Sponsored-Backed Engagements to look forward to at this year’s IT&CM Asia and CTW Asia-Pacific 2002

By | 2022

It will be a compelling IT&CM Asia and CTW Asia-Pacific 2022. Aside from business and knowledge components, this year’s programme features a wide array of sponsored backed engagements such as: the opening ceremony and welcome reception; brand engagements; entertaining in-booth activities; and lucky draws.

The show is set to welcome 312 in-person and remote exhibitors from 132 exhibiting companies and organisations from 23 countries and territories, along with 387 in-person and remote MICE, association and corporate buyers, from 56 countries and territories.

This year exhibitors from Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong SAR, Japan and South Korea, will have the largest exhibiting pavilions to showcase what they have to offer.

Hosting the opening ceremony and welcome reception is Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, which will be held at the Bangkok Convention Centre on the evening of the first event day.

While  national tourism organisations such as Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau , MEET Taiwan, Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, and the Promotion Bureau of the Principality of Monaco (Asia), Korean Tourism Organization, Incheon’s Tourism Organization and Gyeonggi Tourism Organization will share their latest brand developments during their 30-minute session of brand engagement slots on September 21 and 22.

At the same time, there will be an extensive line-up of exciting in-booth activities and buyers’ incentives. During the show, attendees will be actively engaged, and on completion of their fulfillments, they can utilise the event app to rate their appointments, all buyers get a chance to walk away with reward prizes including hotel stays in Bangkok, Philippines, Hong Kong SAR, among others.

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An Exclusive Interview with Mr. Sergey Korneev, Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg, on Promoting the City to the Asia Pacific Region Business Tourism Market.

By | 2022

Can you briefly describe the state policy towards business tourism in St. Petersburg?

Business tourism is considered as one of the priority areas for the development of the tourism industry in St. Petersburg – the city on the Neva is the main conference destination in the country. At the federal level, a road map for the development of exhibition and fairs has been developed with the active participation of St. Petersburg. The road map contains 15 events that will be implemented from 2022 to 2025, and provides, among other things, for additional measures and financial support for companies engaged in the business tourism industry.

Organisers of conferences and exhibitions in St. Petersburg can apply for financial support through subsidies, allocated from the budget until June 1 this year. Preferential loans from the city are also available.

Mr. Sergey Korneev, Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg.

Organisers of conferences and exhibitions in St. Petersburg can apply for financial support through subsidies, allocated from the budget until June 1 this year. Preferential loans from the city are also available.

While under the City Ambassadors program, 30 agreements have been signed with 26 applications submitted, and 17 international rotating business events being attracted – seven of which have already taken place, and the rest will be held in the period from 2022 to 2018.

Moving onto Asia, are countries in the Asia Pacific Region an important market for the St. Petersburg MICE business?

Without a doubt, the countries of the Asia-Pacific region are among the most promising markets in terms of international tourism. The inbound flow of tourists from this part of the world to St. Petersburg before the pandemic was 53 percent of the total number of foreign tourists. This number grew by an average of 10 to 15 percent yearly. Russia was among the top ten countries most often visited by Asian tourists.

If so, which of the Asian countries have become MICE markets for St. Petersburg? 

We were in India, where the St. Petersburg Convention Bureau presented the potential of tourism in St. Petersburg at the MILT Congress in Mumbai, which was held this summer. This was followed with the convention bureau in Hong Kong, at the 36th International Tourism Exhibition International Travel Expo.

How will you market St. Petersburg to Asia as a destination through digital platforms, trade shows, and familiarisation tours?

The participation of St. Petersburg in international road shows and exhibitions will allow direct communication with the target audience. This autumn, road shows are planned in Mumbai, Delhi, Riyadh and Jeddah, as well as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Preliminary negotiations have been made by St. Petersburg Convention Bureau with a communication company from China, on the possibilities of promoting St. Petersburg as a tourist destination, on the platform of their new mobile travel application.

The application will allow, not only to find all the useful information about the country and city where the tourist would like to go, but also to immediately book a ready-made tour. The service is aimed at users from China, Malaysia and Thailand.

Asia has a young millennial population, has St. Petersburg designed attractions for this segment of the population?

St. Petersburg is a modern and dynamic city that attracts young travellers like a magnet. By the way, Russians recognise St. Petersburg as the most romantic city in the country, as well as being the premier student and educational capital.

In cooperation with members of the hospitality industry, the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg is developing new tourist geography – a project that includes new points of attraction in the tourist map of the city, along with classic sights. The objects of the new cultural and tourist geography are, public spaces, platforms for IT, creative industry specialists and art clusters.

In addition, the sectors of the new cultural and tourist geography cover gastronomic establishments, atmospheric restaurants and cafes of the most diverse formats, from street food to high-molecular cuisine. Gastronomic tourism is one of the most promising areas in the development of the hospitality industry.

What would you say attracts event organisers from Asia to hold their events or organise incentive groups to St. Petersburg?

The City Committee for Tourism Development of the St. Petersburg organises various levels of events, on different scales and in a turnkey format, with both comprehensive and affordable proposals. Opportunities of business sites, hotels, restaurants, cultural, sightseeing, tourist programs in the city are all combined into all-inclusive package offered by St. Petersburg.

At the same time, the city has accumulated a lot of experience in holding significant international events, in various fields of sports, cultural, and business. It’s recognised that St. Petersburg’s level of hospitality is the best in the country, and has been repeatedly acclaimed with Russian and international awards.

Would you say that as a business tourism destination, there are also opportunities for event organisers or incentive groups to explore destinations outside the city of St. Petersburg. Can you name two destinations that would be of interest?

These are cities for example such as Vyborg, Pskov, Veliky Novgorod, Murmansk. Currently the Committee for the Development of Tourism of St. Petersburg, together with partner regions in the interregional cultural and historical project “Silver Necklace of Russia”, is creating an endless travel constructor, a fan shaped network of routes from St. Petersburg to the North-West. These destinations can be attractive both for cultural and educational recreation, and for offsite business events of various formats 

Can you share with us the 10 best things to do in St. Petersburg?

I would suggest that you visit the Hermitage, Peter and Paul Fortress or take a walk in the Summer Gardens. There is the Tsarkoye Selo and a stroll over to Catherine Palace. Then there is the Mariinsky Theatre to watch a ballet or listen to an opera. Not to be missed is the Kronstadt, a new tourist cluster or “Island of Forts”. The fountains of St. Petersburg the Peterhof, and not far from this is the park Alexandria.

When the sun sets, head for the bay, where the city meets the sea in the public space of SevkanelPort. Play mini golf in the historical centre of the city at the public space of Nikolskyiye ryady. Finally don’t miss trying out some delicious dishes of Petersburg cuisine.


Rainfall Protection Cover for Travellers a New Insurance Policy by Singlife with Aviva

By | 2022

If you have ever had your holiday wrecked by rain, you can now safeguard yourself with the Rainfall Protection Cover for Travellers introduced by Singapore’s financial services company, Singlife with Aviva.  In partnership with Arbol Inc, a global climate risk solutions platform, Singlife is the first insurer in Singapore, to offer this innovative parametric insurance product design for consumers to manage unexpected weather conditions.

Singlife will pay up to SGD150 to travellers whose single trip plans are disrupted by heavy rainfall. All countries and regions globally are included in the Rainfall Protection coverage, with the exception of Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Sudan and Syria

The Rainfall Protection Cover will apply to travellers who encounter more than 6.4 millimeters of daily rainfall at their destination cities for more than 50 per cent of their trip duration. According to the Meteorological Service Singapore, a day is considered to have “rained” if the total rainfall for that day is 0.2 millimeters or more.

This solution is underwritten in collaboration with Arbol – a company that leverages on cutting-edge technologies from smart contracts and artificial intelligence to underwriting.

Singlife was recently recognised as ‘Domestic General Insurer of the Year’ for its comprehensive travel insurance offering at the Insurance Asia Awards 2022.





BESarawak has Entered into a Business Events Partnership with Malaysia’s Public University UPM

By | 2022

A memorandum of understanding was recently signed making Business Events Sarawak, as the first business events strategic partner of Universiti Putra Malaysia. Both parties entered into partnership under the Business Events Sarawak Alliance which was created to promote events and share activities of community interest in line with supporting Sarawak as the preferred destination for MICE

Ms. Amelia Roziman, Chief Executive Officer of BESarawak (right) concluded the signing of the memorandum of understanding with the Vice Chancellor of Universiti Putra Malaysia, Dato’ Prof Dr. Mohd Roslan bin Sulaiman.

Sarawak has been the destination of choice for many of Universiti Putra Malaysia’s conventions and exhibitions particularly on topics of interest to the Sarawak government that is on agriculture, basic infrastructure, transport and human capital.

From the strategic association, UPM will be able to broaden their commercial capabilities, as well as have access to resources in organising high impact conventions and exhibitions.

While BESarawak’s support said Ms. Amelia Roziman, its chief executive will go beyond helping planners to develop their events but also to make the most out of it.  The intangible values of business events, she said are just as important as economic returns.

To date, out of 90 events targeted, Sarawak has secured 57 events which are estimated to have a total economic impact of RM 93.3 million and create 3,625 new job opportunities.

Topics of the events are on commercial agriculture, social services and education and the community. It is also expected that the outcome from these events are political legacies that will achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in Good Health and Well-Being, Quality Education and Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Australian Tourism Export Council Needs Working Holiday Makers to Help Meet Tourism’s Unskilled Labour Shortage

By | 2022

As the industry’s peak export tourism association, the Australian Tourism Export Council is calling for a period of three months work in the tourism and hospitality sector, to be included in the eligibility criteria for Working Holiday Makers, as visitors to qualify for a second-year visa, expanding it to include areas beyond the current ‘northern or remote and very remote Australia’ qualifying regions.

According to ATEC, widening the eligibility criteria under which Working Holiday Makers can extend their stay by an additional one to two years, will help to meet the tourism industry’s dire need for unskilled labour.

“Tourism and hospitality businesses across the country are facing severe shortages in staff, particularly the unskilled workforce which helps businesses to meet the demands of seasonal fluctuations,” said Mr. Peter Shelly, managing director of ATEC.

He further added: “Previously WHM holders could work for three months in jobs primarily in the agricultural sector, in order to qualify for an extension of their visa.  Some jobs in the tourism industry also qualify, however these are restricted to work in regional areas of northern parts of the country.

Tourism businesses across the country desperately need unskilled workers and these workers are crucial to the successful rebuilding of our industry.”

Mr Shelley said that while the tourism industry required long-term solutions to the workforce challenge, there is an opportunity to instigate a short-term solution through the Working Holiday Maker programme, which was introduced in 1975 with the purpose of promoting cross cultural understanding.

ATEC recognises the significant need for both skilled and unskilled labour across the sector and the lack of unskilled labour in particular is something which can be addressed by expanding the WHM visa criteria as way of meeting the severe labour shortages being faced as the industry rebuilds post-covid.

He mentioned that: Australia has an opportunity to use the WHM visa system, to both support the rebuild of Australia’s tourism industry, and to help solve some of the critical workforce shortages being faced across the nation.

This is by making the WHM visa more attractive by offering a wider range of work options to create a greater uptake and therefore help support the re-growth of this important export market in Australia.

ATEC is calling on the Federal Government to expand the definition of a ‘specified area of work’ within the Working Holiday Makers second year eligibility extension to include, all tourism and hospitality work across the country.

St. Petersburg Participates at ITE Hong Kong 2022 for the First Time

By | 2022

The Convention Bureau of St. Petersburg, a subordinate institution of the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg, is the organiser of the exhibit at ITE Hong Kong 2022 which will take place, from August 17 to 21 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

What visitors can expect from the exhibit by St. Petersburg is the opportunity to meet and learn of business, cultural, educational, event, health and different types of tourism in St. Petersburg.

At the St. Petersburg stand, visitors can also take part in interactive and entertainment events as well as, take a virtual quiz on knowledge of destinations.

On August 19, as part of the business program of the ITE Hong Kong 2022 exhibition, a specialised presentation session on St. Petersburg will be held during which, the tourism infrastructure of the city and individual tourist offers, for all-season tourism, and various categories of tourism will be presented.

Hong Kong is the 12th largest service market in the world. The participation of St. Petersburg at the ITE gives new oppenings for the city, to both expand the city’s sphere of hospitality in the international arena, and develop cooperation with countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

ITE Hong Kong itself is a major event in the Asia-Pacific region. Every year, the event brings together tourism professionals from all over the world. More than 80 percent of exhibitors from abroad and almost 40 percent of professional visitors from mainland China and other parts of Asia are expected to attend the event.

ICCA Announces Top Performing Destinations for International Association Meetings

By | 2022

The International Congress and Convention Association  has released new information, in order to shed more light on how the pandemic impacted the association meetings industry in 2021. The Public Abstract of the ICCA Annual Statistics report is now available for non-ICCA members.

Owing to the transformational events of 2020, ICCA refined its approach to the report by including meetings that were affected by the pandemic as well as, those that remained unaffected.

Now, non-ICCA members can benefit from this new methodology, called the Destination Performance Index, which provides a more holistic view of how destinations have addressed recent challenges.

The Public Abstract also presents the top destinations for association meetings in 2021, based on estimated total number of attendees for hybrid and virtual events. At the same time, it provides a three-year economic impact analysis, which is usually not available to non-ICCA members.

The DPI examines 8,000 international association meetings scheduled for 2021, based on six performance indicators such as planned, unaffected, virtual, hybrid, digitalisation and business continuation. When combined, the indicators represent the overall DPI, highlighting how destinations have performed with regard to winning the original bid, covid policies, adaptability, and technological capabilities to convert on-site events into virtual and hybrid events.

Countries and cities represented in the top 20 meeting destinations in 2021 are similar to the 2019 report, with a few exceptions.

As in 2019, the USA is the top performing country for association meetings in the DPI, as they ranked first in four of the six indicators based on planned, virtual, digitalisation and business continuation.

The remaining two indicators, unaffected and hybrid were topped by Spain and China. Vienna and Lisbon were close contenders in the DPI for cities but, Vienna ultimately claimed the lead due to having more unaffected meetings in 2021.

Overall, Europe was a strong performer as an association meeting destination during the pandemic. Seventy percent of the top 20 countries and 80 percent of the top 20 cities are European.

Denmark and Greece replaced Argentina and Brazil in the top 20 countries for meetings. Austria made the biggest jump, from 16th to 11th place. Italy claimed 5th place from the United Kingdom. Spain jumped two spots since 2019, to become the 2nd meetings destination globally.

Facing stricter covid policies, than many other meeting destinations worldwide, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea embraced new technologies to go hybrid. Due to their high number of hybrid meetings, the Republic of Korea replaced the Netherlands in the top 10 country destinations.

Amongst destination cities, Montreal and Dubai were both outliers within their respective regions. Montreal was the only North American city in the top 20. Dubai ranked 1st for unaffected meetings and was the only Middle Eastern city represented in the six individual top 20 rankings. Meanwhile, Budapest, Portugal and Stockholm are all newcomers to the top 20 DPI for cities.

The full ICCA Annual Statistics report, is available only to ICCA members and contains additional analysis on the top destinations, economic impact, regional and global business-continuation and meeting subject matters.


Meaningful Tourism Award Recognises Sustainable Tourism Projects

By | 2022

The Meaningful Tourism Center in Hamburg Germany, is inviting applications for the Meaningful Tourism Award 2022. Tourism, hospitality, transport and retail service providers, as well as attractions, get an opportunity to be recognised as  ‘Best Practice Examples of Meaningful Tourism’.

The Award is organised in six categories according to the six main stakeholders of Meaningful Tourism, namely: visitors; host communities; employees of service providing companies; service providing companies; national; regional; and local governments.

In each category, gold silver and bronze will be awarded for work done, either by or for the specific stakeholder group to improve quality, benefits, and satisfaction.

Award winners will be announced as part of the Meaningful Tourism Panel workshop during ITB Asia in Singapore on October 20. While the Panel workshop is supported by BER Berlin Airport.

Applications can be submitted until September 30, 2022. The application is free of charge and should include a presentation of a project, initiative, new organisation and network with electronic materials such as pdf text, videos and websites; together a short explanation as to why the applicants see their activity as suitable to be awarded as a Meaningful Tourism activity.

For more information, visit or email:

The Gap Looms Large for Australian Tourism Businesses

By | 2022

Time, distance and cost in a post-covid era of travel have pushed Australia’s tourism industry back 20 years where, export tourism businesses are facing cautious consumers looking for minimal risk holidays closer to home.

While international travellers continue to view Australia positively, the reality of converting these intending travellers to Australian visitors is hampered by a complex mix of changeable and expensive air travel, visa application delays, global insecurity and deteriorating economic sentiment, which is impacting confidence to travel in the short term.

“Australia has always been at the top of the bucket list for many global travellers and our contacts are saying that sentiment hasn’t changed but what has changed is the urgency to travel here,” said Mr. Peter Shelly, managing director of Australian Tourism Export Council.

Mr. Shelley added with so many influences at play, the propensity to travel long distances has been dampened by concerns which lead many travellers venturing closer to home.

Despite a positive uptick in booking pipelines and Australia’s desirability as a destination, the reality he made known is: recovery is going to be much slower than anticipated due to distance and cost.

While many suppliers moved quickly and effectively to replace their lost market with domestic travellers during the pandemic, the size and strength of domestic visitation is in no way stated by the ATEC’s managing director, capable of replacing high-spending international visitors.

According to a survey conducted by ATEC, there is a widening gap between slowing domestic tourism business off the back of growing outbound travel, and inadequate inbound visitation to top up a growing shortfall, with nearly 40 percent of tourism product suppliers revealing their domestic business, has already slowed and that inbound is not closing the gap.

There is also a stronger return of Australian travellers heading overseas than visitors making their way to Australia, and this gap is bound to widen before any significant improvement.

The latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer predicts United States and Europe recovering much faster than the Asia Pacific region which is still, well down on 2019 visitor numbers – highlighting a much slower return for Australia’s export tourism industry.

Vietnam as an Emerging MICE Destination is Gaining Momentum with the addition of it’s Latest Facility a World Trade Center

By | 2022

Scheduled to be opened on August 8, the WTC Expo covers an area of 22,000 square metres and is located in Binh Duong Province, which is an economic powerhouse in Southern Vietnam. It will become the core facility of Vietnam’s first World Trade Complex.

There are plans that the area surrounding the complex, will be developed further with residential and commercial buildings, as well as multi-purpose stadiums, shopping malls and the construction of a metro station connecting it to Ho Chi Minh City.

In a press release, issued by the management company, it stated that although Vietnam has recorded the world’s highest economic growth, the country has been evaluated as lacking in areas related to facilities for international MICE events. The WTC Expo is expected to solve the issues related to the shortage of exhibition facilities, and will become a driving force for a new leap forward in Vietnam’s MICE industry.

Also mentioned in the press release, that of the complicated administrative procedures of applying for exhibition licenses will be made easier with the introduction of a one-stop service for overseas organisers, to host their events at the WTC Expo.

Binh Duong Province is an economic powerhouse situated in the Southern Key Economic Region of Vietnam. This economic powerhouse has more than 4,000 foreign direct investment projects invested in the province, with a total investment capital of nearly USD40 billion.

The province has been developed based on the concept of an “innovation region” encompassing: residential complexes; universities; hospitals; and other social infrastructure; along with more than 30 large-scale industrial parks.