• Editor Blog - raini.hamdi

    It’s not normal

    To our readers | September 2015

    Recent history has shown that when the smell of danger lurks in a destination, the MICE market is one of the first to take flight.

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    Meetings that fly

    To our readers | July 2015

    I am often at airports, but rarely at airport hotels. I happened to be at one recently, the Radisson Blu Hotel Zurich Airport, ………

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    Asian associations find their voice

    To our readers | May 2015

    We often see the collective people in an association as we do a school of koi carp, often missing the individual fishes in the pond.

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    Smart, but is it sexy?

    To our readers | April 2015

    A slew of new convention centres in the region have opened or are opening (see our cover story pages 14-20), flexing the latest design and gadgetry.

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    ASEAN it is for me

    To our readers | February/March 2015

    Someone asked me the other day what’s ‘hot’ in the region where he could bring his meeting. It got me thinking. I finally settled on South-east Asia.

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    The debutantes

    To our readers | October 2014

    Across Asia, a string of second-tier cities and resorts, and emerging countries such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar, are being watched with interest, like debutantes on their first appearance in socie

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    Winners all

    To our readers | August 2014

    As we go oohs and ahhs over the wonderful incentive ideas from around the world compiled by our reporters in this issue’s cover story, let’s take time to ponder about the very people they are for.

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    Meet differently

    To our readers | June 2014

    The last pow-wow I attended, where the sales and editorial teams of TTG Asia Publishing came together to brainstorm ideas for our 40th anniversary this year, was in a hotel meeting room

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    Pick the middle ground

    To our readers | April 2014

    The middle ground in hotel accommodation is being redefined. This is the space between 3.5 stars and 4.5 stars.

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    Money well spent

    To our readers | December 2013/January 2014

    Each year at this time of the year we all ask the same question: Where on earth did our year go?

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    Bad first impressions

    To our readers | October 2013

    For all the glorious natural and manmade wonders it offers, many Asians still think twice before visiting the US. Often, their immediate groans are about visas, the length of time it takes to get there and the immigration hassle that greets them after an arduous journey.

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    Asians: mood to spend

    To our readers | June 2013

    The vibes I’m hearing will make you smile: Asians are in a mood to spend on travel.

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    Work-life balance is real

    To our readers | April 2013

    I’m not a Gen-Y’er (unfortunately!) and, for most of my business travel in my career – for meetings, conferences and travel trade shows – it was work and no life.

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    2013: As crazy as climate

    To our readers | December 2012/January 2013

    I asked about 20 CEOs to describe 2013 for me in climate terms – and such great weather frogs they make.

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    A very special month

    To our readers | October 2012

    This month is a very special month for us. It marks the 20th anniversary of Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia (IT&CMA). This also marks a turning of age for this publication.

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    Out of the office

    To our readers | August 2012

    The August issue of this publication is always a special one. For
    several years now, we’ve been running our cover story on top incentive
    ideas from around the world and, each time we do it, it puts us in a
    good mood.

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    Luxury of the right place

    To our readers | June 2012

    As I write this, I’m quite sick of Greece. It risks being booted out of
    the Eurozone and fans fears throughout the world, including in the
    darling BRICS, where the Indian rupee has slumped further, as have
    stocks in China.

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    Not a flash in the pan

    To our readers | April 2012

    Thirteen years have passed since Starwood Hotels & Resorts’
    Barry Sternlicht revolutionised the hotel industry by debuting the W, a
    lifestyle brand to cater to the Kenneth Cole-wearing types.

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    A memorable year

    To our readers | Dec 2011/Jan 2012

    You would agree that 2011 has not been dull, to say the least. It’s been
    a year marked by uprisings, from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street.
    Mother nature shook us, too, with the region getting more than its fair
    share, from the Japan earthquake to Thailand’s floods.

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    Beat the jam

    To our readers | November 2011

    Don’t we just wish that life has no traffic jams, that the journey we
    make – be it business or personal – is one continuous, smooth ride?

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    All in a day’s work

    To our readers | October 2011

    Last month, my team and I were in New Delhi to produce daily newspapers
    for PATA Travel Mart. Oh, was it extraordinary, and for all the wrong

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    Exercise prudence

    To our readers | September 2011

    As corporate travel and meeting planners start feeling the ground for
    next year’s contracts, our cover story this issue, Pricier meetings,
    could not be more timely.

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    The new building spree

    To our readers | July 2011

    So much investment is being poured into convention centres in the
    region, as our cover story this issue shows, that it’s real fodder for
    skeptics to question: Are we building for the future, or are we building
    a glut? 

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    A potential spoilsport

    To our readers | August 2011

    We’ve laid out the red carpet. Sieved out 45 incentive travel ideas from
    the around the world designed to bring out the killer instinct in
    winners to bash targets.

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    The $25,000 question

    To our readers | Jun 2011

    One figure caught my eye when perusing our cover story this issue on The high life, a look at how the luxury incentive and meeting market has evolved more than two years after the GFC.

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    A good deed for Japan

    To our readers | May 2011

    The United Nations (UN) has often been the butt of jokes, but one of the
    most impressive things it did recently was to issue a statement
    clarifying that radiation levels posed no travel risk to Japan (TTG Asia e-Daily, April 18).

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    Our thoughts are with Japan…

    To our readers | April 2011


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    A kinder year in all

    To our readers | Dec 2010/Jan 2011

    Asked to describe their business sentiments for 2011 through a song title, here are some responses from planner…….

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    Too high too soon

    To our readers | November 2010

    The good news for business hotels in Asia-Pacific is corporate travel is
    back after suffering from cuts during the GFC. The bad news is, the
    industry itself could be putting a noose on the return of one of its
    lucrative sources of revenue.

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    Three cheers to convention centres

    To our readers | September 2010

    A handful of convention centres in Asia are changing the common notion
    of these buildings as government-owned, heavily subsidised,
    no-need-to-make-profit behemoths that often are white elephants soon
    after the main event.

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    Passion keeps DMCs young and dangerous

    To our readers | October 2010

    At the same time that we were working on our cover story this issue
    about newcomers to the DMC scene across Asia, Bob Guy, who retired from
    Pacific World Singapore, Malaysia, Bali a year ago, was announcing his
    comeback to the industry (see Talk of the Trade).

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    The incentive challenge

    To our readers | August 2010

    The challenge facing incentive travel today is the same one that faces every business: staying relevant to the times.

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    It’s a pretty jungle

    To our readers | July 2010

    It’s a pretty-crowded jungle, but the jungle is pretty – blooming with new flowers and not the garden-variety types.

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    A new breed of luxe

    To our readers | June 2010

    Among the first arrivals at the luxe Armani Hotel Dubai which opened in
    late April were a 32-person group from … Hong Kong and Macau.

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    The new MICE tune

    To our readers | May 2010

    While hotels and DMCs can breathe a sigh of relief that the MICE market
    is showing a pick-up, any euphoria on their part must quickly be

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    Seeing red

    To our readers | April 2010

    As I write this, Thailand’s MICE industry is seeing red as  group cancellations, mainly from the regional market, are recorded.

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    Year of Asian travel

    To our readers | February/March 2011

    At the time of writing this editorial, my team and I have just returned
    from the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Cambodia, where it was as clear as
    the azure skies of Phnom Penh that the Asian and Australian markets are
    all the rage.

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    Not the time yet to rejoice

    To our readers | Feb10/Mar10

    annual poll of the regional MICE market confirms that meetings –
    stopped in their tracks by the global financial crisis that started in
    around October 2008 – are returning, but by no means is it time to

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    Reflections of 2009

    To our readers | Dec09/Jan10

    It was a year to forget, unless you are Warren Buffett, who was kept
    awake at night thinking of just what to buy among the pile of basement
    bargains left by the global financial crisis.

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    The changed customer

    To our readers | November 2009

    Between September 22 and October 22, my team and I were doing
    back-to-back daily newspapers at travel tradeshows, beginning with PATA
    Travel Mart (PTM) in Hangzhou, followed by Incentive Travel &
    Corporate Meetings Asia (IT&CMA) in Bangkok, then ITB Asia in
    Singapore – all in the space of a month.

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    Time for new leadership

    To our readers | October 2009

    At the time of writing this editorial, it was exactly a year ago when
    AIG gave meetings a bad name by splurging US$440,000 on an eight-day
    corporate retreat at the St Regis Monarch Beach resort in Dana Point,
    California on September 22, 2008 – a week after the Federal Reserve
    extended it a US$85 billion emergency lifeline.

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    The power of incentive travel

    To our readers | September 2009

    Think of the novelty of dining in the sky, literally, at a long table suspended from a high crane.

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    What is the point?

    To our readers | July/August 2009

    It is no coincidence that a swathe of reward programmes for meeting
    planners has been launched since January as the global financial crisis
    continues to make a dent in corporate meetings and incentives.

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    What’s good taste today?

    To our readers | June 2009

    Our cover story this issue, f&b, is a favourite topic of mine, not
    least because I love to eat, drink, entertain and be entertained.

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    TTGmice wins gold award

    To our readers | September 2009

    I’m delighted that our cover story, DMCs defined: The real knights of creativity, published in the September 2008 issue of TTGmice,
    won a PATA Gold Award 2009, with judges of the Travel Journalism –
    Industry Business Article category describing it as “best in class”.

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    Frankly speaking…

    Cover Story | To our readers | May 2009

    In the course of my work, I am lucky to be able to attend many seminars
    and summits, listen to panels debating topical issues and hear speakers
    putting across their points of views.

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    Greed need not be a bad word

    To our readers | February/March 2009

    Like every market, the Asian MICE market is going through a rough patch
    as it starts to feel the knock-on effects of the global financial

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    2009, gingerly

    To our readers | December 2008/January 2009

    The last issue of the year is always a time for reflection.

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    Once we were…over the top

    To our readers | April 2009

    The global financial crisis has placed the MICE industry in a dilemma.

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