Editor Blog - raini.hamdi
It’s not normal
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.
Meetings that fly
I am often at airports, but rarely at airport hotels. I happened to be at one recently, the Radisson Blu Hotel Zurich Airport, ………
Asian associations find their voice
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.
Smart, but is it sexy?
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.
ASEAN it is for me
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.
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
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.
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
Pick the middle ground
The middle ground in hotel accommodation is being redefined. This is the space between 3.5 stars and 4.5 stars.
Money well spent
Each year at this time of the year we all ask the same question: Where on earth did our year go?
Bad first impressions
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.
Asians: mood to spend
The vibes I’m hearing will make you smile: Asians are in a mood to spend on travel.
Work-life balance is real
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.
2013: As crazy as climate
I asked about 20 CEOs to describe 2013 for me in climate terms – and such great weather frogs they make.
A very special month
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.
Out of the office
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
Luxury of the right place
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.
Not a flash in the pan
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.
A memorable year
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.
Beat the jam
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?
All in a day’s work
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
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.
The new building spree
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 potential spoilsport
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.
The $25,000 question
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.
A good deed for Japan
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).
Our thoughts are with Japan…
A kinder year in all
Asked to describe their business sentiments for 2011 through a song title, here are some responses from planner…….
Too high too soon
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.
Three cheers to convention centres
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.
Passion keeps DMCs young and dangerous
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).
The incentive challenge
The challenge facing incentive travel today is the same one that faces every business: staying relevant to the times.
It’s a pretty jungle
It’s a pretty-crowded jungle, but the jungle is pretty – blooming with new flowers and not the garden-variety types.
A new breed of luxe
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.
The new MICE tune
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
As I write this, Thailand’s MICE industry is seeing red as group cancellations, mainly from the regional market, are recorded.
Year of Asian travel
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.
Not the time yet to rejoice
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
Reflections of 2009
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.
The changed customer
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.
Time for new leadership
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.
The power of incentive travel
Think of the novelty of dining in the sky, literally, at a long table suspended from a high crane.
What is the point?
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.
What’s good taste today?
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.
TTGmice wins gold award
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”.
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.
Greed need not be a bad word
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
The last issue of the year is always a time for reflection.
Once we were…over the top
The global financial crisis has placed the MICE industry in a dilemma.