Thursday, September 8, 2016

Jack Wei discusses ITE HCMC 2016 in Ho Chi Minh, part 2

The International Travel Expo (ITE) 2016 is back in Ho Chi Minh for its 12th edition. The most established travel event in Vietnam is expecting a record 30,000 strong crowd this year at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre and today was the official opening day of the expo.

The Travelife Magazine team is now here in Ho Chi Minh live at ITE.

On the eve of the ITE, Jack Wei, General Manager, Informa Exhibitions, the co- organizer of the ITE as well as the Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards (MTAA) sat down with us at the historic Rex Hotel in Ho Chi Minh, famous since the war days, and answered a few questions for us.

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What are the major achievements in 2016 compared to 2015?

Besides the significant increase of exhibition size, exhibiting companies and buyers, this year we are also very happy to host some international travel bloggers from Denmark, Finland, France, New Zealand, Norway, UK and Sweden.

The travel bloggers will also be sharing their experiences on how social media can help market destinations better in today’s world, in a seminar.



How did the MTAA awards come about and what is the judging criteria for this?

Following five successful years of staging the ITE HCMC since 2009, the organising committee found scope and reason to introduce a much anticipated dimension that can serve to elevate the stature of the event and its participants.

This took place in the formation of the Tourism Alliance Awards (TAA) now known as Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards (MTAA) slated to be an annual much-awaited industry and peer-recognition awards designed to celebrate only the best and brightest tourism stars within the Mekong region concept.

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With tourism already a priority in this region as a key foreign exchange earner, increased air travel into and within, and the steady rise in quality accommodation and attractions, the time is ripe for the introduction of a well-recognised awards programme that would be highly reflective of the state of the Mekong tourism.

The awards will help to raise standards through a structured submission process of self-assessment through the preparation of a detailed questionnaire which is then reviewed by industry peers who respond carefully to defined international criteria.

The awards process will culminate in a night of celebration that recognises and promotes outstanding achievements by those at the heart of the industry.


Proudly supported by the countries’ respective tourism ministries, the MTAA, now in its 8th year, has eight prestigious award categories:

The Best Airline of the Year
The Best Outbound Travel Operator of the Year
The Best Inbound Travel Operator of the Year
The Best Five-star Hotel of the Year 
The Best Resort of the Year

To take into account current trends in tourism and its promotion, three new categories have been introduced this year, namely:

The Best Tourism Website of the Year
Best Festival of the Year 
Broadcast Excellence Award for Destination Promotion

We are very excited about the three new award categories in the MTAA this year, as it’s a reflection of the changing times, for instance, in how travellers research for their itinerary (Best Tourism Website of the Year award).

We also added the Broadcast Excellence Award for Destination Promotion, in response to the prevalence of travel videos, as well as the Best Festival of the Year, as tourism boards become more aware of the role that festivals play in attracting travellers who want a more immersive experience.



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