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ITB Asia News 2019 Day 3 Edition

  • Text
  • Destinations
  • October
  • Mice
  • Expo
  • Finland
  • Sands
  • Singapore
  • Arrivals
  • Sustainable
  • Tourism

10 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

10 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW VISITORS CAN LOOK FORWARD TO THE ADDITION OF AN ALL-SUITE FOURTH HOTEL TOWER; A 15,000-SEAT ENTERTAINMENT ARENA AS WELL AS ADDITIONAL MICE SPACE AND CAPABILITIES Mike Lee Vice President of Sales, Marina Bay Sands ITB Asia has a fruitful ongoing relationship with the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. We asked Mike Lee, Vice President of Sales, Marina Bay Sands what the main aspects are from his side that add value to the show. ITB Asia is a valued partner of Marina Bay Sands, with a collaborative partnership between both teams that has enabled us to continue providing customised solutions for each edition of ITB Asia that meet both the organiser’s and delegates’ objectives. The versatility of our spaces at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre provides ITB Asia with the flexibility to reconfigure the show floor each year to meet the expanding needs of the show. The alternative unique venues that we offer on the property also provide delegates and trade visitors with the intimate spaces to connect and facilitate peer-topeer engagements. We are deeply committed to elevating the show experience for the next three years and providing an unforgettable experience for our guests. What’s new this year and heading into the near future? In 2019, we welcomed three new lifestyle and entertainment concepts, MARQUEE, AVENUE and KOMA as part of our ongoing collaboration with TAO Group. Beyond the interesting F&B openings this year, we are proud to be recognised for our business excellence and innovative use of technology to boost productivity and improve guest experiences. The integrated resort (Hotel, MICE, F&B) was recently conferred the 2019 Singapore Quality Award (SQA) and we are also the first hospitality business to be awarded the SQA after more than 10 years. Marina Bay Sands will be celebrating its 10th year anniversary in 2020. Early next year, we will welcome Hong Kong’s multi-award winning contemporary Chinese restaurant, Mott 32 to Marina Bay Sands. In addition, Michelin-starred Waku Ghin is currently undergoing extensive renovations, with an opening slated for early 2020. Looking ahead into the next few years, visitors can look forward to the addition of an allsuite fourth hotel tower; a 15,000- seat entertainment arena as well as additional MICE space and capabilities. The new arena will serve a dual purpose. With its size and amenities, it is also suitable for MICE groups to host big plenary sessions and large conference groups. More details will be shared in due course. Towards the future, hand-in-hand Exclusive interview: Mike Lee, Vice President of Sales, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore How important is sustainability as part of your message, and what is being done to move even further in this direction? Marina Bay Sands has become well known for integrating sustainability into our operations. Every decision we make is guided and fully supported by our global sustainability strategy, Sands ECO360. It is designed to help us minimise our environmental impact as an integrated resort. Marina Bay Sands is also committed to responsible sourcing in our purchase of materials ranging from fish and seafood, to paper products. The company is guided by a sustainable purchasing policy which encourages vendors to provide solutions, materials, and goods that are environmentallyfriendly. The company-wide emphasis on making our operations sustainable has won us many accolades in the industry. In fact, Sands Expo and Convention Centre achieved the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum, a global system of sustainability recognition in June this year. This makes us the first MICE venue in Asia Pacific to attain this certification. It tells industry players and our clients that any event they host at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre is highly sustainable. Ultimately, it gives clients confidence in our ability to curate events that are environmentally-friendly and memorable to begin with. Continuous education and engagement is important when it comes to sustainability. Through our Sands ECO360 green meetings programme, we not only provide Green Meeting Advisory Services, but the team also works closely with meeting planners to customise their sustainable events. Clients can choose from the Harvest Menu or Healthier Menu options, certified by Singapore Health Promotion Board, a government body, which offer fresh and high-quality ingredients that are locally and regionally sourced and prepared through healthier cooking methods ITB ASIA NEWS • Friday 18 October 2019 www.itb-asia-news.com

SPECIAL FEATURE SUSTAINABLE TOURISM 11 Visit Finland at ITB Asia 2019 - (left to right) Hanna Muoniovaara, Sirpa Lindberg and Sari Hey A pledge for sustainability in Finland To help the tourism industry in Finland to adopt sustainable practices, Visit Finland is presenting for the first time at ITB Asia the Sustainable Travel Finland programme, designed for tourism companies and destinations in Finland. During the Autumn 2018, Visit Finland carried out a survey among tourism actors in the country. The survey revealed that 83% of the respondents supported the idea of a national sustainable tourism programme. The pledge for a sustainable travel label was born. Finland feels particularly vulnerable to climate change. The most sensitive to climate change are many of Finland’s outdoor travel products that depend on climate. Mitigation requires proactive tourism planning and management at national and regional level. Visit Finland feels then the necessity to act immediately. The idea of ​Sustainable Travel Finland programme is to provide companies and destinations with a sustainable development path; a concrete toolkit for sustainable tourism that makes it easier to adopt sustainable practices and choices in the everyday business. The “Sustainable Travel Finland” label will make it easier for travel trade and travellers to recognise a tourism company and destination that takes sustainability seriously. The label is only awarded for those companies and destinations that have undergone the entire Sustainable Travel Finland programme and fulfilled the criteria. The programme includes regular auditing and renewal of the label. Companies and destinations that undergo the entire programme are recognised with the Sustainable Travel Finland label and will have access to a continuous development model, the latest information on sustainable tourism development, and marketing support and visibility on visit Finland channels. Although Sustainable Travel Finland programme aligns with internationally known sustainable tourism programmes and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is built for regional and national development needs. Instead of adopting a foreign model to Finland, a national model has consequently been designed to address these needs, as well as regional differences. While for the international travel trade the Sustainable Travel Finland label provides an easy way to identify a sustainable tourism provider or a destination, for the tourism industry in Finland it provides a 7-step sustainable tourism development path. This 7-step programme is available on an online platform specifically built for the purpose. The platform is supported with an “e-guide” e-learning environment, accessible only by those accepted to Sustainable Travel Finland programme. Step 1. Commitment Step 2. Increasing knowhow Step 3. Development plan Step 4. Responsible communication Step 5. Certification Step 6. Verification and measurability Step 7. Agreement on Sustainable Travel Finland Visitors will also be involved as they will promise to respect and treasure Finnish nature. A great challenge that should be adopted by other countries… STAND M05 - BASEMENT 2 Bernadette Romulo-Puyat Tourism Minister, Philippines PHILIPPINES TO BOOST SUSTAINABLE TOURISM As the Philippines are attracting more and more tourists, we asked Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Tourism Minister of the Philippines to share the country’s international tourism evolution in 2018. Visitor arrivals to the Philippines reached 7,168,467 arrivals in 2018, up by 8.27% over 2017 with Korea, China, and the USA representing over a million arrivals each. Total earnings from tourism reached USD 7.71 billion in 2018. Important events last year included the rehabilitation of Boracay, the country’s flagship destination which was also an opportunity for secondary tourism spots, a range of new air routes to secondary airports and the opening of Panglao Airport in Bohol. How important is turning sustainability for the tourism sector? We are creating a culture of Sustainable Tourism by prioritising the enforcement of environmental laws in major tourist destinations like El Nido and Coron, Panglao, Siargao del Norte, and Manila Bay. Strategy on sustainability includes the establishment of carrying capacity regulation in destinations in cooperation with local governments, the private sector and communities. The DOT has also been consistent in promoting green standards for the whole tourism industry. We also added a digital campaign on sustainable tourism to the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign STAND D05 - BASEMENT 2 ITB ASIA NEWS • Friday 18 October 2019