Media Tour of New Developments in Macau

By | 2010, Press Room

The Macau Government Tourism Office invited business writers from Malaysia including MICE in Asia for four days to inspect new products, services and facilities in Macau. The special administrative region of China is actively promoting business tourism into the island.

Our stay in Macau was hosted by MGM Macau for two nights and a night at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel. A day was also spent inspecting hotel properties among them, the Mandarin Macau, Grand Hyatt Macau and Macau Fisherman’s Wharf.

Business writers from Malaysia.

Not to be missed are the Macau World Heritage sites. We were brought to landmarks such as the Ah Ma Temple, Ruins of St Paul, Na Tca Temple, a section of the Old City Walls, Mount Fortress and Senado Square.
Besides the casinos, Macau offers a wide range of different entertainment. While at the Venetian, we managed to catch the ZAiA by Cirque du Soleil and also House of Dancing Water at the City of Dreams.

MGM Macau

Lunch at at Portugese restaurant.

In front of the Ruins of St Paul and at the A- Ma Temple.

The Macau Tower.

Insider Collection – a Unique New Experience from InterContinental Hotel

By | 2010, Press Room

Meetings, conference and incentive guests will get a rare insider view of the InterContinental hotels in Bali, Manila, Saigon and Singapore through the property’s unique product called the ‘Insider Collection’. A once-in-a lifetime opportunity to participate in a turtle release exercise at Jimbaran beach in Bali, private lunch at Saigon’s historic Reunification Palace, dance the night away at a typical Bario fiesta in Philippines or savour early evening cocktails at Singapore’s beautifully renovated Peranakan Museum.

These are just some of the unique experiences offered by the InterContinental Hotel’s new ‘Insider Collection’ launched at the InterContinental Bali Resort, InterContinental Saigon, InterContinental Manila and InterContinental Singapore.

The Insider Collection is part of a global initiative by InterContinental hotels to bring a totally new dimension to corporate meetings, incentives and conference (MICE) guests. It offers a carefully researched selection of activities that reflect the local expertise and knowledge of the people that work at the resort hotel. It comprises of five elements such as Insider Location, Insider Speaker, Insider Community, Insider Interaction and Insider Break.

MICE in Asia and writers from Indonesia and Hong Kong were invited to InterContinental Bali to experience first hand the chain’s latest offering of the ‘Insider Collection’.

Upon arrival at the hotel, we were greeted by the InterContinental Bali specialist MICE team. A full itinerary was planned by the team to visit locations that visitors rarely see using their local knowledge and connections. First on the agenda, was the cleaning of the popular Jimbaran beach. Later a visit to a ceramic factory which was followed by lunch at a small local Balinese restaurant to savour local specialty dishes with recipes handed down through many generations.

Next morning, we woke up at dawn for a session on Balinese Tai-Chi by the beach. We then had “power” breakfast specially prepared to cleanse our body. Later we cycled to the local fish market near the sea front with the chef to buy the day’s produce which were brought back to hotel’s kitchen, and were guided to cook traditional Balinese food with local ingredients. Food we prepared was served at the terrace for lunch for us to eat.

After a hectic schedule, the team arranged for us a soothing Balinese massage at the hotel’s spa. The hotel had invited a well known Master of Balinese meditation to provide us and guests with unique insights on this art. This is part of the “Insider Collection” program, whereby the MICE team of any of the hotels, have a number of speakers lined up which they can call upon to bring events to life.

“The aim of the Insider Collection is to bring the history, culture and flavours of the destinations to life in a unique way,” said David Anderson, Vice President Brand Delivery Asia-Australasia & Global Resorts.“While our network of hotels and resorts is global, our knowledge and expertise is local so we really looked far beyond everyday experiences to bring the best of Bali, Saigon and Singapore to this programme and provide unique, inspiring experiences to every event,” he added.

Enter the World of the InterContinental Bali and Experience the Hotel’s Insider Collection Program

Volunteering to Clean Jimbaran Beach

Cows which are kept by the InterContinental Bali are used to graze the sands of the beach – an eco-friendly way.

A Visit to Bali’s Largest Ceramics Factory

Exercising the Body and Mind through Balinese Tai-Chi in the Morning followed by “Power” Breakfast

Learn to Cook Balinese Food with Fresh Seafood and Local Ingredients from Chefs of InterContinental Bali

Releasing Baby Turtles into the Sea at Sunset

A turle came on shore to lay its eggs at the beach front of InterContinental Bali. The turtle was adopted by the hotel, and the eggs were later transferred to the local turtle sanctuary to be hatched. During the media visit of the Insider Collection Program, the writers and hotel guests, had the opportunity to release the turtle hatchelings which was truly one of the wonders of life.

Watch Balinese Dance and Participate in Kecak

MICE in Asia would like to thank the InterContinental Bali MICE team for a wonderful time. Our special thanks go to Dewi Anggraini, Saraswati Subadia, Nyoman Winata, Adam McDonald and Suzy Kooy of T/PR Singapore.

Farewell dinner on our last night at InterContinental Bali.

Thailand Bids for World Expo 2020

By | 2010, Press Room

The team from the Thailand Conference and Exhibition Bureau or TCEB as it is better known, are working hard towards promoting the country as the next destination for the World Expo in 2020. After the recent troubles in the country, the Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva showed great initiative by immediately announcing that Thailand would most definitely bid for the 2020 World Expo. Bidding starts in 2011 for this prestigious world event which will next be held in Milan, 2015. Thailand’s 2020 bid is already in a state of preparation with a number of cities such as Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mei, Chiang Rei and Ayudhya (Ayutthaya) are in the running. These

cities are currently being evaluated finalisation will be in early 2011 where the formal bid be made in mid 2011. Other Countries who are also bidding are Los Angeles, Huston, San Francisco, Manila, Dubai, Brazil, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Details and progress of Thailand’s bid can be monitored at

TCEB team members have begun actively organising familiarisation tours among international MICE and travel media writers to visit the facilities of the key cities and experience its hospitality. MICE in Asia representatives together with media members from Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Shanghai, Taiwan and United Kingdom were invited to tour Bangkok and Pattaya.

Before the tour began, a press conference and video presentation were held in Bangkok, where media members were briefed on Thailand’s latest marketing campaign on’ Believe in Thailand’ by the TCEB team.

TCEB has been in existence for about seven years. It was established in 2004 and has continuously been serving Thailand’s MICE and tourist industry. It is now under the presidency of Akapol Sorasuchart, and is entering a new chapter in the development of Thailand MICE which comprises of the concept of win, promote and develop that has been adopted as a strategy in the new white paper – which is the roadmap and reference for the government of Thailand and TCEB.

The core inspiration is business proposals for events and conferences to be held in a country with an unparalleled backdrop of beauty and legendary hospitality. Proposal and bids for golf tourneys and exhibitions form a key have become increasingly popular in Thailand. This is borne out in the Connections –Plus video presentation which contained testaments of many famous golfing Icons and participants of many successful events.

Sports authority of Thailand is also weighing in with support and assistance to event organisers and planners. With very competitive room rates in the range $150-$250 compared to say somewhere like Singapore where $300 is more the norm – Thailand really has much to offer. TCEB is determined to entertain and meet your event requirements.

While market trends in Thailand, suggest an increase in flights into the country, with November to February being the high season. At the same time, TCEB is also active in providing fast track immigration clearance facilities at the international Airport, to promote and assist with the bidding process especially medical conventions. Whilst the American market is still important, there has been a reduction of business from that segment. TCEB is planning more road shows to address and arrest this decline. Meanwhile flights from Russia into Pattaya are on the increase.

The European market is still in focus, but the Euro slowdown has affected numbers coming to Pattaya. The Taiwan market in Thailand is represented by the business and finance sectors.

TCEB carefully monitors trends in event profiles, and has been able to target emerging markets, for example on IT, medical, banking and pharmaceutical. While the Russian MICE Industry is still developing, the sub continents of India and Korea are proving to be major business tourism markets of Thailand. India indeed has become a big client for traditional Indian weddings where many guests, families and friends attend in block bookings. The China market is forecast to swell to 4,000 next year. Last year alone there were about 3,000 MICE participants from China.

The TCEB team is very much into doing a great job on their bids and we at MICE in Asia wish them every success.

Training Programme on Towards a Better Understanding of the Meetings, Conference and Events Industry

By | 2010, Press Room

MICE in Asia organised a training programme on meetings, conferences and events for two days on November 4 and 5 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching. About 40 delegates consisting of hoteliers, academician, meeting planners, event organisers, incentive destination managers and sales and marketing personnel of convention venues attended the programme. It was entitled: Towards a Better Understanding of the Meetings, Conference and Events Industry.

Two speakers took to the stage – Eunice Gan a MICE trainer based in Bangkok and and Bert van Walbeek, a regular motivational speaker well known in the Asia Pacific region. Four sessions of training were conducted by Gan while Walbeek spoke on the 10 commandments of MICE destination marketing and the importance of selling one’s destination.

The two-day training programme was in collaboration with The Ministry of Tourism and Culture Sarawak, Sarawak Convention Bureau and UCSI University, Sarawak Campus.

Trainer Eunice Gan conducting session four of the MICE programme.

Q & A time with trainers Eunice Gan and Bert van Walbeek.

With participants of the two-day training programme.

MICE in Asia Meets Taiwan

By | 2010, Press Room

International writers with representatives of Meet Taiwan.

Having not been back to visit Taiwan for 35 years, I expected change, but not this amount of change. In the seventies, I was a young marine Engineer Officer in the British Merchant Navy and had joined the Alfred Holt Line, better known in those days as The Blue Funnel Line. One of our ports of call was to be Kaoshiung in the Southern part of Taiwan, in those days commonly known as Formosa and this port of call, was to be a part of our long voyage to the northern Chinese ports of Singkiang (Xinjiang) and Tsingtao.

The surrounding dockland area in those days, held little attraction for a young man with limited resources and even less shore leave. You can imagine my surprise, when I returned after all these years, to find a vibrant bustling sea port with lots of new tall buildings, shops and hotels, and to discover the Taiwanese to be most the friendly of folks, and extremely helpful to visitors and travellers alike.

In the competent hands of the Meet Taiwan team which incidentally has been tasked with promoting Taiwan’s unique business industry. The programme comprises of four subsidiary projects which grouped together will ensure the highest quality of business event to be held in Taiwan.

We were driven from the airport – a traveling time of around 45 minutes to the Palais de Chine, a modern and luxurious hotel resting in the heart of Taipei, ready to serve both business and leisure travelers alike. The hotel is conveniently situated within the proximity of the Taipei Central Train Station and the MRT Taipei Main.

Day 1 of our Media familiarisation Programme was a visit to National Palace Museum, where a collection of cultural artifacts held by the museum is composed of an enormous treasure trove of objects inherited from the previous Sung, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. When it comes to paintings, calligraphy, rare books and documents, ceramics, bronzes, jades and curios, the National Palace Museum is the place to go. Development of the Museum has been very closely connected to the social changes of modern China. The museum is a very popular destination and was very busy, however we did get to see the famous cabbage ceramic, known affectionately by the guides as the Mona Lisa of the Palace Museum, which is both beautiful and a pinnacle of expertise in the art of Chinese ceramic making.

This was followed with an exciting coach ride into the mountains of Taiwan, which saw us visit sulphur vents and bubbling springs. Eventually we were brought to the Dharma Drum Mountain World Centre for Buddhist Education. A tranquil haven for all travellers, the centre is set into the hillside with a fine view of the coastline and Taipei City.

After which, we continued our trip to Yangmingshan National Park, which was on our way to the Landis resort. The park is famous for its beautiful scenery with traces of volcanic activities and abundant natural resources. It is also Taiwan’s third national park and the one closest to a major city.

The Landis resort further down the hillside, welcomed us for dinner and before the meal, we were invited to an experience of a lifetime. Sulphur bathing in alternate hot, cold and warm bathing pools. This activity is very popular at Landis Resort, a very cozy and popular venue for locals and visitors alike.

Day 2 saw us up early and ready to go. We embarked on a site visit to the W Hotel, which although is a work in progress just now, is in the final outfitting stages of construction and will be ready to receive guests by years end.

At the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, you can see where Taiwan’s past meets the future. Respectfully referred to as a hero and the people’s “King” this great man, changed the Island of Taiwan into a proud and beautiful country where art, learning, the appreciation of nature and quality of life are revered and respected. A wonderful spacious and majestic site occupied by finely proportioned buildings and entrance arches, which houses some of the great man and his wife’s personal belongings, paintings and gifts from foreign dignitaries.

As part of the programme, we attended the Taiwan MICE Award Ceremony. There was much excitement among the prize winners. We met them with each media member interviewing a winner of his project. A few congratulatory words and some advice on organising MICE events saw us leave the proceedings with much joy and happiness. Lunch saw us arrive at the Ding TaiFung restaurant for some fabulous food in the form of steamed dumpling with mouthwatering fillings.

Taipei International Flora Expo was to be our next destination. The Floral Expo we are informed is based on three major design concepts, the 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition will highlight many alternative possibilities in the area of gardening. The Flora Expo is also a great introduction to modern technology and innovation in the area of environmental protection and gardening science.
After leaving the Expo site, we were shuttled to the Hotel Shangri-La for check-in and to freshen- up before a site inspection of the property. Anyone who has stayed at Shangri-la Hotels will know the very high standard of this hotel brand.

The next morning we checked out of Shangri-La and headed for the EXCO 2010. It is the second year running for this event with 105 exhibitors and 236 booths promoting products from Taiwan. Lunch saw us repair to ‘Beijing Do It True restaurant’ with a manager who used to be a farmer. He was most genial and treated us to some of his specialties. We all left in high spirits and many photographs were taken with the manager.
A short shuttle bus ride saw us at the Taipei High speed railway station for a real fast journey to Kaoshiung taking around one and a half hours journey. Upon arrival we were taken to the Splendor hotel and checked in.
Following our visit to the Pier-2 Art Center and fine dinner at the harbour side Her Bian Restaurant Banana restaurant located in what used to be a dockland warehouse. We made our way back to the high Speed rail Terminal for our return journey to Taipei.

That evening had us checking in, doing a site visit and having an introduction to the Grand Formosa Regent Hotel in Taipei City Center. Dinner found us at Robins Grill of the Grand Formosa for a delightful dinner with Mr Richard Ko who is the CEO of the Round Table.

At 9.30 a.m. on our last day we were whisked off by shuttle bus to the Taipei International Convention Centre or (TICC). This is an older centre, which as we observed has served Taipei very well, and has clearly undergone many refurbishments. Boasting a host of different size banquet rooms and meeting rooms, including a very impressive large theatre size auditorium, this is a real large and hospitable convention centre in every sense of the word.

Our next stop would be the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall (TWTC Nangang), which is a purpose-built exhibition complex in Nangang, Taipei. Built in 2008, financed and built by the Ministry of Economic affairs (MOEA), it is managed and operated by (TAITRA) the Taiwan External Trade Development Council. Across the highway from the centre, is a High Tech park, a state-of-the art venue, with a combined exhibition spaces of around 3.5 football fields, a high rise column free upper level exhibition hall and excellent floor loading design complete with vehicle access.

Our final day lunch was hosted by the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) under the banner of the Ministry of Economic Affairs along with the MEET Taiwan team we were able to meet their Director, Grace H.F. Chiang from the trade development division. After pleasant exchanges discussion and photo shoots we repaired to the Wisteria Tea House for a small break to partake in a Chinese high tea of Ulong tea tasting, and a chance to talk to tea ceremony master Chow Yu who taught us some of the history of Taiwan’s journey throughout the 60’s 70’s and 80’s. After much tea and photographs following the Q&A session we moved on to our final dinner in Taiwan.

In the informal atmosphere of a local Taiwanese noodle restaurant, we were treated to 31 courses of traditional food and much joviality. A time to say our final thoughts on impressions of Taiwan – our heartfelt thanks to the Meet Taiwan team and reluctant goodbyes to our new friends in what was for us all, an experience of a lifetime.

IT&CMA & CTW 2010 – MICE in Asia Media Partner

By | 2010, Press Room

This year marked the 18th staging of IT&CMA (Incentive Travel and Conventions, Meetings Asia) and 13th CTW (Corporate Travel World). Considered to be Asia’s only double bill event in MICE and corporate travel, both events returned to Bangkok, Thailand. The organisers have also confirmed that the country will continue to host future shows.

The event recorded 9,000 applications of registration for buyers, corporate travel managers and media. Out of these, 483 were selected qualified buyers consisting of corporate travel managers from 54 countries. In total, the show recorded 2,340 pre-registered delegates. Also present were buyers from new markets such as Egypt, Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Portulgal Slovenia, Sri Lanka and Ukraine.

Making a comback this year, was the popular sticky award winner interactive session ‘You Say, I Say’ inviting audiences to voice their opinions while engaging industry experts on some of the MICE community’s most pressing issues. During the two-day show, courses on Corporate Travel Expert Designation (CTE) and the Association of Professional Competencies Certification of PAE102 were conducted.

Media Briefing on the ‘Extra Night Extra Smile’ Campaign in Kuala Lumpur

By | 2010, Press Room

Members of the MICE media with Supawan Teerarat, Exhibitions Director of TCEB (third from left) on the ‘Extra Night Extra Smile’ campaign.

MICE in Asia and several other MICE publications were invited to a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur on Thailand’s ‘Extra Nigh Extra Smile’ campaign. It was conducted by Supawan Teerarat, Exhibitions Director of Thailand Convention Exhibition Bureau on September 30. She highlighted on the campaign variety of privileges. Orgainisers, exhibitors and visitors to Thailand can enjoy one night complimentary accommodation after two nights’ stay at participating hotels. They are also accorded special fast track immigration clearance which include airport transfer and a complimentary Bangkok city tour by tram car. While leading department stores and entertainment outlets offer special discounts for shopping and dining.

The media briefing was followed by a session on business networking with venue owners, event and destination management companies from Thailand. It was attended by buyers from Malaysia.

Meet in Macau Promotion in Malaysia

By | 2010, Press Room

The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) held its annual Meet in Macau
promotion in Kuala Lumpur on July 20 with the theme “Open Doors For Success Today.” This is the fourth year MGTO has organised the event in Malaysia, with the objective of gathering together tourism industry representatives from Macau to meet, discuss and exchange ideas so as to further strengthen business ties with travel agents, tour operators and MICE planners in Malaysia.

Led by Licenio da Cunha, Head of Macau Business Tourism Centre (MBTC), a delegation of 14 Macau travel industry partners representing hotels, convention and exhibition venues, travel agencies, event and destination management companies, had a one-to-one business meeting with Malaysian MICE and travel trade buyers. The MGTO also hosted a business luncheon for corporate guests, associations and the media

Guests at the Meet in Macau presentation of “Open Doors to Success Today” in Kuala Lumpur.

Representatives of Macau Government Tourist Office led by Licenio L.M. da Cunha (second from Left) at a networking corporate luncheon for tourism and MICE buyers from Malaysia and the media.

To encourage more international companies to host events in Macau, MGTO has extended its “Strategic MICE Market Stimulation Programme” to December 31 which is aimed at maintaining Macau’s competitiveness as a MICE destination. The programme was first launched in May 2009. Depending on the category, organisers can enjoy support related to accommodation, food and beverage, site inspections and bidding costs. To qualify, the organisers need to bring in a minimum of 50 participants, and stay two consecutive nights in Macau.

In terms of business tourism, about 397 events were held in Macau in the first quarter of 2010, up by 4% year-on-year, drawing 92,737 participants. (In 2009, there were 1,485 events held in Macau, drawing 660,880 participants). These numbers comprise of association meetings, corporate meetings, incentive travel, exhibitions and expos.

This year, from January to June, Macau welcomed 12.2 million of tourist arrivals –
Malaysia contributed 170,388 visitors. This actually makes Malaysia the 5th largest visitor generating market for Macau. For 2010, the Malaysian MICE market to Macau is forecasted to grow at 50% higher than 2009.

Michelin Star Anton Mosimann Guest Chef at The Restaurant of Club Saujana

By | 2010, Press Room

The Club at The Saujana of Kuala Lumpur recently invited Anton Mosimann, OBE to introduce his new style of cooking Cuisine Naturelle which is a healthy and honest cuisine, nutritionally balanced, very wholesome and without fats and alcohol.

For four glorious cuisine filled days at The Restaurant of The Club at The Saujana, Chef Mosimann prepared exclusive lunches and dinners for those with a discerning taste. Among the delights he prepared were his signature dishes – the highly acclaimed Risotto al Funghi, Chicken Liver Parfait with Pistachio Brioche, Roasted Saddle of Welsh Lamb, with herb crust which he then rounded off with Anton’s Bread and Butter Pudding – a traditional British dessert served with a new twist to an old favorite which is found only at at his private dining club, Mosimann’s of London’s Belgravia.

Chef Mosimann is known for his revolutionised cooking style which he created and started in 1985 – a new philosophy that advocates natural cooking, which brought him to the international stage of the culinary world and attracted the attention of the media. A Swiss by birth, he has worked throughout Europe, Canada and Japan before he came to London, and created his new style of cooking. There he made two cookery series on prime time British television, as well as countless television appearances world wide. His tenth cookery book Mosimann’s Fresh was published in November 2006.

He received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) from H.M. Queen Elizabeth 1 in January 2004 for his dedication and commitment to the food and tourism industries. Six months later he received the Catey Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Catering Industry and, in November 2004, an honorary professorship from Thames Valley University. In 2006, he was appointed Officer, National Ordre du Merite Agricole (France) and in that same year was made President of the Royal Warrant Holder’s Association.

Among those for whom the chef has had the privilege to cook for are, four Presidents of the United States of America, all of the British Royal Family, four British prime ministers and most of Europe’s heads of state.

One for the album.

Guests enjoying lunch prepared by Chef Anton Mosimann at The Restaurant of The Cub Saujana.

Kuala Lumpur Host 9th Council of Promotion for Tourism in Asia Meeting and Exihibition

By | 2010, Press Room

The Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Seri Ahmad Fuad Ismail officiated the opening of the 9th Council of Promotion for Tourism in Asia (CPTA) at the auditorium of the Kuala Lumpur Library. The meeting was chaired by Nobuhiro Maeda, director general of Industrial and Labour Affair Bureau, Tokyo Metropolitan government, who is also the CPTA chairperson.

Issues discussed during the two-day meeting were of reports on conditions surrounding the implementation of joint projects and proposals for new joint projects, matters relating to the promotion of the “Welcome to Asia Campaign”, as well as opportunities for inter-city collaboration in fostering the regional tourism industry

Established in 2002, the CPTA has nine member cities, Tokyo, New Delhi, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur. It is one of the projects under the Asian Network of Major Cities 21 (ANMC21). Since its establishment, the CPTA has conducted a series of initiatives that included the promotion of Welcome to Asia campaign, development of promotional materials, stury tours between cities, tourism and cultural exhibitions, exchanges of ideas for the expansion of the regional tourism industry and sharing of best practices.

MICE in Asia representatives were at the press conference held by the Mayor on the outcome of the CPTA two-day meeting.

Nobuhiro Maeda, Director General, Bureau of Industrial and Labour Affairs briefing the media on issues discussed during the 9th Council of Promotion for Tourism in Asia held at the auditorium of the Kuala Lumpur Library.