Mice Breaking News

Carlson Rezidor unveils two properties in Dubai

CARLSON

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has announced the opening of two new hotels in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Radisson Blu Hotel Apartments Dubai Silicon Oasis and Park Inn by Radisson Dubai Motor City. Tim Cordon, Area Senior Vice President, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, said: “2017 has been a momentous year for the Group with 20 hotel openings across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. We are further delighted to close the year with two exciting new hotel openings in Dubai, a key global gateway city and one of the world’s top travel destinations. Dubai’s tourism sector continues to grow in line with its Tourism Vision to attract 20 million visitors per year by 2020, and Carlson Rezidor is privileged to be playing a leading role in the hospitality sector. We are further pleased to grow the presence of both our iconic Radisson Blu and our colorful Park Inn by Radisson brands in the serviced apartment and mid-market hotel segments.” Radisson Blu has launched its new serviced hotel apartments in the free zone and technology business hub of Dubai Silicon Oasis on December 19. The Radisson Blu Hotel Apartments features upper upscale accommodation, with a choice of 229 stylishly designed studios and one or two bedroom apartments, including full kitchen facilities, free high-speed internet and the majority of apartments with balconies. The hotel apartments are conveniently situated next to the offices of international corporations based in Dubai Silicon Oasis and just 1km from Dubai Academic City, which hosts over 30 Universities. Burj Khalifa, also known as the world’s tallest building and Dubai Mall are just a 20-minute drive away. The Lounge café provides the perfect place to …

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Hitex to expand its capacity for national events

HITEX

The Hyderabad International Trade Expositions Limited (Hitex) is set to expand its capacity for ensuring more space for national events. In a recent meeting, the Hitex board has decided on immediate expansion of 10, 500 sq mt and a construction of a new exhibition-cum-convention hall with ancillary and support infrastructure to serve the growing market requirement. The new hall, with a proposed size of  8,080 sq mt and built-up area of 1.4 lakh sq ft, can be used for hosting national and international conferences and music concerts. For mid to long-term expansion, Hitex plans to add 20,000 to 40,000 sq mt.

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Cathay introduces Business Plus for Indian business travellers

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Cathay Pacific has introduced a new corporate sales programme, Business Plus, for the Indian business traveller. Business Plus enables the traveller to reap rewards for those who fly with Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon with a range of privileges and benefits. By flying with Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, companies can earn and accrue Business Plus points, thereby enabling them to move up through their 5-tier system – unlocking rewards and privileges along the way. These include cabin upgrades, Marco Polo Club membership, lounge passes and more. Moreover this programme is accessible around the clock – with easy spending review features and real-time travel advisories. Rajesh Menon, Cathay Pacific Regional Sales & Marketing Manager – South Asia, said: “Cathay Pacific also recognizes that SMEs are of key importance and have played a vital role in India’s economic development. This is why India has been selected as one of our first markets for Business Plus launch. We will be rolling out the programme in other key markets during the course of 2018.”

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Online visas help increase Australia’s rising Indian tourist arrivals

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India has emerged as Australia’s fastest-growing source market for tourist arrivals. One of the main reasons for this is the introduction of electronic lodgement of visa applications for Indian passport holders, which is likely to further boost arrivals. Arrivals from India to Australia grew by 15 per cent for the year ended October 2017, with an influx of 294,000 visitors, compared to the same period last year. This makes India the ninth-largest inbound market for Australia, and inches it closer towards achieving its Tourism 2020 goal of 300,000 visitors annually, three years ahead of target. Tania Gerlach, Chief Migration Officer, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, says, “We are extremely pleased with the success of the e-lodgement process, with over 60 per cent of the total tourist visa applications now received online. The month of November 2017 has witnessed the highest-ever tourist visa lodgements. Online lodgment offers benefits such as 24/7 accessibility, electronic payment of the visa application charge and the ability to check the status of applications lodged online. Processing times for these visas will now be faster, as both applications and supporting documentation are immediately available to the processing office

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Marriott Rewards and SPG initiate new points for members

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Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest have introduced new loyalty points promotion. Under Marriott Rewards’ MegaBonus and SPG’s Great Weeks, Grand Weekends promotions, members can start earning bonus points on their second stay, and are able to earn even more when the stay includes a weekend night. These rewarding offers allow members to explore and accrue points at over 6,400 hotels and resorts worldwide. Points can be redeemed for free nights, flights, exclusive experiences on Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments, with Marriott Rewards MORE shopping portal, and much more. Registration: December 18, 2017 – March 31, 2018 Earning Period: January 16, 2018 – April 15, 2018 Marriott Rewards MegaBonus: By registering for the promotion here, members will earn 2,000 bonus points beginning with their second stay*, plus 1,000 bonus points for stays over a weekend night**. Members can earn up to 50,000 bonus points. Nearly all Marriott Rewards brands participate in the promotion. Excluded are Marriott ExecuStay, Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club®. See the Official Terms & Regulations for more details at com/3kMegaBonus. SPG Great Weeks, Grand Weekends Promotion: By registering for the promotion here, starting with the second stay* members will earn double Starpoints for each stay, plus 500 bonus Starpoints, which equals 1,500 Marriott Rewards points, for stays over a weekend night**. There is no earning cap. Promotion valid at SPG hotels and resorts participating in the promotion (including participating SPG Design Hotels). See the Official Rules for more details at com/greatweeks/terms. These promotions are in addition to the everyday member benefits of both programs including free Wi-Fi, Mobile Check-in/Checkout, and, where available, mobile requests and keyless entry. Marriott Rewards and SPG are free to …

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TCEB unveils two mobile apps for events

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Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau has launched two new mobile applications, Smart BIZ Event and Smart BIZ Organizer for Thailand’s MICE industry. Through its unique innovation, the strategy is aimed to stimulate the growth of MICE events in the country, attract MICE travellers, and establish a knowledge and statistics platform to support the industry in terms of the strategic planning. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President, TCEB, said, “TCEB’s strategy focuses on the development of innovations. We aim to catch up with the digital trend and respond to the demand of MICE organisers and travellers in the digital era. In the fiscal year 2017, the target markets show a great response to our activities which include the development of our website, online sales and marketing channels, as well as online marketing communications.” TCEB also developed a mobile application called ‘Biz Thailand’, to respond to the rising trend of smartphones. The app provides information in Thai and English languages. It helps in giving out details about tourist attractions, restaurants, accommodations, domestic and international flights, as well as data on MICE venues in Bangkok and MICE cities. Users are able to get real-time updates on news and promotion activities with the location-based service. Besides, users are able to link the app to their social media accounts which makes sharing information found in the app worth their network easier. This useful application is designed for the users who are interested in conventions and business events in Thailand. Until now, the app has a record of more than 6,000 downloads.

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Israel simplifies visa process for Indian tourists

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To encourage more Indian travellers to visit Israel, the country has eased the visa application procedure for Indian citizens. The relaxed visa rule involves less documentation for Indians who have availed visas of Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel and have completed their travel to these countries.  For these travellers, the documents include a valid passport, completed visa application Form, two photographs, cover letter with travel information, traveller’s insurance and passport copy. Hassan Madah, Director of the Israel Ministry of Tourism, India, says, “This is an initiative we have been working very closely with Interior Ministry and Foreign Affairs Ministry to introduce in India and I am happy to see this change for the Indian travellers who wish to travel to Israel.  Easing the visa requirements will not only make the application process faster, I am confident it will also increase travel to Israel as well.  We are also working on an express service with VFS which will be introduced soon.  In addition to this, we are working towards e-visa processing as well as easing the group visa process.” In September this year, one year multiple entry visas for business travellers was introduced. Visa processing is available through VFS processing centres located all over India for the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai and Bengaluru as well as the Embassy of Israel in Delhi.  The Ministries are working with the VFS offices to introduce express visa services, which will be available to applicants for an additional fee.

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Expedia to link with hotel websites for MICE

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Expedia has announced rolling out a software to enable prospective meetings clients to search, configure, price and book meeting space online. The tool is similar to the company’s RevPlus, a free revenue management tool, part of its Expedia Partner Central services. Expedia is promoting integrated meetings revenue management tools that can link up to a hotel’s property management system to help hotels adjust meeting and group prices. Expedia has piloted the tool in Germany with select hotel partners, including Best Western Hotels Central Europe. The online travel giant already has implemented the technology with select hotel partners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as in Asia.

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Philippines Tourism & Singapore Airlines join hands to augment India arrivals

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The Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippines has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Singapore International Airlines (SIA) on December 12 to perk up a significant increase in Indian arrivals into the Philippines. Through the one-year collaboration, DOT and SIA will undertake joint marketing initiatives that will implement activities to promote the Philippines to the Indian market through social media, familiarisation tours, roadshows, among others. The agreement was signed by Benito Bengzon Jr., Under Secretary, DOT  and Campbell Wilson, Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, SIA at the Makati Diamond Residences, Philippines. “The India market is growing at a very fast rate. In fact, we are expecting to reach 100,000 arrivals by end of 2017. This joint agreement is envisioned to sustain and further strengthen this growth in the coming years,” said Bengzon. He also disclosed that the department is not only looking at the headcount but also with the revenue it would generate. According to Wilson, this mutually beneficial agreement will pave way for a positive impact on the country’s tourism industry. “We are confident we can increase visitor arrivals; it is an honour to bring our passengers anywhere in the Philippines,” he said.  

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South Korea wins bid to host 15,000 delegates

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South Korea has won the bid to host the next International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Congress, which is expected to welcome 10,000 foreign participants.  The IDF congress is the largest academic fair related to diabetes in the world, and up to 15,000 people are expected to attend the event, which is scheduled to be held at the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center from December 2-6, 2019. Korea Tourism Organization, along with Busan Metropolitan City, Busan Tourism Organization, and the Korean Diabetes Association together formed the bidding committee that made the announcement of the bid win on December 7 from the IDF Congress 2017 in Abu Dhabi. Preparation for the successful bid win was a process several years in the making. Korea Tourism Organization began its efforts in 2013, and submitted a bid proposal to the IDF last year.  They also assisted with site inspections of Busan by IDF delegates. Korea Tourism Organisation Vice-President of International Tourism, Min Min-hong, said, “We hope this bid win has a positive impact on the minds of event planners, and helps to continue to grow confidence in our meetings industry.” Despite the media’s portrayal of Korea’s national security, the country continues to be a popular destination for international events.  Recent statistics by the Union of International Associations ranked Korea first for the hosting of international events in 2016, further proving the resilience of Korea’s meetings industry. The Korean government has long since recognized its meetings industry as a key economic driver for growth. The upcoming 2019 IDF Congress is expected to incur 63.7 billion won (US$58.29 million) worth of production and create some 660 new jobs. The International Diabetes Federation is based in Brussels, and was …

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