ITB Asia 2018 Kicks Off with a Record-Breaking Number of Exhibitor

By | 2018

ITB Asia opened its doors on Wednesday, October 17 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore with over 1,000 exhibitors and 1,000 buyers – an increase of 20 percent in new exhibitors signed for this year’s show. While hotel groups that signed up for the buyers programme recorded more than 125 percent growth.

The growth of new exhibitors for the show was mainly due to the strong demand from Asian and European participants. This year’s new registrations included National tourism organisations (NTO) and Regional Tourism Organisations (RTO). ITB Asia 2018 welcomed new NTO exhibitors from Abu Dhabi, Botswana, Croatia, Mauritius and Papua New Guinea as well as, RTO exhibitors from Fukuoka, Kansai and Rovaniemi.

Katrina Leung, managing director of Messe Berlin (Singapore) said: “ITB Asia continues to maintain its position as the leading travel trade show in Asia. It remains one of the top business platforms for connecting exhibitors and partners with key decision makers in the MICE, corporate and leisure travel industry.”

For the first time too, the show launched a dedicated Muslim Pavilion showcasing Muslim travel  which was the key theme of this year’s ITB Asia; this is especially so, with the release of the Mastercard-Halal Trip Digital Muslim Travel Report (DMTR) 2018 that provides the latest insights and in-depth analysis into the Muslim travel market and behaviour in planning of trips, research and engagement in the digital space.

Meanwhile the number of corporate and MICE participants at ITB Asia increased by 49 percent as compared to last year. To reflect this strong support and the increased focus in this area, ITB Asia 2018, launched several new initiatives for the MICE and corporate segments, including gathering industry leaders at the newly launched MICE & Corporate Hub.

Whilst Asian exhibitors continued to dominate the show floor this year, there have been a strong growth in the number of European exhibitors participating in the show for the first time. This include the ministry of transport and construction of the Slovak Republic, Polish Tourism Organisation, Tourism Association of Canton Sarajevo and Visit Ukraine.


IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2018 Brings Yet another Defining Event for MICE and Corporate Travel

By | 2018

The show welcomed some 3,000 delegates including over 500 hosted buyers from more than 50 territories and countries over the course of the 3-day event from September 18 to 20.

This year’s programme recorded 29 networking functions and hosted activities with an education line up of 21 knowledge sessions helmed by over 50 industry thought-leaders from government bodies, related associations, corporate organisations and industry professions.

Two stellar sessions took place this year: the first ICCA-TTG Passionate Breakfast themed “Graceful Powers” celebrated the journey of women and diversity in the workforce with female achievers; who have made their mark in the industry sharing their experiences.

The other is the inaugural Asian MICE Cruise Conference of a half-day programme attended by close to 400 major cruise players and stakeholders in the region. Insights centred on the industry’s demand for MICE onboard cruises and the incentives and initiatives present to meet this potential.

TCEB’s senior vice president for business, Nichapa Yoswee, affirmed, “TCEB is proud to showcase Thailand at IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific. Highlight of this year, is the launch of our new brand Thailand: Redefine Your Business Events to project Thailand as a co-creator in delivering exceptional experience for MICE travellers when our industry redefines its way of thinking and action to meet shifting business demands and the Thailand 4.0 policy, which will make Thailand stay ahead of the competition.”

AIME Launches New Exhibitor Model to Deliver Results

By | 2018

New concept promises to streamline exhibiting experience 

The Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) has overhauled the way that exhibitors take part in the event by focusing more on positive return on investment through bringing the right buyers to the right exhibitors.

Jay Martens, AIME event director explains, “The industry is asking for change and to once again have an event that is really worth attending. We have talked to so many people and we are responding. We are reimagining AIME so that it really meets the needs of our exhibitors and our buyers.”

The new exhibitor packages include 32 pre-scheduled appointments with quality, vetted international and local buyers who want to bring their business to the Asia Pacific region. They include access to all the social and networking events and the pre-eminent knowledge program – creating more moments for shared experiences with buyers.

All this is presented in sleek new stands, developed with the award-winning design team from Decorative Events & Exhibitions (DE&E).

“The modular stands are simple and elegant, yet have the flexibility for customisation so exhibitors can represent their brands individually. Decorative Events stylists work with each exhibitor to help realise their goal, but within agreed budgets. Exhibitors know exactly what they are getting so they focus their marketing resources and energy to doing business on the show floor,” continued Martens.

The new design, which draws inspiration from curve-like compositions, promises to eliminate harsh edges by creating a natural flow and bringing a feeling of openness to the overall event format. Ultimately the new design, will give the AIME visitor, a more immersive experience.

This ‘one-size-fits-all approach’ may not be suitable for all exhibitors AIME understands that, and will continue to offer the option for those who want to design and build their own stand.

AIME is the first event to kick off the 2019 business events calendar and will be run from February 18 to 20 is a must-attend event for buyers and sellers who want to do business in the Asia Pacific region.

For more details visit, please visit

MICE in Asia is a media partner of AIME 2019.

New Exhibitor Models for AIME 2019

Courtyard by Marriott in the Heart of Siem Reap

By | 2018

All year round visitors flock to the famed Angkor Wat temple located at the Angkor Archaeological Park – one of the world’s top UNESCO World Heritage Sites and for some – a visit that has to be made at least once in their life time.  Just about 20 minutes away from this mighty impressive ancient temple however, is the Courtyard by Marriott offering affordable luxury hospitality to make your stay in Siem Reap enjoyable and a pleasant one.

The international brand hotel opened last year with its modern award winning Khmer architecture of 233 rooms is the first in Cambodia.  Each guestroom is stylishly designed and comfortably well appointed with balconies of views of the city.

For all day dining, the restaurant Lok Lak at the lobby has a range of local and international menu.  Head chef Chanrith Van conducts cooking classes for guests with visits to the local market for fresh produce to try your hand at cooking Cambodian recipes in the hotel.

On the roof top is the bar for cocktails and dinner with binoculars on the observation deck where you can get a glimpse of the majestic Angkor Wat on a clear day.  Recreational facilities available at the hotel include a fitness centre, outdoor swimming pool and the Quan Spa for some relaxation of traditional Cambodian body massage treatments.  Then there is the kids’ club, the Treehouse where you can have fun activities with your toddlers.

If you like to hold your next meeting or convention in Siem Reap, the Courtyard by Marriott has a total of 9,192 square feet of space which include a grand ballroom and seven event rooms with six break-out rooms.  Ideally for weddings, meetings, conferences, training sessions and performances with full catering services for all events.

Siem Reap in the northwest of Cambodia is a major tourism hub of the country for its known as the gateway to the ruins of Angkor.  Over the years, Siem Reap has reinvented itself as a chic resort town from art galleries, museums, shopping at small quaint boutiques, golf course, five-star hotels and food and beverage outlets to a lively cultural scene.  There is actually plenty to do in Siem Reap after visiting the temples of Angkor.

Head Chef of Courtyard by Marriott Resort, Chanrith Van Preparing Noodles for Breakfast and Visit to the Local Market

Ruins of Angkor Wat

The Chic French Quarter of Siem Reap with Quaint Boutiques and Food and Beverage Outlets

Game of Golf at Siem Reap’s Angkor Golf Resort

Streets of Siem Reap – Popular Mode of Transport on Remorque or Motorcycle

Third Edition of the Incheon International Youth Media Conference in Korea

By | 2018

Journalists from around the world mainly from Asia, Central Asia and Russia, gathered in Korea for the 3rd Incheon International Youth Media Conference with this year’s theme: Media and Peace. Incheon was selected to host the conference due to the city’s development as a rising economic hub in the Korean Peninsula.  The city is considered as the gateway to Korea through its free economic zone status with the country’s main international airport located here. Incheon has also the second largest sea port in Korea.

Incheon Free Economic Zone is a new growth engine for the country with future cities being developed in the districts of Songdo, Yeongjong and Cheongna. Among which, Songdo has emerged as a new smart city built from a reclaimed land of 600 hectares is now home to several international organisations.

The one-day conference discusses on safety issues of reporters in conflict areas with Ms. Young me Kim from South Korea spoke about her experience reporting from the Middle East; while Ms. Nou Maneth Athana from Cambodia gave her take as a journalist, on peace in the Korean Peninsula; with Ms. Aizan Kazakbaeva of the Kyrgz Republic on what the media should aim for in the change in North Korea.

Topics covered range from covering ethics and boundaries of reporters in conflict area, reality and safety issues at the conflict area, the current 155 miles military demarcation line in the Korean Peninsula and new hope with invited speakers  from the academia, journalists and professional photographer Mr. BK Choi who presented his collection of photographs taken at the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

The conference was hosted by the Incheon Metropolitan City, Incheon Tourism Organization and Gyeong-in Broadcasting Co. Ltd which took place from August 29 to 31 at the Holiday Inn Incheon Songdo.

IT&CMA 2018 Confirms Strong Destinations Presence

By | 2018

Larger representation is expected from Thailand, Philippines, Pattaya, India and Seoul, with a significant cluster of cities from Japan exhibiting and a number of independent pavilions.  This is riding on the success of last year’s anniversary show – IT&CMA continues to showcase the largest congregation of Asian MICE convention bureaus and national tourism organisations.

In addition, exhibitors have increased their space this year, namely Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (60%), Pattaya MICE City (50%), Worldwide Cruise Associates (50%), Tourism Promotion Board Philippines (33%), Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau (33%), and India Tourism (12%).  

Japan pavilion this year, will display six global MICE cities Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Kobe, Nagasaki, Osaka and Sapporo.  While Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) is debuting as an independent pavilion, looks to boost their MICE competitiveness with renewed focus on Asia-Pacific since formally becoming a government-funded foundation.  Keen to tap on Asia-Pacific interests, Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau will leverage on this year’s IT&CMA to reach out to incentive planners and buyers.

All in all, IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2018 expects more than 3,000 delegates in attendance, including over 800 exhibitors from some 300 exhibiting companies and 450 hosted buyers, to do business and networking over three action-packed days. Delegates can also look forward to an intensive education programme, as well as hosted social functions by partners and sponsors.

If you would like to meet these destinations and organisations at IT&CMA 2018, you can join the trade show from September 18 to 20 at the Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld from 18 – 20.

For more information, log on to

The 14th edition of the International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC) Returns

By | 2018

Over 300 international companies and brands have confirmed to participate in the travel trade show, and it will also have the support of 300 hosted buyers from over 40 countries and 26 hosted media from 16 countries. The organisers are also expecting local exhibitor participation from 37 provinces and cities in Vietnam.

The travel trade show will make a spectacular return with a strong entourage of participants from Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

ITE HCMC is the largest and most established annual international travel trade event in the Mekong sub-region, featuring services and products for both inbound and outbound markets. The event, gives industry players and leading brands the opportunity, to showcase their latest tourism products and services – source for quality agents and distributors and expand their business into Vietnam and the Mekong sub-region.

Attendees will also find ample opportunities to build contacts, foster new relationships, and discover new business leads. It will be held on September 6 to 8 at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center, and the first two days are for industry visitors and invited guests. The last day is open to the public as the Travel Fun Fair Day, with various attractive travel packages, performances, and games to excite visitors

MICE in Asia is the media partner of ITE HCMC.

Marriott Establishes its Hotel Brand in Yogyakarta

By | 2018

It opened last year with 347 guestrooms and suites, the hotel is the latest five-star property in Yogyakarta.  This historical city has over the years, seen an increase in the arrivals of both domestic and international travellers.  According to Indonesia’s Central Statistics Agency (Badan Pusat Statistik), Yogyakarta experienced in 2017, a consistent strong double-digit growth figures of foreign arrivals at the Adisutjipto International Airport.

The presence of the Marriott Hotel in Yogyakarta is timely, as the city continues to be a popular destination, mainly due to its Javanese culture, friendly people, heritage districts such as Kotagede and the two ancient historical temples which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Borobudur and Prambanan. This as well as, home of the palace complex of the Javanese royal dynasty, the Keraton which is also the official seat of the reigning Sultan of Yogyakarta and his family.

Apart from catering to leisure travellers, the hotel has extensive facilities for meetings and conferences with eleven meeting rooms of a total space of 46,919 square feet including the largest pillar less ballroom in town of 20,096 square feet. The Keraton Ballroom can be transformed into three separate function spaces with each able to host up to 600 guests.  A wide foyer outside is an added space for exhibitions, trade fairs and large scale events.

Just opposite the hotel, is the Hartono Mall which is newly opened where guests can do a bit of shopping.  Available in the complex are branded fashion shops, restaurants, entertainment outlets and a hypermarket.

In terms of location, the Yogyakarta Marriott Hotel is only 20 minutes away from Adisutjipto International Airport.  Yogyakarta has also direct flights from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore with Jakarta only a 50-minute flight away.  The city is expected to have a new international airport by 2020.

Three media representatives, two from MICE in Asia and another from a publication in Hong Kong, were invited by Yogyakarta Marriott Hotel, to experience the hotel’s hospitality and view the property’s meetings and conference facilities with visits to local attractions: sunset at the ancient Borobudur Temple and exploring the temples in the Prambanan compound; travel by jeep to Gunung Merapi site; discovering the culture and history of the royal family of Yogyakarta at Ulu Sentalu Museum;  street shopping at Malioboro; and tour of the Keraton royal palace complex.  Not to be missed is to attend the evening performance of the Ramayana ballet at the Purawisita Amphitheatre.

The media team with Firman Indra Rusindriansyah (extreme left), Marketing Communications Manager of Yogyakarta Marriott Hotel.

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.