabriola Island, B.C., Canada, a group each year to do different workshops.
People in China prefer going to foreign countries for retreat or workshops for many reasons, such as feeling freer, safer, less judged and easier to open up. Earlier on, Chinese went to Southeast or South Asian countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Laos, Nepal or India for retreat. Now, as people become more affluent and more diversified in their selections and pursuit, they choose newer and farther destinations.
Markets in China
Categorically, there are two kinds of markets in China. First, people look for different programs of personal growth in kind; second,people look for exotic and safe resorts. The personal growth movement started at the turn of the century. By now, many earlier pioneers are beginning to experience the need of finding new programs and the younger generations are more selective and are looking for more integrated and diversified programs.
In terms of resort industry, there are many resorts in China but most, if not every one of them, started out not with the intention to cater to the personal growth programs but to general public and holiday takers for entertainment purposes. Therefore, the facilities in these resorts are mostly built and installed for entertainment and for leisure and sporting activities.
So we believe there is much value in organizing a conference for holistic centers to gain access to the Chinese market. We believe you would have the opportunities to build business connections with them for your benefit and for theirs too. We want to have the pleasure of serving as a bridge for you to reach a potentially large market.
Now, Haiwen Community. We are a community centered around Haiwen Company, which was founded 10 years ago with the intention to promote in China the Haven Personal Growth work developed from the Haven Foundation on Gabriola Island, Canada ( http://www.haven.ca). Mr. Liu Xiang Yang and I were the original founders of the company. Mr. Liu is a land developer upon whose property we have built our Beijing center to which you will be coming this year for our gathering and conference. Mr. Liu was one of the earliest pioneers of the personal growth work. He started taking personal growth programs in late 1990’s. I myself went to the Haven in 1992 and came back to China in 1999. We were introduced to each other in 2002 by a mutual friend. In 2003, I took Mr.Liu to Gabriola Island to do a Come Alive programme. In 2005, we started Haiwen Company.Haiwen means the culture of oceans in Chinese. It also matches in pronunciation the word Haven in English, indicating our origin of and the connection with The Haven in Canada.
Our Beijing Center is located 80 km to the Northwest of Beijing. To get there, you pass right through the Great Wall of China! And it is only half an hour drive to th eclimbing point of the wall. It is built at the foot of the mountain range which has been chosen for the site of Alpine Skiing of 2022 Winter Olympic Games should Beijing be chosen. By 2019, a bullet train route and service will be finished and it will only take 30 minutes by train from Beijing proper to our center.
The center is a physical part of a large weekend vacation-home community of over 1000 families. We have finished building quite a few facilities for the last year. Now, we have session rooms of different sizes, a theatre, two massage rooms, a restaurant, a tea house and villas with a capacity of accommodating 30 people. We are also affiliated with a five-star hotel which is 5-minute walk from our center, and with a budget hotel nearby.
To help us plan well ahead, we would like to know who will want to present in the proposed conference as early as possible. In addition, we also would like to know as early as possible what you would want to present and how long it will take. We will provide the technology and equipment as required by a typical international conference. We will also provide the translation services for you. We would like to set up March 31st as the deadline for preservation of your space of presentation. As what it looks like now, please use 1.5 – 3 hours for each presentation time frame. The final time space will be decided by the final numbers of presenters signed up. The tentative dates are currently 23 – 25 October. It is also possible that we extend the length of the conference by one more day if the presentation space becomes too crowded.
Beijing Sightseeing during the Conference
We are planning to organize a group tour for representatives from holistic centers to travel together to Beijing after the conference. A typical package of a 3 day Beijing group tour will cover tour guide serves, hotel rooms, admissions, meals and transportations.
It will take you to the most important places of interest, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, the Silk Street Knock-Off Market (Big one!) and a Peking Duck Flavor dinner. If you feel like taking an individual tour during the conference to visit Beijing and come back at night, there will be vans available for you to rent (with a driver). I recommend the group tour since it will make your travelling so much easier and more efficient.
Based on 20 people, the group tour will cost approx. $380-$420 US per person. This includes 4-star hotel rooms (3 nights and 4 days), tour bus, meals, guide service and admissions. The proposed dates of this three day extension will be 26 – 29 October.
If you would prefer to stay in a 3-star hotel the price is $365 US per person with the same inclusions as above, just with slightly more affordable accommodation.
The two quotes are not very much different because the hotel is not the most expensive part but the admissions are! Admissions to the sites is almost 1/3 of the total! For example, the forbidden City cost $30 and the Temple of Heaven $20.
My intention in sharing you this information is to help your schedule-making if you do not want to miss the opportunity of a tour of Beijing after our gathering and conference.
To help you plan your travel arrangements more specific details on dates and times are available online here.
Please do not hesitate to write to me if you have any questions, suggestions and/or feedback for us to be a successful organizer. To register your interest please complete the online form here and we will be in touch with you more with more details. We look forward to hearing from and seeing you in Beijing in October!
Co-founder of Haiwen Beijing Center