Hong Kong honours MICE agents for boosting inbound visitors

Top travel organisers who led thousands of meetings and incentives participants to Hong Kong from India, Indonesia and mainland China were honoured at an awards ceremony in the city.

Kenneth Wong, general manager of MICE and Cruise business for Hong Kong Tourism Board, told an audience at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong that the efforts of the agencies had contributed to a “robust growth” in overnight visitors in 2014, which he said was up 11 per cent from the previous year.

The Top Agents Awards Presentation on February 28 was the climax to a week-long familiarisation to the city for more than 30 outbound group travel organisers who work with Meetings and Events Hong Kong, the MICE arm of HKTB. During the fam, participants were introduced to ideas for teambuilding, excursions and activities such as dining and sightseeing.

Cox & Kings
It was the third year the event was held and the first time the awards programme was extended to agents in India.

Cox & Kings won the top India agents award with Universal Journeys the first runner-up out of more than 10 finalists from India. CYTS MICE Services took the honours for bringing the highest number of participants from mainland China.

Indonesia was also well represented at the event with agents competing in three categories. Wita Tour won best newcomer, with Jawa Holiday as first runner-up; Genta Tours took the prize for top number of groups, followed by Panorama Tours.

Baya Buana Travel won the top Indonesia award for the most number of passengers brought to Hong Kong. The series of incentive travel trips spanned nine months and involved between eight and 10 hotels across Hong Kong.

Shirley Teguh, general manager, MICE and Cruise Business, for Bayu Buana, said though the main conference was held in Macau, Hong Kong was chosen for teambuilding and an important destination for Indonesian delegates.

Mohammed Adil, area sales manager for Cox & Kings India, said he was impressed by the coordination and advice provided by MEHK “that made the project so successful for us”. He said Hong Kong is proving increasingly popular among incentive clients from a range of industries.

Among the ideas that stood out for Adil and his groups were a treasure-hunt teambuilding activity that used iPads to locate clues, sightseeing and a night at the races.

Some agents at the event said it was their company policy not to reveal details of travel numbers, but one single event in 2014 brought more than 2,000 incentive qualifiers to Hong Kong over a period of months.

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