Press Room

IAAPA Announces Special Events and Program Schedule for IAAPA Expo Asia 2019

By | 2019

Attractions industry professionals from around the world are invited to take part in several professional networking opportunities and education programs during IAAPA Expo Asia in Shanghai, China this June  11 to 14. This year, more than 8,500 participants are expected to attend the international conference and trade show for the multibillion-dollar global attractions industry.

Special events scheduled are:

On the first night (June 12), is an Opening Reception at Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park.  Attendees will celebrate at Shanghai’s newest ocean theme park while networking with industry peers from around the world.

For breakfast on June 13, a leadership talk which will feature a keynote address by Joe Schott who is the president and general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort. The annual leadership breakfast provides senior-level attractions industry professionals the opportunity to learn and network with regional and global colleagues.

An Operators’ Reception on June 13.  Attendees will come together with other operators from the Asia Pacific region to exchange ideas. This event includes discussions about enhancing safety and efficiency operations, motivating employees, and driving profits.

Young Professionals Reception at the Shanghai Dungeon on June 13.  Attendees will explore the newly opened Shanghai Dungeon – a horror house recreating historical urban myths based on real life incidents. A reception will follow the experience.

Admission to the events listed above requires separate tickets and this is in addition to IAAPA Expo Asia registration. To purchase tickets to these events, and to register for IAAPA Expo Asia, visit

Messe Berlin Member of the World Tourism Alliance (WTA)

By | 2019

Members of WTA include national tourism associations, influential tourism enterprises, academic institutes and other institutions from around the world. Messe Berlin, which is among the top ten trade fair and event organisers worldwide, has been officially awarded membership of the WTA World Tourism Alliance.

“We are very much honoured that Messe Berlin has joined WTA and confident that with its expertise we can build a more competitive and responsible tourism industry for the benefit of all,” said WTA’s secretary-general, Liu Shijun.

The World Tourism Alliance is the first global non-governmental, nonprofit tourism organisation established in China on September 12, 2017 that is committed to promoting peace, global development and poverty reduction through responsible tourism.

Guided by its vision of a “Better Tourism, Better Life, Better World” the Alliance, work with travel and tourism industry around the world. Up until March 2019, it has 182 members in 38 countries and regions, covering all five continents.

Above:  World Tourism Alliance Secretary-General, Liu Shijun (left)  and Dr Martin Buck  Senior Vice President, Travel & Logistics Messe Berlin.

Messe Berlin organises the travel trade show of ITB China which will take place from May 15 to 17 in Shanghai for the third time.

More information at

Hong Kong Outbound Market Continues to Grow

By | 2018

Hong Kong’s travel spending, which rank world’s tenth largest market by total outbound spending in 2016 was up by 5.8 percent to USD25.5 billion in 2017In 2018, Hong Kong citizens made 92.21 million departures in 2018 – averaging 12.4 departures per person. Total revenue of the city’s outbound package tours in that year grew by 8.1 percent.

An online survey last November interviewed 1,000 Hong Kong citizens found 23 percent of respondents said overseas holiday, is the largest spending item of their salary not including rent or mortgage.

During Hong Kong’s only travel fair last year that is, ITE Hong Kong 2018, FIT dominate Hong Kong outbound travels of which 84 percent prefer FIT or private group.  They are said to be highly educated (42 percent are university graduates with another 34 percent post-secondary education) and, likely with good income.

The ITE 2018 survey also found there is an interest in in-depth and theme travels. Some 4,000 replies were collected with trade visitors’ interest on study tour 28 percent, overseas wedding 21 percent, eco-tourism 35 percent and sport tourism 23 percent.

This year the ITE Hong Kong 2019, the 33rd ITE (leisure) and the 14th ITE MICE, will be held from 13 to 16 June 2019 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.  Official pavilions in the ITE series highlight theme travels with over 85 percent of some 700 exhibitors from abroad.  The show also covers leisure and MICE travel.

For more details please visit, and for enquiry contact the organizer TKS Exhibition Services Ltd, or Tel: +852 31550600 or Wechat: itehongkong QQ: 3171980873

Attractions Industry’s Premier Event in Asia Returns to Shanghai

By | 2019

IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry has announced, registration is now open for IAAPA Expo Asia 2019 (formerly Asian Attractions Expo). This year it is expected, more than 8,500 global amusement park and attractions industry professionals from more than 60 countries and regions will gather at the trade show.

The 11,000-net-square-metre trade floor at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre will feature, some 300 exhibiting companies displaying the latest innovative products and services designed, for the multibillion dollar attractions industry in Asia.

Attendees will also be able to participate in in-depth learning and education programs as well as, general education sessions on a wide choice of topics ranging from facility operations, marketing, public relations and communications, entertainment, government relations, security and safety, information technology, food and beverage, merchandise and games and human resources to name a few.

This year IAAPA Expo Asia will be held from June 11 to 14. For more information, please visit or connect through social media channels: @IAAPAHQ #IAAPA.

AIME 2019 Opens with a New Look and Closes on a High Note

By | 2019

The exhibition officially opened on Monday, February 18 with a one day Knowledge Exchange Program of inspiring talks and networking and two days of full meetings between exhibitors and buyersAsia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) owner, the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) impressed delegates at the show this year, with its newly designed exhibition stand that projected the best of Melbourne.

The AIME Knowledge Exchange Program saw over 600 hosted buyers, exhibitors and media attend engaging sessions and workshops at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Topics and discussions included exploring community, the power of technology, the importance of face-to-face meetings and challenging both the meeting norms and our own perceptions of ability in Dialogue in the Dark.

Following the day of Knowledge, delegates gathered at Atlantic Group’s Peninsula for the AIME welcome event and were treated to something special with a focus on networking. The evening was a true celebration of the Asia-Pacific region with exotic styling theme across different rooms.  To kick off the night, guests were entertained by an awe-inspiring performance of the Wadaiko Japanese drums. Guests were then taken on a sensory culinary journey across the Asia-Pacific culminating with a decadent floating dessert station.

Throughout the show, the floor had a continued buzz as buyers moved from stand to stand fulfilling their matched meetings with well over 5,000 formal meetings. Horses walked into the Northern Territory breakfast meeting and; as part of the Arts Centre ‘Melbourne Play Me, I’m Yours’ series, a piano is placed in the most unexpected places at the Melbourne stand, for passers-by to play the piano – a fun invitation for delegates to participate and share Melbourne’s music and visual arts.

Meanwhile, the new Melbourne stand showcased the city’s vibrant culture and uncover Victoria’s major icons, attractions and events, through a series of interactive activation zones dedicated to the arts, major events and food and beverage emphasising on Team Melbourne’s philosophy of delivering business events.

An interesting highlight at this year’s AIME is its partnership with Australia’s most-trusted charity, Guide Dogs Victoria through a sensory experience workshop of the show’s Knowledge Program.  Sponsored by the Melbourne Convention Bureau, this innovation marks the world’s first industry sensory experience.

AIME 2019 was held at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from February 18 to 20.

The Importance of Partnerships by Paul Vallee of BestCities Global Alliance

By | 2019

Paul Vallee is managing director of the BestCities Global Alliance. He is responsible for the successful delivery of the alliance’s strategic plan, performance monitoring and overseeing its operations. Here he speaks on the growing trend for partnerships in associations and how the industry can benefit from collaboration.

Why are partnerships so important?

The beauty of a partnership, to me, is working together to complement one another and to build something creative and fresh that one may not have otherwise been able to do. That’s the primary advantage and the purpose of partnering. BestCities as an alliance has built its foundations on partnerships and works to help destinations and associations identify partnerships that would work for them.

How can an organisation find the right partner for them?

You have to consider your association’s needs and areas of strength, using that as a basis to define where the best fit lies. What is it that will make you as an organisation prosper? The best way to identify a suitable partner is to find those who are complimentary to what it is you are doing. It’s not about the similarities, it’s the differences that organisations may have that can make the partnership flourish – meaning that even the more unconventional pairings shouldn’t be ruled out when considering a partnership.

When an association is considering a partnership, they need to find a party that are willing to put in an equal amount of effort which takes shape in various forms, from money, to time, resource, knowledge and man power.

What are the key benefits of a partnership?

 The key elements where partnerships can benefit an organisation are, like anything in business, improving the bottom line, whether it’s financial or otherwise, increasing sales and enhancing reputation.

What’s an example of an effective partnership that you have observed?

One that I have overseen and have been closest to would be between BestCities and ICCA, because while we exist in the same sphere, we are not exactly the same. We work together with ICCA on various programmes that give back to the industry, such as the recognition programme and Incredible Impacts. We’re a business and a global alliance, whereas they are an association that works in education and holding conferences. They offer areas of skills and expertise that we don’t have and vice versa.

Are there common challenges that associations would need to overcome in partnerships?

There are definitely challenges that can arise when establishing a partnership. One thing to consider is that ‘no partner is more important that the other’. Regardless of the scale of the organisation, its key to avoid a hierarchal partnership, as each organisation involved should be bringing an equal amount of value to the collaboration.

Another potential challenge is being able to agree upon and streamline the common goal and objective to work towards. You’ve got to be tolerant, you’ve got to be flexible, you’ve got to trust one another and recognise that each partner has strengths and weaknesses – understanding and overcoming cultural or operational differences.

Where do you see the future of collaboration and partnership with associations going and BestCities’ role within that?

When associations and destinations find common ground, great things can happen. For example, an association that specialises in the eradication of a disease will find common ground from destinations that wants to improve the health of the citizens. Or for instance, an association whose purpose is to reduce child poverty is really no different to a destination who wants to see their young people survive and thrive.

What we’re moving towards is associations taking advantage of the benefits of collaboration and partnership in refreshing new ways, using these to extend offers and working towards a better future that benefits all. That’s a partnership to me.

How does BestCities decide on which destinations to join its partnership?

There are key criteria for the Alliance when considering new destinations joining the partnership. Among many things, we consider destinations that have demonstrated leadership in working towards joint goals, being accountable for results, having open and honest communications and thinking long term.

We look for partners that demonstrate a track record in partnering and collaboration, with a compelling reputation, which adds value to the Alliance through everything from cultural diversity, geographic balance and client reach.

This Year’s AIME Embraces Sustainability Collaborates with Green Partners

By | 2019

The event has announced a series of partnerships with companies set to champion sustainability at the 2019 event and, will see the green initiatives showcased at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC) which is the host venue.

As the first convention centre in the world to be awarded a 6-Star Green Star environmental rating, MCEC has placed sustainability at the core of their business priorities. Over the past three years, the centre has reduced carbon emissions per square metre by 16 per cent, and is on track to achieve its target of 30 per cent by 2021 against 2015 levels.

“We replaced over 600 light fittings to energy-efficient alternatives and have eliminated the use of all plastic water bottles in catering. These initiatives demonstrate that we are going far beyond a ‘tick box’ approach by implementing unique and innovative measures, which benefit Melbourne, the local community, and more directly, AIME’s environmental impact”, said Leighton Wood, chief operating officer, MCEC.

DE&E and their award-winning design team have created ‘The Embassy Suite’, a new sleek and stylish stand concept designed for AIME. The Embassy Suites are built with natural materials such as timber, which can be reused and recycled with ease. As part of the event, the DE&E team will also pack down the suites and store for exhibitors as they can be reused at AIME for three years. If exhibitors choose to not reuse the stand, the team will reuse, repurpose, rehire and reupholster to minimise waste.

The 2019 event will also see Harry the Hirer ensure environmental sensitivity by minimising wastage and recycling materials at every available opportunity. This includes opportunities when building the infrastructure and also when taking it apart.

According to the Global Destinations Index, Melbourne ranked number one as a sustainable city for business events in the Asia-Pacific region. Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) who are proprietors of AIME, are excited to showcase the city’s innovative offerings to the event’s interstate and international delegates.

World-class Luxury Experiences to Showcase at AIME 2019

Exhibitors confirmed to lead the premium line-up include: One & Only Resorts, Daydream Island Resort and the Belmond. Other luxury travel exhibitors attending the 2019 event include Galaxy Macau, The Ritz Carlton Hawaii and Maverick Helicopters.

“We’re extremely excited to be welcoming some of the finest high end services in the industry. Our 2019 event will be a true representation of the growth of luxury travel, as well as the perfect platform to showcase some magical locations and venues available. From intimate resorts to wilderness wonders – there’s a an experience waiting to be discovered that can truly elevate your next event,” said Matt Pearce, director, Talk2 Media & Events.

AIME 2019 has to date confirmed exhibitors from across 20 different countries, broadening the event to reflect the Asia Pacific region and its unique destinations and cultures.

Running from 18–20 February, AIME is the first event to kick off the 2019 MICE calendar and is held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

To register to attend AIME 2019 as a visitor please visit, or for more details please visit

IAAPA Announces New Global Brand

By | 2019

The global association for the attractions industry has revamped its brand identity with a new look and logo to demonstrate its readiness to support the global attractions industry well into the next 100 years.

“This new identity is the result of a thoughtful, three-year strategic initiative led by many IAAPA members,” said Jeff Klocke, chairman of the IAAPA Branding Taskforce and vice president and general manager of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.

“Through surveys, interviews, and research we came to better understand how members view IAAPA, and what services and resources they need and want from the association. IAAPA members shared they value the vast diversity found within our industry, and view IAAPA as the source to make lasting connections and feel inspired.”

The resulting new logo includes a wide, bright color palette representing the diversity of professionals and constituencies that make up the global attractions industry. The burst in the middle conveys the sparks of inspiration when individuals come together, and the strong, solid IAAPA letters reflect the strength of the industry while the flares signify forward movement.

In addition to a new brand image, IAAPA’s three Global Expos have been renamed to IAAPA Expo Asia; Euro Attractions Show; and IAAPA Attractions Expo. IAAPA has been running trade shows for many years with overwhelming results. Its Asia Expo (previously called Asian Attractions Expo) rotates through the Asia-Pacific region to provide attendees the opportunity to see and learn from new locations, attractions and areas of the industry.

IAAPA Expo Asia is returning to Shanghai, China this year to be held from June 11 until at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.  The 2019 show will feature innovations, concepts and products from over 300 companies from around the world.

MICE  in Asia is a media partner of IAAPA Expo Asia 2019.

What can We Expect from ITB China this Year

By | 2019

Nicole Ci the project manager of ITB China discusses in which direction the event is heading:

What changes have you made to the show this year?

The market in China continues to enjoy robust growth, and as a result we have ambitious plans to evolve the event this year, with several enhanced features. Based on the changing market as well as ongoing conversations with our customers, top of our agenda is to attract more international exhibitors, especially from Europe and Asia, as well as new domestic destinations, to reflect the growing interest in holding events in the region.

This year we expect around 400 hosted buyers to attend the show, and to meet exhibitor needs we plan to increase the proportion of association Hosted Buyers, whilst keeping the same high number of corporate buyers that we achieved last year (30 percent) with the remainder from agencies. Around 20 percent of the hosted buyers will be international.

As is the case across the industry, the key to the success of an event is creating an inspiring and interesting backdrop. As such this year, we’re introducing an ‘Experience Zone’, where visitors will be able to interact with select exhibitors in immersive themed environments on the show floor. Additionally, in response to customer demand for more opportunities to learn and be inspired by outside speakers, eight new speaker slots have been added to our cutting-edge Knowledge Programme, which will cover four key themes, taking the number of speaker slots to 18.

What factors have influenced the changes to the exhibitor / hosted buyer mix?

This is a buoyant market experiencing rapid growth, with a huge outbound business travel market, making it a very attractive proposition for international exhibitors. Oxford Economics estimated that outbound business travel from China reached USD100 billion in 2018, up 26 percent on 2017. Hosted Buyers who come to IBTM China are eager to place business with international exhibitors, as well as domestic, and it is for this reason that we have decided to shift the exhibitor mix slightly in favour of international exhibitors.

In terms of the hosted buyer mix, the association meetings market in the region is on the rise, and to meet our exhibitors’ needs, who have told us they would like to meet with more association buyers, we plan to attract more association hosted buyers to the event this year.

Can you tell us more about the new Experience Zone?

Our new ‘Experience Zone’ gives select exhibitors the opportunity to bring their product offering to life in front of an engaged audience of quality buyers, and it offers hosted buyers the chance to experience amazing event themes and ideas to take home ideas for their next events. Plus, with VR show rounds of event spaces becoming more commonplace, this was a logical next step, to enable our delegates to re-create the event experience under one roof and provide an experience that is just as much about showing as telling. It’s an exciting concept that we’re keen to develop and further details of exhibitors will be announced in due course.

IBTM China  will take place in Beijing from Auguist 28 to 29 at at China National Convention Centre (CNCC).

AIME Partners with Guide Dogs Victoria for Industry-First Sensory Experience at Its 2019 Event

By | 2019

Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) announced an innovative partnership with Australia’s most-trusted charity, Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV), to launch a pop-up sensory experience workshop.

Guide Dogs Victoria will run its award-winning program, Dialogue in the Dark, as part of AIME’s refreshed Knowledge Program, sponsored by the Melbourne Convention Bureau. Participants can expect an immersive experience designed to offer them the opportunity to kick-start AIME by challenging their own limits, overcoming boundaries, and discovering their hidden potential – all while being led through tasks in complete darkness by facilitators who have low vision.

“The Knowledge Program is all about community, diversity, innovation and inclusivity, and we’re thrilled to partner with GDV. Between us, we can highlight the extraordinary ability rather than the disability within this community and how we can learn from them,” said Matt Pearce, director of Talk2 Media & Events.

Founded by social entrepreneur Andreas Heinecke in Hamburg in 1988, Dialogue in the Dark has been experienced by more than 10 million visitors across 39 countries and employed upwards of 10,000 people with blindness or partial blindness.

Dialogue in the Dark will be heldheld exclusively for participants at AIME

2019 and will run across four sessions throughout the Knowledge Program on Monday February 18.

For more details on Dialogue in the Dark, visit, or to submit interest in attending AIME 2019, visit