Events in Asia take a hit

BANGKOK, 11 February 2020: A major aviation event, Routes Asia,  is going ahead and is due to be hosted in Chiang Mai, 8 to 10 March.

It will attract around 1,000 aviation executives from airports, airlines and government agencies. Last year the event was hosted by Cebu in the Philippines.

Routes Asia is the only route development event dedicated to the Asia Pacific region. It attracts senior decision-makers from the region’s air service development community.

It is good news for Chiang Mai’s tourism and hospitality industries at a time when travel from China has almost disappeared, and advance hotel bookings have dipped.

However, postponements are showing up in Thailand’s events calendar for the next few months.

The Roads & Traffic Expo Thailand due to be hosted in Bangkok 12 to 13 February has been postponed.

Other events postponed include the 6th edition of Asia Brake Conference and Exhibition (ASIABRAKE) and Bridging the Divide, a sexual and reproductive health and rights event, scheduled for 19 to 21 February in Bangkok.

The 18th edition of the Security Cargo Network Annual International Conference (SCN Annual International Conference), 24 to 27 March, in Bangkok has been postponed.

In Phuket, The 11th edition of the International Conference on Food Engineering and Biotechnology (ICFEB) due to be hosted  28 to 30 March has also been cancelled.

The 6th International Conference on Biotechnology and Agriculture Engineering (ICBAE) due to be hosted in Phuket, 28 to 30 March, has been cancelled.

South Korean K-pop star Kim Tae-yeon, known as Taeyeon, has cancelled her concert in Thailand. Taeyeon was scheduled to perform on two nights 22 to 23 February to later dates due to coronavirus fears.

She is now the second K-pop artist from South Korea to cancel the concerts in Thailand over virus concerns. K-pop GOT7 postponed their concerts at Rajamangala National Stadium 15 to 16 February.


At the weekend, new dates for the China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market 2020 were confirmed. The show will now be held 9 to 11 September according to the event’s organiser.

In a statement released at the weekend, the organiser postponed the show scheduled to be hosted 1 to 2 April in Beijing.

“Following the outbreak of the Coronavirus, we have been in close communication with the Chinese authorities and key stakeholders, and it has been decided that the best outcome for the tourism industry is to move COTTM 2020 to new dates  9 to 11 September 2020,” the statement read.


The Pacific Asia Travel Association confirmed it would go ahead with its PATA seminar and lunch hosted, 5 March during the ITB Berlin week.

The seminar on ‘Destination Resilience and Recovery – facing Global Challenges’ will examine the key trends in the Asia Pacific market, the impact of the current coronavirus outbreak in China and how destinations need to react to a changing market and consumer demands.

ITB Berlin due to convene during the first week of March will continue business as usual, although delegations from China, Macau and Hong Kong may cancel attendance due to travel restrictions.

Sports events suffer

Meanwhile, sports events for the remainder of February and March are being postponed in China and is now highly likely the Chinese Grand Prix could be cancelled.  It is due to be hosted at the Shanghai International Circuit 17 to 19  April.

Reports suggest that the Shanghai Sports Federation has doubts over the April race and authorities are recommending all sports events should be cancelled until the epidemic is over.

Around 15 sports events have so far been either cancelled or postponed in China.

The Chinese Football Association has put on hold all domestic matches, while Formula E also cancelled its race in Sanya that was due to take place 21 March.

The World Athletics Indoor Championships scheduled for Nanjing from March 13-15, has been postponed until next year.

The Asian Athletics Association cancelled its Feb 12-13 indoor championships in Hangzhou.

The International Tennis Federation moved the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group I event featuring China, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea and Uzbekistan out of Dongguan to Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) in Kazakhstan.

The China Masters tournament in Hainan, 25 February to 1 March was postponed after several players withdrew.

The International Olympic Committee announced Jordan as hosts of the boxing qualifiers for Asia and Oceania after an event in Wuhan was cancelled. It will now take place in Amman from 3 to 11 March.

The International Basketball Federation moved the 6 to 9 February Tokyo Olympics qualifiers to be held in Foshan, China, to Belgrade.

The FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifying match between China and Malaysia, to be held in Foshan 24 February will be rescheduled.

The elite women’s LPGA golf tour cancelled the 5 to 8 March Blue Bay tournament to be held on Hainan Island, China.

The PGA Tour Series-China moved its 25 to 28 February global qualifying tournament to Lagoi, Indonesia, from Haikou, China.

Skiing’s governing body cancelled the 15 to 16 February World Cup in Yanqing and the first winter X-Games scheduled to be held in China, in the Hebei province 21 to 23 February has been postponed.


Citibank cancelled its annual investor conference.
“In light of the coronavirus situation, we have taken the decision to cancel our Asia Pacific Investor Conference,” a spokesperson told CNA last week while noting that the bank has begun “limiting large group gatherings”.\