Melbourne Hosts Business Events Australia Greater China Showcase

By | 2018

Delegates from China visited an array of venues that are quintessentially Melbourne and located in close proximity of the city’s vibrant commercial business district.  Melbourne & Olympic Parks (M&OP), home of the Australian Open were featured during the three day visit.

“Our venues can enhance incentive events for delegates, whilst showcasing the best that our beautiful city has to offer. Guests will be delighted and inspired by our unique venues from intimate dinners to large scale conferences, our attention to detail and bespoke offerings, form the perfect bedrock to build connections and memorable moments,” said Lara Burnes, general manager premier events and experiences of Melbourne & Olympic Parks.

M&OP venues include:  Rod Laver Arena (Centre Court) for hosting intimate gatherings within its exciting open spaces; AAMI Park, the site of the nation’s most historical sporting moments; and Margaret Court Arena and Melbourne Arena – both of which present one of the most exciting large-scale event formats for guests from 200 up to 8500 with flexibility for formal dinners, cocktail-style events, galas and conferences.

Looking to 2022, a new state-of-the-art conference centre will join M&OP’s list of arenas, stadiums and venues with capacity to host 3000 guests. The new development promises to elevate M&OP’s capabilities with bookings available from early 2019.

Lara Burnes can be contacted at or visit

New Infrastructures boost Travel Fair ITE Hong Kong’s Coverage on the Greater Bay Area

By | 2018

The Greater Bay Area which is a Chinese government’s initiative to link cities of Hong Kong, Macau Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Fohsan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing into an integrated economic and business hub, have a cumulative GDP of USD1.69 trillion with a population of 68 million.

Trade show ITE Hong Kong drew in 2018 just from these cities, exhibitors taking nearly 20 stands and some 2,000 buyers and trade visitors.

The new mega bridge across the Pearl River and the new China’s Express Rail extension to Hong Kong, which further cuts down travel time especially for journey between Hong Kong and southwest Guangdong, will greatly enhance linkage and integration of this world class cities cluster, thus likely boost effective coverage of ITE on the Bay and other parts of China.

This year, ITE’s two trade days which required registration for admission drew: 12,460 buyers and visitors (Hong Kong 73 percent, China 21 percent others 6 percent); 6,580 travel agents and 2,567 MICE and corporations; 666 exhibitors (87 percent from abroad and China); 30 official pavilions with China and Japan taking two very large pavilions each consisting of around 90 stands.

Its two public days saw over 90,000 up-market visitors with 84 percent of free and independent travellers that made up of 42 percent who are university educated with 34 percent of post secondary level all of whom are likely English speaking and, take multiple holidays a year.

ITE highlight theme travels, hosted over 30 seminars, events and forums for trade and professionals, and over 100 travel seminars for FIT etc. The show’s B2B program and B2C program included pre-show e-newsletters and onsite advertising, business matching, speaking opportunities, sponsorships and seminars.

Organised by TKS Exhibition Services Ltd, the ITE is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong Tourism Board.  ITE Hong Kong 2019 which will be the 33rd ITE (leisure) and the 14th ITE MICE will be held from June 13 to 16 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Please visit for more details and any enquiries contact the organiser TKS Exhibition Services Ltd at, Tel: +852 31550600 or by Wechat: itehongkong QQ: 3171980

Norwegian Jewel Sails to Asian Waters for the Winter

By | 2018

The ship has undergone a complete refurbishment with the most extensive enhancement project undertaken by the Norwegian Cruise line. Norwegian Jewels now offer a seven day cruise from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney and Hong Kong before joining the Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy in Alaska for the summer of 2019.

What passengers can expect onboard the Norwegian Jewel is a refreshed and updated dining, bar and lounge.

All of Norwegian Jewel’s 1,188 staterooms have been upgraded with new carpet, artwork and furniture.  The Haven by Norwegian has been updated to the courtyard with additional cabanas on the sun deck. There are now two new Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suites of nearly 1,200 square feet featuring private Jacuzzis and large balconies.  While the Atrium has been revitalised with a new look, a refurbished shore excursion desk and reception surrounded by a relaxed seating area with a large TV screen.

The refurbishment of Norwegian Jewel is part of The Norwegian Edge  program which reaffirms the company’s commitment to elevating the standard of excellence across the fleet.

Buyers Preference Selection is Now Open for AIME

By | 2018

The trade show has announced the launch of its meetings software for the 2019 event, which will carefully match 32 guaranteed pre-scheduled appointments (PSAs) between buyers and exhibitors.

With meeting preferences opening earlier than ever before, the bespoke algorithm, designed for AIME in partnership with Centium Software, matches the preferences of buyers with the services and capabilities of exhibitors through the EventsAir® portal.

Once buyers’ registrations are reference checked and approved, they are able to begin their preference selection which includes a range of criteria questions spanning preferred destinations, capacity, product strengths, buyer types and budgets – all of which will then be used to match the most relevant and mutually beneficial meetings with AIME exhibitors.

Approved hosted buyers and confirmed exhibitors, will be given the opportunity to pre-connect via the buyer zone portal which opens in mid-January or through the AIME app. Both parties can then begin the exchange of relevant business information to ensure the most effective use of time at the event.

Each hosted buyer and exhibitor can expect to have 60 percent of their diary carefully filled with the first round of scheduled matching.  While 40 percent of the diary will be opened up to pre-registered trade buyers and media with all diary holders free, to organise appointments with AIME attendees they are specifically interested in meeting.

The technology will also extend into how appointments roll out on event day taking into consideration, the show’s floor plan and pre-empting travel time between each meeting. This new software also assures buyers that should they missed a meeting their appointment, will be rescheduled automatically.

AIME’s partnership with Centium Software is one of many new elements that are part of its refreshed event strategy, promising more measurable return on investment for exhibitors and buyers alike.

For more details or to submit interest in attending AIME in 2019, please visit

First Look at AIME 2019 Knowledge Program

By | 2018

The education content of the new program has been elevated to focus on idea sharing that draws the community together to challenge the status quo.  Sponsored by Melbourne Convention Bureau, AIME’s Knowledge Program has been created with the input from the show’s key partners of Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and Meetings & Events Australia (MEA).

Also for the first time, both buyers and exhibitors will be able to attend the educational sessions together. The Monday program ensures participants have a connected learning journey focused on a number of topics, including thought-provoking plenary talks designed to challenge thinking and intensive skill based workshops.

Other dynamic sessions are by invitation only Leaders Forum for c-suite executive, to MEA’s two-day event management workshop program opened to students and the broader AIME community. Hosted by the renowned community builder and entrepreneur, Fabian Pfortmüller, who has dedicated his career to understanding communities, believes the open-source framework will help the business event industry from across the Asia Pacific region grow.

ICCA’s integral Business Exchange will now be anchored at AIME, and from the organisation are several sessions debating on a number of topics that touch  which also covers on the role and relevance of professional conference organisers (PCOs). Meanwhile, SITE will present results from its industry-wide survey of the incentive travel industry at the show in 2019.

AIME Knowledge will look at engagement beyond content that is: from ideas on how to challenge the meeting norms and create a culture of innovation; to recognising unconscious biases and building meaningful communities with ongoing connections.

AIME 2019 to Increase International Buyer Attendance – the Refreshed Event to deliver the Largest and Most Diverse Group of Asia Pacific Based Buyers

By | 2018

The Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) announced its commitment to bringing more quality buyers from across globe, with 60 percent originating outside of Australia. Four months before the industry event commences (February 18 to 20), AIME 2019 has already confirmed over 200 quality buyers from across 32 different countries, with 42 percent having never attended AIME before.

To qualify, all buyers must provide examples of budgets they manage, past events they have organised and details of scheduled events that will take place in the next five years. Additionally, they must pass four compulsory industry reference checks.

“Through rigorous curation, we are committed to bringing buyers and exhibitors from across the whole Asia Pacific so that AIME is reflective of the diversity and depth of the region. It’s about the right people, selling or buying, being on the show floor ready to do business”, said Matt Pearce, chief executive officer of Talk2 Media & Events.

At the same time, the new vetting process has added some flexibility allowing buyers to attend AIME 2019 in two ways either as a Hosted Buyer or as a Pre-Registered Trade Buyer – both providing a clear and measurable return on investment.

Under the Hosted Buyer Program, you will be provided with a return flight and accommodation at four to five-star hotels which is carefully located close to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Hosted attendees will be required to commit to 32 pre-scheduled appointments (PSAs) and attend all formal networking events as well as, Melbourne Convention Bureau’s Uncover Melbourne Program.

For a moderate fee, pre-registered trade buyers have the option to select the number of pre-scheduled appointments they wish to make, participate in all networking events and, have the choice to attend one, two or three days of AIME 2019.

Submit your interest in attending in AIME 2019 and for more details visit

The 14th International Travel Expo in Ho Chi Minh Concluded with Strong Support from Exhibitors and Buyers

By | 2018

This year the show recorded 250 hosted buyers from 43 countries with more than 300 participating companies and brands.  Total number of meetings concluded was 7,646 and number of visitors over the three days was 30,000 people of which 47 percent are trade visitors and 53 percent public visitors.

While countries represented at the ITE HCMC 2018 were Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, England, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Bulgari, Hungary, Cyprus – Greece, USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Cambodia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Iran, Bhutan, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Algeria, Finland, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Among the response received from the buyers:

“Fun and diverse exhibits, we enjoyed greatly and would like to come back again next year” Tokyo International Airport Corp. – Japan

“The exhibition has attracted many big companies in the tourism industry. It is a good opportunity for Vinpearl to reach out many potential buyers and penetrate new markets. We will definitely join the next edition in 2019” Vinpearl – Vietnam

“The B2B section of ITE HCMC 2018 was excellent and provides a vast array of business opportunities.” Michael Black, New Destinations Network – United Kingdom

“ITE HCMC event quality is good, we had enough business contract opportunities the volunteers are so kind, enthusiastic and caring, more than excellent.” Turba Timea Proko Travel – Hungary

“The exhibition was well organised. We had good opportunities to meet many potential international partners” Saigontourist – Vietnam

“We are able to promote a variety of Korean Tourism aspects to Vietnamese. Our co-exhibitors had the opportunities to meet many new buyers and made deals.” Korea Tourism Organization – Korea


MICE in Asia is the media partner of ITE HCMC 2018.

2018 Busan MICE & Tourism Roadshow in Kuala Lumpur

By | 2018

Busan is the second largest city in Korea.  The city is ranked seventh in the world and fourth in Asia by the Union of International Association (UIA) as a conference city.

On October 30, a team from the city consisting of the Busan Tourism Organization, Busan Convention Bureau, hotels, destination and event management companies, held a one day business-to-business meeting in Kuala Lumpur.  They had the opportunity to promote their products and services to MICE and outbound travel buyers from Malaysia.

The one day session also saw several home-grown event management companies from Busan showcasing their creative solutions and one-stop service for hosting mega shows, meetings, conventions, promotions and sports in Busan.

In the evening, a gala dinner was held for the sellers and buyers, attended among which, top officials from the Busan Tourism Organization and Busan Convention Centre, the deputy minister of tourism of Malaysia and the Korean Ambassador to Malaysia.

Besides being the fastest growing convention destination, the city of Busan is Korea’s top summer vacation spot and holds a number of events and festivals all the year round.

International Media Familiarisation Tour 2018 Organised by Thailand Convention Bureau (TCEB)

By | 2018

This year TCEB showcased all the aspects of “Thainess” which highlights the national character of the people and culture of Thailand especially through service and hospitality.  The bureau also shared with the media: the important role of MICE in Thailand’s economic development plan for the country’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) under the Thailand 4.0 policy.  During the trip, members of the media visited the EEC cities of Chacoengsao, Pattaya, Siracha and Rayong and experienced the readiness of these cities, to host MICE.

A press conference was organised by TCEB on the development and promotional plans for the MICE industry in the Eastern Economic Corridor of Thailand, together with an overview of the opportunities for the MICE industry in the EEC, and information on the country’s economic model.

First stop was Bangkok, the capital, where the journalists enjoyed the hospitality of a one night stay at the Thai owned hotel, Lancaster Bangkok, and were entertained to a high tea of Thai delicacies. The evening was spent exploring the Regional Observatory at Chacoengsao, an astronomical centre established by the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand under the country’s Minsitry of Science and Technology. The observatory has spaces available for events, among those on; astronomy-related educational activities.  A welcome dinner was held at the observatory hosted by the president of TCEB, Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya.

A visit to Siracha district considered to be the first eastern seaside town of Thailand that, has risen to prominence as a result of the of the country’s industralisation during the reign of King Rama V.  The high demand of labour due to the growth of industries has attracted Chinese immigrants who worked and settled here, helped built the Siracha of today.

Members of the media gathered at Vajiravudh Scout Camp for team building where they engaged in scout orientated skill games and outdoor activities – ending with a campfire and barbeque. The camp is well known for its outdoor activities among primary and secondary school children in Chonburi district, as well as Bangkok and nearby provinces.

Corporate social responsibility project at Ban Krasae Bon in Rayong, is a sustainable tourist destination with fruit orchard and aqua culture.  The journalists participated in clearing the river of overgrown water mimosa and collecting the plant for compositing.  This includes the planting of trees, with many learning to make soap in mangosteen fruit casings.  After which they enjoyed a farm-to-table lunch with a menu of seafood caught from the Prasae River and of vegetables grown on the project.

Then on to a one night stay at Ao Prow Resort on the island of Samet which is a local-owned property of about 100 rooms and equipped with conference facilities.  The luxurious resort has a spectacular scenic view of the Gulf of Thailand.  The island is only a three-hour ride from Bangkok and is considered a quick getaway for many locals and tourists alike.

Pattaya is the final destination of the familiarization tour, and is one of Thailand’s five MICE cities.  The city has over 100,000 rooms combined and quite a comprehensive range of facilities for conventions and exhibitions.  Pattaya is set to become an industrial centre in the EEC in the near future, especially once the U-tapao Airport is linked to Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang Airports in the next five years.

At the same time members of the media, visited Pattaya’s latest convention centre, the Nongnooch International Convention and Exhibition Center. It is located within the Nongnooch Tropical Botanical Garden, considered to be one of Pattaya’s best known attractions.  The centre has altogether an area of 20,000 square metres of functional space.

IMFT 2018 Press Conference – Sunrise at Eastern MICE Corridor

Vajiravudth Scout Camp Activities

Corporate Social Responsibility Project at Ban Krasae Bon in Rayong and Farm-to-Table Lunch

The publisher and editorial board of MICE in Asia would like to thank Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) for inviting an editorial representative of the publication to participate in the IMFT 2018.

Leading Spanish Hotel Group Meliá Hotels International is committed to MICE

By | 2018

Leisure at Heart, Business in Mind, is the Meliá Hotels International motto and it’s extended to the group’s MICE segment.  The company has developed and made available throughout Meliá Hotels’ worldwide, programmes to meet the needs of their corporate clients and preferences.  This is achieved by offering flexible packages that are innovative and sustainable together with an extensive array of facilities to cater from small to large scale events and conferences.

Through its professional online booking system MeliáPro, organisers or corporate clients, can now choose Meliá’s MICE concepts from its brand portfolio of: EcoTouch Meetings by Meliá; Exceptional Events at the Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts; Where You Want to Meet at Paradisus by Meliá; ME Studios of ME by Meliá; and Power Meeings in Meliá Hotels & Resorts with INNSIDE by Meliá offering Big Idea Space.

Organisers can also rely on more than 300 MICE professionals of the Meliá Hotels International team, ready to assist in holding and managing events, which is further facilitated with the Meliá Group booking tool.  A comprehensive solution whereby you can make your own online bookings on a personalised webpage designed for each event.

While its Eco Touch Meetings by Meliá is established based on sustainability as an added value, is aligned with the hotels’ adherence towards protecting the environment which is one of the hotels’ pillars of corporate responsibility strategy. It typifies the group’s effort to raise awareness and promote education among its customers regarding the need to use resources responsibly and, the environmental impact generated by the customers’ activities.

Luxury and sophistication are constantly present in Gran Meliá’ Hotel & Resorts professional events from a wide range of meeting rooms available, meeting concierge services at your disposal for every detail of your business meetings to surprising coffee breaks specially prepared for the event.

At the Paradisus by Meliá for example, the property has large convention facilities with a capacity of up to 1,200 people. This is together with indoor and outdoor event areas to host any size group, themed activities and customised life enriching experiences.

In Power Meetings, you will be able to get signature meeting rooms that include sitting options, such as the use of fitness balls, to versatile set up opportunities with the walls becoming brain storming canvases.  Here Meliá aims to portray an innovative and a more up-to-date way of conducting business.

Thinking out of the box to showcase your event is the offering of ME Studios with co-working spaces where state-of-the-art technology and contemporary art merged to give a different approach to normal meeting spaces. Latest technology, gadgets, lights and sound equipment blend with artist propositions to transform meeting spaces into an impressive venue.

The Big Idea Space of INNSIDE by Meliá takes on a totally different approach to meetings that are out of the ordinary, encouraging more flexibility and creativity.  For example the open living lounge which is actually the lobby of the hotel, it has a multi-purpose set-up where you can be comfortable, a place to work and have a meeting in an informal environment.  Connectivity is available throughout the hotel for online communications and a gym for your workout.

Environmental Sustainable Development, Defending Rights of Children, to Helping Train and Employ Vulnerable Young People

By year 2020, Meliá International Hotels, through the group’s environmental sustainability initiative, hopes to reduce water usage per stay by eight percent and achieve 70 percent overall green energy use.  A success case is the Meliá Serengeti where the lodge is designed with the protection and preservation of the surrounding environment – approximately 45 percent of its energy is generated by solar panels.

Soap for Hope is a project launched globally in October 2013 and of June this year, the project in the Asia Pacific (APAC) helped to recycle nearly nine tonnes of solid soap waste – producing more than 70 thousand bars of soap which have a direct impact on over 6,000 people.

 In support of children,  Meliá operates with the collaboration of UNICEF in the defence of the Rights of Children by offering active involvement of its employees, customers and suppliers for a better future of children through employability especially, opportunities in the tourism sector.  In addition to providing training to develop talents to fill the new demand for employees, Meliá Hotels International works with benchmark organisations to activate projects that focus on promoting social and occupational integration of youths at risk through improving their skills and abilities beyond technical and theoretical training.

Cooperation with the Pinardi Foundation started in 2013 on a project called ‘Eleven more to eat’. About eleven young people were trained as assistant chefs at the Tryp Madrid Alcalá 611 as part of a training programme in and with the company, run by the Pinardi Foundation. The project is aimed at socially vulnerable young people that are capable of learning technical skills in a real working environment.

By fostering these skills on the job, it allows young people access to a learning experience in a real-life context that also helps develop specific skills for positions which are in demand in the tourism industry.

In 2015 the initial project grew in its scope and ambition with Meliá Hotels International taking on the challenge of improving the employability of thirty-five youngsters – all at risk of social exclusion and, who had not completed their studies. The project was recognised as one of the best corporate social responsibility initiatives on an international level by the World Tourism Organisation, for its commitment to the employability of young people at risk of exclusion.

Outdoor Areas for Events

Meetings and Conference Facilities

Images are by Meliá Hotels International.

Ruben Casas, regional business development senior director Asia Pacific of Meliá Hotels International spoke to Julia Douglas, managing editor, MICE in Asia on the hotels’ MICE segment and corporate social responsibility projects.  It was during the ITB Asia 2018 held at Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Singapore.