Monthly Archives

April 2020

Greater Bogota Convention Bureau (GBCB) Presents its First Trimester Report – Results are Both Positive and Encouraging for the Events Industry in Bogota

By | 2020

As a part of its commercial strategy in 2020, the GBCB identified 112 event opportunities: presented 18 bids; and confirmed 12 events for Bogota.

Among the 12 events, three took place from January to March 2020, before the Colombian government declared a sanitary emergency. “In fact, within the first three months of the year, we welcomed 19 international clients from Europe, United States and Latin America, who we accompanied on seven site visits where we featured the city’s attractive offer to carry out their events in the coming years.” declared Liliana Orbegozo, executive director of Greater Bogota Convention Bureau.

The bureau has 95 members with five new additions consolidated in the first trimester who, operate in different economic sectors and contribute to the events industry.

Liliana Orbegozo, Executive Director of Greater Bogota Convention Bureau.

In the context of the crisis set forth by the COVID-19 emergency, the bureau conducted a survey to measure the impact on its members. Among the 42 responses, the results showed 533 canceled events, while 347 were postponed. These represent more than USD 12.5 million in losses.

“Faced with this situation, we decided to support our members by providing the option to freeze membership fees for two months. Likewise, we developed a communication strategy to keep them informed on the latest aid and benefit programs for the industry, offered by the local and national government. The strategy included an effort to strengthen their online channels, enhancing their visibility through our social media,” added the executive director.

The executive director also offers reassurance to the industry while honouring the difficult times ahead. She mentioned the Greater Bogota Convention Bureau has always looked towards the future, targeting high-impact events for the next few years. As long as the bureau continues to do so stated the executive director, the MICE industry in Bogota will resume to grow and develop.

In the meantime, the Greater Bogota Convention Bureau will go on to play a fundamental part in the industry’s recovery while keeping in mind that the estimated time of reactivation for international tourism is between the end of the year, and the beginning of 2021.

Within the first trimester’s report there are nine events won for Bogota, which will take place starting in 2021 and will bring, more than 19,000 foreign participants to the city with 22 events to be confirmed, which are expected to bring more than 27,000 foreign visitors to the city.

Considering this, the bureau will contribute to mitigate the economic impact of the current situation between 2021 and 2027. The GBCB has worked hand-in-hand with the District Institute of Tourism (IDT) towards a recovery strategy of the tourism industry in the city.  The IDT’s initiative is focused on aiding the recovery of the MICE industry.

According to the IDT, once the Covid-19 emergency is over, the city would have a negative economic impact of more than USD 52 million for the meetings and entertainment industry.

 

 

A Diverse Airline Capacity will be Critical to Australia’s Tourism Future

By | 2020

Australia needs a diverse, competitive and sustainable airline environment in order to return tourism to its successful place in the Australian economy says the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC).

“The entire tourism industry has ground to a halt and that’s affected close to one million industry jobs across Australia, many in regional communities.

While international visitor arrivals are some time away, the industry is holding its breath and waiting for the day Australian’s can start to travel domestically. Without affordable and accessible domestic air routes tourism’s hopes for recovery will be bleak,” said ATEC’s managing director Peter Shelley.

He further stated that domestic and international tourism in Australia combined, delivered AUD 146 billion to the economy last year and the loss of one of its major airlines, will have catastrophic flow-on impacts that will ultimately see the international tourism capacity of the country damaged.

After the bushfires, floods and pandemic, Australian tourism according to Shelley, needs a break. He added to be hit with another huge setback will severely impact the industry’s road to recovery, especially for regional Australia where air access is the lifeblood of the tourism industry.

TCEB Launches Campaign to Assist MICE Entrepreneurs in Responding to Business Disruptions Brought about By COVID-19 Pandemic

By | 2020

Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau is currently focusing on digital-based MICE services amidst the lockdown worldwide. The bureau has announced two projects to help MICE entrepreneurs in the country.

The first is the Virtual Meeting Space or VMS which enables Thai MICE entrepreneurs to continue operating their business online and at the same time, re-skill their employees in using virtual platforms. While the other called ‘Simple Ways to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Your Meetings and Events’ offers MICE venue owners and operators, an incentive to upgrade their safety and health standards.

Through VMS, three categories of virtual meetings are supported by TCEB: Webinar; O2O (offline to online); and E-Learning Platform. The bureau provides preparation and set-up of a studio or at the organiser’s venue for live streaming which includes, technical co-ordination and system monitoring.

For the second project TCEB offers a 30,000-baht subsidy for each MICE venue to formulate and implement COVID-19 screening and prevention measures as stipulated by the country’s Ministry of Public Health.

Apart from the two projects an information centre has been set up, to monitor the pandemic situation on the MICE industry of which industry members can also keep abreast on the latest development of the COVID-19 in the country and with the latest government rules and regulations  on the crisis.

 

What to Ask Associations beyond Will You Be Rebooking

By | 2020

By GainingEdge Advisory

Destination management organisations, convention visitor bureaus and convention bureaus, are focused on generating business demand from the marketplace.  As an integral component of the supply side, the value of a DMO and CVB has long been measured by the ability to ensure a steady flow of group business into the destination.

For the most part, DMOs and CVBs have traditionally acted as supplier representatives in the relationship between buyers and sellers with business demand severely curtailed because of COVID-19, destinations are scrambling to determine how best to create value now and in the future.

We suggest DMOs and CVBs need to ensure that in addition to lead generation and bid development expertise, they also work to help associations deliver on their purpose.  A good place to start is, understanding why an association exists in the first place, and then building your destination’s value proposition with that at the core.

Destinations that understand associations from the ‘inside out’, rather than the ‘outside in’, will be in a much stronger position to recover and rebound from this crisis.  In a risk adverse world, building strategic relationships with associations will have a longer-term benefit than those that are purely transactional.  Being a solid partner builds trust and loyalty, which can lead to new and repeat business and a strong brand reputation.

The following are queries the DMO and CVB should ask to expand their insight into the association:

  • What is the vision and mission of your association? How can we help you continue to progress towards your vision now and moving forward?

At the outset, a DMO and CVB should endeavor to find out the essence of the association, why it exists and what the association hopes to accomplish as a result of its activities.  Associations do not exist to meet; they are created for an essential purpose. Conferences and meetings are not an end in themselves, but a means to an end. Asking your client of the higher-level aim of their association, and exploring ways to contribute to this goal, will create a stronger sense of trust that the destination is not just out to sell but is there to help.

  • How is the crisis impacting your industry or sector?

DMOs and CVBs should conduct research and inquire into the impact of COVID-19 on the industry or sector most relevant to the association. This background will provide context when speaking to the association of their issues and opportunities in the near to immediate term. Determining COVID-19 impacts on the broader sector will enable the destination to discuss implications on the association in an informed way.

  • How will the current crisis affect your business practices such as your meetings, exhibition and sponsorship or membership strategies in the short and long term?

The COVID-19 situation is forcing associations to confront realities that will impact on fundamental operational matters now and in the future.  DMOs and CVBs that try to get a better understanding of the association’s situation, including not only their events, will offer a closer glimpse into what matters most to the association as it works its way through this crisis.  One of the most important considerations will be whether associations that once met globally will now be adjusting to more regional meetings.

  • Are you considering any adjustments to your events model or format to facilitate remote participation of attendees at your events?

As remote meetings take hold, deep discussions are being held within and between associations on how best to bring their members and stakeholders together for meetings in the future.  The earlier DMOs and CVBs have discussions with clients about what that might look like will better prepare the destination to meet these needs.  Destinations that offer solutions to associations that facilitate engagement of remote, along with in-person, will be better positioned to succeed.

  • How will your event programme be impacted by the crisis for example exchange of content to respond to new market priorities as a result of the current crisis?

As connectors between the association and the destination, DMOs and CVBs are able to help client’s source local expertise and knowledge that enhance the content offerings of the event.  It is worth discussing how the current situation is shifting topics of interest with the association, so the destination can identify relevant people and organizations of interest in their community that will assist in being prepared for future opportunities.

Destinations and associations that find a place where purpose and intent intersect will be better positioned to support one another in achieving mutual results during and after COVID-19.  Clients will seek DMOs and CVBs that have a firm grasp of their pain points and goals. Destinations are likely to retain and be recommended by clients to whom they provide value, and hence will provide them a competitive advantage.

Agoda Introduces EasyCancel a New feature which Allows Guests Free Cancellation 24 Hours before Check-In

By | 2020

EasyCancel allows participating partner hotels and properties worldwide to offer their guests booking flexibility and the option to cancel up to 24 hours before arrival. This is for all bookings made until June 30 this year.

Agoda unveiled the new product in response to customers’ desire for broader flexible booking solutions – reducing guests’ concerns by providing the assurance that: if they book an EasyCancel room, there will be no issues cancelling their booking if they need to do so.

This however differs from Agoda’s Book Now, Pay Later option. Hotels which normally offer non-refundable options can opt in for this feature. Hoteliers subscribing to this new product benefit from Agoda’s ability to capture demand that is currently available, helping to improve productivity.

The programme, which was launched in March, has received strong support  from partners in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and throughout South East Asia such as Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia including China, Japan, South Korea and India.

Agoda’s vice-president of partner services, Errol Cooke, explains,” The EasyCancel feature is part of Agoda’s proactive response to support hotel partners in this current challenging landscape.  We have always used our technology to develop features that can add value and productivity for our partners, and continue to do so with the EasyCancel feature.  We want to help all our partners by attracting customers that still want to book a hotel, but are perhaps reluctant to do because of uncertainty around evolving travel restrictions.

He added, “The EasyCancel product allows guests to book with peace of mind, confident that they will be able to change plans up until 24 hours before arrival if needed.”

All participating properties offering the EasyCancel flexible cancellation policy will benefit from onsite merchandising and the highly visible Agoda EasyCancel icons.

Booking cancellation received from guests within a day before the arrival date, will incur the full period charge. Failure to arrive at the hotel or property will be treated as a no-show and refund will not be given, as stipulated within the property policy.

 

 

Tourism Recovery in Markets of Mainland China and Hong Kong Expected in August – ITE Hong Kong 2020

By | 2020

ITE Hong Kong 2020 has been postponed to August 6 to 9 and will in hall 3 of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Designated as the Recovery Edition, the show will be the first travel fair held after the outbreak in the Greater Bay Area, which includes China’s top cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) comparable to the world’s 13th largest economy.

Hong Kong residents have continued traveling abroad in the past two months during outbreak and only stopped recently with the travel restrictions. According to the organiser of ITE, such a strong interest in travel is likely to indicate a speedy tourism recover (recovery report available at www.itehk.com).

The virus is coming under control and economic activities have started resuming in March.  In a mainland China survey, found Chinese to re-start traveling soon with 60 percent of respondents will travel within this year and 45 percent consider traveling abroad, while over 50 percent within one to six months after the outbreak. The survey also found 70 percent drive in sales initiatives once the situation is clear. It is also likely probable mainland China and Hong Kong are more ready for recovery.

TKS the organiser, will extend deadlines and provide flexible arrangements to exhibitors who are affected by sudden travel restriction.  Measures will also be taken to enhance safety in health in the August ITE, including widening the aisles, taking of temperature and admitting those wearing mask,  arrange seats for seminar and business matching in a more scatter manner.

Out of ITE’s 12,000 buyers and trade visitors, some 30 percent are from mainland China and over 60 percent from Hong Kong.

For more information, visit www.itehk.com and enquiries at: travel@tkshk.com| Wechat: ite-hongkong| Telephone no: +852 31550600.

 

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Successfully Rearranges Events at its Venue

By | 2020

The Centre’s team has been consistently communicating and working closely with clients to reschedule a large number of meetings and events that have been impacted by the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. As a result of which 66 of events at the Centre, has been postponed to the latter half of 2020.

According to the Centre, of importance is to assist loyal clients’ especially international associations, to find mutually suitable dates in the calendar to maintain their meetings in Malaysia.

Also mentioned in the press release issued by the Centre, it will take into account of the new operational requirement pertaining to hygiene, social distancing and virtual events so clients, are able to conduct their meetings, with peace of mind while, the Centre provides a suitable environment for continuity in business.

“COVID-19 has presented all of us with many unique challenges, but we are remaining as flexible and resilient as possible, working very hard and closely with all our recurrent and potential new clients to ensure that every event at our venue is a success,” said Alan Pryor, general manager of the Centre.

PATA Launches Crisis Resource Center and Tourism Recovery Monitor

By | 2020

A centralised repository of information designed to be the go-to resource for tourism planners and decision makers to keep abreast with the current situation. It collates data and information for users as they deal with the crisis.

Led by Sarah Mathews, who is PATA’s immediate past chair, the Crisis Resource Center is formed by the association’s Expert Task Force (ETF) to accumulate knowledge, generate support and help members and industry stakeholders across the globe to have access to solutions by governments.  At the same time, assist governments in understanding the challenges and the impact the travel industry faced due to the current situation.

PATA has brought together an array of experts and partners, to share valuable data, content, trends and tourism indicators to help spot “green shoots” that is, signs of recovery as soon as they start to appear.

The Association is seeking the help of governments, international and national governmental organisations in collecting information on aid and relief packages available for businesses in their respective destinations.

According to PATA, while this is a much need for a resource centre, PATA however, cannot do this alone and is encouraging governments, partners and members together with international and national associations and organisations, to assist the Association by supporting this initiative.

More information about the Crisis Resource Center and Tourism Recovery Monitor can be obtained at http://ptrm.pata.org/.