Category Archives: Incentives

ASEAN tourism ministers recognise successful MICE venues

ATF 2018

Tourism Ministers from 10 ASEAN countries recently presented the certificate of ASEAN MICE Venue Standards (AMVS) to successful MICE venues from member countries namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam during the 37th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF2018) held during January 22-26, 2018, in Chiang Mai. Supawan Teerarat, Senior Vice President, Strategic Business Development and Innovation, TCEB, said, “The AMVS programme has been developed as a result of the nationwide success of the Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS) which initiated by TCEB.  TCEB has defined a strategic roadmap throughout the development course and has been working closely with the nine member countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. TCEB had organised five meetings to provide details and clarify the criteria of the AMVS standards for the member countries. At present, the AMVS cover three categories, namely (1) Meeting/Conference Venue or Room (2) Exhibition Venue, and (3) Event Venue. The standards include three key criteria namely 1. Physical Setting (32 indicators) 2. Technology (10 indicators) and 3. Service (13 indicators). There are altogether 55 indicators while all of the country members had participated and nominated the venues for the assessment.”   List of venues certified ASEAN MICE Venue Standard (AMVS) Brunei 1.       Radisson Hotel Brunei Darussalam 2.       The Empire Hotel & Country Club 3.       V plaza Hotel Brunei Darussalam   Cambodia 1.       Sokha Siem Reap Resort & Convention Center 2.       Garden City Hotel 3.       Sokhalay Angkor Resort and Spa Hotel 4.       Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort 5.       Apsara Palace Resort & Conference Center Indonesia 1.       Bali Nusa Dua Hotel 2.       Raffles Jakarta 3.       Four Season Hotel Jakarta 4.       The Trans Resort …

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Shangri-La’s Golden Circle members to earn points through new app


Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has launched the new and enhanced Shangri-La mobile app and is introducing an exclusive loyalty programme offer from Golden Circle. The bonus points promotion, valid from January 22 through April 30, invites travellers to “Unlock the World of Shangri-La” at over 100 hotels and resorts across the Shangri-La, Kerry Hotels, Hotel Jen and Traders Hotels brands. Fast and intuitive to use, the new Shangri-La App is available for iPhone and Android platforms. It can be downloaded from, iTunes and Google Play, as well as via QR code at any of the group’s hotels worldwide. Based on consumer research, the key functionalities include: Fast and Easy Booking; Mobile Check-in/Check-out; Manage Golden Circle Account; and Redeem Rewards. The Shangri-La App invites guests to join the Golden Circle programme and instantly take advantage of member benefits and promotions. By downloading the App, members can earn: Triple GC Award Points for each booking made via the Shangri-La App and Mobile Check-In/Check-Out is used • Double GC Award Points for each Golden Circle booking made via the Shangri-La App • 100 GC Award Points for download and sign-in to the new Shangri-La App (once per device) With an intuitive interface, the Shangri-La App’s key functionalities are enhanced by offering: Best available rates and promotions • Special corporate rates • Hotel search by name or destination • Key information and content about each hotel • Destination information with live maps and local information • Click-to-call a Shangri-La hotel’s local reservation agent

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Singapore Airline Group launches first ever blockchain- based airline loyalty digital wallet


Singapore Airlines Group’s frequent-flyer programme, KrisFlyer, has launched a world-first blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet to unlock the value of KrisFlyer miles to enable everyday spending at retail partners. The technology is expected to operate in about six months. It will allow the extensive KrisFlyer membership base to use ‘digital KrisFlyer miles’ for point-of-sale transactions at participating retail merchants. Singapore Airlines CEO, Goh Choon Phong, said, “This ground-breaking development in which we will be using blockchain technology to ‘digitalise’ KrisFlyer miles is a demonstration of the investment we are making to significantly enhance the digital side of our business for the benefit of our customers. It is in line with our recently unveiled Digital Innovation Blueprint, under which we aim to be the world’s leading digital airline.” The first-of-its-kind lifestyle digital wallet app will be enabled through blockchain technology, using an SIA-owned private blockchain involving only merchants and partners.

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Israel sees 31 per cent increase in Indian arrivals


Indian tourist arrivals to Israel have increased by 31 per cent from January to December, 2017 with around 60,000 Indian tourists visiting the country last year. This marks a growth of 48 per cent in the last two years, according to statistics released by Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT). Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism India & Philippines, said, “2017 has been outstanding and by far the best year for Israel tourism in India and worldwide. By October, 2017 we already saw 49,000 Indians arrive in Israel, breaking previous records, and we were positive to close the year with 60,000 travellers to Israel from India. With over 20 million outbound tourists a year, India has been an important market for us. Introducing initiatives, including easing of the visa process and with airlines in India and Israel expressing interest to increase connectivity between the countries, I am confident that this growth will help us achieve 1 lakh Indian arrivals in 2018.”

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The Philippines unveils MICE Roadmap 2030


The Department of Tourism (DOT) of the Philippines has launched a multi-sectoral plan that envisions to re-establish the Philippines as a top international convention destination, as well as a flourishing business and trade hub in the Asia-Pacific region. The DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), in a joint effort with the Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers Inc. (PACEOS) and the Department of Trade and Industry Board of Investments (DTI-BOI), crafted the ‘Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) Roadmap 2030’. “The DOT stands by PACEOS in promoting the Philippines as a top MICE destination. The country’s successful hosting of big-ticket international events recently proved that we are on the right track,” said DOT Secretary, Wanda Tulfo-Teo. The ‘MICE Roadmap 2030’ was unveiled at the historic Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Summit Halls with the goal of placing the country to the top 10 rankings in International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Teo assured PACEOS that the government fully supports its efforts to bring back the Philippines’ luster as an international event venue. “The Philippines ranked 8th worldwide and 1st in the Asian region in the annual listing of leading world convention destinations in 1982.  With this roadmap, we can reclaim our rightful place as a MICE powerhouse,” said DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. In the 2016 ICCA Statistic Report Country & City Rankings, the country placed 48th out of the 116 countries worldwide and 14th of 35 countries in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions in terms of having the most number of meetings. The country has successfully hosted the recent World Economic Forum, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit and the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) …

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Cathay Pacific introduces yoga on flight

Pure Yoga_The 'Travel Well with Yoga' programme is available across all Cathay Pacific routes (002)

Cathay Pacific has partnered with Pure Yoga to launch a new inflight well-being programme, ‘Travel Well with Yoga’, this month. In harmony with the airline’s ‘Life Well Travelled’ campaign, the series of videos have been developed by esteemed Pure Yoga instructors to help passengers ease into their journeys with yoga and meditation exercises and tips. Passengers can now view ‘Travel Well with Yoga’ in English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese across all Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon routes by accessing the Lifestyle section on their inflight entertainment screens. Split into six easy-to-follow videos featuring founding teacher Patrick Creelman and senior instructor & co-founder Almen Wong, the series demonstrates yoga and meditation routines that can be done before, during or after a flight. Exercises are designed to improve circulation, enhance joint mobility and relax the mind for a comfortable and restful journey. Simon Cuthbert, Cathay Pacific Entertainment, Platforms and Connectivity Manager, said: “The need to get up, move and get your blood pumping is important during a flight. Yoga is an innovative way to do this. There are a series of exercises that can easily be done from an economy class seat whilst other moves are suitable for after the flight in your hotel.” Pure Yoga is also offering all Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club members a complimentary 10-day trial, 50 per cent discount on studio joining fees, and a complimentary upgrade for access to all Pure Yoga studios across Asia.

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18 per cent more Indians now visiting South Australia


The International Visitor Survey results released by Tourism Research Australia for the year ended September 2017, indicate an 18 per cent rise in Indians travelling to South Australia in comparison to the year ended September 2016. This makes India the eighth-largest source market for the state and the third highest in terms of growth in arrivals during the year.  In addition to this, spend by Indians visiting South Australia registered a substantial increase amounting to AUD$37mn, a jump by 33 per cent compared to last year. South Australia has seen steady growth from the Indian market over the last three years. The healthy growth in both visitors numbers and spend by Indians is a result of the efforts made by the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC). A large focus has been on building airline and trade partnerships, training programmes for the travel trade, digital marketing and PR programmes.  In addition to this, tour operators from the State, including the Adelaide Oval and Exceptional Kangaroo Island, participated in the India Travel Mission in August 2017 which gave them an opportunity to engage with over 110 Indian travel trade. Commenting on the results, Dana Urmonas, Regional Director (India & Southeast Asia), SATC, said, “The double-digit growth in arrivals and spend over the last year indicate that South Australia is steadily becoming a favoured destination among Indian travellers. We are extremely pleased that our trade and consumer programs are yielding positive results and we are confident we will see sustained growth over the next few years as well.” In 2018, the SATC will focus on attracting honeymooners, families and independent travellers, especially cricket lovers, between the age of 25-45 years in the primary …

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MSC’s 2020 world cruise includes stop in Mumbai


MSC Cruises has announced the opening of sales of its second world cruise, setting sail in 2020. The 2020 MSC World Cruise has a new itinerary that includes exotic and aspirational destinations with 43 destinations and 23 countries on board MSC Magnifica. This includes a halt in Mumbai as well. Other destinations include Ushuaia in Argentina, Rapa Nui in Easter Island, Darwin in Australia, Valparaiso in Chile, and Salalah in Oman. Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer, MSC Cruises, says, “Following on from the highly successful launch of our first MSC World Cruise last year due to set to sail in January 2019, we are now delighted to open sales for a new world cruise for 2020 developed to offer guests experiences and destinations that they will never forget. In addition, the experience onboard MSC Magnifica – one of the jewels of our fleet – has been designed to reflect the cultures and cuisines of the countries that the ship visits, giving guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a true around the world voyage of discovery both on board and on shore.” Guests embarking from Civitavecchia/Rome, Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona on 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th January 2020 respectively will cross five continents on a three-month voyage of discovery to some of the world’s most talked-about destinations. To maximise exploration opportunities, eight destinations include an overnight stay in port, giving guests up to two days to experience local attractions, cuisine and atmosphere.

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Technology metamorphosing business travel: FCM, KPMG report


FCM Travel Solutions and KPMG have released a whitepaper titled ‘The Digi-Smart Indian Business Traveller’ with a focus on how technology is rapidly revolutionising travel by maximising efficiencies, improving experience and increasing options for the average traveller worldwide and increasingly in the Indian market. Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions, said, “Digital technology today is rapidly growing. Self-booking tools, travel analytics, Artificial Intelligence and sharing economy services are not only here to stay but hold myriad and exciting possibilities for the future. The report aims to assist organisations that wish to serve today’s digi-smart travellers, understand their needs and make strategic decisions, based on these insights.” Jaideep Ghosh, Partner and Head, Transport, Leisure and Sports, KPMG in India commented, “Globally, technology has penetrated deep into business travel practices — it finds a host of applications in travel, including online booking tools, sharing economy services, travel analytics, virtual assistance, payments and compliance. With this whitepaper, we have set out to explore the concept of smart travellers, technology trends in business travel, their enabling ecosystem, as well as some potentially disrupting developments that could transform business travel landscape.” According to Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), India is the world’s fastest growing business travel market.

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FTAs on e-TV witnessed 48.3% growth in December y-o-y


The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in December 2017 was 11.76 lakh as compared to FTAs of 10.21 lakh in December 2016 and 9.13 lakh in December 2015. The growth rate in FTAs in December 2017 over December 2016 has increased to 15.2 per cent, compared to 11.9 per cent in December 2016 over December 2015. FTAs in 2017 were 101.77 lakh with a growth of 15.6 per cent over 2016, compared to FTAs of 88.04 lakh with a growth of 9.7 per cent in 2016 over 2015. The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during December 2017 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (19.04%) followed by USA (16.90%), UK (10.41%), Australia (5.31%), Canada (3.85%), Russian Fed. (3.79%), Malaysia (3.11%), Germany (2.08%), China (2.06%), Sri Lanka (2.01%), Singapore (1.85%), France (1.81%), Japan (1.64%), Thailand (1.60%) and Italy (1.44%). The percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during December 2017 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (25.80%) followed by Mumbai Airport (17.31%), Haridaspur Land Check Post (9.75%), Chennai Airport (6.36%), Bengaluru Airport (5.33%), Dabolim (Goa) Airport, (5.29%), Kolkata Airport (4.95%), Cochin Airport (3.92%), Hyderabad Airport (3.02%), Ahmadabad Airport (2.63%), Gede Rail Land Check Post (1.94%), Trivandrum Airport, Trichy Airport (1.44%), Ghojadanga Land Check Post (1.26%) and Sonauli Land Check Post (1.14%).

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