With the mince pies all scoffed and the last pine needles cleared from where the Christmas tree stood, the MICE industry is once again ready to kick off another calendar year with its first key events. Taking place annually in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana and for 2016 at its regular home of the GR Ljubljana Convention and Exhibition Centre from January 20-21, Conventa has become a staple of the MICE calendar and triggers the European MICE year with a regional event covering the South Eastern European region and the territories of ‘New Europe’, an area of boundless potential for event organisers ready to break new frontiers with new ideas in new destinations.

Taking place simultaneously with Conventa but on the other side of the world is another such event that is also reaping the rewards of a regional reach into lesser known territories. The TTG-organised ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF), a further MICE calendar staple, is a rotating event that in 2016 will be held at the SMX Convention Centre in the Philippine capital of Manila for its 35th instalment and will showcase products and services from over forty destinations across the ten-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The international event will host 400 buyers from around the world and the growing appeal of ASEAN destinations has drawn the interest of global buyers from across 65 countries, with the participation of top markets such as Australia, France, Germany, Russia, Singapore, United Kingdom and the United States of America all secured.

Ramon R. Jiminez, Jr, Secretary of Tourism for the Philippine Government, explained

“A cooperative effort of promoting the ASEAN region as a single tourist destination, ATF is an annual gathering that brings together the member countries of the ASEAN to discuss innovations, trends, and developments in the tourism industry and facilitate joint policy formulations to accelerate the growth of the region’s tourismMost people describe the countries in our region as ‘fiercely competitive’, but upon closer look one realises that the more the countries of ASEAN compete, the more that we all tend to gravitate towards growth.”

“Our region is characterized by coopetition—a cooperative, collaborative decision by all players to compete with each other so that the world will choose the region before choosing the country,” he continued. “Our countries become, in very real terms, each other’s value extension—we become each other’s developing markets. And to make this development last for our children, we have to make certain that we are mindful of the social and environmental context that our region’s growth exists in.”

Boosting the region’s growth in this responsible way is highlighted by the 2016 theme of One Community for Sustainability that infuses the new ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) that will be launched at the event and that will work towards not only the development and growth of the region’s tourism, but also in ensuring that this growth is grounded on responsible, sustainable, and inclusive tourism that will keep the region – and the event – on its trajectory of success.

“ATF has been a key trade event for the Philippines that has proven to produce good results for our travel suppliers over the years and this showing at ATF 2016 will be one of Philippines’ best, with over 150 exhibiting booths from across the country,” said Susan del Mundo, Chairperson of ATF 2016 TRAVEX Sub-Committee. “Participation at ATF 2016 also includes a strong showing of corporate hotel chains such as CHM Hotels, FRHI Hotels & Resorts, Furama Hotels International, HPL Hotels & Resorts, Park Hotel Group, Premier Inn Hotel, Sol Melia, InterContinental Hotels Group, Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts, Best Western International, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, AccorHotels, Pan Pacific Hotels Group and Wyndham Hotel Group.”

LEAVE A REPLY