Friday, 30 November 2018

Da Nang a top 10 holiday destination for Singaporeans

Bookings and travel trends in Singapore place the central city of Da Nang in the top 10 destinations for Singaporeans.

This is shown by data compiled by Kayak, a Singapore-based travel booking site that allows people to look for cheap flights and hotels for holidays.

The site named Da Nang among top 10 places of choice for Singaporean tourists in 2018, based on booking increases and travel trends in the first eight months of this year.

Da Nang, home to Asia’s most beautiful My Khe Beach and a neighbor to the popular ancient town of Hoi An, was third on the list, followed by Indonesia’s Yogyakarta, Luzon Islands in the Philippines and Malaysia’s Kuching.

The Indonesian city of Bandung, surrounded by the lush green Parahyangan mountains, topped the list.

Along with China and the Republic of Korea (RoK), Singaporeans have been among the biggest groups of visitors to Da Nang in recent years.

Several new international flight routes have been launched to connect Da Nang with other Asian destinations, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and the RoK.

Apart from Da Nang’s long and beautiful beaches and natural landscape, Singaporeans are also lured by the open visa policy that facilitates travel.

Vietnam currently provides a reciprocal 30-day visa exemption for citizens of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Singapore.

Earlier, Singapore's Channel News Asia had included the central city in a list of five "under the radar" destinations in South and Southeast Asia..

Once a sleepy fishing town, Da Nang is now a major tourism destination.

Travel magazine Live and Invest Overseas, which calls itself “the world's savviest source for top opportunities to live better, retire in style, invest for profit, do business,” voted Da Nang among world’s most livable cities earlier this year.

In the first seven months of this year, Da Nang received more than five million visitors, up 30% over the same period last year, according to the city's Tourism Department. More than 1.8 million were foreign arrivals, up 54%.
Source: Vnexpress


Relocating to a new state of the art venue was just one of the enhancements we provided at this year’s event. Another high point was the number of new premium quality buyers and suppliers who participated. We’ve shared some of our successes with our 2018 event business outcomes.

There were plenty of changes for the show this year – a new parent company, new venues and reimagined events. Post-show feedback shows that Luxperience 2018 was our most successful year ever.

97% of buyers were satisfied with their experience
96% of buyers are likely to recommend Luxperience
91% of buyers are likely to return for Luxperience 2019

These figures demonstrate year on year improvement from previous shows.

For 2018, the show maintained its even split of global and national buyers for this year more than 60% of buyers were first time attendees.

All of our exhibitors were carefully identified and handpicked, ensuring high quality across the board. Buyers told us they were most interested in:
  • Luxury hotels and resorts
  • Boutique lodges and unique accommodation
  • Private touring and unique experiences
  • Food and wine tours and experiences
  • Cultural tours and experiences
  • Cruise and expedition

Here’s what some of our attendees had to say about Luxperience 2018.

“I feel the show has matured and found its place. The organisers should be proud as the event ably competes on the international event stage. The location and ambience is amazing.” Helen George, The Honeymoon Boutique (buyer)

“It was an invaluable opportunity for Four Season Hotels, and more specifically Four Seasons Hotel Macau, Cotai Strip, with some great introductions.” Cathy Favaloro, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

“It’s been an excellent show. It’s been very beneficial not only for the Philippines on a macro level but also on a more micro level for the individual companies and properties. The buyers were a perfect match and were interested in our product. It certainly worked for what we needed.” Consuelo Jones, Intas Destination Management, Philippines

One of the hits was the Luxperience App created by AV1. Now in its third year, it assists people navigate the exhibition, keep abreast of the program, receive updates and host their own itinerary and appointment schedule. It also enables delegates to connect with each other – even after Luxperience – and, new for this year, to rate their appointments.


Da Nang tourism potential tapped all year round

Da Nang
The central coastal city of Da Nang has in recent years welcomed a steady number of holidaymakers in the final months of the year when it was used to be the low season due to unpredictable weather.

Like many other top tourism spots, Da Nang is packed with holidaymakers during the summer months and hits low season in the colder, winter months.

After launching new tourism products and improving infrastructure, the city has recorded a stable growth in terms of the number of visitors.

Le Tan Thanh Tung, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Tourism Joint Stock Company said with upgraded infrastructure and benevolent weather, the company’s tours to popular tourism spots in Da Nang are sold out.

Meanwhile, Tran Luc, Vice Director of the Saigontourist Da Nang said in recent years, Da Nang has recorded a steady growth in the number of vacationers in the low season which has increased by 15% compared to the same period last year.

Breath-taking scenery and new and improved tourism products have lured many couples to choose Da Nang as their pre-wedding photo-shoot venue.

“We chose Da Nang for its beautiful scenery and great weather. Ba Na Hills and the golden bridge are eye-catchers as well,” said Tham Thai Quy from Ho Chi Minh City.

Effective promotional activities have helped Da Nang in its bid to lure more visitors.

Later this year, there will be three direct air routes between Da Nang and Doha of Qatar, Osaka of Japan and Guangzhou, China, to serve travellers.

Nguyen Xuan Binh, Deputy Director of the Tourism Department of Da Nang said the department has advised local authorities to diversify markets and focus on a strategy to tap promising markets such as India, Australia and Western Europe in the coming years.

“Meanwhile, we still deploy measures and promotional activities in traditional markets to ensure a stable tourist number,” he said.

The fourth quarter signals the wedding and winter vacation seasons for both domestic and international travellers and Da Nang is catching on this trend. With the right strategy, Da Nang’s tourism is bound to thrive.
Source: VNA

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Experience adrenaline-fuelled fun at Live Wire Park these summer holidays

Live Wire Park
Gearing up for their first-ever summer season, Live Wire Park offers a unique experience for families and friends wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Located just 1 kilometre from Lorne’s main beach and nestled among the towering Otway treetops, Live Wire Park is an electrifying outdoor experience in the heart of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road Region.

Glide, zip and climb through the tree tops on each of the park’s exhilarating circuits, including the Shockwave Zip Coaster – Australia’s most extreme zip line. With twists and turns charged by the sheer force of gravity, the 525-metre-long zip line is an adrenaline junkie’s dream.

Thrill seekers need look no further as the Super Circuit challenges even the most seasoned high ropes lovers. Featuring 53 mid-air trails, suspended bridges, tree-scaling activities, an electrifying Tarzan swing and a supercharged 10-metre QuickJump bungee, the Super Circuit is designed to test endurance, agility and problem-solving skills.

Kids can test their agility on the Short Circuit designed to be safe, secure and ultimately fun. The electrifying obstacle course features 26 hair-raising activities for young adventurers to overcome, and finish with a sense of achievement.

For those seeking a relaxing day, the 120-metre-long Canopy Circuit is the perfect place to soak up the beauty and breathtaking views of the Otway Ranges. Elevated 10 metres above the ground amongst the native Blue Gums, the Canopy Circuit is the perfect way to experience Victoria’s rainforests.

Thoughtfully designed to have minimal impact on the environment, Live Wire Park is a sustainable business completely powered by nature. The park is powered by solar, and all water on site is collected, used, and treated to reduce waste and optimise the use of natural resources.

Live Wire Park
Live Wire Park is located at 180 Erskine Falls Road, Lorne, Australia and is the perfect summer activity for local holiday goers and city dwellers. Open every day from 8:45am – 5pm (excluding Christmas Day and for maintenance).

For further information about Live Wire Park please visit

Corals spawn on cue for Great Barrier Reef

Soft corals on Moore Reef
Soft corals on Moore Reef began releasing eggs and sperm on Tuesday, November 27 with marine biologists expecting the annual synchronised coral spawn on the Great Barrier Reef to continue tonight and tomorrow.

Marine biologists Stuart Ireland from Calypso Productions, Gareth Phillips from Reef Teach and Pablo Cogollos from Sunlover Reef Cruises were based on the Sunlover Moore Reef pontoon, 47km off Cairns, to capture video of the night-time coral spawning.

“We had patchy spawning last night with the soft corals and we anticipate the Acropora, Montipora and other stony corals will mass spawn on Thursday which is when it feels like you are swimming through an upside down snow storm,” Mr Ireland said.

“The spawn varies from small to tiny pink and mauve balls which represent either eggs or bundled egg and sperm masses, while cloud-like white slicks or ‘smokers’ represent individual male colonies.

“I like hunting down the individual colonies, it’s like playing join the dots. However, currents and the reef topography make this extremely challenging.

“Often you will find the spawn floating through the water, but be unable to trace it down to the releasing colony, or the colony may have just finished!”

Mr Ireland has been filming the coral spawn every year since 1996 and this will be the seventh year he has documented the event at Sunlover’s Moore Reef pontoon.

Mr Cogollos said Moore Reef was ideal because it had a great variety of corals alongside the pontoon which they used as a base to change diving equipment and light the Reef, allowing good footage each year.

“This year Sunlover has boosted the mobile signal allowing us to upload footage of the spawning almost instantly for viewing by marine enthusiasts globally.”

Mr Phillips will show the Calypso Productions footage at Reef Teach in Cairns tonight (Wednesday) as part of his educational presentation on the Great Barrier Reef.

“I focused on the marine creatures that came out while the coral was spawning last night,” Mr Phillips said.

“Seeing all the invertebrates such as worms and shrimps is amazing as their behaviour, as well as the look of the Reef, is so different on the night of the spawning.

“The big boulder corals will be beautiful to watch because they look like they are smoking with tiny sperm and eggs emerging from their small coral polyps.

“It is an extraordinary time to be out on the Great Barrier Reef as there is still so much we don’t know about the spawning. It was only discovered in 1982 and it happens just once a year.”

Mr Ireland said the special event showed that the Great Barrier Reef was resilient despite the challenges that man and climate change had thrown at the World Heritage Area.

“Every year is different and getting to see the coral spawn can be tricky as different reefs go off at different times so it is easy to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.

“The coral spawns on the outer Great Barrier Reef around two to six nights after the full moon in November when the water is 27-28C, which it has been for the past month.

“Last year we had a split spawn as the full moon was earlier in the month and the water temperature was not as warm.

“The corals spawn around the same time to ensure a better chance of fertilisation. If you look at the tide chart four to six nights after the full moon, you will see there is little movement of water between the high and low tides.

“During this time coral spawn rises slowly to the surface where fertilisation begins and coral larva called planula is developed.

“The planula floats around in the water for several days before settling on the ocean floor where it buds and starts a new coral colony.

“Most reef fish are sleeping during the spawning, hence the eggs are not preyed upon. However, if there is a slick of spawn left in the morning then it is a feeding frenzy for these smaller fish.

“I enjoy filming the coral spawning every year as it gives me hope for the Great Barrier Reef.
Gareth Phillips
“Despite the past bleaching events in 2016-2017, the fact we are seeing corals spawning means the functionality of the ecosystem is working, and while we see this, along with recruitment and regeneration, we can all have some hope about the Reef’s future.

“While we should all have hope that the Reef’s in-built resilience will prevail, the one thing I do stress is that as humans we need to minimise our impacts on the Reef so it can continue its natural cycles.”

Weidmann Cottage - a Merchant's Townhouse

Photo - Kim Cummins 18/11/2018
Weidman Cottage lies on a Crown grant given to David Brown on 27 November 1838. He sold the property to Henry Richard Clovell McAlpin, a store and innkeeper. 

Stafford sold the property to Albert Weidman, whom the cottage is named after, in 1891. The property remained in Weidman family hands until 1977 when it was purchased by Muswellbrook Council.…/ViewHeritageItemDetail…

Muswellbrook & District Memories -

Bicycle Race Park - Takeo-City Saga Pref. Kyushu

Bicycle Race Park
The construction of a public park is now completed on the land of the former Parking No. 1 next to the Takeo bicycle race track. The park comprises a large-scale playground equipment, a lawn field and a bicycle motocross course for beginners.

The bicycle motocross course which was designed through the supervision of experts has 95m in length and 60cm in pitch difference. Children up to primary school children can rent BMXs and striders for free.

Bicycle Race Park
The park is family-friendly with facilities such as toilets and parking areas.

Visit Japan Now

New Year's Eve at Portside

New Year's Eve
Get your Golden Ticket for front row seats to the world’s best NYE fireworks under the sails of the Sydney Opera House with unobstructed views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

  • Western Broadwalk, Portside Sydney | View Map
  • Monday, 31 December 2018
  • Tickets from $695 + Booking Fee
  • A booking fee of 2.6% applies to tickets for this event
  • This event runs for approximately 6 hours.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Ages 18+
New Years Eve at Portside Sydney is an 18+ event and all ticket holders will be required to show ID on entry.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi - An upscale residence in the heart of Hanoi

My Guestroom at Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi
Even though I have been to Vietnam several times, it was only on my most recent trip there that I discovered the busy and modern capital city at the northern end of Vietnam. This cultural city oozes charm with its beautiful lakes, alleys of the Old Quarter and colonial architecture.

I was delighted to stay at the Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi and found it the perfect base for my visit to Hanoi. I had a pleasant and comfortable all around experience staying there.

The staff were friendly and helpful, always willing and able to assist me to ensure my stay was pleasurable. Check-in was smooth with the efficient staff who spoke excellent English.

The hotel has 154 well-appointed Deluxe and Superior Rooms and Suites, including non-smoking and interconnecting rooms.

My Guestroom at Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi
The elegant décor of my air-conditioned guestroom was a delight to return to at the end of each day to rest in sublime luxury. The polished timber floors, decorative walls, elegant furniture and prints on the walls contributed to its contemporary French style. I appreciated the welcome note and gifts of fruit and chocolates. It was a delight to see the magnificent city views through the window.

The spacious guestroom featured a universal power outlet, a large work desk, personal in-room safe, minibar, 24-hour room service, tea and coffee making amenities, complimentary bottled water as well as free use of the wellness facilities. I enjoyed watching the national and international cable channels on the flat-screen TV and sitting in the comfortable leather armchair. I made use of the complimentary Wi-Fi in my guestroom and also accessible throughout the hotel.

Each night I had a restful nights sleep in a very comfortable large king bed with its elegant organic linen. The pillow was just the right amount of softness for me.

My Bathroom Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi
The contemporary design of the guestroom extends to the bathroom with a full wall glass panel with blind, magnifying mirror, hairdryer and rain shower. There was complimentary sweetly fragranced toiletries, a bathrobe, slippers and bidet.

Having a sweet tooth, the best part of my stay at the Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi was indulging in the Chocolate Hour each afternoon from 5 to 6pm in the lobby. Here a fine selection of complimentary Swiss chocolates, sweets and delicacies were freely available.

Buffet Breakfast at Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi
Fine dining with innovative culinary concepts is offered at the Mangosteen restaurant that is located on the second floor of the hotel. It is famous for being the first Swiss style restaurant in Hanoi. It is named after the tropical fruit that looks like a purple peach. The restaurants elegant and upscale ambience is resplendent in its subtle colour tones of white, brown and purple found on the contemporary pieces of furniture, wall art and table settings. The cuisine served is an innovative mix of Vietnamese flavours and international classics. Guests can select delicacies from a creative à-la-carte menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For the health conscious they offer a 'Go Healthy’ menu. 

I enjoyed my buffet breakfast each morning from the abundant selection of fresh hot and cold dishes. As well as the wide variety of Asian and Western buffet selections there were made to order food items such as egg dishes and pho. The breakfast was made even more perfect by the serving of several freshly made cappuccino coffees.

Buffet Breakfast at Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi
The Lounge 83 is the perfect place on the ground floor for a continental breakfast, pastries and snacks. They offer a selection of terrific cocktails, martini's at their bar and fine wines from their cellar. The Lounge 83 is an ideal place to catch up with friends and enjoy the warm and relaxed atmosphere.

The Kinetic Gym and Wellness Studio located on the 3rd floor is the perfect way to keep fit by using their modern exercise equipment, massage and sauna facilities. It is the ideal place to de-stress and rejuvenate. I did not make use of the gym or massage services, but I did enjoy several times in the sauna.

Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi provides four multi-purpose meeting and function rooms suitable for accommodating up to 110 people. They are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.

Chocolate Hour atMövenpick Hotel Hanoi
The 5 star Mövenpick Hotel Hanoiis conveniently located in the heart of Hanoi's central business district, and in walking distance from the city centre and its Old Quarter. It overlooks the quaint and majestic architecture of Hanoi’s French Quarter. Many popular attractions for tourists to visit are nearby the Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi. The Quan Su Temple is 100 m away, while the Hoa Lo Historical Prison (the Hanoi Hilton) is 250 m away, the St. Joseph Cathedral is 600 m away, and the Trang Tien Z Shopping Plaza 900 m away. The Hoan Kiem Lake, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, and Hanoi Temple of Literature are 1km away. Rather than taking a taxi, I enjoyed my walk to some of these attractions that I visited.
Lobby at Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi

The Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi offers stylish rooms which are ideal for business and leisure travellers. It combines elegant, French-colonial architecture with superior facilities and outstanding service. The Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi is an upscale residence in the heart of Hanoi that welcomes all discerning travellers.

Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi
Address: 83A Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: +84 24 38 22 28 00 (ext. 6124)
Fax: +84 24 38 22 27 78

Ha Noi has eight more craft villages

A trade village in Ha Noi
Eight more villages in Me Linh and Phu Xuyen districts in Hanoi have recently been recognised as craft villages by the municipal People’s Committee.

They are Ha Loi, Lieu Tri and Dai Thinh flower and bonsai villages in Me Linh district, Yen Thi and Trung Ha noodle villages and Dong Ca, Truong Lieu and Gia Phu carpentry villages in Phu Xuyen district.

The eight villages will enjoy incentives for the development of rural trades.

Ha Noi is home to more than 1,300 craft villages, more than 300 of which have been recognised as traditional.
Source: NDO

Exploring Hanoi’s Old Quarter

Hanoi's Old Quarter has over a thousand-year's history. 36 streets are named after its traditional products. It remains one of Vietnam's most lively and unusual places. 

A tour to this bustling local area is a must for those travelling to Hanoi for the first time. It is covered with stores selling almost everything that a visitor’s possibly in need of ranging from food, coffee to silk, embroidery and watches. 

In the Old Quarter, many of the streets were named after the crafts sold at that individual street. Pho Hang Be (Bamboo), Pho Hang Ma (Paper Product), Pho Hang Bac (Silver), Pho Hang Bun (Vermicelli), etc. are examples of the streets carrying the name of the products sold there.
Features of Hanoi’s Old Quarter include - 
  • Oldest district
  • Old buildings
  • Ancient houses
  • Lively and "chaotic" sidewalks
For more information contact Vietnam National Administration of Tourism

Hang Bac: the core street of the Old Quarter

Hang Bac street heretofore had three different trades
 including silver casting, jewelery and currency exchange
Hang Bac is a busy street which is considered the core of Ha Noi`s Old Quarter.

Hang Bac street under the Le dynasty belonged to Dong Cac guild, was also the setting of “Meo Lua” (A trick), a short story from Vu Trung Tuy But (Collection Written on Rainy Days) by scholar Pham Dinh Ho (1768 - 1839). The story proclaims that Dong Lac guild in the 18th century was trading center of silver ingots. In the early 19th century, the street ran through two villages that were Dong Tho (the eastern part) and Dung Han (the western part), Huu Tuc canton, Tho Xuong district. By the mid-19th century, these two villages merged into one and took the name of Dong Tho village (Huu Tuc, the name of the canton was also changed to Dong Tho).

In the French colonial period, this street was called the Street of Silver Exchangers (rue des Changeurs). The current name Hang Bac has been formalized since the August Revolution in 1932.

Hang Bac street heretofore had three different trades including silver casting, jewelry and currency exchange. The silver casters were from Trau Khe village (present-day Binh Giang district, Hai Duong province). Legend has it that under the reign of Lê Thánh Tông (1460-1497), the Minister of Personnel, Luu Xuan Tin, was granted royal permission to set up a silver ingot factory in the citadel. Tin brought craftsmen from his home village to work in the factory. Since then, the villagers from Trau Khe’s five hamlets settled in Hang Bac Street and worked at silver casting “Trang” or workshop at present-day No.58 Hang Bac street. Trau Khe villagers in Hanoi built two communal houses to worship their patron saints (the founder of their craft) which are the Upper communal house or “Truong” communal house located at No. 50 Hang Bac street and the Lower communal house or Kim Ngan communal house located at No.42 Hang Bac street.

The jewelry making combines three different crafts, namely the carving to engraves figures, patterns on jewels or silverware; the silversmith to drag hot melted silver as a thread until it is as thin as a strand of hair; and the smoothing to polish products

Besides those from Trau Khe, jewellers from Dinh Cong Thuong village (present-day Hoang Mai district, Hanoi) also settled in Hang Bac street.

Legend has it that under in the King Ly Nam De’s reign, three brothers of the Tran family living in the village of Dinh Cong Thuong learned the jewellery making craft by chance and taught it to the villagers.

Dinh Cong Thuong jewellers migrating to Thang Long also settled in Hang Bac street after Trau Khe silver casters, thus their houses were built on the street section which is Hang Bo street today. They also set up a temple honouring their craft founders (three brothers of the Tran family) in Hang Bo street.

There are another jewellery making village named Dong Sam in Kien Xuong district of Thai Binh province where dwellers also migrated to Hang Bac Street. Here, they also did carving, silversmith and specialized in carving large silver items such as urn, precious vessel, betel pot, tray, silver kitchenware while Dinh Cong workers mainly make small jewelry such as earrings, bracelet, necklet and ring.

Hang Bac street remains as busy as ever
There’s one building in Hang Bac street which is the pride of the capital’s war history. It is the Golden Bell Theater at No. 72 where the suicide squad of Vietnam’s Army swore “to fight to the death” during the most fierce days of the anti-French resistance, in the morning of January 14, 1947.

Source: Hanoitimes

Tuesday, 27 November 2018


Margaret Court Dinner Under the Stars
Melbourne & Olympic Parks (M&OP), home of the Australian Open and world-class event experiences, has announced a series of Melbourne venues set to showcase at the Business Events Australia Greater China Showcase held in Melbourne on 25-28 November 2018.

Delegates from China can expect to see an array of venues – boasting architecturally impressive concepts that are quintessentially Melbourne and located in close proximity of the city’s vibrant CBD.

“This year is the first time the BEA Greater China Showcase is being held outside of China – we’re looking forward to unveiling how our venues can enhance incentive events for delegates, whilst showcasing the best that our beautiful city has to offer,” said Lara Burnes, General Manager – Premier Events & Experiences, Melbourne & Olympic Park.

During BEA’s three-day event, M&OP will welcome delegates interested in visiting their iconic array of spaces paired with the world-famous Australian hospitality. M&OP will also host a famil for media and corporate buyers, which will see them undertake a tennis-inspired activity and tour of Melbourne Park.

“Guests will be delighted and inspired by our unique venues. From intimate dinners to large scale conferences, our attention to detail and bespoke offerings form the perfect bedrock to build connections and memorable moments,” said Burnes.

M&OP venues include Rod Laver Arena (Centre Court), perfect for hosting intimate gatherings within its exciting open spaces; AAMI Park, the site of the nation’s most historical sporting moments; and Margaret Court Arena and Melbourne Arena – both which present one of the most exciting large-scale event formats for guests from 200 up to 8500 with flexibility for formal dinners, cocktail-style events, galas and conferences.

AAMI Park Function Centre
Looking to 2022, a new state-of-the-art conference centre will join M&OP’s list of arenas, stadiums and venues with capacity to host 3000 guests. The new development promises to elevate M&OP’s capabilities with bookings available from early 2019.

Expressions of interest in visiting M&OP to Lara Burnes at

For more details visit

International Exhibitors Set to Return to AIME 2019

Melbourne’s Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME), the leading meetings and conventions event in the region, has announced a series of international exhibitors are returning to showcase at the 2019 event.

Leading the comeback are the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Dubai Business Events & Convention Bureau (DBE), both identifying the opportunity to connect with the richest pool of quality international buyers attending AIME in many years.

This notable return to AIME comes as a result of the refreshed vision, which has overhauled the way that exhibitors take part in the event, sharpening the focus to a positive return on investment through rigorous curation of the buyer program and format that meetings are delivered.

“The interest that we’ve received from both international and regional exhibitors has been monumental. Whilst they span very different industries, they are all signing up for the same reason – to meet and connect with more quality buyers from across APAC who are ready to do business”, said Matt Pearce, CEO, Talk2 Media & Events.

DBE last attended AIME in 2015, with Thailand last attending in 2017. TCEB is using the 2019 event as a major platform to meet with new and existing clients, maximise networking, as well as launch a global rewards program for event buyers.

Los Angeles
Endorsing AIME’s pre-eminence in the MICE market, TCEB Australia Representative, Nicole Tingey from Clockwise Consulting commented, “Australia and the broader APAC region has strong ties with the Kingdom of Thailand, and AIME presents the perfect opportunity to promote Thailand as a key destination for Business Events due to its excellent reputation for service, aviation links, high-quality hotels, convention centres and appealing choice of experiences for incentive groups.

Other international exhibitors attending the 2019 event include Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Tourism Republic of Indonesia, the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau, set to reveal a new rewards campaign, and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LATCB), who will be showcasing their new Banc of California Stadium and highly anticipated renovation of the LA Convention Centre. 

With only three months to go before the industry event open, AIME 2019 has already confirmed quality buyers from across 32 different countries, with 48% having never attended AIME before and 65% originating from outside of Australia.

Running from 18–20 February, AIME is the first event to kick off the 2019 MICE calendar and is held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

For more details or to submit interest in attending AIME in 2019, visit

Niseko snow reporter Rod White back in business

Woohoo, Japowdderrrr Hounds – Konichiwa and Welcome Back as The Niseko Monster Machine Awakes from almost seven months of Hibernation 

Niseko-based Rod White has resumed his daily reports that are the most informative and accurate run-down about snowfalls and weather conditions skiers and snowboarders will encounter.

White posts on the’s website daily until early April 2019. He suggests snowhounds tune in around 7.30am Niseko time for the most accurate, and informative snowfall, weather and mountain report for Hanazono, Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village & Annupuri ski areas.

“It’s an exciting time of the year – Intensity is building as local folk and early season winter guests seeking first turns.

“If you’ve never experienced Niseko and insane quality consistent powder….Have a crack at this place…With almost 18 meters last winter, which is pretty much the norm …It's different here…Book that plane and buckle up for The Snowiest Place on our Planet.”

Bonnie Lythgoe Productions presents the giant 3D family panto musical spectacular Jack and the Beanstalk



Director and Producer, Bonnie Lythgoe is thrilled to announce that her sixth Australian panto will be JACK AND THE BEANSTALK a ‘Giant’ 3D family musical spectacular that will play at the majestic State Theatre, Sydney from Friday 12 July 2019.  

This production of ‘Jack’ will feature a fantastic 3D sequence, that will transport audience members deep into the Giant’s castle. 

Announcing JACK AND THE BEANSTALK Director, Bonnie Lythgoe said “The reason I went for Jack and the Beanstalk was because it is the people’s choice.  Every time we do our Panto I am asked “What’s Next?’   So, I threw the question back to the audience and the answer was a resounding ‘Jack’.

"I also love the idea of bringing 3D into Panto and ‘Jack ‘is one of the best ways to showcase this wonderful concept.  I am always searching for new excitement from the UK and I think 3D is the next step for keeping all pantos up to date. I love producing Jack and the Beanstalk and I think audiences will adore everything about this amazing panto, especially the amazing 3D effects."

Bonnie is also thrilled to announce that ‘Jack’ will feature JIMMY OSMOND.  Jimmy Osmond is the youngest member of sibling musical group ‘The Osmonds’ and as a solo artist and with his family Jimmy shares 59 Gold and Platinum records.

“I am so excited to be working with such a member of pop royalty’s most famous family" said Bonnie Lythgoe. “This is the first time that Jimmy has been a part of the “Jack” panto and he is so looking forward to it. Jimmy has been performing since he was a kid and has discovered that our panto genre brings out all of the skills he has learnt over all his years in show business. He cannot wait to visit Australia again and make some new friends.”

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK follows the success of Sleeping Beauty – a Knight Avenger’s Tale, The Adventures of Peter Pan & Tinker Bell in 2017, Cinderella in 2016, Aladdin and his Wondrous Lamp in 2015 and Snow White Winter Family Musical in 2014.
VENUE:                     State Theatre, 49 Market Street, Sydney
DATES:                     from Friday 12 July 2019
PRICES:                    from $49 to $99 plus Family tickets $260
BOOKINGS:             Ticketmaster 
                                  or 1300 139 588

Monday, 26 November 2018

Chill Suites - the best choice for your stay in HCMC

On my recent stay in Ho Chi Minh City, I discovered a wonderful new boutique hotel called the Chill Suites. This has only recently opened in March this year.

A variety of room styles are available with queen or king beds. My Suite with beautiful city views through the main window was up on the 5th floor. It was spacious, modern, clean and very comfortable. Everything in the Suite was brand new, including the capsule coffee machine.

It was a pleasure to escape the humid heat of HCMC into the massive room cooled by a wall mounted air conditioner as well as a smaller floor cooler. It was a delight to relax in the Suite with its crisp decor and decorative prints.

My quuen bed was placed in the middle of the room, with a desk and chair behind the headboard. The sofa seating area was between the bed and the large window with views up and down the street.

I enjoyed the wall-mounted Smart TV and watched several Netflix and YouTube videos. The fast free WiFi provided me with contact with family and friends back home in Australia. My Suite was equipped with good lighting, including mood lighting. A mini-bar, tea and coffee making facilities and safe were included in the room.

The bathroom was equally beautiful, with a bathtub, a walk-in shower and a rain shower. It was separated from the bedroom by a glass wall that could be made private by the use of a blind. The water pressure and hot water were excellent. A good range of toiletries, slippers, bathrobes, and hairdryer were supplied.

A simple breakfast was provided each morning, either down in the lobby or brought up to your room. It could be ordered the night before or you could call in the morning as well and let them know.

I found the Chill Suites staff to be friendly and accommodating. The young staff were lovely at the hotel, all very helpful and eager to help. The staff provided a 24 hour reception service, so someone was always present to help my needs.

The Chill Suites is conveniently situated in District 1 district of Ho Chi Minh City. The location is very central. A block away is a local fresh food market where you can pick up fruit and vegetables, around the corner is a large supermarket, and underneath is a Circle K convenience store. There are many food and coffee shops in abundance all around the Chill suites. The Cinestar Cinema is just down the street. To get to and from the HCMC Airport, the bus 109 departs from the bus terminal on the other side of the roundabout.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay Chill Suites. It is a new value-for-money boutique hotel that visitors to the bustling city of HCMC will enjoy staying at. It is the ideal destination and the best choice for your stay in HCMC.

Chill Suites Saigon
Address: A67 Nguyen Trai, Ward Nguyen Cu Trinh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Phone: +84 28 3925 3637