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    PATA Gold Awards 2024 Open for Submissions

    The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has officially opened submissions for the prestigious PATA Gold Awards 2024. Travel industry professionals are invited to submit outstanding projects and initiatives for consideration until April 30, 2024.The PATA Gold Awards, now celebrating its 40th edition and graciously hosted by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) for the 29th consecutive year, seeks to honour exceptional achievements across various sectors within the Asia Pacific travel industry and motivate continued excellence in the future of tourism worldwide.
    This year’s award ceremony, which will take place during PATA Travel Mart (PTM 2024) in Bangkok, Thailand, will name Two Grand Title Winners in two main categories: Marketing, and Sustainability and Social Responsibility. A total of 25 Gold Awards will be presented to outstanding projects making remarkable contributions to the industry.
    Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, said, “We are looking forward to seeing the latest great initiatives of tourism stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific, in marketing as well as sustainable and social responsibility, which are so important to keep on rejuvenating our industry. As Macao moves towards more tourism diversification, it is an honor to support the PATA Gold Awards and contribute to showcase how the tourism industry can be a positive engine to build a better future.”
    “PATA extends its sincere gratitude to the Macao Government Tourism Office for their unwavering support and partnership. Their continued dedication to fostering excellence in the travel industry is truly commendable,” said PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid. “As another exciting season of the PATA Gold Awards begins, all travel industry professionals are encouraged to seize this opportunity to showcase their remarkable projects and initiatives. Let’s continue to drive innovations, promote sustainable development, and establish a new height for Asia Pacific tourism industry standards.”
    Benefits of Participating: ADVERTISEMENTExposure to PATA’s panel of experts curated globally.
    Brand and project exposure to PATA’s extensive and diverse members across all public and private players in the Asia Pacific travel ecosystem.
    International media exposure through press releases and other promotional channels.
    Coverage on PATA’s marketing, social, and electronic direct mail (eDM) channels reaching key players in the public and private travel sector across Asia Pacific and beyond.
    Complimentary access to PATA Travel Mart 2024 hosted in Bangkok, Thailand.
    For further information, please visit or contact [email protected].

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    The Convention Centre Dublin Leads European Venues, Winning at the World Travel Awards 2024

    The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) has clinched the title of Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre for the year 2024 at the prestigious 31st World Travel Awards ceremony.
    Earning the accolade of Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre highlights Dublin and the venue’s appeal as a premier destination for business conferences. The achievement also saw Ireland celebrated on the international stage, with accolades going to Teeling Whiskey Distillery for Ireland’s Leading Whiskey Distillery Tour, Luttrellstown Castle Resort for Europe’s Leading Luxury Wedding Resort, and the Guinness Storehouse being named Europe’s Best MICE Event Venue.
    The announcement was made by the World Travel Awards at an event held in Berlin, Germany on Wednesday 06 of March. Picking up the award on the night, Stephen Meehan, Chief Executive at The CCD, said “I’m very pleased to accept this award tonight on behalf of all of my colleagues in The CCD. This award, in particular, is always special as it’s voted for by our industry professionals and consumers. Together with the team back in Dublin, I would like to thank everyone who voted for us.”
    Asked about the industry landscape in Ireland, Mr. Meehan commented, “Ireland remains a top business tourism destination and at The CCD, we are working on events right out to 2030. We know that success happens because of the collaboration of the entire industry, as well as the continued attractiveness of Dublin and Ireland as a great place to do business.”
    Since its inauguration in 2010, The CCD has welcomed over 1.1 million guests from around the globe and hosted more than 2,200 events. The 2024 calendar is already bustling with significant events such as the Women in Project Management Summit in March, the 16th European Glaucoma Society Congress in June, and the Internet Engineering Task Force 121 in November.ADVERTISEMENTSurpassing a number of prestigious venues in the competition, including the Austria Center Vienna, Fira Barcelona in Spain, Scandinavia XPO in Sweden, and the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, The CCD is now set to vie for the global title of ‘World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre 2024’ at the upcoming World Travel Awards.
    Votes from professionals in the travel, tourism, business, and leisure sectors worldwide contributed to this honor, acknowledging The CCD’s dedication to excellence over the past year.
    This most recent recognition as Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre adds to The CCD’s impressive tally, bringing its total award count to 64 since its opening.

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    DidaTravel signs strategic agreement with Visit Oman to drive demand from China to Oman

    DidaTravel – a tech-driven global travel distribution company – is pleased to announce that during the ITB tradeshow in Berlin it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enter into a strategic partnership with Visit Oman – the National Travel Operator – to promote the country to DidaTravel’s network of 25,000+ travel trade partners in China.The MOU outlines potential areas of collaboration between DidaTravel and Visit Oman, which include DidaTravel offering Visit Oman’s varied portfolio of contracted properties, transfers, and experiences to their extensive B2B network through API integration. As a result of this agreement Visit Oman will also be able to access DidaTravel’s consolidated portfolio of high value, yet hard to reach, Chinese travel trade customers. The two companies will embark on joint marketing initiatives to increase brand awareness and drive travel demand from China to Oman.
    Jinyan Li, VP Global Account Management at DidaTravel commented “We are thrilled to partner with Visit Oman and leverage our B2B distribution network to introduce the beauty and cultural richness of Oman to our extensive network of travel partners in China. This collaboration holds immense potential to foster cultural exchange and strengthen ties between our nations”.

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    Europe winners revealed at World Travel Awards 2024 in Berlin

    Tourism royalty convened for the spectacular World Travel Awards (WTA) Europe Gala Ceremony 2024 at the Ritz-Carlton, Berlin to find out who amongst them had been voted the continent’s best of the best.
    The red-carpet reception marked the opening leg of WTA’s Grand Tour 2024, a global search for the finest travel and tourism organisations, covering six continents.
    Greece made the headlines by claiming the accolade for ‘Europe’s Leading Destination’. Portugal also enjoyed a glittering evening, with the Atlantic archipelago of Madeira winning ‘Europe’s Leading Island Destination’, Braga named ‘Europe’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination’, and Azores collecting ‘Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination.’
    In the newcomer categories, the stylish grandeur of The Peninsula London was acknowledged as ‘Europe’s Leading New Hotel’. The captivating coastal hideaway of One&Only Aesthesis, Athens was hailed ‘Europe’s Leading New Resort’. Spain’s Casa Palacio Don Ramón took ‘Europe’s Leading New Boutique Hotel’. And Berlin’s Deutschlandmuseum – an immersive journey through 2,000 years of German history – was voted ‘Europe’s Leading New Tourist Attraction’.
    Hospitality sector winners included Istanbul’s Çırağan Palace Kempinski, voted ‘Europe’s Leading Hotel’, whilst Sardinia’s Forte Village took ‘Europe’s Leading Resort’. Seven Visions Resort & Places, The Dvin – the fascinating new attraction in the heart of Armenia’s capital Yerevan – was declared ‘Europe’s Leading Entertainment Hotel’. Savoy Palace, Madeira won ‘Europe’s Leading Luxury Hotel’. The Convention Centre Dublin claimed ‘Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre’. Brand winners included Citadines (‘Europe’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’); Kaizen Hoteles (‘Europe’s Leading Independent Hotel Group’); and Delphina Hotels & Resorts (‘Europe’s Leading Green Independent Hotel Group’).ADVERTISEMENTAviation winners included Lufthansa collecting ‘Europe’s Leading Airline’, whilst Zurich Airport was voted ‘Europe’s Leading Airport’. British Airways claimed ‘Europe’s Leading Airline – Business Class’ and Turkish Airlines won ‘Europe’s Leading Airline – Economy Class’. TAP Air Portugal also enjoyed a fruitful evening, taking Europe’s Leading Airline to South America. Europe’s Leading Airline Lounge went to THE LOFT by Brussels Airlines and Lexus @ Brussels Airport.
    Graham Cooke, Founder, WTA, says: “It has been a privilege to host the opening ceremony of our 2024 Grand Tour in Berlin for an incredible evening acknowledging the pinnacle of Europe’s travel and tourism economy. I congratulate each and every one of our winners for helping to raise the collective benchmark to even greater heights.”
    Other winners included La Clef Champs-Elysées Paris (‘Europe’s Leading Serviced Apartments’); THE VIEW Lugano (‘Switzerland’s Leading Design Hotel’); Johnnie Walker Princes Street (‘Europe’s Leading Spirit Tourism Experience’).
    Find more information and a full list of winners on the official WTA website.

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    Experience Abu Dhabi brings unique culture and tourism experiences to ITB Berlin

    Experience Abu Dhabi is bringing authentic Emirati hospitality to ITB Berlin, showcasing the very best of the destination alongside a host of partners from the Abu Dhabi tourism sector.As the destination brand of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), Experience Abu Dhabi is giving an insight into the wide range of exciting, inspiring, and restorative experiences that can be enjoyed in the emirate. The immersive stand brings cultural treasures and destination offerings to life, as well as host signings, workshops, and networking opportunities.
    Highlights of DCT Abu Dhabi’s ITB showcase will include:
    Strategic MoUs
    DCT Abu Dhabi is set to announce several strategic MoUs during ITB Berlin, designed to raise awareness of Abu Dhabi as a must-visit destination and boost international tourism.
    Find Your PaceADVERTISEMENTExperience Abu Dhabi brings to life its latest global brand campaign, Find Your Pace, taking guests at ITB Berlin on an immersive journey of the hidden gems, top sites, attractions and experiences that visitors can discover – year-round, presented like never before.
    With Find Your Pace, Experience Abu Dhabi ignites curiosity and encourages visitors to create their own unique journey, from the known to the unknown, through ancient heritage sites and iconic modern treasures. It showcases the pursuits, passions, and colour palettes that visitors will uncover within the destination – whether they are seeking the thrill of adventure, immersive cultural experiences, or a relaxing break.
    Visitors to the stand will be able to participate in activations including live Bait Al Gahwa sessions, demonstrating traditional Arabic coffee preparation, and demonstrations of Emirati traditions and handicrafts with the House of Artisans.
    Make Abu Dhabi Your Easter Surprise
    At the stand, guests will have the opportunity to discover why Abu Dhabi should be on their must-visit list during Easter. From guaranteed sunshine, warm golden sands, culturally enriching activities, entertaining events, visitors to Abu Dhabi can make long-lasting memories with their loved ones this Easter holiday.
    Al Ain & Al Dhafra
    Discover Al Ain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and all-year-round accessible destination for the culturally curious, the adventure seeker, and the wellness tribe with immersive experiences that are grounding and refreshing. Here you can be immersed in adventure, enriched by cultural experiences, and surrounded by the lively sounds of a living oasis. Al Ain provides a unique energy that enables you to find your pace.
    Also discover the serene Al Dhafra region, a place of tranquillity, space and authenticity. With the world’s largest dunes, rare wildlife, a hypnotic coastline, and historical monuments, Al Dhafra is a destination full of potential.
    Abu Dhabi Calendar
    The stand will also showcase the latest Abu Dhabi Calendar, which features an inspiring line-up of back-to-back events for 2024 season. Packed with a diverse mix of activities and experiences for every resident and visitor (found on the website here), key highlights include:
    Experience Ramadan and Eid in Abu DhabiBRED Abu DhabiCartier, Islamic Inspiration and Modern Design at Louvre Abu DhabiTo visit the DCT Abu Dhabi stand during ITB Berlin, head over to Hall 2.2 at stand 200. More information can be found here.

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  • in Group To Showcase New Consumer Trends and AI Innovations at ITB Berlin 2024 Group is gearing up to make waves at ITB Berlin 2024 held from 5-7 March in Berlin. This marks the company’s second appearance at the prestigious international event, where it aims to provide an insider’s view into its latest technological innovations and cast a spotlight on the transformative consumer trends shaping the future of travel.
    Adapting to the New Global Traveller
    Schubert Lou, Chief Operating Officer of, will take the stage as the keynote speaker at the eTravel stage on 6 March from 10:35 am to 11:00 am, with the topic: “How to Accommodate the Global Traveller”.
    With Group’s focus on tailoring travel to a broad, international audience, Schubert will delve into the particular preferences of Asian travellers and explore how destinations can cater to consumer preferences that now go beyond sightseeing. Additionally, he will highlight the burgeoning role of AI and technology in reshaping the tours and activities sector.
    “The international travel landscape is significantly different post-pandemic, and industry players must stay ahead of the curve with innovation and agility,” said Schubert. “At Group, we are committed to leveraging technology and data-driven insights to meet the rapid evolution of traveller needs.”ADVERTISEMENTBoon Sian Chai, Managing Director and Vice President for International Markets at Group, will also be participating in a panel discussion at the Orange stage “Meeting the Needs of the Paradoxical Consumer” on 6 March, 2:45 pm to 3:15 pm. This session will explore the challenges faced by the travel industry, in particular hotels, in catering to increasingly unpredictable consumer preferences.
    “We must prioritise digital transformation and increased personalisation to appeal to ever-evolving consumers,” said Chai. “As such, we have constantly adapted our offerings to capture short attention spans and spur brand loyalty in an increasingly competitive landscape.”
    Focusing on Key Tech Trends to Spur Growth
    Furthermore, Andy Washington, General Manager for Europe at Group, will join a panel discussion “Beyond the Buzz – Key Technology Trends Shaping Travel” on 5 March from 11:15 am to 11:45 am at the eTravel stage. Washington will share Group’s insights on separating enduring tech advancements from short-lived trends. He’ll highlight the company’s proactive strategies in leveraging technology to meet and predict traveller needs, with a particular nod to Europe’s unique market dynamics.
    “At Group, we identify true technology trends by the genuine benefits they bring to our users, focusing on practical value over hype. Our commitment is to technologies that offer clear advantages to our customers, guiding our efforts to lead the digital transformation of the travel industry with solutions that resonate meaningfully across the globe, including Europe.” Group invites members of the media to join its sessions at ITB Berlin 2024 for a dynamic exploration of the latest tech innovations and consumer trends influencing the travel industry. For further insights and discussions, be sure to visit the Group booth at Hall 9, Stand 108

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    Sharjah Airport Authority (SAA) is all set to participate at the ITB Berlin 2024

    Sharjah Airport Authority (SAA) is all set to participate at the ITB Berlin 2024, a global platform that brings together exhibitors, business leaders, and experts from the tourism and travel sector. The Authority will unveil the latest developments, services, and amenities offered by Sharjah Airport, highlighting its commitment to transforming airport experiences through the expansion of its technology infrastructure and comprehensive digital transformation.Under the umbrella of Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority, the SAA’s participation is part of its ongoing efforts to enhance Sharjah’s position as a thriving tourist and economic destination by establishing connections with leading international companies and expanding the network of destinations at Sharjah Airport. Through its participation at the event, SAA seeks to enhance its global presence and foster connections with the global leaders of the tourism and travel sector.
    His Excellency Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority, said: “During our participation at ITB Berlin 2024, we are committed to reviewing the Airport’s expansion plans, services, and facilities offered to customers. The exhibition has gained an increasing global significance, attracting a larger number of participants from 165 countries worldwide this year.”
    His Excellency added: “This premier trade exhibition offers us a platform to showcase Sharjah Airport’s recent accomplishments over the past year, which played a crucial role in enhancing the Airport’s capacity to meet the increasing travel needs at Sharjah Airport. During the event, we will also highlight the improvements made in the infrastructure of digital services and the amenities offered to passengers.”
    This year, Sharjah Airport Travel Agency (SATA) – a one-stop-shop for airline reservations, customised holiday packages, cruises, hotel reservations and global visa services, and one of the UAE’s fastest growing travel agencies – will participate at ITB Berlin. The agency aims to strengthen its communication channels with international companies and explore new prospects of collaboration through its participation at the global exhibition.
    SAA’s annual participation in the ITB Berlin is an integral part of its international agenda. This year, its participation holds special significance due to the commencement of the passenger terminal expansion project. Additionally, Sharjah Airport has achieved its highest performance to date, having welcomed over 15.3 million passengers in 2023.ADVERTISEMENT

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    IAPCO’s 54th Annual Meeting in Ljubljana: Fostering Innovation and Sustainability

    From February 28th to March 2nd, 2024, the 54th annual meeting and general assembly of the International Association of Professional Congress Organizers (IAPCO) is taking place in Ljubljana. Around 160 directors and owners of congress agencies from around the world are attending. The local organizer of the event is Cankarjev dom, which has been a member of the IAPCO association since 1980, with the support of Ljubljana Tourism, the Slovenian Tourist Board, and other partners.
    IAPCO is a non-profit association and the only international accreditation organization for professional congress organizers. The association’s mission is to raise service standards among its members and other stakeholders in the meetings industry through continuous education, collaboration with various experts, research, and data measurement. IAPCO brings together 138 accredited congress organizing companies in 40 countries. Membership, which is attainable through high-level services, is maintained through annual reviews and evaluations by the IAPCO Quality Committee.
    IAPCO unites the largest global players in the meetings industry. According to data (published by IAPCO on March 30, 2023), in 2023, IAPCO members collectively organized 7,722 events and plan to host an additional 7,729 events over the next three years (until 2026). Among these, 1,943 events have yet to select a destination, and organizers are still seeking venues for 3,542 events. Therefore, the assembly and annual meetings are of significant importance to the local economy and tourism, which hope to attract foreign professional congress organizers to return to the destination with international events.
    The meetings industry is one of the main products of Slovenian tourism, known for its high added value and numerous multiplier effects. The total spending by congress guests is at least 3.5 times that of conventional tourists. It contributes to the dispersion of tourist flows, destimulation, and sustainable development of Slovenian tourism.
    The theme of this year’s event is “Be the Flow”, which calls for action and inspires innovation in the rapidly changing meetings industry towards sustainability. IAPCO Ljubljana 2024 focuses on reducing the environmental impact of meetings and promoting sustainability. The goal of the IAPCO association is for meetings to become more environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and aligned with the goals of sustainable development. At IAPCO 2024 in Ljubljana, the carbon footprint of the event will be measured for the first time, marking a milestone and opportunity for all future IAPCO meetings.ADVERTISEMENTThe IAPCO conference represents a strategic starting point for Slovenia, Ljubljana, and Cankarjev dom, a long-standing member of the IAPCO association, to further successfully attract international scientific and professional meetings in the future.

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