Cox & Kings, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces and DMS Destination Marketing Services hosted a special, invitation-only event showcasing “A Taste of India” attended by the MICE and leisure agents of Sydney recently. Guests were treated to an array of cocktails and canapés while exploring the mysticism of India. This intimate event was followed by the exciting fusion of colour, energy and dance by the fabulous Bollywood Sensations Dancers, a delicious decadent Indian feast at Aki’s Indian Restaurant, and a special guest appearance by the ‘Godfather of Indian cuisine’ Masterchef Kumar Mahadevan, which brought to life the flavours and colours of India, in this one-off culinary event. Cox & Kings is the oldest established travel company in the world and a market leader in travel related services in the Indian subcontinent.

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In an effort to create a dynamic and effective platform for professional conference organisation, the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) has introduced the Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) Partner Program (PPP). The initiative aims to create a competitive environment and increase the standard of the business tourism industry in Malaysia, thus enabling Malaysian conference organisers to be certified and compete internationally. The program is divided into two tiers with different criteria to be fulfilled by PCOs as a requirement before qualifying to become a PPP member. Ho Yoke Ping, general manager of sales and marketing at MyCEB, said partners of both tiers are required to become members of MyCEB’s Industry Partner Program (IPP). “Our Tier 1 partners must be able to offer the full PCO services for international meetings with more than five years’ experience in managing international conferences of 1000 delegates and above. Meanwhile, Tier 2 partners need to have at least three years’ experience in managing international conferences consisting of 500 delegates and more.” Currently, three companies have successfully signed an MOU with MyCEB as members of the PPP’s Tier 1 PCO – Crystal Edge Sdn Bhd, Console Communications Sdn Bhd and AOS Conventions & Events Sdn Bhd.

hong kong

The Asian Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (AACVB) recently announced that it has appointed Zulkefli Hj. Sharif as president of the renowned association for one term starting from 2012 to 2014 at the recent AACVB’s 24th AGM and BOD meeting held in August in Hong Kong. The previous AACVB president was Akapol Surasuchart from the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).


Destination Queenstown has appointed business development, marketing and event specialist Lisa Buckingham as the new manager of the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival. Ms Buckingham, currently based in Invercargill, was due to start her role in mid-October. Her responsibilities as festival manager will entail driving the strategic direction and management of the multi award-winning festival and working alongside Destination Queenstown on domestic and international marketing strategies. Ms Buckingham brings extensive experience and strong leadership to the role. Her previous positions include Pernod Ricard territory manager, head of tourism for Venture Southland, Invercargill i-SITE manager, and a range of events, marketing and public relations roles for companies both nationally and internationally. She has a strong background in developing and executing events, strategies and marketing plans as well as managing teams of varying sizes and building relationships with sponsors and suppliers. Destination Queenstown CEO Graham Budd is delighted to have Ms Buckingham on board. “Winter Festival is now a major internationally recognised event for the Queenstown region and has reached a new level in terms of the destinational marketing benefits it delivers. Our retiring manager Simon Green will be a hard act to follow but I’m confident that with Lisa’s experience and knowledge, the festival is in good hands,” he said.

abu dhabi

Abu Dhabi will host the International Conference on Neurology & Epidemiology (ICNE) in November 2013 with between 600 and 800 of the most eminent medical practitioners attending. The UAE capital beat off competition from Paris, Milan, Macau and Boston to win the hosting of the event’s first showing outside of Europe. “This is very good news and the result of joint efforts between our own business tourism department, the Emirates Neurology Society and the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi,” said His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).