Mice Breaking News

IHG to cut back sales commission for third-party intermediaries

IHG

InterContinental Hotels Group shall cut back its sales commissions from 10 per cent to 7 per cent for all bookings made in the U.S. and Canada as of January 1, 2019.  “This move allows us to balance the needs of our guests and owners by reinvesting the savings into programmes and improvements that will benefit the guest experience,” Derek DeCross, SVP of Global Sales, IHG, said in a statement. He provided further comments on the policy change in a letter sent to third-party intermediaries for meetings and events: “Understanding the complexities of the groups and meetings industry and the nature of the business being booked by our customers is an integral part of our sales strategy and foundation to what we do,” his letter reads. “As part of this, IHG has assessed its group bookings commission structure and will be changing the group travel partner commission structure.” Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, which was acquired by IHG in 2014, will also be included in the policy change. The 10-percent rate will still be in place for IHG properties outside of the U.S. and Canada, including Puerto Rico. The shift in commissions structure is a symptom of the high levels of consolidation currently taking place in the industry. Marriott, Hilton and IHG are three of the largest hotel companies in the world, and they are now using their immense portfolios as tools to cut into commission structures. Meanwhile, last month two other hotel companies actually revealed plans to offer higher commissions for third parties. Warwick Hotels and Resorts is offering an additional 5-percent commission on food & beverage and room rentals for all meetings and incentives groups at its seven properties throughout the U.S. …

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Korea MICE Expo from June 14-15 at Incheon

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The Korea MICE Expo (KME), a suited platform for incentive planners and meeting professionals, will be held on June 14 and 15 in Songdo Convensia, Incheon. The two-day event aims to provide a perfect venue for over 2,000 expected attending MiCE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) industry professionals to engage with 300 exhibiting local service providers, including convention bureaus, unique venues and travel agencies. To foster a business-friendly event, this year’s KME will be in an unconventional format, ditching the usual sit-down gala dinner and forums. “We want this expo to be bigger and meaningful to all the participants. We will make KME 2018 a platform where buyers and suppliers can truly acquire business potentials,” said Chulbeum Park, Director of the Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) Meetings and Incentives Team. A standing networking party will replace the usual sit-down gala dinner to let guests interact freely. Also, convention bureaus will showcase not only their MiCE expertise but also their local food specialties during the reception. For the first time, the Korea MICE Expo will have a theme “Hallyu meets MICE” offering participants new venues, activities and discussions related to popular South Korean films, dramas and music.  A main highlight of the event includes the Opening Keynote by Soo-Wook Ahn, Executive Director of SM Entertainment, one of the leading entertainment groups in Korea. Celebrating its 19th year, the event will also introduce new programs such as Destination Presentations, Knowledge Cafe and Young MiCE Professionals booth, cultural performance and tours—showcasing some of Korea’s finest destination for incentive travel and corporate meetings. “Korea has become a favourable destination for incentive travel, especially for groups coming from Southeast Asia. The increasing number of groups returning …

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Free WiFi at 400 Indian railway stations: Google

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After launching its first free Wi-Fi service from Mumbai Central station in January 2016, Google has announced the completion of the free service at 400 railway stations across India in collaboration with RailTel, the telecom arm of Indian Railways. Dibrugarh in Assam has become the 400th railway station to get the free WiFi service from Google, the company said. Indian Railways had signed an MoU with Google in December, 2015 to launch the service, which offers thirty minutes of free internet access. The average data consumption per user per session has been recorded around 350MB. The project has succeeded in its mission of bringing connectivity to millions of unconnected Indians, leveraging on the nationwide optic fiber network backbone created by RailTel. Within the first year of the project’s launch, 100 of the busiest railway stations across India were brought online, enabling 15,000 people to experience the internet for the first time every day, it said. “With over 8 million monthly unique users connecting to the network, this is a lighthouse project for India and every growing economy that is looking to bring the benefit of connectivity to everyone in their country,” Google India Director Partnership Next Billion Users, K Suri, said. K Manohar Raja, Executive Director (Enterprise Business) at RailTel, said the endeavour has been to bridge the experience divide by providing one of the fastest public WiFi networks in the world. Source: ET Online

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Emirates’ 3rd service to Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport for business travellers

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Emirates will start a third daily service between Moscow’s Domodedovo (DME) Airport and Dubai, from October 25, 2018. Emirates has been serving the Russian market since 2003. Demand for travel has grown significantly over recent years, leading to the airline’s launch of third flight to Moscow. The new service will be operated by an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER in a three class cabin configuration, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy. This service will cater for leisure and business passengers, providing daily links for international tourism and trade opportunities both inbound and outbound. The flight EK174 will depart Domodedovo at 1040hrs and arrive in Dubai at 1655hrs, while the return flight EK173 will depart Dubai at 0330hrs and arrive in Moscow at 0750hrs. The new flight allows for seamless connectivity to Moscow from several popular destinations in Emirates’ and flydubai’s combined route network, including Bali, Bangkok, Colombo, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Maldives, Mauritius and Singapore. The new Emirates flight from Domodedovo airport is also timed to connect conveniently with a wide network of domestic flights operated by Emirates codeshare partner in Russia – S7 Airlines. Emirates’ commitment to Moscow Domodedovo airport is backed by airport’s investment in improving the infrastructure for the passengers.

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Elevated customer experiences through Thomas Cook

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Thomas Cook is now focusing on enhancing customer experience. Mahesh Iyer, Executive Director & CEO, Thomas Cook (India), at a media interaction said,  “As a channel we have seen decent growth coming in and we are clocking around 30 per cent CAGR year on year and are quite optimistic on the future of online business. Our focus in the long term is on customer experience. If we look at the current summers we are operating we have packed new experiences like curated food menu by Ranveer Brar, Boman Irani doing a red carpet night for our travellers. We have also launched Japan this year in terms of adding new destinations and have already crossed 1000 passengers.” In terms of forex, Thomas Cook is looking to bring more digital options for the customer. It is working on a premium product and will soon be launching a mobile card which will allow customers to use their prepaid card on the NFC platform. He further added, “There is lot of innovation and product development happening with an underline of technology. We launched our customer self-service app which allows the customer to keep tab on their bookings, visa status, itineraries etc.”

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Global Exhibitions Day: 85 countries participate

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Exhibition professionals around the world came out in record numbers for the third Global Exhibitions Day (GED) that was held on June 6. This highlights the industry’s role as a driver of economic growth with 85 countries taking part, reveals UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry data. Corrado Peraboni, President, UFI, said, “I am pleased to see the prominent support from ministers in national governments who shared their understanding of how important exhibitions and business events are for their economies and citizens.” GED’s focus this year were on two key areas: to advocate industry issues with politicians and stakeholders, and finding new ways to connect with young people to attract the right talent to the exhibition industry. The UFI team in Paris had registered activities in 85 countries and regions from all around the world, with the leading organisers, venues and service providers all being active. Coordinated by UFI, this joint advocacy campaign also united 41 GED partner associations. Activities in all parts of the world saw a broad mix of activities, both on-site and online, promoting exhibitions as business platforms, as well as highlighting opportunities for career and business development. Specific events and activities were arranged by many of the international and national organisers, by venues, by service providers, and also by national and regional associations. Here is an example of the many activities that focused on education and networking globally: In Asia, activities were reported at many venues in China, whilst in Thailand, the TCEB ran an “Exhibition Industry Forum” focusing on the theme of change. In India, the IEIA oversaw festivities in New Delhi, Mumbai, Greater Noida, Hyderabad and Jaipur. Meetings were organised with ministers and …

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VITS Mango Blossom, Gurugram, opens doors for corporate travellers

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VITS Luxury Hotels has unveiled ‘VITS Mango Blossom, Gurugram’, a luxury corporate hotel located near Udyog Vihar Industrial Hub. Well-connected through railways, road and air to all major cities, the hotel offers ease of travel and transit to all the corporate travellers. Chandrakant Shetty, CEO, VITS Luxury Business Hotels, says, “We are extremely upbeat on the exponential growth prospects in Gurugram that has fuelled demand of upscale mid-market hotels in this region. The city has seen steady growth in inflow of business travellers in the last two decades but there is still acute shortage of upscale mid-market hotel rooms. We are extremely delighted to bridge this gap with the launch of our first property in Gurugram. We believe VITS Mango Blossom with its strategic location, imposing décor, banqueting and host of hospitality will appeal to both leisure and business tourists”. The well-furnished accommodation blends contemporary design with unmatched comfort. The 37 guest rooms comprising Deluxe and Superior rooms present a corporate sojourn with impeccable amenities. Mirroring the aura of elite class living, each of the rooms boats of tastefully adorned décor, upscale comfort, luxury ambience and exclusive facilities

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Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road opens for business

Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road

Chennai welcomes its seventh AccorHotels property with the opening of Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road. The property is conveniently situated in the heart of the city within walking distance of many clubs like Madras Club and elite neighbourhoods like Boat Club. It is a mere 10-minute drive from popular locations like the T Nagar shopping district, Marina Beach and the business districts of Nungambakkam, Egmore, Adyar, Mylapore and Alwarpet. The hotel is less than a 30-minute drive from both the Chennai International Airport and the Chennai Central Railway Station. “We are excited to partner with AG Hospitality to launch Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road and look forward to a fruitful partnership. The opening of this hotel marks our seventh hotel in Chennai and eighth property in the state of Tamil Nadu. Chennai is fast becoming a key market fuelled by both strong business and leisure traveller growth in an improving economic climate.” said Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer – India & South Asia, AccorHotels. Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road is the first Novotel with a contemporary design and interiors. The hotel has been conceptualised by SODA, an international design firm known for creating fresh, innovative yet sustainable spaces. The hotel features around 100 well-appointed rooms including four suites, as well as rooms designed for the specially-abled.  “A twenty-year dream of having an unconventional yet charming place for business travellers seems most relevant in today’s scenario where everything is changing so rapidly, couldn’t have been a better time to realize a long-standing vision. It feels very special and satisfying” said, Dr S.K. Gupta, Chairman, Gupta Group of Companies.   “Our work in the European fashion industry exposed us to several boutique and unique hotels all over …

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Newly-opened Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 to cater to MICE

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced a partnership with SDB Developers to bring a second Holiday Inn hotel to Kolkata. As part of the agreement, the 110-room Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 will have 90 rooms operational by the end of 2018, with 20 additional rooms expected to be operational by 2020. The upcoming Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 will house impressive meeting and banquet facilities along with beautifully landscaped lawns, especially suited for wedding functions. All rooms will be equipped with modern amenities for guests’ comfort. The resort will also feature a state-of-the-art gymnasium, pool, and a spa for guests to relax and revive. Furthermore, guests staying at the hotel will be spoilt for choice with three dining options offering excellent food and beverage selections. Sprawling across 12 acres of land in Uluberia, a city that comes under the Kolkata Metropolitan Area, Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 is strategically located to offer excellent connectivity to central Kolkata. Well suited to cater to leisure, business and MiCE guests, the resort will be an hour’s drive from the City Centre and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. The resort will also be well connected to the National Highway and the Orissa Trunk Road. Commenting on the announcement, Sudeep Jain, Vice President – Development, South West Asia, IHG said, “The signing of Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6 is in line with our strategy to grow our portfolio of midscale hotels in the country, comprising the Holiday Inn brand family. Given the location, facilities and best in class amenities that will be available at the resort, we expect strong demand from various guests’ segments including, leisure, MiCE, social events and weddings.” Pawan Bhimsaria, Director, SDB Developers said, “With IHG’s …

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HRAO to organise workshop on tourism development in western Odisha on June 20

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The Hotel & Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO) is set to organise a state-level workshop on the development of tourism in western Odisha on June 20. The workshop, scheduled to be held at Hotel The Grand Siba in Sambalpur, will be attended by hoteliers, tour operators, travel agents and other stakeholders. Important decision makers, government officials, media and political leaders have also been invited to give their inputs for giving a boost to the tourism growth of Western Odisha. With the addition of Jharsuguda, Rourkela and Jeypore airports in the state, the association now wants to make Odisha a 21-night destination. “With the benefits of the new tourism policy, the HRAO is now willing to spread out with additional 5000 rooms in all tourist locations of the state, specially Western Odisha. Currently, we have the lowest number of star hotels (10 hotels) and classified rooms (670 rooms) in Odisha,” said J K Mohanty, Chairman – HRAO & IATO, Eastern Region.

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