Monthly Archives

April 2019

Community Footprints by Ritz Carlton – Making a Difference in the Lives and Economy of Local People

By | 2019

The brand-wide environmental and social responsibility program focuses its efforts on child well-being, poverty relief and the environment.

In Bali, the resort dedicated to ‘giving back’ initiated a number of signature programs that has made a positive impact on the Balinese community of Nusa Dua ranging from, fund raising to educational support and turtle conservation.

“Every initiative, whether it be fund raising for an orphanage, an internship for under privileged youth, or a conservation program, is seen as an opportunity to provide a positive impact on our local community, and it is through this ongoing support that we genuinely hope to make a meaningful difference,” says general manager Karim Tayach.

Many of the resort’s endeavours are led, by the Ladies and Gentlemen of the resort (as the property calls its staff), who voluntarily dedicate their time to causes, such as fundraising for victims of natural disasters, paying regular visits to Yayasan Wana Seraya, a local home for the elderly to organise fun activities for its aged-occupants.

Other staff-led initiatives included renovation and upgrades at TK Giri Sawangan Kindergarten to provide a more comfortable learning environment for young children. This initiative has helped the school with more than IDR 26 million for the renovation and upgrade of their infrastructure.

The Ladies and Gentlemen of the resort visit Yayasan Hati Mama Orphanage on a weekly basis; to conduct English classes and share knowledge and experience from within the hospitality industry, in order to encourage and motivate children to look towards a better future. While the ‘Success for Service’ program is run, in partnership with the Oetie Hermawan Foundation, in which disadvantaged youths with high grades, are offered internships.

When it comes to the environment, volunteers from Ritz-Carlton Bali, help to keep the local surroundings, including its beaches and temples clean and green. In support of the island-wide ban on single use plastic bags, the resort launched a reusable cloth bag for employee and guests to use.

Guests of the resort have the opportunity to participate on a personal level through the “Shoes for School” program. They may donate shoes to students, join in planting mangroves which are crucial to the coastal environment or release baby turtles to the ocean.


Women Making Big Strides in the Hospitality Industry

By | 2019

It has been historically known that many managerial and executive roles in hotels are dominated by men. This is changing with the times, as more businesses become open to fair practices giving equal opportunities to women.

Despite facing challenges in the workplace and balancing personal lives, it is heartening to see that more women now are breaking the glass ceiling by putting themselves forward for leadership roles.

WorldHotels takes the opportunity to celebrate two trailblazing female hoteliers that are going against the odds and making big waves in the hospitality industry.

Ms Rebecca Kwan is well respected in the hospitality industry who in 2018 was elected as the first female Chairman of the Hong Kong Hotels Association. She is the Senior Vice President of Sales Hong Kong & United Kingdom and Head of Operations United Kingdom in Dorsett Hospitality International, Rebecca also holds the portfolio of general manager of Lan Kwai Fong Hotel @ Kau U Fong, Hong Kong for 13 years.

As one of the pioneer and most successful boutique hotels in Hong Kong, she is responsible for introducing and positioning the boutique hotels concept in the market, directing the business development as well as overseeing the hotel’s daily operations.  Her hard work paid off and under her leadership, Lan Kwai Fong Hotel @ Kau U Fong received numerous accolades, including: ‘Luxury Boutique Hotel’ by World Luxury Hotel Awards; ‘Hong Kong & Asia’s Leading Boutique Hotel’ by World Travel Awards; Hong Kong Business High Flyers Awards ‘Lifestyle Boutique Hotel’ among other awards.

“Gender diversity is a global trend in many industries and it is proven that either gender can supplement each other, I’m excited to inspire more women hotelier leaders to come forward with us,” said Ms Rebecca Kwan.

With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry, Rebecca has held various positions in sales and marketing in both international deluxe hotel chain and boutique hotels. Based on her longstanding expertise, Rebecca provides professional advice to vocational education and training as a member of the Hotel, Catering and Tourism Training Board of Vocational Training Council in Hong Kong since 2013. She is also a member of the Tourism Strategy Group which is a Tourism Commission under The Government of HKSAR since 2017, whose focus is to consider and make recommendations to the government in respect of Hong Kong tourism development from a strategic perspective.

Ms Sandra Nguyen Si is the director of business development of Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island. Managing a hotel has never been in her plans.  She was well preparing for her doctorate in pharmacy in Boston, United States, before deciding to boldly pursue a hospitality degree in Switzerland’s Swiss Hotel Management School in 2010. While to some it may see as a sudden switch in interest from her pharmaceutical, Sandra however have some intrinsic values required in the hospitality industry such as patience, kindness and compassion to people. She translates these principles in her leadership when she embarked on her hospitality career at Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island five years ago.

In 2017, Sandra officially took over the family business but knew that she had to earn her place as a successor. Under her direction. Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island continues to receive awards and recognition of its excellence, including the World Luxury Hotel Award 2018 for Best Luxury Boutique Resort (Global Level), Boutique Hotel Awards 2018 for Best Relaxation Retreat in Southeast Asia, and the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards 2019 for being the top preferred accommodation option on Phu Quoc Island. The hotel also clinched Guest Review Award 2018

(9.5/10) by Currently, Sandra’s sister, Linda Nguyen Si, is pursuing her studies in EHL in Switzerland and will be the second successor to Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island upon graduation.

In her free time, Sandra enjoys playing the guitar and often jams with the in-house band at High Note Bar in Salinda Resort. She explains that while playing an instrument keeps her disciplined, she can also observe the service and guests’ behaviors during the performance, to determine if the hotel is able to further enhance its guest experiences.

While she copes with long working hours and constrained holidays with families like many in the hospitality industry, Sandra stresses on the importance of a strong, supportive understanding team willing to rough out the tough times together. When asked to give a word of advice for female hoteliers out there. Sandra suggests to: remember to work hard, be observant, be integral and, most importantly, always keep your mind open for new things.

“In this time and age, it’s not the strongest who will survive, but the one who is adaptable to change,” she added.

TCEB‘s New Online MICE Intelligence & Resource Centre Elevates Thailand’s Advantage in MICE to a New Height

By | 2019

The MICE Intelligence & Resource Centre which is accessible to suppliers, organisers and all players involved in the MICE industry is available at TCEB’s website,

“The MICE Intelligence & Resource Centre reflects Thailand’s move forward to providing MICE operators with actionable and insightful information they can use to devise concrete business plans,” Jaruwan Suwannasat, director of TCEB M2I department.

According to the director, TCEB adopted MICE intelligence and data analytics to respond to the changes taking place in the MICE industry, and with the MICE Intelligence & Resource Centre the bureau, will be able to work closely with operators to elevate the MICE sector in a sustainable and evenly distributed manner.

She added, the MICE Intelligence & Resource Centre also reflects the role TCEB has taken on as a thought leader under its new ‘Thailand Redefine Your Business Events’ branding, in which it seeks to help drive change and new ideas for the industry.

The MICE Intelligence & Resource Centre is aimed at supporting all target groups from entrepreneurs, businessmen, students and the public. The initiative is part of a six-part strategy under Thailand’s three-year MICE Intelligence and Innovation Strategic Plan of 2019 to 2021.

In developing the new centre, TCEB M2I worked closely with leading global partners including the World Bank, Pacific Asia Travel Association, Frost & Sullivan, a business consulting firm involved in market research and analysis, and media intelligence firm Meltwater Singapore.

Through the MICE Intelligence & Resource Centre, MICE professionals from across the industry can have access to: MICE Insights for in-depth analysis on business trends and new opportunities; Industry Coverage of the latest insights and trends on Thailand’s 10 S-Curve industries of Future Automotive, Smart Device, Health Tourism, Biotechnology, Food Processing, Robotics, Aviation and Logistics, Bio-fuel and Chemical, Digital, and Integrated Medical Service;  Publications Centre which is TCEB’s e-Library platform; MICE Business Tools a portfolio of MICE business tools and apps available to foster engagement between event organisers and event attendees. These include event analytics, business matching, survey and event registration and payment tools.

ICCA’s Elif Balci Fisunoglu Receives Prestigious ACE of MICE Outstanding Service Award

By | 2019

From right to left: Mr Egemen Bagis, former Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator, ICCA European Director Elif Balci Fisunoglu (centre) and Volkan Ataman, President of Tourism Medya Group.

In recognition of her contributions to the growth of the international meetings industry, both through her global advocacy as ICCA Regional Director Europe and during her meetings industry career in Turkey, Elif Balci Fisunoglu was handed the prestigious “Outstanding Service Award” by leading Turkish exhibition ACE of M.I.C.E. at the 7th ACE of M.I.C.E. Meetings and Events Awards ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey on April 14..

The illustrious ceremony honours the achievements of movers and shakers in the Turkish meetings industry. The award is given out every year to shine a spotlight on the achievements of Turkey’s most prominent meetings industry figures.

An ardent ambassador for the global meetings industry, Fisunoglu has held the position of ICCA Regional Director Europe since January 2018, where she leads the European Regional Office and represents and advances the interests of over 500 members in the European region, who are spread over six Chapters. Under her leadership, ICCA Europe has experienced fast-paced growth, welcoming 53 new and re-instated members since Fisunoglu took the helm.

Fisunoglu is a regular presence at the global trade association’s European Chapter events and major regional industry conferences, leading education sessions that address issues vital to the development of ICCA’s diverse European membership.

In particular, she works closely with national governments, local convention bureaux and tourism boards on behalf of ICCA to develop regional association market segments. The focus of these partnerships is to improve national strategic approaches to international bidding, create platforms for networking between local ICCA Members and associations, and bring in business for local and national destinations.

Before joining ICCA, Fisunoglu spent 15 years with the Istanbul Convention and Visitors Bureau, where she held senior sales and marketing positions before serving for over three years as general manager. During this time, she was an extremely active contributor to the ICCA community and strong voice on behalf of her country’s fellow meetings industry professionals.

ICCA currently has an active community of 32 Turkish member-suppliers, which has grown steadily as the meetings industry continues to be regarded with major importance in the country. Turkish Airlines remains a steadfast ICCA supporter and Istanbul Convention Bureau is now an ICCA Association Relations Partner. Antalya was also the host of the recent ICCA Mediterranean Chapter Summit, held from February 17 to 19.

The 7th ACE of M.I.C.E Meetings and Events Awards took place at the Istanbul Lutfi Kirdar Congress and Exhibition Center in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday April 3, 2019.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Launches Innovative Solution for Clients – Coincides With Global Meetings Industry Day

By | 2019

The Centre marked the fourth annual Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) by launching its new Exhibition Service Centre (ESC) – a portal which enables event organisers and their exhibitors’ easy access to a variety of add-on services to order for their events such as audio visual, food and beverage, and IT equipment.

It is a fully customisable portal where the Centre is able to provide tailor-made links and landing pages to suit particular event requirements for each organiser. At the same time, the organiser and their exhibitors, are able to track their orders through the portal that also streamlines all data entry and payment process to avoid any confusion or accidental registration of additional services at the wrong events.

“The 24/7 ESC portal, now allows exhibitors at the Centre to place their orders and pay online in their own time at any time minimising hassle. It is especially beneficial for international participants as they don’t have to worry about time differences,” said John Burke, the Centre’s deputy general manager.  “It provides exhibitors with the capability to book their additional services directly with the Centre significantly reducing the workload of the event organiser, allowing them, to focus on improving the content and participation in their events. This in turn, benefits the exhibitors. It is about making it easy for our customers.”

Initially ESC will be an order portal which at a later stage, the Centre plans to expand to include a communication and collaboration interface for example, floor plans, orders, contracts will all be accessible in one place.