August 08, 2007

Anthony Lau Chun Hon joined the Hong Kong Tourism Board as executive director on Aug. 1. Lau has a strong international marketing background, having spent 20 years with Philip Morris Asia, most recently as general manager of Philip Morris Singapore. He is new to the hospitality industry. "Being born and raised in Hong Kong, I'm most thrilled to take part in promoting the tourism industry of my home," Lau said in a statement. "At the moment, my top priorities include seeking advice from the government and travel-trade, and formulating a new business plan and budget for the next financial year, in collaboration with the HKTB's management team."

The Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau has received six proposals to operate the city's planned $300-million downtown convention center project. The applicants, which include Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and the Waterford Hotel Group, will be reviewed by a focus group this week and considered for interviews to be held in September. The management company will be chosen by the end of September, and construction will begin in 2008.  Plans for the center call for a 60,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 25,000-square-foot multifunctional room, a 10,000-square-foot ballroom and 22,350 square feet of additional meeting space. The project also includes a 250-room hotel and a 150-room property, to be built adjacent to the center.

The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce opened a two-story welcome center this week. The first level of the 10,000-square-foot facility is available for rental, including a 1,400-square-foot community room and 300-square-foot art gallery.