2023 Group Forms Partnership with China International Culture Association

By | 2023

A three-year Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by with the China International Culture Association to promote inbound tourism.

China International Culture Association and Group have signed a strategic framework agreement to implement the ‘Nihao! China’ program, which includes filming and producing global promotional videos and the “Nihao! China” digital communication campaign.

The ‘Nihao! China’ campaign, launched by China International Culture Association, aims to foster and promote cultural exchanges and establish friendships between China and visitors from around the world.

Several measures to boost tourism were recently announced by the Chinese State Council on September 27, including optimising visa and customs clearance policies, increasing international flight capacity and routes to key destinations, and improving inbound tourism products and information services for foreign visitors. This strong alliance, with updated travel policies, is expected to further promote the high-quality internationalisation of China’s inbound tourism.

As the official partner, Group and China International Culture Association will promote the Nihao! China campaign on its platforms across various markets. The Group will further curate engaging content to showcase specific offerings and services, and position China as a unique and welcoming destination rich in history and cultural heritage.

In addition, Group will also collaborate with Chinese cultural centres, tourism boards and other organisations to promote and showcase the unique attractions, experiences, and beauty of China.

Over the next three years, Group plans to invest in platform technology, marketing and promotion, and product integration to accelerate the development of inbound tourism in China.







Inbound Travellers to China are on the Increase as Stated by

By | 2023

According to Group’s data, the top ten sources of inbound travellers to China are South Korea, the United States of America, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Canada, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Germany.  The first ten months of 2023 saw, four-digit growth in visitor numbers when compared with the same period in 2022. This equates to more than 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

Following the opening of China’s borders earlier this year, there has been a consistent increase in the number of China-related bookings made via Group’s platforms. data saw a significant increase in booking numbers. In October 2023, there was a 98 percent year-on-year surge in inbound flight bookings, while September and August saw an increase of 58 percent and 89 percent.

The top ten most popular cities for inbound travellers saw Shenzhen and Shanghai toppling the list alongside other destinations such as Guangzhou, Beijing, Zhuhai, Hangzhou, Foshan, Xiamen, Zhongshan, and Chengdu.  Seven out of ten hotel bookings made by inbound tourists are for Shenzhen, while two Shanghai hotels rank second and third in the most booked hotel list. stated, the demand for travel to China, is expected to rise. This is credited to the efforts made by the government and the industry to facilitate travel to the country. The government has simplified the visa application process for tourists from several countries and has also, since November 1, removed the requirement for inbound arrivals to fill in the entry health declaration card.

Data collected by shows that global search results for inbound travel to China have significantly improved in the third quarter by nearly 40 percent compared to the second quarter. recently launched the China Travel Guide, a comprehensive guide which includes travel-related information such as hotel reservations, travel advice, transport options, payment methods, insights into popular destinations enabling international visitors to better explore the beauty of China.

Since its launch in September, the guide, has already served nearly 100,000 overseas visitors.

Sarawak Collaborates with ICCA on Association Impact Masterclass and is the Exclusive Seed Grant Contributor for this First Legacy Impact Certification Programme

By | 2023

The Association Impact Masterclass was cocreated by BE Sarawak with ICCA and the GainingEdge and Meet4Impact. For this first legacy impact certification programme, Business Events Sarawak is the exclusive seed grant contributor.

“The Sarawak Government envisions Sarawak as the legacy capital of business events in Malaysia and Borneo. We see the importance of business events and its legacy in materialising our 10-year policy, the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030,” said Datu Hii Chang Kee, Deputy State Secretary of Sarawak and Deputy Chairman of BESarawak, at the 62nd ICCA Congress seed fund announcement.

Meanwhile, Amelia Roziman, chief executive officer of BESarawak commented: “Being the exclusive contributor will definitely help us to position Sarawak better. However, what is important is growing the human capital with highly qualified legacy impact association members. ICCA has been supporting our efforts to change the narrative of business events for the past 6 years. Our long-term collaboration is with associations who are vital stakeholders with a pivotal role in developing our key economic sectors in Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030.”

Genting Singapore Limited Q3FY2023 Quarterly Business Overview

By | 2023

Genting Singapore Limited has released its Q3FY2023 business overview of the company and its subsidiaries.

The Board of Directors of Genting Singapore Limited is pleased, to announce that it has approved a total investment of around S$6.8 billion. The investment will firmly anchor Resorts World Singapore as the most sought-after tourism destination and, to be funded through internal resources.

At the same time, the company has received the Singapore’s government provisional permission with the construction of its Waterfront development with construction set to commence in 2024.

The Waterfront development comprises approximately 700 hotel keys and experiential lifestyle content in a captivating blend of biophilic architecture that is designed by award winning firm Benoy. Coupled with a striking new waterfront sculpture designed by Heatherwick Studio, it will transform Singapore’s skyline and form a monumental gateway to RWS and the new Greater Southern Waterfront precinct.

While the transformation of the company’s other developments such as the Forum, Minion Land in Universal Studios Singapore and the Singapore Oceanarium, are progressing well and expected to soft open in early 2025.

Artist impression of the resort by Resorts World Singapore. Group Empowers the Travel Industry with Transformative AI Innovation

By | 2023 Group’s AI travel assistant, TripGenie, stands out as a transformative innovation tailored to crafting itineraries and enhancing travel bookings within the all-in-one Group app. Since its launch earlier this year and subsequent July upgrade, TripGenie has produced remarkable results.

Notable achievements include doubling the order conversion rate and improving user retention rates, resulting in enhanced user engagement and overall service effectiveness.

TripGenie’s recommendation capability for complex queries, combined with highly accurate compressive search, allows a user to find what they are looking for quickly and with great accuracy, providing a superior experience for users.

At the same time, TripGenie has redefined the user experience by excelling in travel and itinerary planning, including multi-destination planning, a soon-to-deploy feature. TripGenie also provides quick inspiration for the uninspired traveller, creating personalised editable itineraries in under a minute.

While advanced itinerary themes cater to various travel types, combining text and voice commands for a seamless user experience. Aside from English, users may also access these commands in traditional and simplified Chinese, Cantonese, Korean, and Japanese. Group envisions TripGenie at the forefront of the AI travel evolution with plans, to roll out, itinerary sharing features and increased personalisation options such as upvoting and liking; TripGenie will enhance collaborative travel planning for a more personalised experience.

“Our AI expertise empowers the travel industry by transforming the way travellers plan and book their trip with AI-tailored travel solutions like TripGenie, we enhance engagement, accuracy, and personalisation in the travel experience,” said James Liang, co-founder and chairman of Group at ITB Asia 2023 in Singapore.

He further added: “I think the name, “TripGenie” is quite suitable for our mission, for our goal is to help the customer plan the perfect trip like a genie. In this new era of travel, we are optimistic, forging ahead to enrich their travel experiences with AI and pursue the perfect trip for a better world.” Group, a global leader in online travel services, took centre stage at ITB Asia in Singapore, highlighting the pivotal role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in reshaping the travel industry. James Liang, co-founder and chairman of Group, delivered a keynote, emphasising the Group’s commitment to elevating customer experiences through AI-driven innovation.

ICCA Introduces New and Exciting Unique Business Opportunity

By | 2023

As part of ICCA’s ongoing digital transformation, it has now extended its Business Intelligence portfolio to include previously untapped and potential huge sector the Government Meetings or GM.

ICCA has traditionally focused on association meetings since the association community brings revenue, commerce and change into cities, regions, and countries across the world.

Utilising this specialist data requires a particular kind of expertise, something ICCA has mastered over 60years and by applying its analytical expertise to the sphere of governmental meetings; it will bring new and exciting business opportunities directly to its members. This development makes the ICCA value proposition stronger than ever.

“We believe government meeting needs allay to our members’ expertise and creates a win-win situation for all stakeholders. I look forward to ICCA GM driving both business success and the establishment of partnerships that are conducive and long-term,” said ICCA’s chief executive officer, Mr. Senthil Gopinath.

Governmental meetings have been categorised as high net worth and ICCA’s GM database, will be progressive at the outset as it tests, and populate the database with its members’ data.

After testing, it is projected to grow sizably and occupy a significant part of ICCA’s ever evolving portfolio.




Thailand Wins 23 bids for International Conferences

By | 2023

In a performance update, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau has announced that Thailand has won a total of 23 bids for international conferences from October 2022 to September 2023. These are for events that will take place up to 2028.

The largest among the wins is the 2026 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, to be held in Bangkok of which 12,000 delegates are expected.

Two are notable conferences for being the first to be staged in Southeast Asia – the FIFA Congress 2024 and World Diabetes Congress 2025. The FIFA Congress is expected to attract 2,000 delegates from 211 countries and the World Diabetes Congress, 10,000 delegates.

Also noteworthy here is that 14 of the 23 wins, are for medical conferences. They include; the International Society on Thrombosis and Homeostasis Congress 2024, with 8,000 delegates and World Congress on Pain 2026 some 5,000 delegates.

TCEB’s bid strategy, responsible for the production of the bid book, publicity, and securing the backing of the relevant government ministry, is through TCEB’s One Ministry, One Convention (OMOC) programme.

The OMOC programme allows TCEB to tap on the resources and support of a particular government ministry. It was instrumental in securing the Annual Meetings of IMF and WBG, the FIFA Congress and three global medical conferences,

Marrakesh to Host m&i Fest a Brand New MICE Event

By | 2023

The m&i Fest is the latest events industry festival format created by Worldwide Events, of a large scale gathering where buyers and suppliers in the MICE industry, can do business combining meeting, networking and exhibition with its successful long-running m&I Forums.

While the programme for the event is based along three core pillars of ‘Develop, Discover and Celebrate’. 

It will be held in Marrakesh from March 17 to 21 in 2024. This brand new event format offers a unique experience for buyers and suppliers, with enhanced destination time and opportunities for meaningful connections and face time.

Around 240 buyers and 230 suppliers are estimated to attend with m&I Fest expected, to be the must attend event of 2024, and a landmark event for the MICE industry.

In the mornings there are 1-2-1 meetings where buyers and suppliers will have opportunities to create and develop great relationships. For the first time there will be dedicated branded areas giving businesses and destinations enhanced visibility and a unique platform to showcase their services.

In the afternoon attendees choose their own pathway, creating shared experiences between buyers and suppliers with the time to explore the destination and discover exclusive venues.

Evenings are all about networking in style, with exquisite local cuisine, and high-octane events giving more opportunity for buyers and suppliers to connect in a setting that is more relaxed.

Morocco has long been established as a global MICE destination, and over four days, attendees at m&i Fest will discover stunning venues around Marrakesh, as well as experiencing the top highlights of the destination.

m&i Fest will take place at Palais des Congrès Marrakech: Marrakesh’s largest venue, with accommodation at the Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech a a 5-star luxury hotel located just a few minutes away from the Medina, and only a 15-minute drive from the airport.

For more information visit or email

The Right Person at the Right Time – PATA Welcomes Noor Ahmad Hamid as New Chief Executive Officer

By | 2023

Mr. Hamid’s appointment will be for a three-year term and takes effect October 1 this year.  A Malaysian citizen, Mr. Hamid, 60, has had a distinguished 35 year career in travel and tourism, including the last 13 years in the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibition sector.

He was inducted into the Events Industry Council Hall of Leaders in 2022. The most prestigious award in the global business events industry and the only Asian recipient alongside distinguished professionals from America and Europe.

In 2018, he received the China MICE Leaders Award from Meetings and Conventions China for his contributions to the Asia Pacific region.

As the new chief executive officer, his inaugural engagement will be the prestigious PATA Travel Mart, scheduled from October 4 to 6 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India.

He looks forward to connecting with host destination officials and members, chapter and youth leaders, exhibitors and buyers, partners, members of the media, and the entire travel and tourism community.

Left is Peter Semone, Chairman of PATA with Noor Ahmad Hamid, the new Chief Executive Officer of PATA.

Saudi Arabia and UNESCO Fund for Culture ‘Dive into Heritage’ Programme to Leverage on Digital Technology to Promote and Conserve World Heritage

By | 2023

At the extended 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and UNESCO organised a side event on the ‘Dive into Heritage’ initiative. This groundbreaking project will leverage digital technologies to explore and conserve UNESCO World Heritage sites and their related intangible heritage.

‘Dive into Heritage’ has been made possible through the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and has seen the team develop an online platform that will create unique ways to digitally experience World Heritage.

The platform harnesses the power of digital technology such as 3D models, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), interactive maps and geo location narratives to recreate a truly accurate and immersive digital viewing experience.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Funds-in-Trust for Culture at UNESCO was established in 2019, following a commitment of USD25 million from the government to fund UNESCO projects in support of strategy and actions for the preservation of heritage.

Phase I from 2022 to 2024 of the ‘Dive into Heritage’ initiative will see the development of a platform that allows people to digitally discover World Heritage sites in the Arab States region.

A full public release of the platform is planned by the end of Phase I in 2024, when other regions will benefit from the ‘Dive into Heritage’ programme.

“The endless potential uses of Artificial Intelligence will allow us to transform the way in which people can experience heritage,” said Mr. Ernesto Ottone, assistant director general for culture at UNESCO.