TRAVEL & TOURISM
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Singapore eyes Thailand as MICE tourism partner

New lease deal for Emirates

Incentive Travel Mart to merge with Corporate Travel World next year

Bangkok gets new tourism website

Singapore eyes Thailand as MICE tourism partner

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has called on the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to act as a partner in its promotion of meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE) in the tourism market.

Gerard Lee, director of the STB’s Planning Division, said, “This year Singapore is launching a campaign entitled ‘Make it Singapore’ to ensure Singapore’s continuing prominence for the MICE market.”

Noting the wealth of tourist destinations in Thailand, he said that the STB also wanted to go into partnership with the TAT to engage in joint marketing campaigns, and promote tourism between the two nations. (TNA)


New lease deal for Emirates

Emirates is leasing eight Airbus A340-300s for key long haul routes from Dubai. They will be powered by Snecma CFM56 engines, and seat up to 267 people in three classes - 12 in first, 42 in business and 213 in economy. The jets will be refitted to Emirates’ cabin standards early next year and will enter service from March 1 on routes from Dubai to Shanghai, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Perth and Osaka. (TTG Asia)


Incentive Travel Mart to merge with Corporate Travel World next year

Reinhard Hohler GMS Media Consultant

Following the merging of Thailand Travel Mart (TTM) and PATA Travel Mart (PTM) in Bangkok on September 22-24, 2004, there will be a merging of the Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia (IT&CMA) with Corporate Travel World (CTW) in Bangkok on October 12-14, next year.

The prospective mergers were announced during the 11th IT&CMA exhibition which was hosted by Thailand on November 4-6 this year at the IMPACT Convention Center in Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok.

The show provided a platform for destinations and suppliers, whose tourism and MICE businesses have been badly hit in the last 12 months, to make a strong comeback. There were 271 exhibiting companies and sellers from 28 countries to meet 253 hosted buyers at the show which was organized by TTG Asia Media, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thai Airways International.

Press conferences were held by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) to brief the media about its ongoing campaign “Live it, Love it!” and by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to launch “Make it Singapore!”

Meetings and conventions business is returning to Asia from long-haul markets although some concerns over security still remain. South-east Asia, particularly the Indochina countries and Malaysia, are still top of the agenda for the incentive market as planners look for newer places to go. But for the time being, Thailand is in the spotlight because of its value for money with a high standard of service in the hotels and conference venues.

While Korea is going ahead with its ambitious plan to put an international standard exhibition and convention center in every major city, the Korea Convention Bureau said it will be at least 2010 before demand reaches that stage.

Interesting to note is that Sri Lanka has become South Asia’s Number One MICE destination. Sri Lanka was a popular venue for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions even when the island was facing troubled times. Now with peace prevailing in the country, the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau will be launching a special “Meet in Sri Lanka” campaign to promote Sri Lanka in the international market.

The conference concluded with a hosted lunch by the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism who presented the video “My Indonesia Just a Smile Away.” Indonesia, especially Bali, was hard hit by terrorism, but seems on the way to recovery.

Magrin Phromyothi, executive director of Thailand Incentive & Convention Association (TICA) summed it all up, “IT&CMA is the place to meet to have an update on travel products and Thailand’s destinations for event planners and tour operators specializing in incentives. But much more must be done to bring such events into the provinces, such as Phuket, Ubon Ratchathani and Chiang Mai.”

For further information contact Reinhard Hohler, email: [email protected]


Bangkok gets new tourism website

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has just launched a trilingual website to offer travel information to tourists. Suohot Jeeraphan, director of the BMA’s tourism division, said that the website, [www.bangkoktourist.com], would offer data in English, Thai and Chinese, with information on tourism destinations, accommodation, travel within Bangkok, exchange rates, contacts for foreign embassies, airport tax, airlines and other essential tourism information.

The website will also included maps of Bangkok and allow visitors to the website to ask each other questions relating to Bangkok tourism. (TNA)