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13 Jul, 2018

Imtiaz Muqbil to deliver first communications course on enhancing Travel & Tourism’s linkages to UN SDGs

Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor

Bangkok/Colombo – On July 17-18, 2018, I expect to deliver the first, ground-breaking communications training course on enhancing the linkages between Travel & Tourism and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Executives from Sri Lanka’s Jetwing hotels and travel group will be the first beneficiaries of this tailor-made, 12-hour course, entitled “People Planet Profits — How […]

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9 Jul, 2018

The Olive Tree Ed 8 highlights World of Work, Decent Jobs, in Travel & Tourism

Bangkok – Discussions of human resources in travel & tourism for the most part focus on the shortage of qualified personnel for our rapidly-growing industry. This is a chicken-and-egg issue. Has the travel & tourism sector ever done a serious, comprehensive study of our working conditions, and critically compared them to those in other equally […]

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9 Jun, 2018

GDPR – Another chapter in the book of European extra-territorial neocolonialism

Bangkok – The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is yet another example of European neocolonialism in an age of globalisation and borderless communications. While the Information Superhighway is opening up vast opportunities to create a better, more peaceful, stable and sustainable planet, it is simultaneously and very paradoxically also doing quite the opposite. Slap in […]

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28 May, 2018

A thought-leadership SWOT analysis of the PATA Annual Summit 2018

Gangneung, Gangwon Province, South Korea: The most perceptive thought-leadership question asked during the PATA Annual Summit 2018 was by Christina Luo Xiao Yan, 21, a student of Hotel Management at Macau University of Science and Technology. After listening to the speaker, Ms Raya Bidshahri, the Canadian-based CEO of Awecademy, an online platform, discuss the impact […]

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23 May, 2018

PATA Annual Summit: Ex-UN Chief says leaders “talk big” at UN but don’t walk the talk once back home

Gangneung, Gangwon Province, South Korea – Delivering a powerful message to the global travel industry, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told delegates at the PATA annual summit here on January 18 that the world needs “global leaders” and “global citizens” to “stem the alarming rise in racism and xenophobia.” In his keynote address, Mr. Ban […]

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22 May, 2018

PATA signs first peace-building pact with Buddhist temple in Korea

Woljeongsa Temple, Odaesan National Park, Korea — This beautiful Buddhist temple, located in the midst of Korea’s largest natural forest, was the site of the first peace-building agreement signed by the Pacific Asia Travel Association on 19 May 2018. The Memorandum of Understanding commits the signatories to “cooperate for the development of peace through tourism” […]

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16 May, 2018

PATA Annual Summit 2018: A chance to move beyond clichés and Censorship by Sponsorship

Gangneung, Korea — A confluence of recent global events has set the stage for this week’s PATA annual summit in Korea to be a potentially historic game-changer – but only if the speakers rise to the occasion. Focussing on the theme of “Building Bridges, Connecting People,” the summit will bring together one former United Nations […]

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11 May, 2018

Trump’s Iran deal reversal proves Israel controls the U.S.

The U.S. decision to unilaterally exit the nuclear agreement with Iran cements the country’s status as the greatest threat to global stability, totally subservient to Israel, the Jewish lobby and its own military-industrial complex. The latest in a series of my-way-or-the-highway policy reversals, the Trump Administration has no regard for international norms and is accelerating […]

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29 Apr, 2018

Korean peace will force change in Israel’s live and let die policy towards Palestinians

The Korean peace deal has confirmed the status of Israel under its current government as an extraordinarily stupid country. In an age when the pursuit of peace has become the greatest hallmark of visionary, pragmatic, sustainable leadership, Korean leaders have risen to the occasion. Not so the Israelis. On the same day that the Korean […]

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27 Apr, 2018

OECD Latin America report: Regaining citizens’ trust in public institutions is key to inclusive growth and well-being

OECD media release

Brussels, 09 April 2018 – Three out of four Latin Americans today show little or no confidence in their national governments. Around 80% think corruption is widespread. These levels are both up from 55% and 67% respectively in 2010. Mistrust is rising as in most regions of the world and risks deepening the disconnect between […]

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27 Apr, 2018

Int’l Olympic Committee President: How the “Power of Sports” facilitated Korean peace talks

By Thomas Bach

chinadaily.com.cn, 2018-04-26 — When the leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea meet on April 27, it will be only the third such summit since the end of the Korean War (1950-53). Only a few months ago political tensions were escalating rapidly, raising fears of military confrontation on the […]

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26 Apr, 2018

The Sukhothai Shanghai joins Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Small Luxury Hotels of the World Media release

London, 26 April 2018 — Small Luxury Hotels of the World has announced its newest member hotel in China, The Sukhothai Shanghai, which opens on 28th April. The official joining ceremony was held today at The Sukhothai Shanghai. The contemporary lifestyle hotel is conveniently located at HKRI Taikoo Hui in the vibrant Jingan district which […]

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26 Apr, 2018

UNCTAD commentary: Nobody really wins a trade war

By Alessandro Nicita, Economist at UNCTAD

Geneva, 25 April 2018, (UNCTAD commentary) – Are we seeing the start of a trade war? Although there is a long history of countries blaming each other for their own economic misfortunes, during the last few months there has been an escalation both in the rhetoric and in trade policy actions. The initial round of […]

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25 Apr, 2018

12 questions to disrupt the boring programme content of Islamic tourism events

Dubai – The second ATM Global Halal Tourism Summit held at the Arabian Travel Mart on April 24 proved again how the entire travel industry is increasingly becoming a mutual admiration club of people preaching to the converted. As usual, key challenges having a significant impact on travel & tourism flows to, from and within […]

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19 Apr, 2018

WTTC’s Mission Still Not Accomplished

In September 2003, exactly 15 years ago, the World Travel & Tourism Council issued a Blueprint for New Tourism. It was yet another assertion of the WTTC mantras flagged since the formation of the rich mans’ club in 1991 — make T&T a priority, liberalise travel, open markets and remove impediments. These mantras have produced […]

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16 Apr, 2018

Open Letter to the U.S. travel industry: Is state terrorism serving your interests?

Bangkok – Shootings in U.S. offices, schools, universities and other public places are always followed by an enormous outpouring of outrage, anguish, hand-wringing and soul-searching. Much time and attention is devoted to understanding the shooter’s motivation. If it’s a Muslim, the violence is automatically assigned the “T” word. The others are somehow disturbed, loners, etc. […]

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12 Apr, 2018

Hard questions for travel & tourism millennials: Does global war & conflict matter to you?

Bangkok — Here we go again. Fifteen years after the United States-led “Coalition of the Willing” attacked Iraq in pursuit of “weapons of mass destruction” that were never found, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of people and devastating an entire country, war-drums are again reverberating in the Levant, this time in Syria. And as […]

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26 Mar, 2018

Why the Facebook scandal makes travel technobabblers look like idiots

Travel technology forums, aka technobabblers, have experienced a shock-and-awe reality check in the wake of the Facebook scandal. I stopped attending technobabble forums many years ago. I just got bored of the starry-eyed delegates listening with open mouths to the usual gang of suspects spewing out the latest techno-toy wizardry and how it was going […]

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13 Mar, 2018

Millennials’ essays highlight need to disrupt the global tourism agenda

Bangkok – Perhaps the most important thing that struck me upon perusing the great essays sent in by young people for my competition was the yawning disconnect between their very perceptive views on the global status quo and the topics that figure on the agendas and programmes of global travel & tourism forums. Embedded within […]

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16 Feb, 2018

Northeast Asian destinations hammering ASEAN in pursuit of Thai outbound travel boom

Bangkok – With Japan at the forefront, Northeast Asian countries and Special Administrative Regions are clobbering the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in attracting the booming Thai outbound tourism market. A survey of the recent Thailand International Travel Fair, held between February 7-11 showed clearly how Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR […]

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9 Feb, 2018

20 years after moving to Asia, PATA’s pursuit of relevance remains elusive

The Pacific Asia Travel Association this week marks the 20th anniversary of its move from San Francisco to Bangkok. Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil, who has covered PATA since 1981, takes a look back and a look ahead. Bangkok – When PATA began pondering its move from San Francisco to Asia in the […]

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21 Jan, 2018

ASEAN Tourism Forum V.1 is dying, Time to Plan ATF V.2

The ASEAN Tourism Forum 2018 to be held between 22-26 January in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai will have the lowest turnout of buyers and sellers in the last 10 years. The figures reported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand of 240 buyers and 275 seller organisations continues a downtrend that began three […]

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8 Jan, 2018

Christmas eve 2017: When Jewish Intellectual Noam Chomsky went to bat for Palestine

On Christmas eve, 24 December 2017, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), one of the groups on the entry-ban list issued by the Israel government, issued a fund-raising appeal featuring a personal message by Prof Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and laureate professor at the University of Arizona. I am […]

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8 Jan, 2018

Global publicity follows Israel entry ban on 20 pro-Palestine groups

Jewish Voice for Peace, a prominent U.S.-based group of Jews battling the Israeli occupation of Palestine, is among a list of 20 global civil society movements whose activists will be barred from entering Israel. It is the only Jewish group on the list released by the Strategic Affairs Ministry on 08 Jan and  published by […]

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3 Jan, 2018

Mandela Peace Summit, Sufficiency Economy amongst highlights of The Olive Tree Edition 5

Bangkok – The January-February 2018 edition of The Olive Tree has been published on the Travel Impact Newswire website. This Edition 5 of the first and only publication designed to help travel & tourism achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals is sponsored by Jetwing Hotels Sri Lanka, the Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa, Asian Overland […]

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3 Jan, 2018

U.S. travel industry off to a most Unhappy New Year

The people of the United States will awaken this morning, the first day of work after wishing each other a Happy New Year, to news that will make them most unhappy. Preliminary statistics published by the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) for July 2017 show visitor arrivals heading south big-time. While other countries are […]

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18 Dec, 2017

Aligarh: A Captivating Tale of Two Remarkable “Sities”

Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India – Between Nov 27-29, one of India’s best-known institutions of higher education, Aligarh Muslim University, held its first Tourism Research Conference. Made possible thanks to a grant of Rs 852,500 (about US$13,300) by the Ministry of Tourism, it was packed with world-class presentations by research students, academics and private sector on […]

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18 Dec, 2017

World-class research at Aligarh Muslim University tourism conference

Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India — Although this was the first tourism research conference held at Aligarh Muslim University, the subject matter and depth of the presentations were world-class. Of the nearly 140 presentations included in the abstracts, 36 were devoted to the impact of the situation in Kashmir. Numerous others focussed on issues such as […]

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18 Dec, 2017

Aligarh Muslim University – Much more than just a University

Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India — Aligarh Muslim University is more than just a University; it is a citadel of cultural, architectural and artistic heritage. In accordance with the principles of its founding fathers and the constitution of India, the campus, museum and library brim with fine works of Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu traditions, all meticulously […]

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18 Dec, 2017

In pictures: The amazing grace and rustic charm of Aligarh Old City

A motorcycle tour of Aligarh Old City, an experience beyond description. All pictures by Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil. One of a three-part compendium on the first Tourism Research conference held at Aligarh Muslim University between Nov 27-29, 2017 on the theme of “New Tourism Paradigms in a Changing World: Innovations, Dynamics and […]

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15 Dec, 2017

Beauty and Braille at the first “Tourism for All” Miss Thailand Friendly Design Expo

Bangkok – Thailand’s rapidly ageing society is expected to lead to a major redesign and restructuring of the way Thai people live, work and move around in the years ahead. As many other countries are undergoing the same demographic transition, the changes will open up opportunities to attract more silver-aged visitors, too. The business potential […]

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13 Dec, 2017

Frontiers 2017: UN Report flags Six Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern

UN Environment

How does our careless disposal of antimicrobial drugs produce bacteria that can resist them? Why are Marine Protected Areas vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals? Can off-grid solar plug the energy gap for cities in the developing world? UN Environment experts will address these and other emerging issues with the launch of Frontiers 2017, […]

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13 Dec, 2017

A message from the Thailand Halal Assembly 2017 to the Myanmar tourism industry

Bangkok – A tourism-promotion forum organised as part of this year’s Thailand Halal Assembly has sent a clear message to the Myanmar tourism industry about the Thai approach to building inclusive, Muslim-friendly tourism and what Myanmar can learn from it. Editor’s Comment This special report is dedicated to the memory of my good friend, the […]

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8 Dec, 2017

The TRiUMPh of Jewish extremist terrorism

U.S. President Donald Trump has just proved that terrorism works – Jewish terrorism, that is. It was on 4 November 1995 that the Jewish extremist fanatic terrorist Yigal Amir, then only 25 years old, shot and killed former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, a joint Nobel Peace prize winner with the late Palestinian leader Yasser […]

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6 Dec, 2017

Silence of the Lambs: Global travel industry associations remain mum on U.S. Muslim ban

Bangkok – The U.S. Supreme Court has produced a guilty-until-proven-innocent ruling that effectively allows the Trump Administration to “temporarily” implement a ban on arrivals from most or all nationals from six Muslim-majority countries. The ban effectively bypasses a number of legal and constitutional challenges currently being heard in the lower courts. According to the American […]

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5 Dec, 2017

America First backlash: U.S. visitor arrivals swimming in a sea of red ink

The United States’ tourism industry is swimming in a sea of red ink. On 29 November, the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office released preliminary data of visitor arrivals for the first half of 2017. It showed an overall decline of 3.9%, with significant drops in arrivals from key markets such as China, Europe, the […]

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23 Nov, 2017

Wonderful Indonesia Festival in Thailand highlights weaknesses in intra-ASEAN travel

Bangkok – The Indonesian Tourism Ministry held its biggest ever tourism promotion festival in Thailand over the Nov 17-19 weekend. Located at one of Bangkok’s most popular shopping malls, attendance at the outdoor event was strong on the opening day but impacted by both hot weather and rain over Nov 18-19. It also raised questions […]

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16 Nov, 2017

World Economic Forum report calls for sweeping overhaul of “slow, top-down, backward-looking” ASEAN bureaucracy

Bangkok, 14 November 2017 – A joint report issued by the World Economic Forum and the Asian Development Bank has called for a sweeping administrative, operational and financial overhaul of the ASEAN secretariat to make it more functional and efficient in meeting its own over-arching goal of closer socio-cultural, economic and political-security integration. According to […]

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13 Nov, 2017

Chula Univ conf on Asian diaspora gives new meaning to “Thainess”

Bangkok – The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s latest marketing campaign, “Open to the New Shades of Thailand”, positions the kingdom as being welcoming to people of all “shades” regardless of caste, creed, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Packaged under the theme of “Thainess”, the campaign pitch presses all the normal tourism marketing buttons – culture, […]

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3 Nov, 2017

Flashback 25 years: The speech that exposes U.S. airline U-turns, hypocrisy and double standards

In March 1992, at the 41st PATA annual conference in Hong Kong, Mr Robert Crandall, former Chairman and President of American Airlines, and Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council, delivered the keynote address in which he castigated Hong Kong, the conference host, plus Thailand, Japan and Korea, for protecting the interests of their […]

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7 Oct, 2017

With recovery on track, PATA extends CEO’s contract for another three years

Bangkok – The Pacific Asia Travel Association has confirmed the extension of CEO Mario Hardy’s contract for another three year term starting Jan 2018, a move that will facilitate the slow but steady recovery of the region’s once high-flying industry association. Mr Hardy signed the extension contract on Oct 5. In a message to the […]

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3 Oct, 2017

Globocop, gambling, fake news and security morons: Eight issues emerging from the Las Vegas tragedy

Apparently unnoticed by any mainstream media, the tragic Las Vegas shooting occurred on the UN International Day of Non-Violence, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Going right to the heart of multiple challenges threatening the future of travel & tourism, it should force some heavy-duty, industry-wide soul-searching about how to deal with them. A deeper debate […]

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28 Sep, 2017

Thailand first to make UN SDGs a criteria for National Tourism Awards

Bangkok – The Tourism Authority of Thailand raised its bi-annual industry awards to a new level this year by including the principles of the national Sufficiency Economy and the global UN Sustainable Development Goals as core components of the judging criteria. It is arguably the first time any country has made the UN SDGs a […]

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20 Sep, 2017

Myanmar proves that women leaders are no better than the men

Bangkok – In February 2012, just a few months before the end of his five-year term, the then ASEAN Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan spoke at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand on the topic of “ASEAN and Change in Myanmar”. During the Q&A, I asked him if Myanmar had a chance to exercise the Last […]

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16 Sep, 2017

Many Businesses Still Fail to Report Financial Value from Strong Environmental Performance – Research

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE) — September 13, 2017 – Four in 10 telecommunications and consumer goods companies reporting to CDP fail to capture or report any financial value from strong environmental performance, according to new research released today by Accenture (NYSE: ACN), CDP and Hermes Investment Management. The largest emitters in the global economy – responsible […]

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15 Sep, 2017

Permanent People’s Tribunal on Myanmar to be held in Kuala Lumpur 18-22 Sept

Kuala Lumpur, 15 Sept (International Movement for a Just World) – The Permanent Peoples Tribunal’s concluding session on Myanmar which will convene at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur from the 18th to the 22nd of September 2017 has assumed extraordinary significance in light of the UN Security Council’s unanimous call […]

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13 Sep, 2017

Jewish Rabbi slags Israel for travel curbs on activists, Palestinians

A female Jewish rabbi has rebuked the Jewish state of Israel for barring inbound travel by pro-Palestinian activists, including herself, as well as for blocking travel in and out of occupied Palestine in general. In a Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur message to global members of the pro-Palestinian group Jewish Voice for Peace, its Deputy […]

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11 Sep, 2017

R.I.P. Inder Sharma – The Indian stalwart who brought China into PATA

Bangkok – Much has been written in praise of Mr Inder Sharma, the Indian travel & tourism stalwart who passed away on Sept 5 at the age of 86. The award-winning chairman of SITA World Travel was indeed one of India’s most eminent personalities – a thorough professional of impeccable integrity and formidable intellect, equally […]

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31 Aug, 2017

In Palestine, UN chief says two-state solution ‘only way to guarantee peace’

United Nations, (UN News Centre) 29 August 2017 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today reiterated his call for a political solution to the Middle East conflict that would end Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land and would create an independent Palestinian state, living side by side with Israel in peace and security. “It is my […]

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24 Aug, 2017

Thai Foreign Ministry fam trip spotlights double-edged future facing the Kingdom

Bangkok – Courtesy of the Thai Foreign Ministry, 16 Bangkok-based foreign correspondents were treated to a whirlwind 15-hour fam trip on Aug 18 which spotlighted the double-edged future facing Thailand. While three of the stops underscored Thailand’s positive scientific, agricultural and infrastructure progress in line with its 4.0 national development policy, the last stop was […]

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17 Aug, 2017

What Charlottesville and the emergence of white supremacists means for the future of global travel

Bangkok – The emergence of the American white supremacist movement in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, has opened up a Pandora’s Box of issues that will have a significant impact on travel & tourism to and from the United States and around the world. By further complicating an already unstable geopolitical environment, it will have […]

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9 Aug, 2017

ASEAN@50: New book shows how ASEAN tourism undermined the ASEAN Miracle

Bangkok – When ASEAN marked the 50th anniversary of its founding on 08 Aug 2017, let the record show that the travel & tourism industry of Thailand, where ASEAN was born, negotiated and signed, did nothing, absolutely nothing, to commemorate the event. Neither did the Ministry of Tourism & Sports, nor the Tourism Authority of […]

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4 Aug, 2017

How Thai tourism’s history deficit saw it lose a huge ASEAN@50 opportunity

Bangkok – As ASEAN prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of its formation on 08 Aug 2017, the Thai tourism industry has lost a major opportunity to celebrate the central role played by the Kingdom in ASEAN’s formation, and better understand the significant linkage between peace, ASEAN integration, diplomacy and travel. Had there been greater […]

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3 Aug, 2017

Lessons from the Malaysian National Museum for the future of ASEAN

Kuala Lumpur — As a history buff, I enjoy visiting museums. These homes for the preservation of history are the best places to learn the lessons of history, and perhaps avoid repeating past mistakes. Last week, I visited the Malaysian National Museum in Kuala Lumpur for the third time. This visit had a special significance. […]

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24 Jul, 2017

Why the Thai Tourism Action Plan has outlived its usefulness, and what to do about it

Bangkok – When Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn unveiled the TAT Action Plan for 2018 on 17 July 2017, he did something never done before at this annual event. He flashed up a slide showing the impact of climate change and the deteriorating conditions of some popular Thai beach resorts. Without mentioning […]

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20 Jul, 2017

Maldives about to enter mass tourism era – is it prepared?

Malé, Maldives – A US$845 million expansion of the Malé international airport, the country’s biggest construction project ever, is expected to help the country hit a target of two million arrivals by 2020, about five times the national population and up from 1.3 million arrivals in 2016. Although it will open a new era in […]

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11 Jul, 2017

Thai hotels show that it pays to be Muslim-friendly

Bangkok – July 8 marked the start of Buddhist Lent, a three-month period of abstinence from alcohol and other forms of self-restraint. As Buddhists still have to travel for both business and leisure, those keen to abide by the Lord Buddha’s precepts may find it easier to avoid alcohol by staying in a Thai Muslim-friendly […]

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27 Jun, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Muslim Travel Ban: Get set for chaos, confusion, maelstrom and more Islamophobia

The following is a roundup of reactions by four advocacy groups representing Muslims, the Arab-American community and the Business Travel community. ADC Troubled by the Supreme Court’s Decision to Partially Reinstate Travel Ban Washington, D.C., June 26, 2017 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination (ADC) condemns the Supreme Court’s decision to partially reinstate the Arab and Muslim […]

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14 Jun, 2017

153 detained for airline ticket fraud following worldwide Interpol operation

Lyon, France, 13 June 2017, (Interpol media release) – An international operation targeting airline fraudsters has resulted in the detention of 153 individuals suspected of using tickets purchased with stolen, compromised or fake credit card details. Involving 64 countries, during the sixth Global Airport Action Days from 6 to 8 June, 84 airlines and eight […]

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13 Jun, 2017

Mekong Tourism Forum 2017: Prospering, but for what Purpose?

Luang Prabang, Laos – One of the most powerful messages of the Mekong Tourism Forum held in this UNESCO world heritage site between 7-9 June was the contrast between the core argument advocated by the keynote speaker and the rest of the programme content. While Anna Pollock, the UK-based Founder of Conscious.Travel, flagged clear warnings […]

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10 Jun, 2017

Time to impose visa curbs on U.S. citizens globally

Bangkok – An extremist anti-Muslim hate group is planning to hold rallies across 29 cities in the United States on June 10 to highlight what it calls the threat of “Sharia law”. Although the website of ACT for America describes these rallies as being opposition to female genital mutilation, honor killings and violence towards the […]

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6 Jun, 2017

From a Vietnamese farm to Forbes: The start-up that wowed Subic Ecotourism Fest

Subic Bay, the Philippines – Of the many erudite presentations at the Subic Ecotourism Festival held between 28 May – 2 June, the most inspiring was the story of how a young Vietnamese girl overcame poverty, illiteracy, an alcoholic father and single motherhood to land up on the cover of Forbes Asia magazine as a […]

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27 May, 2017

Clash of Generations: A Politically Incorrect Analysis of the PATA Summit 2017

Colombo — Of the many facets of internal and external change impacting the Pacific Asia Travel Association, the most important is the demographic transition from the ageing old guard to the young generation of millennials. The significantly different issues and challenges facing both were on full display during the PATA Annual Summit (PAS) May 18-21. […]

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18 May, 2017

PATA pushes transparency agenda, goes public with finances

Colombo – The Pacific Asia Travel Association advanced its transparency agenda at its annual summit this week by publishing its first annual report in decades, including a detailed report on its financial status. In a move that will pressure other global and regional travel industry to follow suit, PATA CEO Mario Hardy circulated the annual […]

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15 May, 2017

20 years after moving to Asia, a chance for PATA to reclaim its former glory

Bangkok – The PATA Annual Summit to be held 18-22 May in Sri Lanka offers a golden chance for the regional travel organisation to capitalise on a number of converging opportunities and regain the leadership status dating back to 1998, when it moved the HQ from San Francisco to Bangkok. The Summit takes place against […]

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12 May, 2017

US-Bangla Airlines starts four-weekly flights to Bangkok

Bangkok – US-Bangla airlines, a rapidly rising private airline operating out of Bangladesh, has started four weekly flights to Bangkok. To be operated by a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with a 156 (Y) and 8 (J) seat configuration, the full-service flights are expected to go a long way towards boosting Bangladeshi tourism to Thailand. However, the […]

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5 May, 2017

Exclusive Resinar 4 July: Promoting Thailand as a Muslim-Friendly Destination

Bangkok – Travel & tourism to Thailand began with the Americans. Then came the Europeans, followed by the Japanese and Koreans. It is now the era of Chinese, Russians and Indians. The next wave will be the ASEAN countries and the Islamic world. Each source market has its own unique traits and characteristics. For the […]

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4 May, 2017

Ex-beauty queen, Buddhist economics deployed to confront OTA oligopoly

Bangkok – A former Canadian-Russian beauty queen, a Dutch convert to Buddhism, a hotelier driven by a passion to put justice back into the travel booking system and a high-powered techie have teamed up to create a portal that will give the “oligopoly” of giant online travel agents a run for the money. Set for […]

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2 May, 2017

The US$5 million WTTC Summit: Did Thailand get money’s worth?

Bangkok – The Royal Thai Government forked out 135 million baht (about US$4 million) in official sponsorship funds to support the WTTC summit. This does not include additional sponsorship funds from other Thai travel industry organisations and the private sector, which would have totalled at least another US$1 million. Millionaire CEOs of some of the […]

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2 May, 2017

WTTC summit shines spotlight on “The Two Global Warmings”

Bangkok – Held under the lofty theme of “Transforming our World”, the 17th annual summit of the World Travel & Tourism Council was designed to focus on “Travel & Tourism’s power to transform economies, places and lives in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. If the two lead factors “Transforming our World” are […]

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24 Apr, 2017

Thailand’s bid to “disrupt the disrupters” in legal limbo

Bangkok – Taxi drivers in many Thai tourist cities have long been well known for ripping off passengers — meters that suddenly “did not work”, roads that were suddenly “closed for repairs” requiring the driver to take a longer route, shops that had “just shut down” so that the driver could take the passenger to […]

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12 Apr, 2017

Door open for travel & tourism academia to boost research on “The Other Global Warming”

Bangkok – The Malaysia-based Global Movement of Moderates Foundation and the Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University, have signed an MoU to expand academic research in “religious moderation” as a universal force for peace, shunning all forms of extremism, nationalism and absolutism. Signed on April 5 at a conference designed to promote exactly that agenda, […]

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7 Apr, 2017

GMS Tourism “development” benefiting elites, cronies far more than the poor – NGO report

Bangkok – Development in the Mekong Subregion is benefitting “powerful elites, cronies, corporations, and some politicians” far more than the poor, as well as doing serious environmental damage that will create major long-term problems, according to the Bangkok-based NGO Focus on the Global South.   Entitled “An Overview of Large Scale Investment Projects in the […]

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2 Apr, 2017

Return journey to Uzbekistan, Heart of the Silk Road

For many years, promoting the Silk Road has been one of the priority projects of the UN World Tourism Organisation, which describes it thus: “Acclaimed as the ‘greatest route in the history of mankind’, the ancient Silk Road formed the first bridge between the East and the West and was an important vehicle for trade […]

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13 Mar, 2017

Huge budget boost for Brunei tourism ministry

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 13 March 2017 (14 Jumaada al-Akhir 1438). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ THIS SPACE OPEN FOR SPONSORSHIP Islamic Travel Newswire, an influential and widely-read weekly compilation […]

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10 Mar, 2017

Spineless U.S. travel industry kisses Trump’s rump

On March 06, 2017, right after the issuance of the revised Muslim travel ban, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement: “The American travel community supports efforts to bolster national security, and the Trump administration deserves some credit for the substantially more cautious and deliberate introduction of the revised executive […]

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8 Mar, 2017

Tourism, Business To Benefit From Saudi King’s Asia Visit

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 06 March 2017 (07 Jumada Al Akhir 1438). Pls click on any of the headlines to go to the story. ============ THIS SPACE OPEN FOR SPONSORSHIP Islamic Travel Newswire, an influential and widely-read weekly compilation […]

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27 Feb, 2017

Maldives to host its first Int’l Travel Trade Show 12-13 July

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 27 February 2017 (30 Jumada Al Awwal 1438). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ THIS SPACE OPEN FOR SPONSORSHIP Islamic Travel Newswire, an influential and widely-read weekly […]

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24 Feb, 2017

Will ITB Berlin 2017 be the last?

Bangkok – Is anyone in the travel & tourism industry aware that in 1917, exactly 100 years ago, Europe was in the third year of World War I. It was also a game-changing year. The tide turned against the Central Powers (mainly Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire) with the entrance of the U.S. That […]

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22 Feb, 2017

Hypocritical U.S. Airlines Reject “Buy American, Hire American”

Source: Business Travel Coalition Industry Analysis

February 21, 2017 – In December 2016, full-time equivalent employment (FTE) at U.S. scheduled passenger airlines increased 3.7% over December 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). December was the 38th consecutive month that FTE for U.S. scheduled passenger airlines exceeded the previous year’s and was the highest monthly total since March 2008. […]

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21 Feb, 2017

Garuda to inaugurate Jakarta-Moscow flights in August

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 20 February 2017 (23 Jumaada al-Awwal 1438). Pls click on any of the headlines to go to the story. ============ THIS SPACE OPEN FOR SPONSORSHIP Islamic Travel Newswire, an influential and widely-read weekly compilation of […]

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15 Feb, 2017

Unwelcome in Europe, U.S.? Welcome to Thailand, former Foreign Minister tells global Muslims

Bangkok – Muslims having problems going to Europe and the United States will find a more welcoming environment in Muslim-friendly Thailand, former Thai Foreign Minister Dr Surin Pitsuwan said last week. Speaking at the official opening of Al Meroz hotel on Feb 11, Thailand’s largest and newest four-star halal-friendly property, the Harvard-educated Dr Surin said […]

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13 Feb, 2017

Afghan cricketers to play for first time in Indian Premier League

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 13 February 2017 (16 Jumaada al-Awwal 1438). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ THIS SPACE OPEN FOR SPONSORSHIP Islamic Travel Newswire, an influential and widely-read weekly compilation […]

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6 Feb, 2017

First, It’s the Muslims: An Evolution to Dictatorship

Bangkok – Here is a collection of articles that sound even more ominous warnings about the rise of Donald Trump, and the threat of another World War. They can be easily found via a Google search. Take these looming threats seriously. Or be ready to face the same havoc that Hitler caused, as the first […]

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6 Feb, 2017

How American right-wing extremists fan the flames of Islamophobia

Bangkok – As the Muslim-ban sparks global outrage and opposition, the tide is turning against the U.S. government under the leadership of Donald Trump. The travel & tourism industry, which has been the first to be affected by this ban, now has an opportunity to demonstrate whether it will be a part of the solution […]

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6 Feb, 2017

“Russia–Islamic World Kazan Summit 2017” set for 18-21 May

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 06 February 2017 (09 Jumaada al-Awwal 1438). Pls click on any of the headlines to go to the story. ============ THIS SPACE OPEN FOR SPONSORSHIP Islamic Travel Newswire, an influential and widely-read weekly compilation of […]

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3 Feb, 2017

UNWTO releases landmark report on contribution of Islamic culture to Asian Tourism

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Bangkok – The UN World Tourism Organisation has published a landmark report documenting the impact of Islamic culture and its contribution to Asian Tourism. Funded by the China Chamber of Tourism, the publication shines a light on the rich Islamic tangible and intangible cultural heritage resources throughout the Asia-Pacific and calls for a massive funding […]

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2 Feb, 2017

Pamelia Lee, Senior Director, Tourism Development, Singapore Tourism Board

ASEAN Travel & Tourism Hall of Fame – Initiated by Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil to recognise the many veterans who helped grow and shape ASEAN tourism over the last 50 years.

Date & Place of Birth: 16 April 1942, Hawaii. Marital Status: Married with four children and four grandchildren. Education: University of Hawaii. Career 1978 joined Singapore Tourism Board May 1978 to Aug 1984 Head of Marketing Division. Sept 1984 to Mid July 1994 Head Product Development Division, serving as chief coordinator of the S$1 billion […]

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1 Feb, 2017

The Shredding of Brand USA

Bangkok – It should be more than clear by now that the global image of Brand USA is in a free-fall. In less than two weeks, President Trump has upset women’s groups, the Mexicans, potential partner countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Muslim world. That already equates to roughly half the world’s population. The […]

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31 Jan, 2017

Civil Rights Groups Urge CEOs on Trump’s Business Council to Step Down NOW!

A compilation of just a few reactions and statements by various groups all around the world on U.S. President Donald Trump’s Muslim-ban order. =============== Civil Rights Groups Urge CEOs on Trump’s Business Council to Step Down NOW! Washington DC, 30 Jan 2017 — (Muslim Advocates media release) – As days of national protests have continued […]

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30 Jan, 2017

Pakistan is Home to World’s Largest Ice Glaciers

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil

A compilation of progressive, positive, inspiring and motivating events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 30 January 2017 (02 Jumada Al Awwal 1438). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA Win FREE trips in Malaysia by […]

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30 Jan, 2017

Trump’s Muslim-ban highlights global threat posed by Israeli dual-citizens

The Muslim ban enacted by the Trump Administration will be applicable to dual nationality Muslims as well, according to the following report in the Wall Street Journal. Although it has been roundly denounced and protested, this unprecedented action has a silver lining: It has presented a perfect opportunity to scrutinise the security threat posed by […]

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29 Jan, 2017

Most Accurate Forecasts in the History of Travel & Tourism (1)

Bangkok – In my 35 years of covering the global travel and tourism industry, I have reported on numerous crises. Here are the four most important ones: 1) In the 1980s I covered the first global AIDS crisis, which began in Thailand. As the virus spread like wildfire, the over-arching preventive advice was to practice […]

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27 Jan, 2017

Visit ASEAN or Southeast Asia? Branding mess on full display at ATF 2017

Singapore – Hundreds of man-hours and thousands of dollars in taxpayers money have been expended over many years by ASEAN tourism officials in pursuit of a united brand image that will fulfill the dream of promoting ASEAN as a single destination. But, as was more than evident at the 36th ASEAN Tourism Forum between 16-20 […]

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25 Jan, 2017

Chris Hedges: Revolt Is the Only Barrier to a Fascist America

The destruction of democratic institutions, places where the citizen has agency and a voice, is far graver than the ascendancy to the White House of the demagogue Donald Trump. The coup destroyed our two-party system. It destroyed labor unions. It destroyed public education. It destroyed the judiciary. It destroyed the press. It destroyed academia. It […]

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25 Jan, 2017

ASEAN@50: STB media staff show how NOT to manage media

Singapore: The theme of this year’s 36th ASEAN Tourism Forum in Singapore was “Shaping Our Tourism Journey Together.” If the discourteous behaviour I experienced at the ASEAN tourism ministerial press conference is any indicator, that lofty pursuit of togetherness came with a few exceptions. Media management of the ATF 2017 in Singapore was vastly different […]

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24 Jan, 2017

Indonesian President Wants Ministers To Cut Speeches To 7 Minutes

Compiled by Imtiaz Muqbil

A compilation of stories of interesting events and developments in the world of Islam for the week ending 23 January 2017 (24 Rabee’ al-Thaani 1438). Pls click on any of the headlines below to go to the story. ============ A WORD FROM MY SPONSORS: TOURISM MALAYSIA Win FREE trips in Malaysia by entering this Photography […]

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23 Jan, 2017

Dr Bert van Walbeek, Founder & Chairman of first Asian, Thailand Chapter, SITE

ASEAN Travel & Tourism Hall of Fame – Initiated by Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil to recognise the many veterans who helped grow and shape ASEAN tourism over the last 50 years.

  Date & Place of Birth: 23 March 1943, Alkmaar, Netherlands Marital Status: Married with three children (from 2 marriages) and six grand children Education: Hogere Hotelschool-The Hague 1961-1964 Career 1968-1985 Employment with Hilton, Intercontinental Hotels and ITT Sheraton 1985-1988 Area Marketing Director , Royal Orchid Sheraton, Bangkok 1988-1991 VP Marketing, Middle East and North […]

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23 Jan, 2017

Joseph K. S. Chew, Executive Director, Singapore Tourist Promotion Board

ASEAN Travel & Tourism Hall of Fame – Initiated by Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil to recognise the many veterans who helped grow and shape ASEAN tourism over the last 50 years.

  Date & Place of Birth: 26 Dec. 1943, Singapore. Marital Status: Married with two sons and five grandchildren. Languages: Written – English & Malay. Spoken – English, Malay, Hokkien (Chinese Dialect) Education: BA (Hons) Economics, University of Singapore, 1963-66. Senior Executive Program, Columbia University, 1978 Senior Executive Program, Stanford University, 1994 Career 1966-1968 Straits […]

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23 Jan, 2017

Kevin Leong, Secretary General, Asian Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaux

ASEAN Travel & Tourism Hall of Fame – Initiated by Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil to recognise the many veterans who helped grow and shape ASEAN tourism over the last 50 years.

  Date & Place of Birth: 9 March 1950 Marital Status: Married Education: Bachelor of Business Administration (Singapore University) Career 1976 – Joined Singapore Tourism Board, and spent 36 years with the STB. Key positions held included Vice-President (Eastern Region) in the USA, Director of Exhibitions and Conventions, and Director of Events Marketing. 1979-1988 – […]

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