Category Archives: Business Travel

PCEB, Malaysia on a multi-city sales mission to India

Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (Malaysia) brings 17 Exhibitors from Penang on a 4-City Sales Mission to Woo the Indian Travel and Business Events Segment

The Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) is proud to introduce the first-ever Penang Sales Mission to India with the objective of promoting Penang as the preferred and ideal destination for corporate and association meetings, incentives and leisure travel.

“India is one of the top five markets for Business Events in Penang, and over the past year, we have received encouraging interest from event planners and conference organisers” says Ashwin Gunasekeran, the Chief Executive Officer of PCEB. “This mission is joined by some of Penang’s finest offerings in the hospitality, travel and events sectors, and will showcase the best of what Penang can offer to the Indian market,” he added.

Ashwin Gunashekhran, CEO, Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau, Malaysia

He was speaking during the 4-city Sales Mission which kicked off from Kolkatta to Delhi, then Mumbai & Bengaluru in January, 2018. The mission led by Ashwin Gunasekeran, Chief Executive Officer of PCEB, the mission is supported by a Penang delegation of 17 partners, including the state bureau for leisure travel – Penang Global Tourism, hotels, destination management companies, event experts and PCEB’s official airline partner, Malaysia Airlines.

Penang is world-class travel destination, one that is famed for its unique offerings of a modern international island city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lush rainforests, beautiful hill station, shopping galore and fabulous food. Additionally, this Northern Malaysian state is also a rising Business Events destination. Currently, Penang is the top-ranked second-tier destination in Malaysia in the ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association).

In 2016, Penang recorded 1251 events with an estimated economic impact of USD 200 million. From January to September 2017, we hosted 1731 events with an estimated economic impact of USD 230 million. This translates to a 27.7% increase in the number of events and 7% increase in the estimated economic impact.

Ashwin Gunasekeran, the Chief Executive Officer of PCEB boasted that the youth from India loves to explore Penang especially for street food & heritage architecture.


Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) is a state bureau established in 2016to develop the Business Events and meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industry in Penang. PCEB aims to position Penang as the preferred location
for Business Events activities in the region. With its rich UNESCO heritage, thriving multicultural society, state-of-the-art facilities and vibrant natural attractions, Penang offers a truly eclectic tropical experience. In line with its mission to incubate the growth of Business Events in Penang, PCEB serves as Penang’s focal point for the coordination of all Business Events activities, providing expert assistance to organisations and Business Events planners at every
step of the planning. PCEB’s team of industry experts work hand-in-hand with professional service providers and world-class hotels, convention centres and unique venues to ensure the smoothness and success of each event organized. PCEB’s goal is to enhance our Business Events clients’ experience and at the same time to expand
the beneficial economic impact of local MICE businesses.

For more information, please visit and follow them on
Twitter @PCEB_MY
Instagram @penang.unfiltered

Board ‘Costa Cruise’ from Mumbai, & explore Incredible India!

The message given by Costa Cruise & Bombay Port Trust in the press – conference held in Hotel Trident, amidst the presence of who’s who of the tourism & cruise industry…

…A gracious host, Mrs. Nalini Gupta, Managing Director, Lotus Destinations (Representative of Costa Cruises in India) welcomed and updated present dignitaries & media on Cruise Scenario in India and plans of Costa Cruise going forward!

Mr. Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman of Mumbai Port Trust said, “The timing is right for cruise liners to come to India as the Government is taking proactive steps for utilizing our vast coastline. I would like to thank the cruise companies that have taken the initiative to start sailings from Mumbai and have shown their confidence in the Indian Government and India market. We are looking forward to many more ships coming to India and Mumbai port, going forward. They can count on Mumbai Port’s efficient managerial, organizational and planning support and assistance at all times. Our objective is to exceed the expectations of the cruise liners and the cruisers, both domestic and International. Come, cruise from Mumbai and feel India!”

Ms. Nalini Gupta, Managing Director, Lotus Destinations (Representative of Costa Cruises in India) said, “Costa Cruises expanding its sailing offerings to include shorter sailings of 3 & 4 nights from Mumbai and Cochin specifically for the Indian market confirms its strong interest in India. The cruising market in India has come a long way from only a select group cruising in far-away locations to today a much wider audience holidaying on ships cruising directly from India. I sincerely thank Mr. Gadkari & Mr. Bhatia for all their efforts in making this happen.”

Last year, Costa Cruises was the first ever cruise liner to offer cruises directly from Mumbai to Maldives. This year, Costa Cruises is introducing shorter 3 & 4 nights sailing options specifically for the Indian market. Indians can now choose to cruise on a 4 nights itinerary from Mumbai to Cochin (via Mangalore) or 3 nights itinerary from Cochin to Maldives. This is in addition to the 7 nights Mumbai to Maldives & 7 nights Maldives to Mumbai options available.

The Italian cruise liner will be homeporting in Mumbai a month earlier than last year and will perform a series of weekly sailings from November 2017 to March 2018.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. Buhdy Bok, President of Carnival Asia said, “We are delighted to increase our capacity in this region, by offering 3 & 4 nights short cruises dedicated to the Indian market. Guests based in India can now embark or disembark right at their door-step for short cruises, giving our guests a rich and immersive experience in Italian culture – from hospitality to cuisine, and art, a distinct experience for a new way of travel.”

Since Costa announced the launch of cruising from Mumbai last year, they have seen interest and bookings from a wide variety of travel groups, which includes families, senior citizens, honeymooners and experiential holiday agencies. There has also been a lot of interest from corporates, who are looking set to book the first few sailings out of Mumbai. The built-in infrastructure on the ship makes it particularly easy for corporates to hold large events in one location. Theme-based bookings seem to be a trend, with groups who are keen to experience a special kind of holiday. For example, there is a cycle-themed sailing that is currently being promoted on this route.

Costa Cruises has deployed its ship, Costa neoClassica that is part of the neo collection on the India itinerary. This classic cruise ship has a total of 654 cabins, including sea view cabins and suites with private balconies. Fully-equipped with a Casino, Theatre, Disco, Ballroom, Grand Bar, it aims to provide plenty in entertainment. The wellness centre is spread across 1,300 sq. m with a gym, treatment rooms, sauna and steam room. It also has an outdoor jogging track, 4 Jacuzzis and 2 swimming pools. For those who would like to go shopping, the cruise ship has a huge duty free shopping centre and also offers a wide selection of books in the library for those who love to unwind with a book.

Enhancing the cruising experience further is the gastronomy: the food & wine on offer is based on Italian regional menus with a choice of dishes representing different regions of Italy and proudly reflecting the country’s rich and unrivalled culinary heritage. In addition to this vast range, guests can also take advantage of tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes.

On board Costa neoClassica, guests will also have the chance to taste the real original Neapolitan pizza at Pizzeria “Pummid’oro”: thanks to an agreement with the Università delle Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo, Costa Cruises offers pizza prepared using only sourdough and selected ingredients such as San Marzano DOP tomato. In addition, cruisers will be able to enjoy a variety of Indian cuisine and the restaurants onboard are fully equipped to cater to special diet requirements of Indian, travellers, which includes Jain food.

Costa Cruises – to begin shorter, 3-4 night sailings in Indian waters

4 nights Mumbai – Kochi to start from November 2017

3 nights Kochi – Maldives to start from November 2017

Costa Cruises is the Italian Cruising Company part of the Carnival Corporation & plc, the largest cruise company in the world.

Korea Incentive Night celebrated in Mumbai with élan

Korea Tourism Organization, organized Incentive Travel Mart followed by ‘Korea Incentive Night’ on 29th April 2014 at ITC Grand, Mumbai. Korea Tourism Organization, New Delhi is leading the group of delegates comprising of Regional Tourism Organization from Jeju, Gyeonggi, Busan province, and Destination Management Companies and Cultural troupe from Korea.

The Travel Mart highlighted products and offerings from Korea on MICE perspective and it was attended by over 200 people from travel trade and corporates. Korea Tourism Organization is providing platform between Indian Travel Trade, Media & Corporate and Korean Suppliers. It’s a great opportunity for Business Networking among with Indian and Korean Partners for future relationship.

Korea has been ranked at no. 6 as ‘MICE Destination’ in the world. Korea has achieved the position at no. 3 for organizing the MICE events in Asia. Korea Tourism Organization is playing a core role in assisting and securing events for Korea. Korea Tourism Organization provides support from the first planning stages right to the final farewells. The utmost charm of Korea is its ‘energy’. No other country has such condensed and unique energy and charm that makes a truly memorable destination.

Korea Tourism Organization invited the Most Delicious Performance in the World ‘ Bibap’ – Bibap is a nonverbal performance based on the Korean representative dish, bibimbap (rice mixed with vegetables and beef). As a nonverbal performance, the actors mimic the sound of making bibimbap with beat-boxing and a cappella, demonstration of motions through b-boying, and acrobatics and martial arts. The performance was for about 30 minutes without any intermission.

“This is the biggest group of delegates’ of 10 organizations and over 30 people visiting India. Mumbai being Financial and Capital market of India is very important market for us to target. Since Korea is emerging as a preferred location for shooting, we will be targeting Bollywood for shooting in Korea also. Korea companies in Hi Tech, Automotive, IT, Semiconductors, Iron & Steel, Ship Building, Food and Packaging and Wellness has established globally and we will be focusing to target the same sectors in India for MICE events” Mr. Jae Sang Lee, Director, Korea Tourism Organization.


Korea Incentive Night-1 Korea Incentive Night-2

To know more about planning a MICE to Korea, write to:

Ms. Seema Kala or Or

– Report by Bienu Verma Vaghela

MICE traveler invited to ‘Jeju Island’ in Korea

Korea Tourism Organization organized a ‘Press conference’ for the Jeju Tourism Organization at Gateway Room, Hotel TajMahal Palace, Mumbai on 30th April 2014. Korea Tourism Organization is working closely with Jeju Tourism Organization, Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, Kim’s Travel and consortium of 10 Travel Agents (Akbar Travels, Club Mahindra Travels, Cox & Kings, JTB Travels Pvt. Ltd, Kesari Tours, Mercury Travels, Orbit Corporate & Leisure, TBI, Thomas Cook and TUI India) based in Mumbai for promoting Jeju Island in India. There was a MoU signing ceremony between the Korea Tourism Organization, Jeju Tourism Organization, Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, Kim’s Travel and the consortium of Indian Travel Agents during the Press Conference.

Jeju Island, 130 km from the southern coast of Korea, is the largest island and the smallest province of Korea. It is a beautiful place to experience mystery, culture and tradition. Jeju Island is covered with lush subtropical forests, lava caves of all shapes, sizes and lengths, sandy beaches, spectacular craters and grand Halla Mountain is poising silently in the middle of the Island.

The Korean Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism has certified Jeju Island 4 times as “The Best Inbound Tour Products” since 2004. This is the perfect MICE and leisure destination to experience the eco-style accommodation and nature focused tours. There is No Visa to enter Jeju Island staying for 3 months.

Jeju korea DSC04421

“Korea Tourism Organization will be launching the tour package for Jeju Island as a destination not required visa. Recently Jeju Tourism Organization and Jeju Convention Bureu had experienced a dramatic increase of MICE groups from China and Thailand. Based on this trend, Korea Tourism Organization along with Jeju Tourism Organization & Jeju Convention Bureau are seriously targeting Indian corporate for their MICE trip to Jeju Island. We expect much potential from Indians” says Mr. Jae Sang Lee, Director, Korea Tourism Organization, India

Splendid Hotel packages across the globe

Winter package at The Grove in Wales

The Pembrokeshire Coastline in Wales is the perfect year-round destination with unrivalled walking opportunities. Why not explore our fabulous county and book Winter Warmer Package at The Grove hotel in Wales. The hotel team will pack you off in the morning with a luxury hamper complete with a flask of Chef’s traditional Welsh cawl and tasty bites to keep you warm and toasty.

Pembrokeshire Coastline Wales

Return to a roaring log fire, a soothing bath and a massage courtesy of The Grove’s visiting masseuse. Let The Grove’s expert staff look after you both, as you enjoy a delicious candlelit meal beside the fire in our award-winning restaurant.

Package from £150 per person, per night includes:
– Bed and Breakfast for 2 nights in a Classic or Superior Room.
– Luxury Walker’s Hamper in a choice of a basket or backpack.
– Full Body Massage in the comfort of your own room.
– Dinner each night from the Winter A’La Carte Menu
– Favourable rates for upgrading also available on request.
The offer is based on 2 people sharing a Classic or Superior room. Dinner is from the A’La Carte menu. Offer applies to stays between now and the 27th March 2014.
Visit for more information


Bigger & Better

Carlton Singapore

The US$239.5 million Carlton City Hotel Singapore, situated next to the Tanjong Pagar MRT station, opened in August. Targeting the business segment, the 29-storeyed hotel has 386 rooms comprising deluxe, executive, club and suit categories. While crystal chandeliers adorn the marble lobby the guestrooms restaurants and bars sport contemporary decor. Spacious deluxe rooms measure 32 sqm: higher floor executive and club rooms also offer panoramic views of the city skyline. There are four bars and restaurants, ranging from all-day dining plate to the rooftop Graffiti Sky bar. Two small meeting rooms each hold 12 people in classroom seating. Facilities include a gym, outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi, 24-conceirge service and Carlton club lounge with various privileges.


Brisbane blooms

The Hilton Brisbane opened in 1986, but completed a six year refurbishment last year. With three new meeting rooms, it has now 19 purpose built meeting rooms and 2500 sqm of space, including a dedicated convention level, a small meetings level and unique event spaces such as Vintaged bar + Grill restaurant and the pool deck. The hotel’s grand room can accommodate upto 1100 guests in a cock tail set up or 560 banquet style. The dedicated exhibition space can hold upto 132 trade booths.

Brisbane Marriot

The Brisbane Marriot completed the refurbishment of all its meeting, event and pre function spaces early this year. Divided over two floors, the new flexible meeting spaces have the latest technology. The grand ballroom now accommodates 210 people for cocktails and five function venues for 28 – 140 guests theatre style, there is also riverside terrace for outdoor cocktail receptions and M deck for barbeque and drinks.

Hilton Brisbane

Empire Hotel HK, Wan Chai.

You can book eight rooms for consecutive nights to receive a complimentary half day meeting under their new ‘Meeting & Stay Free’ promotions which is valid till March 16, 2014. Custom made venue rental, meeting and banqueting packages are also available.
Contact: 852 3692 or email:


Millennium Vee Hotel Taichung

Located in central Taiwan, Millennium Vee Hotel Taichung has multifunctional meeting rooms and a ballroom that fits upto 500 people, equipped with advanced audio visual systems. Full day meeting packages start at NDT 800+ per person, including lunch and coffee break. The offer is valid till December 31, 2013.
Contact: +886 4 3900 8899


Okura Garden Hotel, Shanghai

Located in Shanghai’s prestigious commercial, cultural and entertainment hub Okura garden hotel Shanghai offers 10 function rooms, conference amenities and trained meeting executives. Winter half day and full day meeting packages start from RMB 490 and RMB 570 per person with lunch options of a Chinese set menu or Western buffet and tea break.
Contact: 86 -21 64151111 -5322


Phuket hotel update

Hyatt Phuket

Midway through 2012, three major Phuket resorts changed hands and have now begun to reopen, starting in April with Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas, formerly Laguna Phuket, all 225 rooms have been completely refurbished, as have its restaurants and event spaces which can seat 70 delegates theatre style.
Intercontinental Hotel group took over former Evason resort which will reopen next year as the 240 room Intercontinental Phuket Rawal Beach Resort. Minor Hotel group is also transforming the Bundarika in Mai Khao, which will reopen in January as the 77-room Anantara Phuket layan resort and Spa. Meanwhile Regent Phuket Cape Panwa opened on the islands southeast coast last year. The 105 key resorts offers 22 pavilions, 48 suites and 35 pool villas as well as two boardrooms with lounges and several interesting spaces for events – The library, The beach table and the grill’s rooftop lounge.

The 202-rrom Hyatt Regency Phuket opens in Kamala soon, the group’s first Phuket hotel. Further ahead is hotel Indigo Phuket Naithon Beach Resort in 2015 and Park Hyatt Phuket on Koh Siray Island in 2016.

Pack a Punch at Penang with Conventions & Adventures!

The island packs a punch with bold new developments

Evolving yet well preserved, Penang is reshaping the landscape for business events with large scale developments. Its diverse architecture, multicultural cuisines, rich Peranakan culture and Unesco World Heritage status have long drawn business groups to the island, and new venues are being planned to cater to growing numbers.
One the city’s much anticipated developments is the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre (sPICE) scheduled for completion in the second half of 2015. A first of its in Malaysia, the 6,503 sq. m centre will be built partially beneath the ground and will feature a ballroom and a function hall with capacity for 600 banquet tables. sPICE is part of a larger development called Penang People’s Park, which will include a refurbished Penang International Sports Arena – including an Aquatic Centre – and a four – star hotel, along with retail outlets and a spacious parking lot.

Penang Sport



Another highlight in Penang’s future offerings is the Penang Waterfront Convention Centre, to be completed in the second half of 2016. The centrepiece of the convention centre is 10,000 sqm column-free multi-purpose hall that can be sub-divided or used as a single space for exhibitions, conventions, corporate events and private functions. It can be entirely converted into a 9000-seat arena for concerts. The venues will complement existing ones, including the Straits Quay Convention Centre. The exhibition hall has approx. 2300 sqm of event space and can accommodate upto 1800 banquet style or 2500 theatre style.

Penang’s hospitality industry has upbeat projections for this year and next, driven by increased tourism campaigns in the key Asian markets such as China, India and Southeast Asia.

Beyond the boardroom

Penang is the second smallest state in Malaysia, yet what it lacks in size it makes up for in attractions like:
Discover George Town: a Unesco World Heritage site with more than two centuries of unique history. The area is laced with rich collection of historic buildings that bear witness to the evolution of Port city. Walking & cycling tours, trishaw rides and treasure hunt activities.

Explore the great outdoors: Nature and hiking tours to Penang National Park and Penang Hill are popular for group activities. For a quicker group adventure, head to the Wet World Wild Adventure park which opened this September. The theme park will include facilities and activities such as rock climbing, a running track, swings and human catapult.

Take a cooking class: Unleash your inner master chef and learn how to cook popular Malaysian dishes and Nyonya cuisine from a local.

Riding the wave of developments in the heritage city, Thailand based Onyx Hospitality Group will soon open a new project under its OZO brand. Set to welcome its first guests in 2016, the 132-room OZO Penang in George Town will provide planner additional options for their business events.

Courtesy: CEI October issue

Updates>>>Hotels in Malaysia to watch our for!

Teluk Datai Kuala Lumpur
Teluk Datai Kuala Lumpur
Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur
Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur
Hotel Ritz Carlton Malaysia
Hotel Ritz Carlton Malaysia
Aloft Kuala Lumpur sentral
Aloft Kuala Lumpur sentral

If luxury & business is on your mind, don’t miss to look at these hotels while in Malaysia.

1.Starwood has introduced its Aloft brand to Malaysia with the opening of Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral. With 482 guest rooms, it is the world’s largest Aloft hotel. The ball room can host upto 1000 in a theatre settings and there are seven other function rooms. Sentral is the capital’s commercial and transport hub, with several multifunctional head quarters in the area.

2. A premier eco-resort is being developed on Langkawi by DRH. Teluk Datal is set amid the rainforest and will feature beach-front and cliff top villas overlooking the Andaman sea. An adjacent 18-hole golf course is currently being upgraded by Ernie Els, the British open 2012 champion.

3. The Ritz – Carlton, Kuala Lumpur’s luxury credentials were on the show with a product launch for Dior Asia Pacific’s line of cosmetics and