Azerbaijan Ventures into Southeast Asia Market at ITB Asia 2019

By | 2019

Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB) took the opportunity to introduce its ‘Take Another Look’ campaign at Azerbajan during the trade show.

ATB looked at exploring collaboration with destination management companies from the emerging market of Southeast Asia with countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, which in 2018, recorded outbound departures of 77 million and an expectation of an exponential growth of 40 percent by 2023.

“We are delighted to launch our new brand identity and the ‘Take Another Look’ campaign at the ITB Asia. And we look forward to introducing our destination brand to Asian visitors, enhancing our tourism proposition in the industry, as we continue to provide tourists with unique, authentic experiences that will leave them with lasting memories for a lifetime,” said Florian Sengstschmid, chief executive of Azerbaijan Tourism Board.

Changes have also been seen in the country’s socio-economic status.  The country is developing rapidly and MICE business has now become one of the key tourism segments of Azerbaijan.

In view of this, the country established the Azerbaijan Convention Bureau which was opened in September  2013, and this now comes under the purview of the Azerbaijan Tourism Board.

While in terms of facilities, the Baku Expo Center and the Baku Convention Center both multi-purpose venues are considered to be ultra modern, and the largest in the Caucasus.

Another up and coming venue for hosting events is Qabala (Gabala) city, located in the northwest of Azerbaijan. Since 2009, the city, every summer organises the Gabala International Music Festival of both classical and jazz. Musicians perform in the open-air with participants from Europe and as far as the United States.

The tourism board is expected to roll out more marketing programmes to attract MICE business. According to its  chief executive officer, there are plans for road shows, media familiarisation trips and buyer trips from Asia.  End of April next year, the board is planning to organise for the first time in the country a buyers’ forum in Baku, the capital.

In Asia,  ATB has representative offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in India.  While in China, it has presence in cities such as Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou and Seoul in South Korea.

Travel to Azerbaijan is now getting easier with the recently implemented and simplified new electronic visa procedure, to allow visitors to easily obtain a visa when travelling to the country. Currently, countries in Asia like Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, are eligible for visa upon arrival, while Thailand and Vietnam can apply through the e-visa system.

ITB Asia 2019 Breaks Previous Years’ Record with More than 27,000 Business Appointments Made

By | 2019

This year the show attracted 13,000 attendees from 132 countries and territories with over 1,300 exhibitors and more than 1,250 buyers. The three-day exhibition noted a 7.4 percent year-on-year growth on appointments.

For the first time too, attendees got a chance to gain detailed understanding of some of the most important practices and trends that define the future of MICE events at ITB Asia’s inaugural MICE Show Asia. In its twelfth year running, this year’s conference programme brought together thought leaders from across the MICE, Leisure, Corporate, and Travel Tech sectors to keep pace with technological developments in the travel industry.

Dr. Christian Göke, chief executive officer, Messe Berlin said: “After 12 years, ITB Asia experienced strong growth again. This new record clearly demonstrates that the show is well accepted by the industry around the world as the must-attend event in Asia. Messe Berlin is delighted to continue the strategic partnership with Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) from 2020 to 2022.”

Marina Bay Sands will see a renewal of its partnership with Messe Berlin (Singapore) as the show’s official partner hotel while the extension of the relationship with Singapore Tourism Board, will see Singapore as the host country for ITB Asia for the next three years of the show.

The next three editions of ITB Asia will take place from: October 21 to 23, 2020; October 27 to 29, 2021; and October 19 to 21 2022.

Interest is already being expressed for ITB Asia’s 2020 edition with more than 3,500 square metres of exhibition space being booked for next year’s show.

In addition, ITB Asia 2020 will be introducing Travel Tech Asia as a new show under ITB Asia’s umbrella of events. Travel Tech Asia will provide the travel-tech community with a platform to connect and create as well as, enhance the way people travel, meet and do business with technology.

Global Tourism Economy Forum・Macao 2019 Adjourns with Success – Unveils New Avenues for Progress in Tourism and Leisure

By | 2019

The 8th edition of Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF or the Forum), under the theme of ‘Tourism and Leisure: Roadmap to a Beautiful Life’, puts Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Beautiful Life concept at the core of its discussion on the global tourism economy.

In collaboration with UNWTO, the 2019 edition of face-to-face, ministers and private sector chief executive officers initiated a high-level dialogue under the topic of ‘How Tourism, Leisure and Sports Lead to a Beautiful Life’ – bringing together leaders from the private and public sectors to discuss how innovation and cooperation can give a boost to tourism, leisure and to sports.

Secretary for social affairs and culture of the Macao SAR Government and executive chairman of GTEF, Alexis Tam, stated in his closing remarks, “As stakeholders in tourism, we should all aspire to a thriving industry that creates beautiful places to visit for travellers, without discounting the quality of life for people living near them.”

The Forum has also announced Italy as GTEF 2020 partner country and Gansu Province as the featured Chinese Province. Italy, the first country in the Group of Seven (G7) to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its diplomatic relations with China in 2020.

Italy’s partnership with GTEF represents the Forum’s fifth tourism collaboration with European countries and regions over the years.

While the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC) presented the latest edition of UNWTO/GTERC Asia Tourism Trends familiarising delegates with the latest tourism trends and outlook of the region as well as,  opportunities for tourism development in Argentina and Brazil in  health and sports tourism as new growth areas in Asia.

The report offered delegates the foresight to tap into golden opportunities for tourism investment and cooperation worldwide.

Business matching session during the Forum successfully bridged 142 tourism suppliers and operators from China, Argentina, Brazil and Europe, unlocking cooperation and exchange opportunities with each other.

GTEF 2019 successfully gathered and engaged close to 2,000 participants including ministerial officials of tourism and related fields, industry leaders, experts, scholars and participants from across the globe, along with delegations from GTEF 2019 partner countries Argentina and Brazil, as well as featured Chinese Province Jiangsu.

Stay tuned for more information about GTEF via and its social media channels:

wechat ID: GTEForum


AIME 2020 Knowledge Exchange – An Exploration of Human Connections and Experiences

By | 2019

The show has announced the theme for its much-anticipated 2020 Knowledge Exchange.  It is aimed at  to inspire communities to connect through authentic learning experiences and human-centred interactions.

AIME 2020 will see the program evolve from its developments in 2019, sharpening its focus on the fundamentals of relationship building in today’s hyper-connected world and its power, to drive positive change throughout the region.

“Business events are all about human interaction and so it makes absolute sense for us to challenge our visitors and exhibitors alike to connect and maximise the potential for business in different and exciting new ways. 2020 is all about AIME’s evolution, and we are placing people at the heart of our event to develop both professionally and personally,” said Matt Pearce, chief executive officer, Talk2 Media & Events.

Appointed as the program’s content weaver, Holly Ransom, chief executive officer of Emergent and globally renowned speaker and curator, is set to guide discussions with delegates on the core principles of connections and how technology can enhance them.

She stated: “The Asia Pacific is one of the world’s most diverse cultural regions, and connecting and understanding its neighbours has been one of the key driving forces in its economic success. I’m very excited to lead discussions on how technology has played a role in all this, but also on the importance of stripping back to the basics.”

Open to both buyers and exhibitors, AIME 2020 will see bespoke experiences offered across all sectors of the industry. It will also mark the first year that Associations will be able to participate in an invitation-only discussion with industry leaders on the topic.

Once again, AIME is the first event to kick off the 2020 Business Events calendar, and is held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from February 17 to 19.

For more details on AIME in 2020, visit To follow AIME’s journey on social media, visit Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

TCEB Launches Four Economic Corridor Projects to Boost Trade, Investment and Logistics in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region

By | 2019
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is co-hosting and supporting conferences as a platform to enhance trade and investment with Thailand’s neighbouring countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), in line with the Thai Government’s economic policy to strengthen Thailand’s position as a regional hub.

All projects are initiated with the objective to help realise Thailand’s economic corridors in various regions that are linked with the GMS countries and the CLMV (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam) bloc as well as, to strengthen linkage with China’s One Belt One Road initiative.

“TCEB has a policy to use conference and trade show as a tool to drive economic growth and generate economic impacts. So far four conferences have been held in regional provinces located in the economic corridors that connect with GMS countries,” said Nichapa Yoswee, TCEB’s senior vice president –business.

Co-hosted and supported financially by TCEB, the conferences have gathered entrepreneurs from Thailand, CLMV and GMS to form networks and join table-top sessions for business exchange. The total value of business exchange between 2018 and 2019 is now stands at 307 million baht.

The first conference was International Conference on Luang Prabang-Indochina-Mawlamyine Economic Corridor (LIMEC), which spans two cities in Lao PDR, five Thai provinces in the lower northern region, and three key cities in the south-eastern part of Myanmar.

Co-hosted by TCEB with the Provincial Chapters of the Federation of Thai Industries, Provincial Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Council of Thailand, the conference has been held in Thailand for the fifth consecutive year since 2015 – each one attracting between 400 to 500 delegates.

TCEB’s involvement has contributed to 20 business exchanges in 2018 alone, totalling 226 million baht in such sectors as agriculture, food, construction, logistics, health and tourism.

Cambodia-Vietnam-Thailand Economic Corridor Cooperation Conference (CVTEC) was hosted in 2018 in Pattaya and 2019 in Rayong where MOU has now been signed between the three countries to open oceanic transportation route along the southern coast of Vietnam, Cambodia and eastern coast of Thailand in the four Thai provinces of Trat, Chanthaburi, Rayong and Chonburi.

The trial operation of the oceanic transportation route will begin in 2020 when table top business sessions will be launched with TCEB support for the first time for CVTEC.

GMS Logistic Forum was started in Bangkok in 2018 and the second edition in Khon Kaen in 2019. Both editions attracted around 450 delegates and logistics operators from the six GMS countries.

GMS Thailand e-Commerce Economic Corridor (GTEC) had its inaugural event in Chiang Rai in July this year to provide a platform to link Thai community entrepreneurs with Chinese e-commerce platform operator, resulting in placement order for Thai products worth 70 million baht.

TCEB also aim is to drive GTEC as e-commerce economic corridor and plans, to stage GTEC annually and rotate it to all regions of Thailand.  Beginning with the Northeast in 2020 and the southern region in 2021.

GTEC is run by Thai-Chinese Strategic Research Centre, International College of Digital Innovation (Chiang Mai University), Ministry of Commerce Biz Club and Thai-Shenzhen Friendship Association.

IT&CMA and CTW Asia Pacific 2019 Introduces New Initiatives

By | 2019

The IT&CMA and CTW Asia Pacific 2019 concluded on a high with delegates expressing positive experiences across the board, as a variety of business, learning and networking objectives were met through newly introduced initiatives such as the Meet-The-Corporate, Exhibition Walkabouts and, Say Hi To Everyone held on the first day as an opening ice breaker was a highlight for many.

While the brand showcase presentations saw a full house with 10 sessions over two days saw opportunity for exhibitors, to share their latest highlights and features, to buyers and the media.

Commented Sudeshna Ramkumar, assistant director of India Tourism: “It is a good platform to showcase India as a MICE destination to relevant buyers and we are extremely pleased to have more prospective buyers approaching us after the brand presentation showcase.”

Destination featured in the walkabout was Japan National Tourism Organization connected with Association buyers and media through this session. JNTO’s MICE director Susan Maria Ong, MICE director, Asia Pacific mentioned that this was a great opportunity for the exhibitor to meet more Association buyers at one go compared to the one-to-one business appointments.

Included in this year’s show were several sponsored luncheons, coffee breaks, dinners and cocktails by participating exhibitors, to engage with different targeted delegate segments on a captive exclusive sitting and cultivate potential procurement opportunities beyond the show floor.

One networking luncheon was organised by Visit Nepal Year 2020 Secretariat.  It was an occasion during IT&CM Asia 2019 to showcase the country as one of the perfect MICE destination of choice and to promote Visit Nepal Year 2020 Campaign stated Rohini Prasad Khanal, program manager of Visit Nepal Year 2020 Secretariat.

According to program manager, Nepal is known for mountaineering, trekking and organising renowned art and music festivals. Little however, she explained, has Nepal been talked about as being one of the preferred destinations for corporate travel despite hosting various regional government and corporate conferences.

The expanded Asian MICE Cruise conference, established Association Day forums and the re-introduced ASEAN MICE forums, as well as the CTW Asia-Pacific Conference received positive reviews from delegates who attended these knowledge sessions collectively helmed by over 60 speakers.

TCEB Highlights its 4M Strategy in the Global MICE Market at Opening of 2019 IT&CMA & CTW

By | 2019

At the official press conference of the tradeshow, TCEB focused the media’s attention on the bureau’s 4Ms that is Meet Now, Meet Mega, Meet Smart and Meet Sustainable. TCEB has joined hands with MICE cities in Thailand and entrepreneurs in these cities, to activate sustainable MICE measures concerning the environment with the aim on cutting down waste by 50 percent.

This is the 18 consecutive years that IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2019 has been hosted in Thailand, and the country will continue to do so until 2020.

“Today, the world is changing at the ultra-fast pace owing to digital technology, trade wars, economic depression, inflation and natural disasters. These have inevitably and thoroughly affected economy, politics and society,” said Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, president of Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau.

He added: “To expedite MICE to achieve the goals, it is therefore necessary to seek collaboration on both national and international levels. We can expect our operations to yield maximum efficiency with lowest costs, while also remaining competitive and surviving with sustainability.”

This year the focus is on the participation of local entrepreneurs who are particularly from the potential MICE cities in Thailand. They are brought to participate in global MICE tradeshows to initiate business negotiation for opportunities in product development, joint marketing, sales promotional activities, as well as to attract new events into Thailand.

The main primary market of the Meetings and Incentives or MI of Thailand will remain the ASEAN+6 countries (China, India, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand) and USA with Europe as the secondary market. New market will be expanded to countries in the Eastern Europe.

In 2020, TCEB expects that the number of MICE travellers entering into Thailand will reach 1,386,000 which likely to generate 105,600 million baht of revenue. While the number of MICE travellers from the meetings and incentives market is estimated at 762,000, which is expected to generate revenue of 57,000 million baht.

Global Tourism Economy Forum – Tourism and Leisure: Roadmap to a Beautiful Life

By | 2019

GTEF or “the Forum” will convene in Macao from October 13 and 14. Centred on the concept of ‘Beautiful Life’ raised by President Xi Jinping, the Forum will lead forward-thinking discussions on global tourism economy.

This year, GTEF in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will bring the finale of the UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure: SportsTech to Macao for the first time. The first GTEF World Tourism Investment and Financing Conference will also be launched in this edition.

Capitalizing on Macao’s role as a bridge that connects different peoples and enhances cooperation between China and the world, as well as a strategic tourism hub in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area – the Forum is committed to enhancing the sustainable development of the global tourism industry with a special focus on China, and guiding global tourism stakeholders to unlock new opportunities across China and the Greater Bay Area.

It also marks the dual celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 20th anniversary of the Establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region, as well as the launch of the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, delegates will join hands to explore and shape a new landscape for the tourism ecosystem.

The 8th edition of GTEF will bring together ministers of sports, culture and tourism, corporate leaders and experts from worldwide to discuss the latest tourism policies and trends, unveil vast opportunities for new growth in cultural, sports and wellness tourism, as well as explore in depth the interplay potential between the tourism markets of China and Latin America.

At the same time, the signature “Face to Face, Ministers and Private Sector CEOs” session will return with a high-level dialogue between ministers and global private-sector CEOs around the topic of cultural, sports and wellness tourism.





In addition to that, UNWTO and the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC) will co-launch the sixth edition of the UNWTO/GTERC Asia Tourism Trends. The report will present not only the tourism trends and outlook for the Asia-Pacific region, but also a feature analysis on the vast development potential of Argentina and Brazil as tourism markets, as well as a window into the potential of the cultural, sports and wellness tourism markets in Asia-Pacific in moving towards sustainability.

While the three round-table discussion panes of the World Tourism Investment and Finance Conference unfold to explore the topics of: Tourism Investment and Cooperation in the Global Multilateral System; Potential of Chinese Tourism Investment and Cooperation Opportunities in ‘Belt and Road Projects; and Valuation of Tourism Project: Investment and Financing Strategy.

Some of the world’s top investment experts and tourism leaders will share their latest investment insights and inspire delegates to explore new opportunities in the tourism markets along the Belt and Road and across the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

What delegates will be able to gain from the Forum, is a broader professional perspective from tourism experts’ special keynotes, special interviews with prominent tourism leaders and the workshops. Business matching, presentations and exhibitions are available for delegates to tap during the two days together with networking, investment and cooperation opportunities.




Seoul’s MICE Uniqueness is in its Diversity

By | 2019

Cities from around the world are competing to be the preferred destination for MICE and what sets Seoul, the capital of Korea apart from the rest, is its diversity, which can be most alluring. In terms of history, this city stretches back over two thousand years, with some of its relics which can be seen in Seoul, a testament of its historical longevity.

The famous Deoksugang Palace, to name but one is located within the city.  You can witness the changing of the guard ceremony on the palace grounds with guards resplendent in the Korean costumes of a bygone era.

Korean food is unmistakably minimalist, and so healthy, with shared side dishes to complement each other, together with the ubiquitous fermented cabbage known as kimchi, ever present with rice as the main dish. Restaurants at Itaewon now offer halal Korean cuisine to cater to the growing Muslim travellers that visit Seoul.

Then there is Korea’s entertainment phenomena, K-Pop which has taken the world by storm, with museums solely dedicated to it, with dinner shows and concerts happening in and around Seoul.

Religious multiplicity exists in Seoul from Buddhism, and Christianity to Islam – all play a role in the cultural diversity of the city.

Amidst the old, is the modernity of tall high rise buildings, which you can easily mistaken for being in New York.  Then there is the Seoul which is the centre of the country’s tech sector and home to several “chaebol” or conglomerates.

To sample this diversity, Seoul Tourism Organization invited sixteen corporate meetings and incentives buyers, from 10 countries in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East, together with media representatives from seven major magazines to get up close to what Seoul can offer as destination for MICE.  It was hosted by STO’s chief executive officer, Jae-sung Rhee.

For buyers, the tour was focused on real experience, including team building activities, inspection of unique venues in Seoul, to watching K-POP performances and kayaking along the Hangang River.

While for the media, the tour was organised under the theme of: ‘Sustainability’, ‘Korean wave’ and ‘Diversity’ which are the current keywords trending in the MICE industry in Korea.

Media representatives were also taken around various places in relation to urban regeneration and sustainability of Seoul such as the Resource Recovery Facility and Haneul Park – a former landfill area that has been rejuvenated.

In addition to cultural and religious diversity in Seoul, all were introduced to the backbone of what the MICE industry in the city is built upon.

Along with showcasing to the media several international conferences and exhibitions held at the venues visited, emphasising on Seoul’s MICE capability to host events.

A total of 18 unique venues were visited by the participants, and they completed six team building programmes during the familiarisation tour.

Twenty Second Edition of Corporate Travel World Asia-Pacific (CTW APAC) Reveals Re-Designed Programme with New Segments, Advisory Panel and Trending Topics

By | 2019

CTW APAC will present a reformatted two-day programme with new segments added to fully engage attending corporate travel and procurement professionals. Apart from focusing on education sessions, this year, corporate travel and procurement professionals will be exposed to a different CTW APAC experience.

Mornings are exclusively dedicated to the business component with appointments and business meetings. Afternoons are set aside for CTW APAC conferences and education component delivered by industry practitioners, as well as networking.

Beyond the usual one-on-one business appointments, these new initiatives are aimed at to connect corporate buyers with destination pavilions and corporate brands from IT&CM Asia

Aside from the business component, CTW APAC corporate travel professionals will have their very own dedicated conference to facilitate knowledge-sharing – a community-led event that discusses a variety of corporate travel management practices. Delegates can look forward to an impressive speaker line-up.

More than 100 international and Thai corporate buyers are expected with 80 percent of buyers coming from the Asia-Pacific. The corporate representatives range from corporate incentive buyers, travel managers, meeting and events managers to procurement professionals from around the world.

Join us from September 24 to 26 at the Bangkok Convention Centre in CentralWorld to experience the immersive highlights of CTW Asia Pacific.

For more information, log on to or