On 26 September 2023, IT&CM Asia and CTW Asia-Pacific opens with much fanfare to a packed audience in Bangkok. According to pre-event statistics, a total of 580 exhibitors and 400 buyers are attending this year’s event, the first face-to-face show since the disruption by Covid-19 from 2020.
At the CruiseXchange conference, the first knowledge session in Day 1 of IT&CM Asia 2023, speakers and panelists spoke to a full-house of delegates. The audience learned from Diana Bloss and Crystal Campbell of Worldwide Cruise Associates, who presented remotely via video, how the cruise industry is making a strong recovery in the US, while it is coming back at a more cautious pace in Asia. In the following panel discussion, Mona Foo from the Royal Caribbean Cruises (Asia), Tom Hinton of American Consumer Council, and Frenky Lie of Tri Wisata Andalan discussed the pros and cons of holding corporate meetings and incentive groups on cruises. It was indeed beneficial that Mr Lie shared his experience and opinion from an Asian perspective, as the Asian cruise passengers have different preference and needs from passengers from US and Europe.
In the Opening Keynote Address of IT&CM Asia 2023, Mr Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, President of Sustainable Tourism Development Foundation, and Adviser of Phuket Tourist Association, shared Phuket’s current strategies in sustainable tourism development after learning a painful lesson from Covid-19.
Building on the keynote, Ms Supanich Thiansing, Director - Meetings & Incentives Development of TCEB; Mr Sumate Sudasna, President of TICA, together with moderator Ms Karen Yue, Group Editor of TTG Travel Trade Publishing, discussed the impact of business events on the host community – how these gatherings can play a part in developing cities and uplifting the quality of life for people and businesses. Mr Sudasna shared that TICA has set up a foundation that offers scholarship to needy students in Thailand. MICE organisers can play a part by contributing to this foundation.
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