Malaysia is Hong Kong’s 8th Biggest Trading Partner

By | 2018

In the first half of 2018, the total trade value is estimated to be over USD 13 billion with total export value to Malaysia at USD 2 billion; and total import value from Malaysia, is over USD 11 billion.  This was shown in a presentation by Hoh Jee Eng of Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s director in Malaysia during a luncheon for the press organised by HKTDC.

Every year HKDC organises more than 30 exhibitions and trade fairs of international level.  It ranges from jewellery, premium gifts, electronics, watch and clock, lighting and wine and spirits. Between 2017 and 2018, it was recorded that there were 39,000 exhibitors and over 750,000 buyers to these exhibitions and trade fairs organised by HKTDC. Out of these, 1,000 exhibitors are from ASEAN member countries with over 36,000 buyers. The figures indicate there is a keenness among buyers to explore business opportunities through HKTDC exhibitions platform.

According to HKTDC Malaysia director Hoh Jee Eng, it is popular among business people in Malaysia, to visit trade fairs in Hong Kong to source for products such as optical wares, electronic parts, watch and clocks among others.  She has over the years, arranged a number of visits of buyers from Malaysia to exhibitions and trade fairs by HKTDC. Hong Kong remains a favourite destination among Malaysians to visit for business.

Members of the press at the luncheon organised by HKTDC with Hoh Jee Eng, Director, Malaysia HKTDC (4th from left), Dato’ Joseph Lim, Vice President of Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (5th from left ) and Julia Douglas, Managing Editor of MICE in Asia.

Global Business Events Market Looking at Malaysia as a Host for International Events and Preferred Incentive Destination

By | 2018

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre took the initiative under its KLCC BE Alliance programme, and invited two representatives from the United States-based Maritz Global Events to Malaysia.  This was for them to familiarise with the local scene in Malaysia and explore opportunities to partner with the Centre in bringing international events, meetings and congresses into the country.  The Centre welcomed Ben Goedegebuure, global general manager of Maritz from The Hague, and Nancy Debrosse, senior vice president strategic account management in Arlington, Virginia.

Some background facts about the KLCC BE Alliance: It was established by the Centre in collaboration with key business events players and stakeholders who are located within the heart of the city of Kuala Lumpur.  The alliance offers a seamless single point of contact for organisers and meetings professionals in planning their events, from venues available in the area, to accommodation and entertainment.

In an interview with MICE in Asia, global general manager Ben Goedegebuure who has been to Malaysia before, was enthralled with the multicultural society of the country which he said, augurs well for the country’s attractiveness as a host, and destination for incentives and events.  According to Goedegebuure, it’s good that the Centre is taking the lead in advocating business events in Malaysia and promoting it to the global market for there is a need to know more about the country, as Malaysia has a lot to offer.

Meanwhile Nancy Debrosse informed that the American market tends to gravitate more towards the Asian destinations of Singapore and Hong Kong.  Her clients are also currently looking at diverse location to go to.  Having experienced Malaysia through this trip, she can testify to her clients to have a fresh look at Malaysia, especially through the favourable currency exchange, Malaysia offers value for money, from affordable hotel rates to shopping.

Both guests however agree that Malaysia has both the hardware and software and can hold its own in the global events market.  They were also impressed with the technology level of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre which has the necessary hi-tech requirements for a top venue to host international events.

Angeline van den Broecke, director of sales and marketing of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre mentioned that the Centre is actively working with the Malaysian government particularly with the Ministry of Tourism, to develop an infrastructure to empower a business event environment in Malaysia.  Together with a proposition to establish a business events industry that can contribute to the country’s GDP, as well as create jobs and promote the local economy.

SACEOS and UFI Sign MoU to Develop a Joint Asia Pacific Executive Development Programme

By | 2018

The two associations aim to announce the launch of the joint Asia Pacific Executive Development Programme at the upcoming UFI Asia Pacific Congress 2019 in Japan. This programme is considered by both parties as relevant for the future readiness of the exhibition professionals in the region.  It will also be distinguished in its value as the industry’s first recognised certification in executive development.

Aloysius Arlando, president-elect of SACEOS remarked that it is the mission of SACEOS to raise the industry’s professional standards and enhance the mastery of skills over and above what is available in the marketplace. The programme will help Singapore’s MICE professionals increase their skills elevation and job opportunities.

Meanwhile Kai Hattendorf, managing director and chief executive officer of UFI, welcomed the collaboration with SACEOS which he said will allow, both the associations to nurture more industry professionals in Asia and globally.

Aloysius Arlando, President-Elect of SACEOS (left) signed the MoU in Singapore with Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UFI.

Greece’s Port City Thessaloniki to Host MCE South Europe 2018

By | 2018

The 4th edition of the annual MICE B2B forum of MCE South Europe will take place from October 21 to 23. About 200 event  professionals from the MICE and tourism industry are expected to attend this high-end workshop.

Meanwhile 60 convention bureaus and MICE providers mainly from South European countries will be participating in the event. Europe Congress, the organiser has arranged 33 pre-scheduled and match-made meetings with event planners and tourism and MICE suppliers.  This is aside from the networking opportunities and social gatherings at exclusive local venues.

In September from the 10th to the 11th, Europe Congress will hold its 6th edition of MeetingPlanners in Russia.  This long running MICE B2B forum sees key worldwide destinations and MICE suppliers coming into Moscow, the capital to meet with Russian and CIS event planners.

Please email for more information on both the forums.


MICE in Asia is a media partner of MCE South Europe and MeetingPlanners.


Jakarta to Host Tourism, Hotel Investment and Networking Conference (THINC) Indonesia 2018

By | 2018

After a successful run for four consecutive years in Bali, the 6th edition of the conference will return to Jakarta due to the unpredictable and volatile nature of Mount Agung’s volcanic eruptions.  It will be held from September 5 to 6 at the Fairmont Jakarta.

This year’s conference will explore the latest trends in tourism and identify new opportunities, as well as exchange ideas and share best practices to foster new partnerships.  Once again stakeholders in the industry will come together for networking and opportunities to attend some engaging conference agenda.

It is hosted by Hotelivate, a new age global consultancy firm. Each year, THINC Indonesia brings together nearly 250 industry stakeholders, business leaders and key decision-makers from close to 15 nations.

For more information on the conference visit

MICE in Asia is the media partner of THINC Indonesia 2018.

MICE Experiential Visit of Korea

By | 2018

Media professionals from Asia, Europe and United States invited by Korea Tourism for five days to tour Seoul, Incheon and Busan. The itinerary of the trip designed for the media representatives to visit some unique venues in Korea and experience the authentic culture and the history of the country.

Stepping back in time to the glorious days of the royal palace of the Joseon dynasty, the Gyeongbokgung Palace is located in northern Seoul and was built in 1395 is now a place of interest for tourists.

Introduction to Korean cuisine at Korea House which was opened in 1981, with the building of the restaurant created in the traditional architecture of the Gyeongbok Palace.  Menu of the restaurant are of royal cuisine with dishes prepared by award-winning chefs.  Cultural shows and performing arts are regularly held at the Korea House’s traditional theatre.

A walkabout at the Gyeongdong Market where, vendors sell fresh produce, seafood, meat and herbal goods – a feast for the eyes with the background sound of buyers haggling over prices, and smell of local ingredients that go to cooking Korean food.

Spiritual visit to the Haedongyonggungsa Temple located in the north eastern coast of Busan. The only temple in Korea that is located in the shore line, as most are in the mountains. It was built in 1376 by the Buddhist teacher Naong during the Goryeo Dynasty.

A unique venue just outside of Seoul, the Gwangmyeong Cave was formerly a mine where gold, silver and bronze were found.  It is now a large theme park with underground passages leading to: an aqua world of fishes showcased in glass aquariums; a wine cave of 170 types of wine from around South Korea and a café: with attractions such as, Wormhole Square of light shows on the cave walls; Golden Road where you can leave messages of long life and happiness on “gold” wall hangings; and among others a path leading to a horror experience of ghoulish sculptures.

Other activities during the tour include rolling up our sleeves to make Makgeolli face mask of fermented rice wine and preparing local sweet delicacies at the OME Cooking Lab.

Site inspection conducted: in Busan, Nurimaru APEC House, the Bay 101, Busan Cinema Centre and Hilton Ananti Cove; while in Incheon attended the Korea MICE Expo 2018 at Incheon’s Songdo ConvensiA Convention Centre; a briefing at G Tower on the Incheon Smart City; and in Seoul visited the Seoul Dragon City at Novotel Suites Hotel.

TCEB Showcases MICE Ecosystem at the Thailand Incentive & Meeting Exchange (TIME) 2018

By | 2018

This year is the third edition of TIME held, to focus on Thailand’s long haul MICE markets namely Europe, North America, and Oceania. According to the organiser TCEB, the event creates business opportunities, enhance understanding and new perspectives, and updates on market insights for MICE entrepreneurs.

TIME concentrate on three primary activities:  knowledge exchange; business exchange; and experience exchange.  Nichapa Yoswee, vice president of TCEB added, besides TIME2018, TCEB is also introducing a promotional campaign ‘Meet by Design’ which is specially created to attract MI groups.

She said that the Meetings and Incentives (MI) sector is a significant contributor to Thailand’s MICE industry, generating approximately 50 percent of the industry’s total revenue.  The recent statistics in the first-half of this fiscal year showed that MI sector delivered the highest growth rate. Meeting sector (M) alone welcomed 150,849 business travellers, or 11.81 percent increased from the same period last year.

Incentives sector (I) welcomed 176,005 business travellers representing 21.63 percent growth. To elevate the MI sector, TCEB has implemented strategic plans for this year and 2019 to focus on building MICE ecosystem to support the MI sector that will be of benefit to all target groups.

TCEB expects that at the end of 2018 fiscal year, Thailand will welcome 1,327,000 business travellers with 124,000 million baht in revenue to the country. Of these figures, business travellers from MI sectors are expected to reach 569,000 with a growth rate of seven percent. On the overall, the long haul MICE market is expected to grow by five percent.

2018 Korea MICE Road Show in Kuala Lumpur

By | 2018

Last year there was an increase in travellers from Malaysia to Korea. There were a total number of 16,416 incentive travellers from Malaysia to Korea which saw a jump of 24.7 percent, while the number of groups was 262 up by 28.4 percent.

A MICE road show was organised by Korea Tourism Organization on May 11 at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, to introduce tourism and MICE products and services from the country.  Sellers from Korea representing national and regional government organisations, convention centres, MICE service providers, hotels, airlines experience and medical programs and tourist attractions had a business-to-business session with invited travel agents from Malaysia.  There was a good turn night and the event, ended with a dinner and presentation on Korea MICE.

Destinations in Korea such as Seoul, Gyeonggi, Incheon, Gangwon, Busan and Jeju were showcased during the presentation.  Also travel agents were informed of the support from Korea Tourism Organization for incentive groups brought into Korea.  To be eligible for this, the group must at least consist of 10 foreigners, and must stay a minimum of two nights in Korea.

Korea has seen an annual growth rate of 16 percent in international meeting during the 10 years after the 2009 world economic crises.  MICE is the fifth major industry of the country.

Seoul a Convention City

By | 2018

Seoul is as an economic powerhouse of South Korea with some of the world’s largest companies found here. Just mention Samsung, LG or Hyundai Motors. However some people may not be aware that the city has existed as the capital of Korea for over 600 years.  Today, this modern metropolis is a lively city with its rich history, cultural heritage, cuisine, exciting nightlife and highly developed infrastructure is fast becoming a hot destination for MICE.

In an ICCA statistics for 2017, Seoul has been ranked 10th among top 20 cities worldwide for the number of association meetings held.

Arrival to the city by flight is through the Incheon International Airport which is located west of Seoul and considered, to be the world’s fourth largest airport serviced by some 56 airlines. There is also the Korea City Air Tower located within the COEX complex in the city – a public transportation facility where travellers, can check in their flights and scan their luggage before leaving for the airport.

In terms of hospitality, people in Seoul are warm and friendly and you will leave with a good impression of the city. While travelling within the city is easy with access to one of the world’s modern public transports.

What is appealing about Seoul; it has managed to create urban parks within the city centre, maintain foot paths for a walking tour to get to know the old neighbourhoods of the city, where small cottage industry of making traditional foods have survived.  While some of these neighbourhoods, have been turned into upbeat venues for art, craft, dinning and shopping.

South Korea’s capital takes beautifying its city seriously, and not to be known as just another city full of steel and concrete buildings – the city has looked into designing buildings with aesthetic value –  some transforming the surrounding area with one that stands out the most: the Dongdaemum Design Plaza.

A media familiarization trip of Seoul was organised by Seoul Welcome of Seoul Tourism Orgnization.  Representatives of Media from Asia: Hong Kong (China), India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan were invited.

Walking Tour of Jeong-dong Local Street Neighbourhood

Murals on the Walls – Neighbourhood Buildings Creatively Decorated

Glamping Site at Walkerhill for Korean BBQ

Theatre Play at Jeongdong Theatre entitled:  The Palace Tale of Jang Noksu

Among places visited were: Seoul’s COEX Exhibition and Convention Center; Mapo Oil Depot Cultural Park; walkabout outside the walls Gyeongbokgung Palace; Kunsthalle and Lotte World; shopping experience at Ikseon-Dong; as well as hotel inspection of Le Meridien, Grand Walkerhill/Vista Wlakerhill, Shilla Seoul, Conrad Seoul, Hermitage by H and Seoul Dragon City.

Taiwan’s Exhibition Industry Continues to Grow in 2018

By | 2018

Several of Taiwan’s exhibitions are now ranked among the biggest in the world take for example: Computex Taipei; Taipei International Cycle Show; Taipei International Food Show; Taiwan International Fastener Show; and the Taipei International Auto Parts & Accessories Show – all have record attendance of visitors and overseas buyers with leading international exhibitors participating in the shows.

As a result of which the city’s prominent venue, the Nangang Exhibition Center is in the process of expanding its facilities, to alleviate the need of space by exhibitors.  The expansion of the centre’s Hall 2 which is scheduled to be completed in March 2019, will add 34,120 square metres for exhibition and meeting, as well as a multi-functional conference hall that can be converted into 14 separate breakout rooms.  Also when Hall 2 opens, it will be able to accommodate more than 5,000 exhibition booths.

The expansion will see the eastern district of Taipei rejuvenated with renewable projects of a software and biotech park, hotels, shopping mall and railway connection.

At the same time, other major cities in Taiwan are fast catching up with organising and hosting exhibitions and trade shows with the bi-annual boat show and the international fastener show held in Kaohsiung and the orchid show in Tainan.  Taipei however will remain the hub of Taiwan’s exhibition industry.

The country itself has built a reputation on manufacturing and related industries. Taiwan is a world leader in industries such as bicycle manufacturing, optoelectronics and semiconductors with its industrial structure based on IT and electronics and of late, the country is venturing into biotechnology.

These industries lend support to the exhibition industry in Taiwan – making the country a serious international contender for trade shows and exhibitions.  Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) itself is an exhibition organiser aside from facilitating trade for the government the council, organises exhibitions both in Taiwan and overseas.

The media representatives from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore were invited by TAITRA for a familiarisation tour of Taichung, Taipei and Kaohsiung.

Places visit:  National Taichung Theater, an opera house that features musical performance and artistic theatrical shows; 2018 Taiwan International Fastener Show  at Kaohsiung Exhibition Center; National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts currently under construction and when completed, will be a  venue for performing arts; 2018 Taipei International Auto Parts & Accessories Show  at Nangang Exhibition Center; and Per-2 Art Center, once an abandoned warehouse converted into a cluster of artistic outlet.

2018 Taiwan International Fastener Show at Kaohsiung Exhibition Center

2018 Taipei International Auto Parts & Accessories Show