Māori Tattooing Creates Major Buzz at IMEX

By | 2019

New Zealand has made its mark at the IMEX meetings trade show in Frankfurt with 10 international delegates receiving tā moko, a traditional Māori tattoo.

The presence of tā moko artist Arekatera ‘Katz’ Maihi from the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI) certainly created a buzz on the 100% Pure New Zealand stand, stated Tourism New Zealand’s Global Manager Business Events, Anna Fennessy.

“He was so popular we had a waitlist for the waitlist. Some people who missed out were asking if we would be doing tā moko at our next trade show. It definitely attracted attention on the show floor, and proved a great way to engage and connect with our Māori culture.”

Once curious visitors to the stand had established that the tattoos were permanent, they were fascinated by the cultural aspect of tā moko and the stories they expressed, Fennessy says. In the tā moko process, no design ideas are shown in advance. The artist listens to the recipient’s kōrero (narrative) and, using their knowledge of traditional Māori designs, brings to life their individual story.

Maria Suurballe, conference manager at the Danish Institute for Sport Studies/Play the Game, admits getting tā moko at IMEX 2019 “was pretty spontaneous” but felt the artist quickly understood her personal story, paying tribute to three people she has lost that meant a lot to her.

“I am so happy about my tā moko. These three people have been my dearest relatives, friends and soulmates, and I miss them all every day. So now I have a tattoo that symbolizes a face which can be divided into three faces – and in this way I can carry my dearest loved ones with me every day.”

Christina Nordine, senior account manager at Creative Group Inc, adds: “The tā moko I received at IMEX Frankfurt, is a beautiful gift that I will always cherish. It represents the beauty in my journey, my son and all that is important to me, is such a unique branding that connects me in a really special way to New Zealand’s Māori culture.

The New Zealand Business Events team is optimistic that activity at the show will now help them ink some new contracts to bring more conferences and incentives to New Zealand. Business events not only provide economic benefits by attracting high-value visitors to the country, but also enrich New Zealand through knowledge-sharing and networking opportunities and by showcasing local research and innovation on the world stage.

Ross Steele, general manager of Te Pae, which is due to open October 2020, says: “It was a really good show and having tā moko on stand really got us attention in the marketplace. We had some very good appointments with American and European associations and have some solid leads to work on for the future.”

ITB Asia Returns with Its Highest Ever Number of Participating National Tourism Organisations

By | 2019

The Messe Berlin’s travel trade show has seen a 24.4 percent increase in exhibition demand from National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) and Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) compared to 2018.

Four months to go before ITB Asia opens its doors on October 16 and it has already, attracted a total of 58 NTOs and RTOs – representing a year-on-year growth of 23.8 percent (NTOs) and 25 percent (RTOs) in the securing of exhibition space compared to 2018 – surpassing previous levels set for ITB Asia.

This year’s event will see at least 19 new NTOs and RTOs. Thus far, the three contingents with the largest exhibition spaces registered are from Indonesia, Russia and South Korea.

The strongest participation comes from Asia with Southeast Asia well represented, and newcomers Myanmar and Jakarta taking part. North Asia will see an expanded South Korean contingent with RTOs from Gyeonggi, Jeju and Seoul securing their own booths. South Asia will also see a larger presence as new exhibitors such as Bhutan, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka join India, while Central Asia is represented by Uzbekistan which will be taking part for the first time.

From Europe, the show has seen, a 37.8 percent increase in the number exhibitors buoyed by an increase in interest from Southern and Eastern Europe. The Balkan states of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia will be taking part for the first time along with the Czech Republic and Estonia. Compared to previous years, Hungary and Russia will also bring larger contingents. New RTOs from East Bavaria, Franconia, Frankfurt and Magdeburg will also be part of a larger German contingent with existing destinations like Berlin and Saxony.

“We had a remarkable turnout in 2018 and all the signs point to ITB Asia 2019 being even more successful. NTOs and RTOs are the backbone for creating established inbound and outbound travel. The increased interest and high confirmed demand for exhibition space from NTOs and RTOs at ITB Asia 2019 affirms the value associated with ITB Asia as the leading travel trade show for Asia and beyond,” said Katrina Leung, Managing Director, Messe Berlin (Singapore), organiser of ITB Asia.

The stunning growth in exhibitor demand is fuelled by growth in tourism globally. The World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) highlighted that, tourism is one of the most powerful drivers of economic growth and development. The predicted target of 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals by 2020 was reached in 2018.  The Asia-Pacific region contributed 343 million international tourist arrivals into the region for 2018, a growth of six percent compared to the previous year.

ITB Asia 2019 will return to its familiar venue of the Sands Expo & Convention Centre as part of its partnership with Marina Bay Sands as the official partner hotel. This year will see oneworld taking part as the official airline alliance for the first time.


New Thailand Pavilion Design for Trade Shows an Icon Brand Identity that Reflects Thai Culture

By | 2019

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB)-Business is strengthening the position of its Thailand National Pavilion as a more effective marketing tool, for showcasing Thai culture and creative possibilities of MICE events in the Kingdom.

This new design strongly conveys a unique Thai identity under its “New Dawn” concept based on Thai temple architecture. The pavilion serves as a business hub at five major international trade shows such as ITCM China 2019, IMEX Frankfurt 2019, IT&CMA and CTW 2019, IMEX America 2019 and IBTM World 2019.

“The new Thailand National Pavilion provides an icon brand identity for TCEB, Thai suppliers and TCEB’s partners. Visually it immediately raises awareness, both with overseas buyers and show delegates, of Thailand’s presence that is backed up by legendary Thai hospitality,” said Nichapa Yoswee, TCEB’s senior vice president–business.

According to the senior vice president-business, the annual marketing events produce on average a minimum of 38 to 40 business leads. Business at the Thailand National Pavilion at the five most recent trade shows of IMEX Frankfurt 2018, IMEX America 2018, IBTM World 2018, AIME 2019 and ITCM China 2019, has been brisk, producing a minimum of 10 meeting and incentive groups comprising 2,348 delegates. These generated revenue of over THB 180 million (approximately USD 5.62 million) for the Thai economy, based on leads of TCEB only.

During ITCM China 2019 in Shanghai, a featured Muay Thai demonstration bout and interactive discussion after, proved popular with Chinese delegates. It helped secure two confirmed groups from China’s cosmetic and manufacturing sectors that produced 800 delegates and generated revenue of THB 60.90 million.

Recently TCEB and local Thai partners in each MICE cities around Thailand comprising of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Khon Kae and Pattaya developed new themes to give local partners unique selling points that appeal to overseas buyers.

This year is the debut of “Thailand 7 MICE Magnificent Themes”  that is: Fascinating History and Culture; Exhilarating Adventures; Treasured Team Building; CSR and Green Meetings; Beach bliss; Lavish Luxury; and Culinary Journeys from all five MICE cities.

Lights On Vivid Sydney

By | 2019

Lighting fixtures are being installed throughout the Harbour City in preparation for the upcoming launch of Vivid Sydney on May 24 – the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere.

Artists and event staff are working on the transport and final assembly of the 50+ light features and projections from today.

Details have been revealed of Samsung’s Electric Playground, a technology-enabled playground celebrating light, sound and imagination and the Samsung Galaxy Studio.

Both immersive, interactive spaces use advanced mobile technology to enhance the Vivid Sydney experience for festival guests of all ages, allowing them to explore their inner child.

Guests are encouraged to explore some of the unique aspects of the festival such as Vivid Music, Vivid Ideas events and the ever-popular Light Walk.

“Vivid Sydney is a truly significant event for NSW. The economic impact of last year’s event was almost $173 million in tourism related spending from 2.25 million attendees across the 23 days. Last year Vivid Sydney saw a record 185,887 travel packages sold to domestic and international visitors which was a 37 per cent increase on 2017,” said Stuart Ayres, minister of tourism.

He further mentioned that the interest in Vivid Sydney has grown at an exponential rate. In 2011, there were less than 500,000 attendees and the NSW Liberal Government has facilitated a 370 per cent rise in visitors to the festival.

Also in 2011 Vivid Sydney generated AUD6 million for the NSW economy and last year this was AUD173 million which was a huge growth and a big boost for the local economy.

Vivid Sydney will run from May 24 to June 15 throughout Sydney.


Image entitled Vivid Light 2019 – Austral Floral Ballet is an artist impression by Andrew Thomas Huang & Bemo.

Messe Berlin Singapore Launches First MICE Show Asia 2019 – Focus is on APAC’s Burgeoning MICE Sector

By | 2019

One of the world’s leading trade fair companies, Messe Berlin has announced it will be organising the inaugural MICE Show Asia 2019 in Singapore. The three-day business-to-business travel trade show, will take place from October 16 to 18 at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre of Marina Bay Sands. MICE Show Asia is under ITB Asia’s umbrella of events.

The new show will shine a spotlight on Asia’s meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector. It will be a gathering of professionals from incentive travel and the meetings and events industries coming together to discuss the latest trends, hear from up-and-coming MICE innovators and network with suppliers.

Participants for the show will consist of: 47 percent from MICE Agencies; 26 percent from corporate such as meetings and incentive planners; and 15 percent professional conference and exhibition organisers. On representation of attendees, nine percent will be from association buyers with three percent independent planners.

It is expected that over 60 percent of MICE buyers at the show, are from Asia-pacific (APAC) countries.

“The MICE sector in APAC continues to thrive, with the region expected to witness the highest growth rate in the next five years. After successfully organising ITB Asia for 12 years, we noticed the fast-growing demand for the MICE and corporate travel segments,” said Katrina Leung, managing Ddrector of Messe Berlin (Singapore), organiser of MICE Show Asia.

She further commented: “MICE Show Asia 2019 seeks to capture this growing demand and I am confident participants will gain the highest value at this show.”

According to a forecast published by Allied Market Research on the global MICE market, Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth rate of 8.6 percent through to 2023. Expanding demand particularly in Singapore, China, and India, alongside market drivers such as ease of visa restrictions, investments in better infrastructure, and high demand in commercial aviation are fuelling the upward trend.

MICE Show Asia 2019 will also have a stellar line-up of speakers from top-tier brands. Some of the topics discussed at the travel trade show include 2020 forecasts for the global meeting and events industries, the digital transformation of the meeting and events industries, and the innovative use of technology to captivate event-attendees.

Messe Berlin is working with prominent trade partners such as the United Networks of International Corporate Event Organizers (UNICEO) and Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) to enrich the conference content and bring buyers onboard.


TCEB-Business CLMV Road Show 2019 Delivers Record Results for Thai MICE industry

By | 2019

The Cambodia, Laos,Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) road show generated nearly 70 new leads, valued at about THB 400 million (approximately US$ 12.5 million) in revenue, on business events originating from Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam between January and March this year.

Leads were from the ‘Fly and Meet Double Bonus – Redefined’ and ‘ASEAN+6 Visitor Privilege’ campaigns.

Nichapa Yoswee, TCEB’s senior vice president-business, said: “Leads from the Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam road show events have exceeded our expectations in terms of leads and now the real work begins converting those leads into business.

“We are pleased to see results from our “Fly and Meet Double Bonus – Redefined” and “ASEAN+6 Visitor Privilege” campaigns. The response from CLMV countries has been very gratifying and gives us something to build on,” she added.

Left: Nichapa Yoswee, TCEB’s Senior Vice President-Business at Thailand MICE Road Show 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

In total meeting and incentive (MI) leads from Cambodia totalled 13 groups with 1,681 participants from the beverage, pharmaceutical, insurance and direct selling industries, with an estimated revenue of THB 122 million.

MI leads from Myanmar totalled six groups with 580 participants from medical and agricultural industries, valued at about THB 42 million in revenue. While from Vietnam, MI leads totalled 28 groups with 2,810 participants from the pharmaceutical, medical, banking and media sectors, valued at an estimated THB 203 million in revenue.

For exhibition (E), leads from Myanmar totalled seven groups, each with at least 10 trade visitors, with an estimated of THB 5.46 million in revenue. They have signed up for business negotiations at international exhibitions organised in Thailand, in the medical and pharmaceutical, food processing and packaging, retails, logistics, sport and tourism industries.

Vietnam leads totalled 15 groups with 250 participants for food and agriculture, construction, infrastructure, health and wellness, retails, lifestyle and automotive trade exhibitions estimated revenue of THB 20 million.

‘Fly and Meet Double Bonus – Redefined’ campaign is in partnership with Bangkok Airways. The benefits of this campaign include: financial support; fast-track immigration; service at Suvarnabhumi airport; cultural performances; meet-and-greet services; one free air ticket of every 30 tickets purchased; pre-assign group seating; priority boarding and; extra baggage allowances.

To qualify, each group must comprise at least 30 persons, fly to Thailand on Bangkok Airways, stay for at least two nights, or hold an event at a venue recognised by the Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS) or at a registered hotel. Application is open from now until 31 August 2019, with travel completed by 30 September 2019.

The ‘ASEAN+6 Visitor Privilege’ campaign targets Business Mission Organisers (BMO) including chambers of commerce, federations, trade associations, industrial publications and non-profit organisations seeking, to enhance their member’s business opportunities through trade shows.

In order to qualify for the campaign, there must have at least 10 persons in the delegation and hailing from the ASEAN+6 countries of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia and Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. At the same time, must commit to three meetings per person or, a total of thirty meetings across the group.

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 Booking.com. 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, www.businesseventsthailand.com

“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.