Brand USA and United Airlines Sign Global Sponsorship Agreement

By | 2019

Brand USA, the destination marketing organisation for the United States, and United Airlines announced a three-year global sponsorship agreement to promote international travel across the United States.

The agreement makes United Airlines an official Global Airline Sponsor of Brand USA and the exclusive airline sponsor of Brand USA’s next IMAX® film, “Into America’s Wild”, which premieres in February 2020.

While the film takes international audiences on a journey across the United States through its scenic byways, ancient homelands, little known trails, and hidden gems that form the country’s natural tapestry. “Into America’s Wild” features the country’s greatest outdoor experiences from kayaking Oregon’s stunning coast, to traversing majestic canyons in the Southwest, exploring the wilds of Alaska, walking the Appalachian Trail and more.

“Our sponsorship with United Airlines grew out of our mutual passion for sharing America’s treasures with the international travel community. Together, we are determined to find creative solutions that impact global travel to the United States,” said Christopher Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Brand USA. “Travel decisions are increasingly influenced by entertaining content and compelling stories. With no shortage of narratives, Brand USA and United Airlines have the right resources and marketing innovation to elevate the position of the U.S. in the worldwide travel sector.”

IBTM Announces First Exhibitor Signings for New Asia Pacific Event Trade Show

By | 2019

Singapore Tourism Board, Tourism New Zealand, Malaysia Convention Bureau, Dubai Corporation for Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, UNECA and Genting Cruises are among the first major names to be confirmed as exhibitors.

Dream Cruises, a member of Genting Cruise Lines, will host the event’s closing party at the Zouk Beach Club on board the award-winning Genting Dream cruise ship, which homeports year-round in Singapore.

IBTM Asia Pacific has partnered with premium remote interpreting cloud-based platform Interprefy, which as well as exhibiting, will empower the event’s theatre spaces with remote simultaneous interpreting. Interprefy will also provide a silent PA system to help reduce noise pollution, thereby enhancing the delegate experience.

Michael Jones, event manager for IBTM Asia Pacific, commented: “We’re delighted to announce the first exhibitor signings for what we are confident will fast become an unmissable event on the industry calendar. We’re performing ahead of target on sales and not only do we have some incredibly high calibre exhibitors from within the region, but also exhibitors from further afield who are looking to do business with Asia Pacific event planners. We have a very strong sales pipeline and will be announcing more news in the coming weeks.”

IBTM Asia Pacific will bring together a high calibre group of international, APAC regional and local meeting planners and exhibitors for two days of pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings, education and networking. The event will be underpinned by IBTM’s sophisticated, industry-leading Hosted Buyer programme, which creates personalised appointment diaries for Hosted Buyers and exhibitors to ensure that delegates only meet people with whom there’s a very good chance of doing business.

Michael continues: “The team is working hard behind the scenes on the Hosted Buyer programme, as well as to finalise details of the education and networking programmes. Anticipation is huge ahead of this first edition of IBTM Asia Pacific and we’re excited to share further details in due course.”

The marketing and Hosted Buyer programme, which supports the success of every IBTM event, is well underway and is being managed by the experienced existing team based in Richmond, London, supported by Reed Exhibition’s teams in Singapore, China, Middle East, Japan, Korea and America.

The event will take place from April 6 to 8 April 2020 in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre.

For more information, or to register interest, visit:

Meeting Mean Business Canada Launches Video Advocacy Campaign

By | 2019

Aligned with the Meeting Mean Business Canada (MMBC) deliverables for 2019, the coalition has officially launched its “Telling our Story” campaign. The campaign consists of one 4-minute video and 11 vignettes, all of which are focused around the importance of the meetings and events industry to the Canadian economy and the impact that it has on the global economy too.

Speaking about why the coalition created the series of videos, Heidi Welker, Chair Meetings Mean Business Canada commented “One of the 2019 goals was to develop a communications plan around “Telling our Story”. The committee, chaired by Debbie van der Beek, took this task very seriously and created some amazing video content. Phase 1 of the plan focused on Government Influence,” said Welker.

“Our goal with these videos is to communicate the significant economic impact that the meeting and business events sector has on our country as well as on a global stage. It’s time for government officials and fellow Canadians to learn and recognize the importance of this industry on the economy and jobs. The meetings and business events industry will become an industry as recognized as the automotive, manufacturing or agriculture sector. The videos created a focus on sectors where Canada is a leader and the importance that meetings and business events have, in order to advance their sectors. It was truly a labour of love,” said Van der Beek.

All of the videos are available for download from the toolkit page on the MMBC website.

Brand USA Led U.S Contingent at Southeast Asian Travel Trade Marketplace

By | 2019

The destination marketing organisation for the United States is the nation’s first public-private partnership to promote United States.  Brand USA has had a marketing presence in Southeast Asia since 2013 through its local representation of BRANDSTORY Inc.  For the seventh consecutive year, it has hosted an exhibition space at the ITB Asia in Singapore.

Its marketing promotion is to introduce United States by way of entertainment of which America is well known for.  Through its mobile giant screen strategy, it engages viewers to stories that drive interest in travelling throughout United States. The mobile giant screen shows international travellers what the U.S. has to offer in terms of travel experiences.

Following the success of their previous two films, Brand UAS launched its third giant-screen film ‘Into America’s Wild’ in collaboration with MacGillivray Freeman Films.  The film follows trailblazers John Herrington, the first Native American astronaut, and Alaskan pilot Ariel Tweto on a cross-country journey to explore the USA’s great outdoor wonders.  The film is scheduled to premiere in February 2020.

There has also been a series of developments on the aviation front for travelling to United States from Asia:  Singapore Airlines added a non-stop flight from Singapore to New York and Los Angeles; Vietnam Airlines is licensed to fly from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York Seattle and Dallas; Garuda Indonesia to operate flights from Jakarta to Los Angeles via Japan; Cathay Pacific four-times weekly from Hong Kong to Seattle and Washington; and Philippine Airlines non-stop between Manila and New York.

In Singapore, Brand USA collaborated with U.S. embassies and the U.S. Commercial Service to arrange a series of trade events at ITB Asia, which afforded opportunities for U.S. exhibitors to meet with prominent Southeast Asian tour operators, travel buyers and media representatives.

At the same time, the marketing organisation distributed USA Insider Guides that feature regional self-drive itineraries that take travellers off-the-beaten tracks around United States covering themes such as  musical journey, national parks and beyond.

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.