Chic Hong Kong Grand Opening at COCO Park Shenzhen Brought Together More than 130 Stylish Hong Kong Brands

By | 2023

Consumers in the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area known as the Greater Bay Area or GBA, experienced three days of fashion and stylish shopping with the opening of the Chic Hong Kong shopping festival on May 26.

Jointly hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government held at the COCO Park shopping mall in Shenzhen’s Futian District, the event is the first large-scale promotion of Hong Kong consumer goods in the GBA following the complete lifting of border-crossing restrictions.

Nearly 80 exhibitors with over 130 Hong Kong brands showcased “Hong Kong style” across food, lifestyle, and fashion.

The event was organised by HKTDC GBA Centre, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shenzhen Municipal Committee, Commerce Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, and The People’s Government of Futian District, with the support of Cyberspace Administration of Shenzhen Municipality, PRD Council of Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in Guangdong, Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce Qianhai, and the Greater Bay Area International Development Authority.

Comprised three themed exhibition areas: Chic Living; Chic Style; and Chic Taste, products on show encompassed a wide range including, consumer electronics and technology products, smart home goods, fashionable clothing and accessories, as well as food, beverages, and health products.

Among the nearly 80 exhibitors, 40 percent made their debut in the mainland market, using this event as a springboard to establish business ties.

The event featured Hong Kong brands and “chic” items based on innovation, sustainable design, green and healthy living, original design with trendy elements.

Altogether, over 100 activities were opened to the public including the grand finals of the ‘9+2’ street dance competition, a  demonstration of KamCha Hong Kong Style Milk Tea brewing, Capella performances, freestyle basketball displays, close-up magic shows, a parade featuring stilt-walking magicians, flash mobs, hip-hop performances, and portrait painting.

HKTDC invited a number of social media influencers from Guangdong and Hong Kong to join and support the event with daily live-streaming about what the event has to offer consumers and features on their personal favourite products.

International Choir to Compete in Sarawak

By | 2023

Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak, has been selected as the host of the International Choir Competition, Forum and Workshop 2025 organised by the German cultural organisation, INTERKULTUR.

INTERKULTUR a leading organiser of international choir competitions and festivals and has been making decisive contributions to the choral world for decades. It was founded in 1988, and INTERKULTUR has to date organised more than 10,000 choirs with 450,000 singers from all over the world.

According to INTERKULTUR, Sarawak’s rich, multi-ethnic culture makes it the perfect destination for the competition, especially with its reputation for hosting the renowned Rainforest World Music Festival which attracts approximately 20,000 music revellers every year.

“Music is an inherent part of Sarawak’s culture since we are a culturally and linguistically diverse part of Asia,” said Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Sarawak’s Deputy Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts. “Traditional and ethnic music is an important part of our cultural gatherings.”

INTERKULTUR events are centred on the belief that singing unites different cultures and worldviews according to their motto: ‘Singing together brings nations together’.

The International Choir Competition in Kuching, Sarawak is expected to attract a total of 1,000 participants of which 200 are from the local choral communities while, 800 international participants are expected to join the event.

“INTERKULTUR’s philosophy is that choral singing is a socially inclusive activity that is free from discrimination and prejudice,” expressed INTERKULTUR’s vice president, Mr. Stefan Bohlander. “Sarawak is well known for its peaceful and welcoming attitude which is a priority for INTERKULTUR events. We believe that the International Choir Competition will boost mutual respect and understanding between cultures.”

Global Tourism Economy Forum and UNWTO Enters into a Partnership to Collaborate in Tourism and Post Pandemic Recovery

By | 2023

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on April 21 in Portugal between GTEF and UNWTO to elevate their cooperation in tourism, economy and culture.

The MoU was witnessed by chief executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region, Mr. Ho Iat Seng with the World Tourism Organization represented by the secretary-general Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, and chairman of the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre, Ms. Pansy Ho.

“We believe that with the elevated collaboration, we will further contribute to the long-term sustainable development of the global tourism and related industries as well as promoting the diversified development of Macao,” said Mr. Lei Wai Nong, secretary for economy and finance of the Macao SAR Government.

Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili stated that the Gobal Tourism Economy Forum will be the platform to bring together governments, business leaders, international organisations and entrepreneurs.

While Ms.Pansy Ho remarked: “In 2023, the GTEF will celebrate its 10 year milestone. In our next decade, we hope to establish the GTEF as the “Davos of Tourism” — embodying the Davos mission of openness and cooperation.”

The main participants of the MoU were the Chinese Embassy in Portugal, Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade of Portugal, Portugal Tourism Board, Portuguese Association of Travel Agencies and Tourism, Portugal-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and six integrated tourism and leisure enterprises from Macao.

The 10th GTEF will convene in Macao in late September 2023.  Shanghai is invited to join the 10th GTEF as the ‘Featured Chinese City’. At the same time, GTEF has also invited Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance and one of the four biggest economies in Europe, to be its Partner Country this year.

Beginning in 2024, the location for GTEF will alternate each year, between other international destinations and Macao, to promote international cooperation and cultural exchange, as well as  strengthen GTEF’s international status.

BESarawak to Honour Exceptional Individuals and Organisations in Business Events with Anak Sarawak Awards

By | 2023

The 10th Anak Sarawak Awards will be presented on the night of May 12 with ‘Passion Inspires Legacies’ as the theme, and a total of nine awards will be given away.

One of the highlights of this year’s Anak Sarawak Awards is the Sarawak Legacy Award – the newest category introduced to acknowledge conventions that focus on environmental, social and governance agendas – prioritizing legacy as its long-term result.

Another major highlight to look forward is the launching of Malaysia’s first-ever Business Events Sarawak Legacy Ambassador Programme, a community of influential business events and legacy advocates in developing social and economic transformation through business event legacies. The first group of ambassadors will be revealed during the launch.

An annual event, the Anak Sarawak Awards, celebrate the achievement of outstanding individuals and organisations in the business events industry who have contributed significantly to Sarawak’s economic development.

Kazakhstan Welcomes the 21st Exposition of the Kazakhstan International Tourism Fair

By | 2023

The main tourism event of the year in Central Asia, KITF 2023, will be held from April 19 to 21 in Almaty and takes place, at the pavilions of the Atakent Kazakhstan Center for Business Cooperation.

This year marks the 21st edition of the exposition a single business platform, for industry experts and leaders, including tourism associations, tour operators and travel agents, airlines and air agencies, hotels and resorts, business leaders, opinion leaders and travel bloggers.

More than 200 companies from 22 countries from around the world are expected to participate in the exposition. National and regional stands from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Vietnam, Georgia, Jordan, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Novgorod region of the Russian Federation, Slovenia, Croatia and South Korea, Gyeonggi Province.

Each country will introduce guests their national flavor of tourism and recreation at the exhibition.  Also companies from Greece, Egypt, India, UAE, Russia, Seychelles, Thailand, Turkey and Japan are expected to be present in their independent and collective stands.

For the first time, delegates and visitors to the exhibition can discover tourism destinations of three new regions of Kazakhstan, which were founded by a presidential decree in 2022.  They are the Abai, Jetisu and and the Ulytau regions. On the overall, 16 regions of Kazakhstan and two cities of republican significance will participate at the exhibition.

Once again, the KITF medical tourism section,  open to professionals will demonstrate the intricacies of the workings in the medical field with products for treatment and rehabilitation from countries like Azerbaijan, Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, Russia. Slovenia, Turkey, Uzbekistan and South Korea.

During the three days, a business program is scheduled  which will include seminars and presentations from exhibitors, training programs, master classes of the participants of the exhibition and marketing activities right at the exhibition stands.

This year’s conference will be presented in a completely new format of a large-scale KITF Travel Forum, organised with the support of Travel Success Academy. KITF Travel Forum is an active live communication, networking, and strategic sessions, as well as training cases from top industry professionals.

Official partner of the KITF 2023 exhibition is KOMPAS while the partner for the business program of the exhibition is Travel Success Academy.

Organiser of the exhibition is ITECA, the Kazakhstan Exhibition Company and its international partner ICA Events group of companies.

You can find out more about KITF 2023 on the website:

For a free ticket to visit the exhibition is by online registration at the



Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre has a new General Manager

By | 2023

Mr. John Burke has been appointed as the general manager succeeding Mr. Alan Pryor who has retired after 40 years in the business events industry.

Previously Mr. Burke was the deputy general manager who joined the Centre in 2017. He was responsible in the digital transformation of the Centre, as well as in upgrading the venue’s security infrastructure. He also managed and developed the hybrid and virtual event spaces and platforms, as a new revenue stream for the venue during the covid-19.

At the same time, the Centre also welcomes Mr. Robert Hatton-Jones, an experienced hospitality and events professional, to the team as deputy general manager. Mr. Hatton-Jones brings with him nearly two decades of experience in food and beverage operations, business development, venue and asset management, event planning and marketing. He was previously the general manager of commercial and business development at Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Mr. John Burke is the new General Manager of Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

The Centre has also promoted Mr. Layzree bin Bongsu to director of finance and administration. A chartered accountant by profession, he has 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry.  Mr. Bongsu will oversee the day-to-day finance, procurement and information technology operations of the Centre.


AIME 2023 Wraps up a Successful Year as it Celebrates its 30th Event

By | 2023

More than 400 hosted buyers, over 350 exhibitors and 2,000 visitors attended AIME 2023 with 25 countries represented at the event and, over 12,000 meetings were held.

The AIME team in partnership with event owners Melbourne Convention Bureau, put on a spectacular event held over three days from February 12 to 15 which also marks its 30th year in running.

Staying through its theme of: ‘More Buyers, More Connections, More Business’ – 350 exhibitors showcased their products and services coming from countries like Japan, New Zealand, Hawaii, Qatar, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.  It also included convention bureau partners and event and destination suppliers from every Australian state.

AIME also introduced to the industry at the event, Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre which is scheduled to open in 2026, and operated by the same Trust that manages MCEC.  The Geelong centre will include: a hotel; commercial spaces; a plenary venue; and 3,700 square metres of multipurpose space located on Geelong’s waterfront.

The new centre is being developed as part of the Geelong City Deal, a partnership between the Australian and Victorian Governments, together with the City of Greater Geelong.

Designed to ignite and inspire, the event included  two days of  tradeshows, a knowledge program, leaders forum, formal and informal networking opportunities, and a gala event to celebrate AIME’s 30th anniversary.

PATA Forecasts a Strong Annual Increase in International Visitor Numbers for 2023 into and Across the Asia Pacific

By | 2023

The latest forecasts from the Pacific Asia Travel Association, predicts strong annual increases in inbound visitor numbers for the Asia Pacific, under mild, medium, and severe scenarios in 2023, set to continue each year until 2025.

Growth rates range from 71 percent under severe scenario conditions, to as much as 104 percent under the mild scenario.

The annual increase in the absolute number of international visitor arrivals in 2023 is predicted to range from 158.7 million to 437.5 million under the severe and mild scenarios respectively – lifting the total volume of visitor arrivals to between 382.9 million and 712.7 million under these scenarios.

Substantial annual increases in IVA numbers are also forecast for 2024 and 2025, under all three scenarios, although the volume of these gains will slowly reduce over the years, as the absolute volume base of foreign arrivals increases.

As IVA growth builds between 2023 and 2025, the source markets of Asia collectively generate the bulk of the additional annual increases in absolute numbers of arrivals across Asia Pacific each year. Under the mild scenario the annual increase in IVAs from Asia in 2023, are forecast to number 330.7 million and account for three-quarters of the net increase in total IVAs between 2022 and 2023.

Across the years and under all scenarios, the visitor footprint of the Asian source markets, at the aggregate Asia Pacific level, is predicted to remain very strong, although with significant differences at the destination regions and sub-regions.

“Now more than ever before, destinations need to work with host communities, operators, and visitors to deliver results and experiences that bring the best of the travel and tourism sector to the fore, across all involved parties and in a responsible, equitable, meaningful, and thereby sustainable manner. Such an approach will also create a certain resilience to future shocks as and when they appear, and rest assured that they will,” said PATA Chair, Mr. Peter Semone.

The PATA Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts Full Report 2023-2025 is now available at

ITB India 2023 Conference to Unveil Major Trends in the South Asia Travel Market

By | 2023

The conference will bring together travel industry professionals on April 26 to 28 running alongside with ITB India 2023 at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India.

Featuring three tracks, the conference will see more than 100 industry leaders in over 80 sessions exchange their insights into the future of the industry, powered by the motto ‘Connecting You to the Indian Travel Market’.

Knowledge Theatre is ITB India’s principal conference track, with C-level leaders and renowned industry experts sharing their perspectives on the future of the market. They will exchange their insights on a broad scope of topics, from the latest general trends to challenges and opportunities for sustainability in South Asia’s travel market.

MICE Show India will focus on corporate travel and tapping into innovative B2B solutions for meetings, events, and incentives. Speakers will give a comprehensive 2023 outlook of India’s MICE market, offer new angles on incentive travel, and discuss innovative strategies for travel program optimisation.

Travel Tech India will look at novelties in digital solutions that enhance travel experiences. Main highlights will include leveraging the power of analytics for a better understanding of consumer mindsets, meta-integration and the synergies it creates, as well as exploring contactless travel in the world still getting over the pandemic.

For more information on ITB India 2023, visit






Sabre and Tian Xia Fang Cang Sign Agreement to Support Recovery of Chinese Hospitality Sector

By | 2023

The new relationship brings together Sabre’s advanced technology with Tian Xia Fang Cang’s deep knowledge of the unique Chinese travel ecosystem. Under the deal, Tian Xia Fang Cang will have the ability to market Sabre Hospitality’s solutions in China.

Focus will be on enabling Chinese hoteliers to reach hundreds of thousands of travel agents globally across all major Global Distribution Systems through Sabre Hospitality’s SynXis platform, while giving travel agents additional opportunities to add hotel stays to traveller bookings.

“As we look forward to further travel industry recovery, it is essential that hoteliers in China take the time now to ensure they are prepared to capitalize on pent-up travel demand, and create future opportunities for growth,” said Tian Xia Fang Cang’s chief executive offier, Mr. Seven Wu.

He added: “We can now offer hoteliers in China the ability, through Sabre’s advanced solutions, to grow their reach across the world, ensuring they are best-positioned to welcome back travellers to China as it re-opens its borders.”

Tian Xia Fang Cang  hotel services platform  provides products, services and e-commerce solutions for hotel suppliers and hotel distributors. Through Sabre, it is now able, to enhance its  offering of GDS distributionto its existing and new hospitality clients.

“We now look forward to increasing Sabre Hospitality’s footprint in the important Chinese travel marketplace, while giving hoteliers in China the ability to create their own global growth opportunities, in both the leisure and corporate sectors, through Sabre solutions,”  stated Mr.Frank Trampert, senior vice president  and global managing director of community sales for Sabre Hospitality.