All Posts By

Julia Rahman

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

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Reaches Out to the Community through Food Aid

By | 2020

The Centre is standing with the community during these difficult times by feeding and nourishing people in need in Kuala Lumpur, with its recent contribution totalling over 340 kilogrammes of surplus food.

During this period of the Control Movement Order (MCO) by the government of Malaysia to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the country, has left the Centre, with a large amount of fresh produce and surplus food which was then donated to the Food Aid Foundation to help feed the hungry.

“This global concern has presented all of us with unique challenges.  And, in such times, it is imperative to come together as a community and think about what we can do to help and be considerate towards each other. We understand that having access to basic needs might be especially difficult for some people right now and we are pleased to be able to make a meaningful contribution through our partnership with the Food Aid Foundation,” said John Burke, The Centre’s deputy general manager.

Food Aid Foundation is a non-governmental organisation which rescues Halal edible surplus food and groceries from manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, companies and people. It includes unused or unwanted food as well as, products that are out of specification, close to expiry, incorrect labelling, damaged packaging, discontinued promotional products, excess stock and customer returns.

All are collected and distributed to charitable and welfare homes, voluntary welfare organisations, refugee community, poor families and soup kitchens.

IBTM Events Launches IBTM Connect

By | 2020

An online resource platform, the IBTM Connect will be a hub where business events professionals can have access and share knowledge together with practical guidance. It is aimed at keeping exhibitors, hosted buyers and the wider industry connected collectively.

Contents will be refreshed regularly which includes webinars and videos from key industry professionals so are ways, to virtually network with industry peers with news and updates to prepare for recovery from COVID-19.

Motivational keynote speaker Gary Bradt delivers a session on ‘How to cope during times of unprecedented change’. While Helen Moon, founder and managing director of Eventwell, talks about ‘Mental health and wellbeing’.

Commenting on the online resource platform, Shane Hannam, portfolio director of IBTM Events, said: “Our connections and industry partnerships mean that we are uniquely positioned to create and curate high quality content from around the globe that can serve to provide insights and tangible benefits during this time. By keeping conversations going, sharing and learning, together we can weather the storm and emerge in the strongest possible position to rebuild and recover.”

The latest content on IBTM Connect covers everything from mental health and wellness, to managing a crisis and tips for working from home.

International Exhibition Logistics Association Establishes a Contingency Network to Cater to the Industry’s Needs

By | 2020

A campaign TOGETHER STRONG has been launched by the International Exhibition Logistics Association (IELA) to support everyone in the exhibition and event industry during this time of uncertainty, and also to foster business with industries related to MICE from all over the world.

IELA invites all event professionals to join the initiative TOGETHER STRONG and support Global Exhibitions Days, TOGETHER and STRONG.

Join the fight and be a part of the contingency network.

Share your own picture of being STRONG on social media using the hashtag #togetherstrong and #GED2020 together with your personal message to the industry partners.

For further information contact, please contact the IELA Secretariat:

How to Work with your Event Partner on Rescheduling Events

By | 2020

By Lara Burnes,
General Manager of Premier Events & Experiences at Melbourne & Olympic Parks

As we move into these unprecedented times, supporting businesses and industry has become more important than ever. With the weeks and months that lie ahead, there will be a lot of uncertainty but what’s for sure, is that we’ll all be tested on how we work together and embrace opportunity.

Here I share with you key insights on how to work with event partners on rescheduling events to ultimately support and keep the industry afloat:

  1. Contact your event partner, even if you don’t know what the future holds. Venues, suppliers and partners are all doing it tough, just like you. While you might not know if you can reschedule your event, or if your event at a later date is going to be impacted, contact your partner to discuss your options. Weigh up the possible scenarios – and begin to problem-solve together.
  2. Keep moving. Detail a new timeline, even if only rough. We must remember that venues will re-open and events will happen again soon. With this in mind, begin to map out new timelines, even if only rough. It’s important to keep on top of key dates and update your event partners accordingly. To avoid congestion when everything is back to normal again, don’t be afraid to begin locking in dates. While there are still a lot of unknowns, confirming sooner than later will ensure that you have your top pick for your next event.
  3. Be flexible, prepare for the what-if. Remember a lot of event organisers will be facing the same            challenges. Once life returns to normal, demand will be high for venues and event resources – this means dates and availability may be limited and you might not get your first, or second, choice on dates. Use this time to prepare for what if, and be flexible.
  4. Get planning. Your event might not be happening next week or month, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to refine the experience to make it the best event yet. At Melbourne & Olympic Parks, we have five venues and all venues are busy rescheduling and planning events for when this all blows over.
  5. Think differently and embrace change. When we emerge from this, the world will have changed and we will have adapted along the way. Embrace the changes and think about how you can incorporate them into your event. Some of your attendees may not be able to travel due to budgets, health or simply because travel won’t be a priority for their business. Work with your event partners on ways to enhance your event experience, such as working with a charity
  6. Be empathetic and kind. We’re all in this together. People may be slower at getting back to you than usual or battling personal and professional challenges on different fronts. Be empathetic and be kind, and remember that our actions now will shape our industry’s future.

Thailand’s Strong Covid-19 Response Builds Confidence for MICE

By | 2020

Actions taken by the Thai government and private agencies since the outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) have raised the confidence within the MICE industry as 24 international and regional conventions and exhibitions involving more than 40,000 participants will proceed as planned over the next three months.

According to Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) president Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, key MICE events will proceed as scheduled. These include 18 global and regional conventions scheduled to take place from February to April in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket with a combined total of 17,800 delegates. In addition, Thailand is also set to host six international exhibitions from now until March with an expected turnout of 24,546 visitors.

He said, ” Thai authorities and business operators have strictly followed the guidelines set by the UN’s World Health Organization and will continue to do so in the fight against Covid-19.

The Covid-19 only reminds us that we have tackled the spread of other viruses before so we are again working closely with all relevant parties to manage this situation. We are aware of WHO’s recommendation – to control the spark before it becomes a fire. So we are taking measures to control both the outbreak and the panic to achieve that goal.”

Stringent screening has been in place at all international airports in Thailand since January 3, 2020. Thermoscan surveillance and health checks are ongoing at Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket and Krabi airports. Healthcare personnel are on standby to render emergency support.

Standard operating procedures already implemented include separation of flights and passengers from an infected origin country and other special arrangements such as the despatch of suspected patients to a Ministry of Public Health hospital for treatment stated TCEB’s president.

Airports of Thailand have stepped up their maintenance regime with more frequent disinfection of high contact areas such as door knobs and counter tops. All arriving passengers now receive a “Health Beware Card” in Chinese, English and Thai.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports have also issued advisories to travel agencies and airlines, instructing them to monitor and scale up health checks to ensure the safety and well being of all visitors to the country.

Event venues, hotels and establishments with international visitors have been taking additional measures to prevent infection and transmission. Venue owners are installing thermoscan cameras at the entrance to their properties and providing more alcohol-based sanitisers throughout their premises.

The six TCEB-supported international exhibitions scheduled up to March 2020 are Future Energy Asia by DMG Events, Thailand Coffee and Bakery 2020 by Kavin Intertrade, CPhl SEA 2020 by Informa Markets, VIV Health & Nutrition Asia 2020 by VNU Exhibitions Asia Pacific, VICTAM Asia by Victam International BV and The Road & Traffic Thailand by Terrapinn.

VIV Health & Nutrition and VICTAM Asia are among the nine new exhibitions to debut in Thailand this year, which is expected to increase net space sold by 49,464 sqm. The other new shows are Maintenance and Resilience Asia, ASEANBIKE, Thailand Marine Offshore Expo, The Road & Traffic Expo, Cosmoprof CBE ASEAN, LOGIMAT and Medialab Asia Pacific.

AIME Launch an Industry First – Associations Round Table

By | 2020

Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) reinvented the way associations collaborate in the Asia Pacific region by introducing the Round Table, bringing together associations attending the 2020 event to engage in discussions of common challenges facing its members.

It was by invitation only meeting connecting C-suite executives from some 40 organisations across the Asia Pacific region and worldwide.  The Round Table

was designed exclusively for associations which included lively debates and workshops to create new community and business models to drive association innovation.

Introduced in collaboration with Melbourne Convention Bureau, whose chief executive officer, Julia Swanson said that there are not many business events who have invested in the development of strong networks and communities, and the Round Table, is a testament to AIME’s development and understanding of what the industry needs.

The intention of launching this Round Table for associations according to Jay Martens, event director of Talk2Media and Events, is to leave AIME with business models that can be applied to associations in their region.

AIME 2020 wrapped up its three-day event on February 19 at the Melbourne Convention Centre with more than 2,000 visitors, 300 exhibitors and over 10,000 meetings took place over the three days.

While registration of this year’s AIME,  saw a 20 per cent uplift despite, the current reduced levels of international travel due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

ICCA Officially Endorses China Conference & Business Travel Fair

By | 2020

The annual China Conference & Business Travel Fair (CCBTF) organised by the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism received full endorsement from ICCA. The decision was made during a meeting in Shanghai between Patrick Chen, director of marketing and promotion department of Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism with Senthil Gopinath, chief executive officer of ICCA and Noor Ahmad Hamid, ICCA’s regional director for Asia Pacific.

This endorsement marks the culmination of efforts to further position Shanghai as a leading hub for conferences and, supports Shanghai’s local Business Events industry in its transformation to become an international B2B event with strong business appeal.

CCBTF is a primary educational forum for local industry professionals to stimulate knowledge exchange, business development and networking. The forum attracts over 500 meetings industry stakeholders from across China and brings together a line-up of global speakers and delegates from the meetings industry to discuss key issues, exchange industry ideas and create business and networking opportunities.

It features travel experience designed TED Talks, knowledge-sharing, buyers-meet-sellers sessions and the release of the annual China Business Travel Report, which is a highly anticipated industry report. The event also includes trending meetings industry topics such as meetings technology, destination promotion, digital strategy, and experiential design as well as, a training programme specially catered to young meeting industry professionals.

CCBTF 2020 will be held on September 23rd and 24th at Shanghai International Convention Centre.

ICCA’s Chief Executive Officer Senthil Gopinath (left) and Patrick Chen, Director of Marketing and Promotion Department, Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism, shake hands in Shanghai to confirm the extended partnership.

SITE Thailand wins Rising Star Award

By | 2020

The Thailand Chapter of Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) won the Rising Star Award for 2019 at SITE’s 2020 Global Conference held in Vancouver, Canada. The annual awards honour individual members and chapter organisations that have contributed to the association and the world’s incentive travel industry.

SITE Thailand was established last year during the SITE Global Conference 2019 in Bangkok with 22 members. Its membership has since grown to 30 – comprising destination management companies, hotels, event planners and trade associations.

The Rising Star Award recognises SITE Thailand’s steady membership growth, varied activities and strong support for SITE’s Young Leaders Program and defined leadership structure. Also for its timely submission of reports during the qualifying period overall resilience and performance.

Thailand’s other winner at the conference is Max Boontawee Jantasuwan, founder and chief executive officer of Events Travel Asia in Bangkok, and SITE Thailand Chapter president. He won the Kevin Forde Spirit Award 2019, which is given each year to individuals who best exemplify the generosity of time and energy that Kevin Forde had for fellow incentive travel professionals and volunteerism.

Study of Theft in Hotels – Which Items are stolen the Most

By | 2019

By: Dr. Tassilo Keilmann
Wellness Heaven Hotel Guide

Stealing soaps or pens seems harmless for many hotel guests however some, are so bold that they carry TVs, pianos, mattresses or even stuffed animals out of the hotel. Wellness Heaven has asked 1,157 hoteliers which items are most commonly stolen. In particular, we observe a striking difference in the theft behaviour between guests in 4-star and 5-star hotels.

The main result of the study: the overwhelming majority of guests steal towels and bathrobes perhaps as goodie for the next spa break? These two objects of desire are closely followed by hangers, pens and cutlery. In addition to these “ordinary” items, there are a number of spectacular outliers that suggest a brisk imagination of the delinquents:

The most bizarre stolen goods:

Bathroom Fittings

Highly skilled craftsmanship was required of those guests who managed to steal bathroom fixtures, the head of a rain shower, a hydro-massage shower, a toilet seat, a drainpipe or even an entire sink, as reported by a Berlin hotel.

Grand Piano

A hotelier from Italy: “Once I walked through the lobby, I noticed that something was missing, and soon after I learned that three unknown men in overalls had taken away the grand piano, and it never reappeared, of course.”

Room Numbers

In a hotel in England a guest had unceremoniously removed the numbers from his hotel room door. “We didn’t notice until the next guest could not find his room”, the hotel director declares.

Stuffed Hunting Trophies

In a hotel in France, a guest was caught trying to steal a stuffed boar’s head. At a later date, he did receive this trophy: friends bought the precious piece from the hotel and gave it to him as a wedding gift.

Sauna Benches

In a hotel near Salzburg, the wooden benches from a sauna were stolen. The “private sauna” was located on the terrace of a spa suite. The benches were made of fragrant pine wood, which probably stirred up the guest’s desire. Only when a subsequent guest criticized the absence of the benches (“Where should I sit in the sauna? I can’t relax while standing.”), the hotelier noticed the theft.

HiFi System

A hotel owner from Germany reports on how the entire stereo system of the spa area disappeared: Thieves had apparently dismantled the entire sound equipment overnight and loaded it in their car before they left.


The management of a resort in the Maldives reports that it buys new flower arrangements several times a week to replace the missing ones. Maybe the demand for flowers is simply too high due to the many marriage proposals?

Thieving Preferences by Nationality

When classifying the delinquents by nationality, a different picture emerges. It turns out, for example, that German and British hotel guests follow a rather boring theft behavior: In addition to towels and bathrobes, primarily cosmetics and toiletries are in the focus.

In contrast, Austrians snitch in a more pleasure-oriented way: dishes and coffee machines appear high up in their theft ranking. It seems they cannot get enough to satisfy their thirst for coffee. For US Americans, pillows and batteries appear as the prime objects of desire.

Italians seem to prefer wine glasses as a hotel souvenir, while the hair dryer ranks high up in the Swiss ranking. The French, on the other hand, steal in a more spectacular manner: they represent the nation that is attracted mainly to TV sets and remote controls.

Dutch hotel guests see in their souvenirs above all the practical benefit: Their favorites include light bulbs and toilet paper.

Guests of 5-star Hotels Prefer Expensive Items

A total of 634 hoteliers from 4-star hotels and 523 from 5-star hotels were surveyed to determine the behavior of thieves depending on their wealth. As it turns out, “Greed is good” seems to be a reliable motto especially for the well-heeled 5-star clientele.

The probability of high-quality TV sets being stolen in 5-star hotels, is 9 times higher in comparison to the 4-star segment. Similarly, artworks are popular objects of desire in luxury hotels (5.5 times higher theft probability). Tablet computers and mattresses are also being stolen a lot more frequently in 5-star hotels.

Four-star hotel guests are content with less spectacular gifts: towels and hangers tend to be in higher demand than in 5-star hotels. The typical 4-star hotel guest is especially fond of practical items such as batteries and remote controls (theft probability 3.1 and 4.9 times higher, respectively).


The coffeemaker, which is so popular among Austrian guests, is also sought-after by luxury-minded 5-star guests, as we observe a 5.3-fold increase in theft statistics.

Toilet Paper

Hoteliers’ theft reports about toilet paper rolls only reach us from the 4-star segment. For luxury travellers, there seems to be no additional need for hygiene in this area.

Tablet Computers

Tablet computers, often referred to as “SuitePads” in the high-priced room categories, are stolen 8.2 times more frequently in 5-star hotels. Such tablets usually have a value of approx. 420 euros and tend to be a popular souvenir among luxury travelers.

Luxury Mattresses

Even expensive luxury mattresses (often worth several thousand Euros) are not immune to disappear: the probability for their theft is 8.1 times higher in 5-star hotels. How exactly do the bulky goods, are transported unnoticed out of the hotel remains a mystery. On request, some hoteliers informed us that this only happens in the middle of the night – using elevators which lead directly to the underground parking.


To complete their sleeping experience at home, some luxury oriented guests add the hotel’s blanket to their luggage. Theft of this object is 3.9-fold increased in 5-star hotels.


On the methodology of this survey: The multiple-choice answers were randomised, multiple answers were possible. For example “Towels” in Fig. 1: 77.5% of surveyed hoteliers have indicated that towels were stolen at their hotel. The survey was conducted in September and October 2019.

A total of 1,157 responses were evaluated, the result can be considered as representative. The 1,157 hotels whose management participated in the survey are located primarily in Europe. 634 hoteliers were surveyed in the 4-star segment, and 523 in the 5-star segment.