"Embracing Change," the theme of IACVB's annual convention set to open July 19, is particularly appropriate, say organizers, as the conference will the

be the first hospitality industry meeting held in Hong Kong following its reunification with the People's Republic of China.

"How many times in your life do you have the chance to be somewhere when the history of a country is about to change?" asks Karen Jordan, IACVB president and CEO.

"Hong Kong will reinforce dramatically the fact we are indeed [operating in] a global marketplace," adds Michael J. Wilson, IACVB board chair and president of the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"People must be thinking and acting globally in order to compete. I would envision in ten years that meetings in Hong Kong and other similar destinations will be quite commonplace."

The convention also is IACVB's first formal joint meeting with the Asian Association of CVBs (AACVB). Conference sessions are planned that follow the theme of globalization, focusing on international marketing.