Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre has a new General Manager

By | 2023

Mr. John Burke has been appointed as the general manager succeeding Mr. Alan Pryor who has retired after 40 years in the business events industry.

Previously Mr. Burke was the deputy general manager who joined the Centre in 2017. He was responsible in the digital transformation of the Centre, as well as in upgrading the venue’s security infrastructure. He also managed and developed the hybrid and virtual event spaces and platforms, as a new revenue stream for the venue during the covid-19.

At the same time, the Centre also welcomes Mr. Robert Hatton-Jones, an experienced hospitality and events professional, to the team as deputy general manager. Mr. Hatton-Jones brings with him nearly two decades of experience in food and beverage operations, business development, venue and asset management, event planning and marketing. He was previously the general manager of commercial and business development at Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Mr. John Burke is the new General Manager of Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

The Centre has also promoted Mr. Layzree bin Bongsu to director of finance and administration. A chartered accountant by profession, he has 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry.  Mr. Bongsu will oversee the day-to-day finance, procurement and information technology operations of the Centre.


AIME 2023 Wraps up a Successful Year as it Celebrates its 30th Event

By | 2023

More than 400 hosted buyers, over 350 exhibitors and 2,000 visitors attended AIME 2023 with 25 countries represented at the event and, over 12,000 meetings were held.

The AIME team in partnership with event owners Melbourne Convention Bureau, put on a spectacular event held over three days from February 12 to 15 which also marks its 30th year in running.

Staying through its theme of: ‘More Buyers, More Connections, More Business’ – 350 exhibitors showcased their products and services coming from countries like Japan, New Zealand, Hawaii, Qatar, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.  It also included convention bureau partners and event and destination suppliers from every Australian state.

AIME also introduced to the industry at the event, Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre which is scheduled to open in 2026, and operated by the same Trust that manages MCEC.  The Geelong centre will include: a hotel; commercial spaces; a plenary venue; and 3,700 square metres of multipurpose space located on Geelong’s waterfront.

The new centre is being developed as part of the Geelong City Deal, a partnership between the Australian and Victorian Governments, together with the City of Greater Geelong.

Designed to ignite and inspire, the event included  two days of  tradeshows, a knowledge program, leaders forum, formal and informal networking opportunities, and a gala event to celebrate AIME’s 30th anniversary.

PATA Forecasts a Strong Annual Increase in International Visitor Numbers for 2023 into and Across the Asia Pacific

By | 2023

The latest forecasts from the Pacific Asia Travel Association, predicts strong annual increases in inbound visitor numbers for the Asia Pacific, under mild, medium, and severe scenarios in 2023, set to continue each year until 2025.

Growth rates range from 71 percent under severe scenario conditions, to as much as 104 percent under the mild scenario.

The annual increase in the absolute number of international visitor arrivals in 2023 is predicted to range from 158.7 million to 437.5 million under the severe and mild scenarios respectively – lifting the total volume of visitor arrivals to between 382.9 million and 712.7 million under these scenarios.

Substantial annual increases in IVA numbers are also forecast for 2024 and 2025, under all three scenarios, although the volume of these gains will slowly reduce over the years, as the absolute volume base of foreign arrivals increases.

As IVA growth builds between 2023 and 2025, the source markets of Asia collectively generate the bulk of the additional annual increases in absolute numbers of arrivals across Asia Pacific each year. Under the mild scenario the annual increase in IVAs from Asia in 2023, are forecast to number 330.7 million and account for three-quarters of the net increase in total IVAs between 2022 and 2023.

Across the years and under all scenarios, the visitor footprint of the Asian source markets, at the aggregate Asia Pacific level, is predicted to remain very strong, although with significant differences at the destination regions and sub-regions.

“Now more than ever before, destinations need to work with host communities, operators, and visitors to deliver results and experiences that bring the best of the travel and tourism sector to the fore, across all involved parties and in a responsible, equitable, meaningful, and thereby sustainable manner. Such an approach will also create a certain resilience to future shocks as and when they appear, and rest assured that they will,” said PATA Chair, Mr. Peter Semone.

The PATA Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts Full Report 2023-2025 is now available at

ITB India 2023 Conference to Unveil Major Trends in the South Asia Travel Market

By | 2023

The conference will bring together travel industry professionals on April 26 to 28 running alongside with ITB India 2023 at Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, India.

Featuring three tracks, the conference will see more than 100 industry leaders in over 80 sessions exchange their insights into the future of the industry, powered by the motto ‘Connecting You to the Indian Travel Market’.

Knowledge Theatre is ITB India’s principal conference track, with C-level leaders and renowned industry experts sharing their perspectives on the future of the market. They will exchange their insights on a broad scope of topics, from the latest general trends to challenges and opportunities for sustainability in South Asia’s travel market.

MICE Show India will focus on corporate travel and tapping into innovative B2B solutions for meetings, events, and incentives. Speakers will give a comprehensive 2023 outlook of India’s MICE market, offer new angles on incentive travel, and discuss innovative strategies for travel program optimisation.

Travel Tech India will look at novelties in digital solutions that enhance travel experiences. Main highlights will include leveraging the power of analytics for a better understanding of consumer mindsets, meta-integration and the synergies it creates, as well as exploring contactless travel in the world still getting over the pandemic.

For more information on ITB India 2023, visit






Sabre and Tian Xia Fang Cang Sign Agreement to Support Recovery of Chinese Hospitality Sector

By | 2023

The new relationship brings together Sabre’s advanced technology with Tian Xia Fang Cang’s deep knowledge of the unique Chinese travel ecosystem. Under the deal, Tian Xia Fang Cang will have the ability to market Sabre Hospitality’s solutions in China.

Focus will be on enabling Chinese hoteliers to reach hundreds of thousands of travel agents globally across all major Global Distribution Systems through Sabre Hospitality’s SynXis platform, while giving travel agents additional opportunities to add hotel stays to traveller bookings.

“As we look forward to further travel industry recovery, it is essential that hoteliers in China take the time now to ensure they are prepared to capitalize on pent-up travel demand, and create future opportunities for growth,” said Tian Xia Fang Cang’s chief executive offier, Mr. Seven Wu.

He added: “We can now offer hoteliers in China the ability, through Sabre’s advanced solutions, to grow their reach across the world, ensuring they are best-positioned to welcome back travellers to China as it re-opens its borders.”

Tian Xia Fang Cang  hotel services platform  provides products, services and e-commerce solutions for hotel suppliers and hotel distributors. Through Sabre, it is now able, to enhance its  offering of GDS distributionto its existing and new hospitality clients.

“We now look forward to increasing Sabre Hospitality’s footprint in the important Chinese travel marketplace, while giving hoteliers in China the ability to create their own global growth opportunities, in both the leisure and corporate sectors, through Sabre solutions,”  stated Mr.Frank Trampert, senior vice president  and global managing director of community sales for Sabre Hospitality.


Hong Kong Ready for Business – Delegation Visits Riyadh

By | 2023

A delegation of business leaders from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region led by the city’s chief executive Mr. John Lee and principal government officials were in Riyadh to explore collaboration opportunities with the business community of Saudi Arabia.

Several Memorandums of Understanding were signed including ones between Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited and Saudi Tadawul Group Holding Company.

Over the two days in the Kindgom, the delegation discussed with Saudi government and industry leaders how Hong Kong can facilitate the Kingdom’s strategic development via its role as a global financial hub and China’s international gateway.

The 30-strong delegation includes senior executives from Hong Kong’s financial institutions and regulator as well as major players in innovation and technology, sustainability and smart city solutions.

Riyadh was the first of three stops on the week-long mission to the Middle East organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

At a press conference followed by an Investment Forum and dinner officiated by the Saudi Minister of Investment H.E. Khalid Al-Falih and attended by some 300 Saudi Arabian guests.

“Saudi Arabia is a strong economy of the Gulf region and a growing source of foreign direct investment. Driven by Vision 2030, the dynamic blueprint for the future, Saudi Arabia is destined to take its place as an economic powerhouse built on diversity, sustainability, and innovation and technology. Hong Kong has long been the Asia-Pacific region’s multi-level bridge for foreign and Mainland Chinese businesses and investors. As integration with the Mainland continues to deepen, so too do opportunities for Hong Kong and the economies and companies that works with Hong Kong,” said chief executive Mr. John Lee.

Mr. Lee was joined by Deputy Secretary of Justice Mr. Horace Cheung, Secretary for Financial Services and Treasury Mr. Christopher Hui, and Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Mr, Algernon Yau.

At the forum, H.E. Khalid A Alfalih stated:” Saudi Arabia has the largest regulated capital markets in the region, with the largest stock exchange in the MENA region. Due to evolving trends, we are also making efforts, to strengthen global supply chains and have launched a dedicated global supply chain resilience initiative. This will be a great opportunity for China and Hong Kong-based companies to use the KSA as a platform for adding value to products customised for the Middle East region and beyond.”

The delegation met with key enterprises in Riyadh to exchange ideas and learn more about Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. They visited major institutions, such as the Saudi Stock Exchange and the NEOM exhibition. The delegation also travelled to Abu Dhabi and then Dubai, to meet with senior government and business leaders of the United Arab Emirates.

Source: ASN Newswire

Sarawak to Host PATA Destination Experience Forum and Mart 2023

By | 2023

Set to take place in June from the 21st to the 23rd, the forum is supported by the Sarawak Tourism Board. It will focus on ecotourism, gastronomy tourism, adventure travel and destination management. Also included are topics on wellness particularly on sensory nature activities and, digital marketing.

The three-day programme begins with a one-day destination experience through a choice of technical tours. This is followed by a conference and travel mart spread across two full days and networking opportunities throughout the programme.

“As the travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region is seeing positive signs of recovery, the inaugural PATA Destination Experience Forum and Mart 2023 looks to highlight the best practices in destination marketing and destination management in support of a responsible and sustainable recovery for the region,”said PATA Chair Mr. Peter Semone.

Gastronomy tourism being one of the themes, Sarawak Tourism Board chief executive officer, Ms Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor mentioned that the theme suits Sarawak perfectly, as the capital city Kuching has been recognised as the “City of Gastronomy” by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2021.

Registration is now open for buyers, sellers, and conference delegates. Interested delegates can register now and enjoy a Super Early Bird Rate and receive a 15 percent discount off registration fees until February 15. Afterwich delegates can enjoy an Early Bird Rate of 10 percent discount until March 15.

For more information about the event, please visit or email



Dubai Wins 232 Bids for Business Events in 2022 almost Twice as Many as 2021

By | 2023

Business events are poised to make a vital contribution to Dubai’s economic development and tourism growth, with another exceptional year of successful bids for international conferences, meetings and incentive travel programmes.

The bid wins in 2022 include 57 association conferences, the most the city has won in a calendar year

Set to be held over the coming years, the events will bring in an additional 135,000 visitors including scientists, thought-leaders and business executives to Dubai, enhancing the value generated by the business events and tourism ecosystem.

Dubai Business Events the city’s official convention bureau, part of the Department of Economy and Tourism collaborated with a range of stakeholders for the successful event bids including Al Safeer Congress Ambassadors and the public and private sector entities they represent, industry partners including Dubai World Trade Centre and Emirates, and hotels and professional congress organisers across the city.

Beyond the direct impact of the events which range from flagship conferences and congresses organised by international associations, as well as prestigious corporate meetings held by multinationals, will contribute to Dubai’s growth as a knowledge economy hub.

The major association events captured in 2022 included the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine WorldLab Congress 2024, International Congress of Endocrinology 2024, World Sports Medicine Congress 2024, World Congress of the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologies 2026, and International Symposium on Dental Hygiene 2028

While the corporate meetings and incentive travel programmes that Dubai won bids for include:  IBM India and Europe Incentives 2023; Terpel Convention 2023; Envista EMEA Summit 2023; and Mary Kay Mexico Incentive 2024.

The strong performance in 2022 represented a 95 percent growth in the number of successful bids from 2021 and, a 92 percent increase in the number of delegates– all further accelerating the momentum of Dubai’s growth.

PCMA Collaborates with Sarawak to Develop World’s First Academic Journal on Business Events and Legacies

By | 2023

Business Events Sarawak has signed a collaborative agreement with Professional Convention Management Association to be the strategic partner in North America and worldwide in developing its International Journal of Business Events and Legacies.  The agreement was signed during the PCMA Convening Leaders 2023 event at Columbus, Ohio in USA.


Agreement signed by Mr. Sherrif Karamat, president and chief executive officer of PCMA and Ms. Amelia Roziman, BESarawak’s chief executive officer during the Convening of Leaders 2023 at Columbus, Ohio.

The collaboration is expected to open new opportunities for Sarawak, a second tier destination in Malaysia. The journal’s reach is also expected to expand through PCMA’s network of audience and members as well as, establish the periodical as an efficient tool for academic and practical use.

A foremost academic journal and the first in the world, to merge business events and legacy topics under one title. The periodical contains high quality research, reviews and viewpoints offering wide and varied perspectives on business events issues for the events industry contributed by practitioners, researchers, academicians, students and event enthusiasts.

The journal’s initial volume, was launched in November 30 last year with 11 articles published predominantly on legacy and sustainability.

Managed by Curtin University Malaysia, the International Journal of Business Events and Legacies has a total of 48 collaborators ranging from editors, advisors to association and academia partners from Asia, Australia, Africa, North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

TCEB and THAI Collaborate to Market and Attract MICE Travellers from Asia and Europe

By | 2023

Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau has signed an agreement to work with Thai Airways International Public Company Limited, to market meeting and incentive business through trade shows and road shows. The target is; quality meeting and incentive travellers from Asia and Europe.

The two parties expect the collaboration will attract at least 500,000 travellers and generate 33 billion baht in revenue.

“We will focus first on overseas market of meetings and incentive travel. This sector has been a huge market source of travellers for Thailand since the middle of this year. Our targets are both short-haul market in the Asia Pacific region and the long-haul one in Europe. The particular focus is the markets where THAI and THAI Smile Airways operate flight services, for example Europe, India, Australia, Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar,” said Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, president of Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau.

The major global trade shows for meetings and incentive travel sector are IMEX Frankfurt 2023 in May in Germany, IT&CM Asia and CTW Asia-Pacific 2023 in September in Thailand, IMEX America 2023 in October in the US and IBTM World 2023 in November in Spain.

While for the road shows, the first targets are Cambodia and Vietnam. In May there will be planned road shows in Sydney and Melbourne.

More pro-active marketing activities are in the pipeline for TCEB’s overseas representatives to tap into; India, Singapore, Europe, United Kingdom and China once the circumstances permit.

Currently, TCEB has overseas representatives in seven potential markets such as Australia, United Kingdom, Europe, North America, India, Singapore, Japan and China.