Category Archives: Incentives

ICPB’s CIC conclave: ‘A conference on conference’

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Enabling a platform to expand boundaries for the meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry was the eye opening conclave of ICPB’s 10th Convention India Conclave 2017, held in HICC, Hyderabad, from August 29-31, 2017. The conference saw a conglomeration of 350 prominent MICE industry leaders, PCO’s, Suppliers, Conference Planners, Buyers and Government officials from the Ministry to discuss the potential of MICE industry in India and way forward. The theme of the conclave was “Expanding The Boundaries – Mission Possible” with a focus on all segments of MICE Industry – incentive, exhibition and corporate meetings, creating an opportunity for the members to look for new avenues of business development. The inaugural session saw the esteemed presence of dignitaries including Chief Guest, Madhusudana Achary – Speaker, Telangana Legislative Assembly; Guest of Honour, B Venkateshan – Principal Secretary Tourism, Government of Telangana; Christina Z. Chongthu – Managing Director, Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation; Suman Billa – Chairman ICPB & Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Chander Mansharamani – Vice Chairman, ICPB; and Amresh Tiwari – Honorary Secretary, ICPB. During the inaugural address, Billa revealed how 52 per cent of travel revolves around MICE and the need to leverage this market and tap its potential internationally as well. He also mentioned about the implementation of a corpus fund, created half by the government and the remaining half by ICPB, to help open the Indian conference market to the world. The conclave showcased an expo for more than 200 registered buyers and sellers to interact and exchange business. B2B meetings and sessions on topics of sustainability and associations to help member engagements were also held. During the press conference, Billa talked about setting …

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Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA) welcomes 38 new members

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Seoul MICE Alliance is operated by Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Tourism Organization to foster Seoul’s MICE industry and co-marketing. Since its first selection of 47 members in 2010, it has continued to grow, and this year, it expanded to 260 members through the selection of 38 new members. This is a 453 per cent increase in seven years. It can be said that Seoul’s competitiveness became that much stronger in attracting business events. The new members will collaborate with the Seoul Tourism Organization in bidding, attracting and hosting international MICE events, collaborate on PR activities such as overseas media/buyer familiarization tours, overseas MICE joint advertising for magazines, online marketing and newsletter distribution to boost Seoul’s MICE competitiveness. Moreover, the official events such as SMA member meetings, business conferences and SMA annual meetings will be held to promote networking among members.

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Dubai Parks and Resorts unveils new experiences at competitive prices

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Dubai Parks and Resorts, Middle East’s largest theme park destination, has announced its new season line-up featuring the premiere of the Lionsgate zone at MOTIONGATE™ Dubai and a series of exciting events on the river at Riverland™ Dubai. The Lionsgate zone at MOTIONGATE™ Dubai features the world’s first rides and attractions inspired by the international blockbuster movie series ‘The Hunger Games’.Riverland™ Dubai, the themed dining, retail and entertainment district at the centre of Dubai Parks and Resorts has also announced its season line up of free events including Circus on the River in November and Pets on the River in December and a host of new events during public holidays. Effective from September 1, 2017, international visitors ticket prices have also been announced for the winter season, with day tickets ranging from AED 235 /Rs 4,100 per park or AED 285/ Rs 4,980 for two parks. The seasonal tickets will give the guests the opportunity to experience over 100 rides and attractions at the destination. Ticket prices are the same for adults and children, with kids below the age of 3 entering free. David Loiseau, Vice President of Sales & Distribution, said: “This is Dubai Parks and Resorts first full winter season and our focus is on delivering new experiences and competitive prices to bring visitors back time and again. This season, The Hunger Games fans from across the globe will be able to experience rides inspired by the blockbuster movie franchise that have never been seen anywhere in the world before. We are joining communities across the UAE to celebrate national holidays with free events along the river at Riverland™ Dubai. We have also created our very own special …

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Israel eyes India as prime market for MICE, weddings

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Israel, which has positioned itself as an affordable premium destination, is targeting travellers mainly for pilgrimage, leisure and meetings, incentives, conferences, events (MICE), including weddings. “We are mainly focusing on pilgrimage, leisure and MICE as they are huge segments in India. However, we also have scope for the young adventurer at heart, honeymoon and for medical purposes,” the Israeli ministry of tourism’s India director Hassan Madah reportedly said. Aiming at a steady increase in tourist arrivals from India, Israel is eyeing one lakh Indian travellers to visit the country by 2018. “We have been very focused in tourism promotions in India and easing the visa process. This year, in the first seven months till July, we have already hosted 34,000 Indian tourists. This is expected to go up to 55,000 by the end of this year,” he said. Currently, there are three to our direct flights from Mumbai to Tel Aviv and numerous connecting flights from West Asia. There are talks of introducing direct Air India flights connecting New Delhi with Israel in a few months, he said, adding that if it commences, tourist traffic is likely to surge from India and this year’s number may reach nearly 90,000.  Madah said that initially in Asia, India was the number one source market for Israel.  “We believe that after the connectivity improves, India will again become number one source market for us among the Asian countries,” he said. Globally, the US and Europe, including Russia, are the top source markets of Israel

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IHG signs two new properties in Dubai

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InterContinental Hotels Group has announced signing two new properties in Dubai: Crowne Plaza Dubai Business Bay and InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Business Bay. Both properties are in partnership with API Hotels & Resorts. Expected to open in 2019, Crowne Plaza Dubai Business Bay will be situated on the Business Bay Canal, near the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, as well as other developing commercial and residential communities. With 290 rooms and suites, the hotel will offer guests all day dining options, as well as a gym and an outdoor infinity pool. As a major draw for business bookers and travellers, Crowne Plaza Dubai Business Bay will include a ballroom as well as several meeting rooms to host conferences and events. Pascal Gauvin, Chief Operating Officer, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG, commented: “In the Middle East, we are currently engaged in the strategic expansion of the Crowne Plaza brand, as well as growing the footprint of our InterContinental Residence Suites. In support of these goals, we are delighted to be working with API Hotels & Resorts, an eminent partner with a proven track record in high quality hotel developments across the UAE.” Jassim Al Ali, CEO of API Hotels & Resorts, added: “In order to maximise further growth opportunities in the Middle East, we believe that we need to add a global operator with an internationally recognized brand to our portfolio and IHG, as a market leader with over 5,000 hotels worldwide fits this profile perfectly.”

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MTDC, MPT, MoS to collectively focus on cruise tourism

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Mumbai recently saw a gathering of a high-level delegation from different ministries and government authorities who announced their collective plan and focus to develop cruise tourism. Sharing their perspectives were: Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping, Government of India; Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism Government of Maharashtra, Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust, Vijay Waghmare, MD, MTDC and David Dingle, Chairman, Carnival UK. Titled ‘Dawn of Cruise in India’ the seminar aimed at encouraging cruise tourism in India, more specifically Mumbai, by improving infrastructure, facilitating quick and easy movement of cruise passengers, and easing taxation for cruise companies. Gadkari identified the reasons why cruise tourism had not taken off in India. As one of the initial steps, all relevant government agencies such as port authorities, security agencies, immigration authorities, customs, and port health authorities were identified and formed a task force to first assess the current condition and then look at the global best practices. Rawal said, “Maharashtra is pleased to be the homeport of choice for cruises in India. The association with the shipping Ministry mutually assist to formulate policies to support Maharashtra’s position as a cruise hub. Therefore, there is huge potential for cruise tourism among domestic as well as international travellers. Cruise tourism will assist to earn huge foreign exchange and generate job opportunities.”

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SuperStar Libra to triple homeports from September: Star Cruises

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Star Cruises has announced SuperStar Libra’s latest deployment from September 3, 2017, onwards with triple homeports in Kuala Lumpur via Port Klang and Penang in Malaysia, as well as in Phuket, Thailand, with two cruises per week, including the 3-nights Kuala Lumpur (via Port Klang)/Phuket/Penang cruise or the four-nights Kuala Lumpur (via Port Klang)/Langkawi/Phuket/Penang cruise. With the introduction of Star Cruises’ multiple homeports and fly-cruise options, guests in Southeast Asia as well as the region will now have easy access to take a cruise with SuperStar Libra from any of these three well-connected key cities, especially Kuala Lumpur, which is now a major aviation hub in Asia. Ang Moo Lim, President,Star Cruises, says, “Star Cruises is optimistic this will grow our source markets in Southeast Asia, allowing guests more access to multiple homeports and concurrently developing and stimulating the growth of the cruise tourism sector across borders through fly-cruise options.” With Penang previously as the only homeport for SuperStar Libra in Malaysia, domestic travellers nationwide and international passengers can now celebrate with more options to either embark from the historically rich culture city of Penang or the modern bustling city of Kuala Lumpur via its new main homeport in Port Klang, Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur remains one the key gateway to Malaysia and also the Southeast Asian region with an expected targeted inbound tourism of over 30 million in 2017. In Thailand, Phuket is also a renowned destination for many international tourists and Star Cruises is now opening up options for travellers from the island, both domestic and from the fly-cruise travel to hop a cruise with SuperStar Libra. During SuperStar Libra’s triple homeport deployment in Malaysia and Thailand, guests of …

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Alibaba Group and Marriott International enter into a joint venture

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Alibaba Group and Marriott International have announced the establishment of a joint venture to redefine the travel experience for the hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers travelling abroad and domestically every year. Drawing on resources from both Marriott and Alibaba, the joint venture will manage Marriott’s storefront on Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel service platform. It will also market directly to Alibaba’s customer base, provide a link between Marriott’s loyalty programmes and Alibaba’s loyalty programme, and support Marriott hotels globally with content, programmes and promotions customised for the Chinese traveller. This new venture is designed to satisfy consumers’ expectations for seamless, integrated, personalised, and convenient travel solutions that connect travellers directly to Marriott’s portfolio of international hotel brands. The travel industry is an important growth opportunity as China’s travellers are expected to take an estimated 700 million trips over the next five years. Marriott’s owners and franchisees globally will benefit from the joint venture by capturing a greater share of this growing Chinese travel market and lower distribution costs associated with the joint venture. “We are proud to join forces with Marriott International – combining our large-scale consumer base, leading-edge technology and consumer insights with their unparalleled hospitality expertise,” said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. “Together, we are elevating and redefining the travel experience for Chinese consumers to be more seamless and personalized as they embark on adventures to discover the world.” Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, said, “By forming this partnership, we are pairing our hospitality expertise with Alibaba’s digital travel platform, retail expertise and digital payment platform, Alipay, and driving membership to our loyalty programs. With the growing number of Chinese consumers exploring …

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Singapore Airlines launches campaign with Shangri-La

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In celebration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) 50th founding anniversary, global travel brands Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and Singapore Airlines have partnered to launch a regional travel campaign called ‘ASEAN Is More – First Stop Singapore’. The campaign will showcase Southeast Asia’s diverse destinations with specially curated leisure travel offers, which can be reserved from  August 1 to October 31, for stays until December 31, 2017. Families can find exclusive flight offers to exciting destinations and hotel deals for any Shangri-La hotel or resort in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand; Hotel Jen properties in Singapore and Malaysia; as well as Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The ASEAN Is More Family Fun offer includes: Accommodations for two adults and two children aged 11 years old and below Daily breakfast buffet Complimentary extra bed or sofa bed for one child Complimentary daily dinner buffet for two adults and two children aged 11 years old and below with free-flow soft drinks, juices, beer and house wine at selected hotels. Complimentary wireless Internet access To turn up the notch on fun, travellers can take part in the ASEAN 50 Holiday Memory Match game, which will run from August 1 to October 31.  Game participants score points by correctly matching all the cards in the shortest time and the accumulated scores will be displayed on a leader board on the game’s microsite. The top 10 fastest contestants will each win a four-day and three-night stay at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore that includes a SGD200 dining credit at NAMI Restaurant and Bar. Winners of the ASEAN 50 Holiday Memory Match game will be notified through email. At the end of the game, participants are …

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Dream Cruises unveils first all-inclusive services for palace suites

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Dream Cruises has unveiled a new luxury experience for guests  for its prestigious Dream Palace Suite and Garden Penthouses on board Genting Dream and its soon-to-arrive twin sister ship World Dream.  Dream Palace has 142 suites and private VIP facilities including a swimming pool, spa, gym and dining venues. “Since the launch of Genting Dream, guest feedback on our Dream Palace experience has been overwhelming. This has inspired us to create an all-inclusive luxury offering, which upgrades our guest experience to a new level and makes our Dream Palace proposition across our fleet even more exceptional in the market,” said Thatcher Brown, President, Dream Cruises. Guests can enjoy the new Dream Palace experience on Genting Dream from September 1 and on World Dream when it arrives in Asia in November. Dream Palace has truly become even more regal with these benefits: Complimentary set menu meals in all Dream Palace outlets Complimentary set meal credit in five speciality restaurants – each night will feature choice of a unique speciality restaurant experience Complimentary premium beverage package to be enjoyed in all bars and lounges Complimentary soft drinks and bottled water in room Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the cruise Complimentary city shuttle transfers, exclusive for Dream Palace guests Complimentary al fresco seafood barbeque dinner hosted on the Dream Palace private pool deck area during the last sea day of all five night cruises, exclusive for Dream Palace guests Priority at booking at the Vintage Room private food and wine chef’s table

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