Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau launches ‘Penang 2020: BE Unfiltered’

Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) launched its new campaign ‘Penang 2020: BE Unfiltered’. Ashwin Gunaskeran, CEO, PCEB, said, “I believe Penang is ready for the next stage of destination marketing for business events, as this segment thus far has successfully positioned Penang as a second-tier destination. It is also important for us as part of this industry to showcase more of what Penang and the players of the industry are able to offer through Penang 2020: BE Unfiltered within the campaign period,” The campaign was launched in conjunction with Experience Penang Year 2020 and Visit Malaysia 2020. Gunasekeran also unveiled four new products developed for the campaign, which runs from now to December 2020, during the launch to further enhance the state’s business events offerings. Officiating the launch were YAB Chow Kon Yeow, the Chief Minister of Penang and YB Yeoh Soon Hin, the Penang State Exco for Tourism Development, Arts, Culture & Heritage. Also present were Jonathan Freddy P. Bagang, Director of Ministry of Tourism & Culture Malaysia (MOTAC); and Khoo Boo Lim, Chairman of Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang Chapter, as well as over 100 industry partners. “We need to continue the energy and effort in maintaining the interest and awareness that business events have created for Penang. This is where the Penang 2020: BE Unfiltered campaign plays a role, and works as an additional incentive to attract more events into the state,” he added. One of the four products is the PCEB Mobile App for delegates. Main features include information on Penang for delegates, a calendar showing upcoming events and other supported business events happening in Penang. The app is currently available for download on Google …

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First Nepal Tourism Investment Summit to be held in Jan 2020

Speaking on the launch of Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign by NTB, Suraj Vaidya, National Coordinator, Visit Nepal 2020, says, “We will be conducting the first Nepal Tourism Investment Summit in January 2020. We are doing it as a strategy to bring Nepal back in the forefront. Also, about the Visit Nepal Year 2020- the last one was held in 2011, and since then, probably the world knows Nepal through a very negative picture. It is just not the numbers that we are looking at from India, but also the products. We want to show much more of Nepal, primarily, beyond its conventions- Mt. Everest and Lumbini.”

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Singapore bullish on business events for 2019

Singapore will play host to a sizeable number of business events from 2019 and beyond, with several of these events secured being inaugural editions. In particular, there are more business events from the Professional Services, Technology and F&B clusters. These events will help Singapore bolster its reputation as a leading world-class business events destination. This comes on the back of a strong performance of the BTMICE industry in 2018. From January to September 2018 (year-to-date 3Q2018), tourism receipts1 from the BTMICE sector rose by 10 per cent, to hit S$3.44 billion, compared to the same period in 2017. This was driven by growth in BTMICE visitor arrivals, which also rose 14 per cent year-on-yearfor the same period, to hit 2 million arrivals. Melissa Ow, Deputy Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “High profile events in 2018 that garnered strong global interest, such as the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit and the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, have helped increase awareness of Singapore’s business events industry. This has also bolstered our reputation as a choice destination for meetings and business events.” “In 2019 and beyond, we look forward to a strong slate of events in the Professional Services, Technology and F&B clusters. As these clusters are aligned to Singapore’s key economic sectors and play well to our strengths, we are confident that Singapore will provide many opportunities for decision-makers, event organisers and business executives looking to chart a path in this space,” Ms Ow added. These tourism receipts exclude Sightseeing, Entertainment and Gaming (SEG). The full-year results for BTMICE will be available only later in the year. Prominent business events secured in professional services and technology sectors The strong presence of regional company headquarters …

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Thailand Bullish on MICE for 2019

International travellers attending events in Thailand generated revenue of THB18,031 million during the first quarter of the fiscal year 2019 according to Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB. In the report covering the first quarter October to December 2018 of the current fiscal year that ends 30 September 2019, TCEB president, Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, confirmed Thailand welcomed 241,407 high spending international MICE travellers. Accommodation, food & beverage, and shopping topped the spending list. “Of the four core segments making up MICE (meetings incentives, conventions and exhibitions), the exhibition sector demonstrated an outstanding performance with visitors increasing by 60.66%,” the TCEB president reported. “The growth was supported by key factors including positive trends in the global economy, while MICE travellers continue to show confidence in Thailand reflecting the government’s efforts to stimulate business activities and travel sector,” he added. Contributing factors that increased the revenue earned from the MICE industry in the first quarter included the waiver of the visa-on-arrival fee launched in November 2018 for 21 nationalities. Waiving the fee benefited travellers from China and India. In addition, Thailand’s positive business climate supported an expansion of airline services between Thailand and destinations in ASEAN. According to the latest statistics from TCEB, the top five markets for international MICE travellers to Thailand in Q1 were China (85,498), Laos (29,547), Malaysia (21,352), Indonesia (21,051) and Japan (19,205). Asia contributed the most MICE visitors due to short air distances from key source markets and the abundance of competitively priced fares. In terms of MICE events, there were 275 international MICE events held in Thailand during Q1, which included 37 meetings, 153 incentive events, 16 conventions, and 19 exhibitions. Incentive …

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TCEB promotes 25 MICE routes

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) will promote 25 new routes for delegates visiting the country’s top five MICE destinations. Working closely with the public and private sectors, as well as educational institutions, the new routes will enhance travel experiences in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen. The bureau recently completed an extensive study of the five MICE cities analysing venue potential, as well as the level of company and community readiness to launch five new routes in each of the five MICE cities. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President (Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau) TCEB, said the creation of outstanding new MICE products and services was key to meeting the demands of domestic and international MICE entrepreneurs. “We designed a MICE industry development strategy, which emphasises creative ideas for destinations to expand and upgrade venues as well as add new MICE activities with a focus on the five MICE Cities”. To further strengthen the appeal of the 25 new routes, the bureau has identified “Thailand 7 MICE Magnificent Themes” that can be weaved into a route’s travel experience. The seven themes are outlined in a TCEB guidebook of creative ideas for MICE destinations and have been identified as having the greatest interest for international and domestic MICE travellers. The Thailand 7 MICE Magnificent Themes are: 1) Fascinating History and Culture; 2) Exhilarating Adventures; 3) Treasured Team Building; 4) CSR and Green Meetings; 5) Beach Bliss; 6) Lavish Luxury; 7) Culinary Journeys. Venues need to demonstrate they have a capacity to accommodate no fewer than 30 MICE participants and feature at least one of the ‘seven magnificent themes’. They need to also demonstrate suitable safety standards and knowledgeable …

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Dubai Tourism waives off 1000 AED fee for PRO card for tourism companies and hotels

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has waived a mandatory requirement for hotel establishments, tourism companies and event organisers to obtain a Public Relations Officer (PRO) card prior to conducting industry transactions such as requests for permits and approvals for a range of tourism and travel-related activities and services. Following this deregulation measure, hotels and tourism companies including travel agents, tour operators and event management businesses can now submit requests and applications online via the Dubai Tourism portal, saving time and reducing operating costs. Previously, based on an Executive Council of Dubai Resolution of 2012, companies in the tourism industry were required to register their official representatives with Dubai Tourism and obtain a Public Relations Officer (PRO) card for all transactions. Tourism and travel service providers were charged AED 1,000 per PRO card which was subject to an annual renewal fee, with penalties imposed on companies that violated the provision. Commenting on the regulatory exemption, Khalid Bin Touq, Executive Director—Tourism Activities and Classifications Sector, Dubai Tourism, said, “The cancellation of this precondition for conducting official transactions is to transform Dubai into a fully-fledged smart city and the ‘Dubai Paperless Strategy’ launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai. The latest deregulation steps taken by Dubai Tourism form part of the ongoing efforts to eliminate barriers to entry and growth for SMEs and start-ups, and reflects our commitment to bringing relief to small businesses and entrepreneurs by minimising red tape and introducing hassle-free processes. The enhancements will also help create stronger synergies with our network of stakeholders by providing them with yet …

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Nepal Sales Mission 2019 travels to Jaipur post successful events in Lucknow and Agra

Nepal Sales Mission 2019, an eight-city event, will run up till February 1, 2019, in Lucknow, Agra, Jaipur, Bhopal, Indore, Kochi, Coimbatore and Madurai. The Mission aims to bring all travel trade partners together to update them about Destination Nepal, educate them on what the country has to offer that will be of great interest to their Indian clientele, and allow them to explore opportunities that lie within. Nepal recorded a growth of 25.1 per cent in visitor arrivals from India in 2017, attaining a remarkable surge over the previous year. In Lucknow, the Mission will be held at Hyatt Regency on January 10. It will then proceed to Agra on January 12 to be held at the Clarks Shiraz hotel, followed by Jaipur on January 14 at Hotel Crowne Plaza. Marriott Hotels in Bhopal, Indore and Kochi will host the Sales Mission on January 21, 22 and 28, respectively. It will proceed to Coimbatore on January 30 to be held at Le Méridien Hotel and conclude in Madurai on February 1 at the Poppys Hotel. The Nepalese delegation is looking forward to interacting with over 80 agents from each of the eight cities, where participants include destination specialists, fence sitters, and other key trade partners. Nepal Sales Mission 2019 will witness participation from several private players from Nepal, including Apoorva Tours & Travels, Kathmandu Holiday Tours & Travels, Fishtail Tours & Travels, Heritage Tours & Travels and Outdoor Expeditions.

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Penang Sales Mission 2019 showcases unique offerings at New Delhi

Penang Sales Mission to India 2019, led by Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO, Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau, is being held in New Delhi. The objective of the mission is to promote Penang as the preferred destination for corporate and association meetings, conferences, and incentives, as well as leisure travel. A delegation of 13 Malaysia-based organisations is visiting the capital city, joined by Yeoh Soon Hin, the Penang State Executive Councillor for Tourism Development, Heritage, Arts & Culture. Capitalising on Penang’s rising popularity in India, the Penang Sales Mission to India hosted a B2B engagement session with participating business events and leisure travel buyers from India. Speaking at the event in New Delhi, Hin said, “Penang has always been a melting pot of cultures – an intersection for history and trade. As its State government, we are committed to continue developing the tourism sector and to continue showcasing our proud heritage and history.” He further stated that Penang’s airport was the third busiest airport in Malaysia and had a total passenger movement of seven million in 2018.” Addressing the gathering, Gunasekeran said, “India is one of the top five markets for business events in Penang, and over the past year, we have received encouraging interest from event planners and conference organisers. This Mission is joined by some of Penang’s finest offerings in the hospitality, travel and events sectors, and will showcase the best of what Penang can offer to the Indian market.”

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Bangkok 2nd as per GDS Index

Bangkok is second on the list of Asian destinations in the latest Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index. The rating, which measured social and environmental sustainability strategies, industry supplier support, and Convention Bureau strategy and initiatives. The results also praised Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB)’s performance as a top scorer in a comparison of convention bureaux in other Asian destinations. The top five destinations recently received GDS-Index Awards from the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) to recognise their sustainable practices in the business tourism and events industry. The five highest overall scores went to Gothenburg (Sweden), Copenhagen (Denmark), Reykjavik (Iceland), Oslo (Norway) and Uppsala (Sweden) respectively. According to the index, the top five Asian cities with highest overall scores are Tokyo (Japan), Bangkok, Goyang (South Korea), Sapporo (Japan), and Dubai (United Arab Emirates) respectively. Bangkok was ranked second in Asia and 21st in the world according to the GDS-Index. The ranking measured across four key areas, including city environmental strategy and infrastructure (14 topics), city social sustainability performance (4 topics), industry supplier support (8 topics), and convention bureau (CVB) strategy and initiatives (12 topics). Bangkok received an overall score of 58 per cent, with the convention bureau winning 69 per cent, ably beating the global benchmark of 53 per cent. TCEB president Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya noted that this was the first time that Bangkok had participated in the GDS-Index, leaving the bureau delighted by the result.

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Dubai welcomes 11.58 million visitors in first 3 quarters of 2018

Dubai remains on track to becoming the most visited city for global travel, business and events, according to the latest visitation figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). The emirate welcomed 11.58 million visitors in the first three quarters of 2018, with India retaining its position as Dubai’s leading source market, followed by Saudi Arabia and the UK continuing to hold second and third positions respectively, underlining the city’s sustained appeal to its traditional strongholds and a wider diversified global audience. Russia, China and Germany continued to be key drivers within the top performing markets, each recording double-digit growth compared to the same period in 2017. Tourism from Russia remained on high trajectory, growing by a massive 60 per cent year-on-year, with visitor numbers surging to 460,000 in just the first nine months of 2018. The increase in Russian overnight guests was supported by a strong 19 per cent growth in air capacity across non-stop flights, in addition to added ease of travel access following the introduction of visa-on-arrival facilities in the last two years. China also continued to highlight benefits from the visa-on-arrival scheme, complementing the ongoing ‘China Readiness’ strategy, consequently re-enforcing its upward curve resulting in China securing its position as the fourth largest feeder market with an impressive 641,000 visitors so far this year, marking a 12 per cent increase versus 573,000 for the same period last year. Germany grew even faster at 15 per cent to reach 388,000 visitors during the first nine months, landing in eighth place within the top 10 source markets for Dubai. From a regional perspective, the first nine months saw 20 per cent of overnight visitors …

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