Category Archives: Meetings

Global Panorama Showcase reaches to Kochi

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The Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) is underway in Kochi. After successful shows in Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Kolkata, GPS Kochi saw a conglomeration of 750+ registrations on the first day. Buyers from cities like Salem, Coimbatore, Thrissur, Trivandrum, Calicut and nearby cities will be attending the three day event. The first day witnessed knowledge presentations by Interglobe Technology Quotient, FXkart, Genting Hong Kong, cyber security session by Prevoyance Cyber Forensic, Trawelltag Cover-More, Sahibji Group of Companies, Zanzibar Tourism and the much waited GST session by team GMJ & Co followed by presentations from Infozeal and Cleartax. The next two days will notice more buyers for one-on-one B2B meetings.

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MICE crisis in hotels post GST: HRAWI

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Post the Goods & Services Tax (GST) roll out earlier this month, the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) related activities have been hit hard. One of the anomalies that emerged post GST roll-out was that MICE activities and other events held in hotels outside of home state are not eligible for Input Tax Credit (ITC). This has been leading to cancellations and postponements for pre booked events. Given the emergence of MICE Tourism as one of the fastest growing segments, and its potential to disrupt growth, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has appealed to the Government to revisit this particular aspect of the GST. “There is an overall reduction in MICE bookings across hotels in India as compared to the same period last year. Advance bookings are being cancelled and new bookings are not happening. Most companies are considering holding events in the same State where they are registered under GST. Businesses may still have digested the high GST, but without ITC, it just becomes unviable. MICE tourism is too important a segment for the nation to overlook,” says Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI. Talking about the GST slabs for the industry he adds, “The 28 per cent GST rate for rooms with tariff of Rs. 7500/- and above is one of the highest in the world and will seriously affect cash flow. Moreover, the tax percentage will be determined based on the published or declared rate which is creating a lot of hardship for the industry. The association has appealed the Government to remove this condition and determine the tax percentage based on the actual transaction value and has also requested to review the ITC …

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TCEB highlights focus areas to enhance MICE

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The new President of Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has highlighted four focus areas to enhance MICE in the country: growing in parallel with the development of the country, growing in a high potential market, growing with equality and growing strongly. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of TCEB, said, “TCEB has the direct duty of developing every aspect of the MICE industry, from considering the needs of the market, the strengths and weaknesses of the country, the problems within the country, and to find ways to overcome those issues, as well as developing every area related to MICE, which is the appropriate role of the public sector.” From statistics over the last 10 years, Thailand has received approximately 150 billion baht of revenue from the MICE industry, both domestic and international, created approximately 164,000 jobs, and gained around 10.5 billion baht of revenue from taxation. Furthermore, in 2016, the International Congress and Convention Association, or ICCA,placed Thailand as having hosted174 events, ranking Thailand 24th, an improvement from 27th in 2015, with Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Pattaya ranking higher than the previous year as well. In terms of exhibitions, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, or UFI, ranked Thailand the number 1 among ASEAN nations in terms of exhibition space sold over the past 5 years (2011-2015). In terms of general exhibition space, Thailand ranked in the top five ASEAN countries. Additionally, Thailand has a total of 256,984 metres squared of exhibition space across nine exhibition centres in Bangkok and other important MICE cities. To build MICE into a key sector in developing the country, therefore requires the use of four directions for enhancing the MICE industry and create …

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Carlson Wagonlit Travel introduces RoomIt by CWT

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With an aim to create and deliver innovative experience to customer accommodations globally, Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) launched its new business division, RoomIt by CWT. “RoomIt by CWT simplifies the hotel booking process and puts the most relevant lodging options in one place. CWT is committed to giving our clients a wide range of global options at the most competitive rates and our investment into RoomIt will enable better, more personalised service to our travellers,” said Scott Brennan, President, Hotels, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. RoomIt is designed to satiate the changing customer needs with increased functionality and personalisation capabilities while equipping companies with the tools to effectively monitor employees’ travel schedules.

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GPS Ahmedabad sees conglomeration of 600 attendees

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The second leg of Global Panorama Showcase (GPS) opened in Ahmedabad to an overwhelming response on day one. The first day began with product presentations by exhibitors and received 600 plus attendees. The product presentations were followed by the much-awaited session on GST by team GMJ & Co. There will be table top B2B meetings between exhibitors and buyers taking place on day 2 and 3 of the event.

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2nd Travel Wedding Show witnessed 2000 B2B meetings

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The second edition of Travel Wedding Show concluded with over 2000 meetings conducted among 32 exhibitors and nearly 64 buyers from July 8-9, 2017, at Jaipur Marriott Hotel. Representatives from hotels and tourism boards exhibited their various products for wedding tourism. On day one of the show, travel agents and tour operators from across the country interacted with exhibitors while day two of the event saw the bigwigs of the wedding industry in India attend the show to meet and network with various exhibitors. Stalwarts of MICE, wedding tourism and hospitality industry like Hemant Mendiratta, Senior Vice President-Sales, The Oberoi Hotels; Saurabh Bhargava, AVP Sales-North, Taj Hotels Palace Resorts and Safaris; Hema Hariramani, Director, National Sales- India, Marriott International; Rajeev Jain, Vice President and Treasurer, EEMA and Vinod Bhandari, Partner, Wedding Xtraordinaire LLP, addressed various challenges faced by these industries in a panel discussion at the show. Sarika Rawal Bhambani, General Manager, Travel Show said, “The show was sold out and this is a positive sign that travel shows are making headway in connecting the right partners to take the industry forward. According to the feedback received, the buyers and exhibitors found the show very fruitful for their businesses and the connections they built at the show are seeds for their progress. There were around 2050 pre-scheduled speed meetings and with the kind of support we have received from the trade, we are sure that we will be able to take this show to greater heights.” She further informed that the next edition of Travel wedding Show will be held on July 7-8, 2018 in New Delhi.

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GPS to introduce international destination workshops

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The second leg of this year’s GPS, starting July 13, will launch an unique programme of introducing educational workshops with international destinations. Harmandeep Singh Anand, Managing Director, GPS, says, “We have started working with international tourism boards to do an educational workshop for travel agents starting this September-October. Titled ‘GPS Educational Destination Workshop – International’ (EDWIn), it will involve interested agents signing up to travel to a particular international destination to learn about the country at a highly subsidised participation fee.” GPS has already tied up with Singapore Airlines as its international airline partner as well as Genting HK. It is also in talks with various NTOs including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, UAE, Egypt, Turkey and Greece. GPS will soon launch a similar programme for domestic destination in partnership with various state boards. Anand explains further, “This will be open only to tier II and tier III travel agents as they are the ones who don’t get enough exposure to the trade as against those in metro cities.” Hitting five more cities through July and August this year is the second leg of the Global Panorama Showcase (GPS – the multi-city trade show for tier II and III cities). It will start with Ahmedabad on July 13, going on to Chandigarh on July 20, Kolkata on July 27, reaching Kochi on August 3 and ending in Pune on August 10. The show will stay in each of these cities for three days.

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2nd Travel Wedding Show to kick off tomorrow in the Pink City

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The second edition of the Travel Wedding Show will be held tomorrow, July 8, 2017, at the Jaipur Marriott Hotel. The show shall witness 32 high-profile exhibitors including bigwigs from Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Taj Hotels & Resorts, The Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, AccorHotels, Abu Dhabi Tourism Board, Austria Tourism Board, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism, Destination Canada, among others. The event will be graced by the Chief Guest, Rajeev Jain, Director, Rashi Entertainment while the Guest of Honour, Hema Hariramani, Director–National Sales India, Marriott International, will address the gathering. The two-day event, organised by Pacific Leisure Group and DDP Exhibitions, aims to address the need for a consolidated face to-face opportunity between the travel fraternity and the weddings sector. The first day of show shall see conglomeration of 32 wedding trade specialists from across the country, showcasing the variety of weddings they specialise in. On the second day of the Show, 32 wedding planners and agents from across the country are expected to mark their presence at the event. The main agenda behind the show is to bring new business opportunities to its exhibitors. Sarika Bhambani Rawal, General Manager, Travel Wedding Show, says, “The idea is to amalgamate the two vibrant sectors–weddings and travel–a scenario that is seldom witnessed. The show has brought together a selected group of people to facilitate business for the growth of both these industries. Moreover, the two industries will interact in focused speed meetings which have proven to be more effective for business.” The Indian wedding industry is reportedly flourishing at a growth rate of 25 per cent per annum and is pegged at an estimated Rs. 250,000 crore ($40 billion).

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TCEB’s TIME 2017 lures MICE players to Thailand

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Around 40 buyers from India, comprising corporate buyers and travel agents, participated in Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau’s (TCEB) second edition of TIME (Thailand Incentive and Meeting Exchange) that was held in Bangkok from June 29-30, 2017. This year, TIME had laid its focus on the Indian market; last year, it had highlighted China’s MICE industry. TIME has been initiated and designed as a Knowledge Exchange, Business Exchange and Experience Exchange programme where buyers and sellers have the opportunity to meet and understand market trends and preferences and products of MICE travellers, specifically the meetings and incentives components. Nooch Homrossukhon, Director, Meeting & Incentive, TCEB, informed that 80 per cent of the total MICE traffic from India is for incentives and therefore, the area requires more attention and education. “India is our top MICE source market after China.Thailand understands the culture, behaviour and preferences of Indian customers better than any other destination,” she said while commenting on the reasons for continuing growth and interest in Thailand. TCEB left no stone unturned in ensuring suitable incentives, team-building activities, and gala dinners for MICE participants for the TIME 2017 event. An extended tour to the northern city of Chiang Mai was organised from July 1-4, 2017, to unravel the MICE facilities in the region to these MICE players. Chiang Mai’s KHUM KHAM International Convention Centre also showcased its MICE industry for TIME 2017 through table top sessions where internal players interacted with Indian MICE participants. There were some 24 booths exhibiting their unique offerings to the Indian MICE players.

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Incheon’s Songdo Convensia to double its size by 2018

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Songdo Convensia, a landmark of Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ), located in Songdo, South Korea, will be reopened in July, 2018, with a total floor area of 64,000 sqm, double its current size. It will have 900 exhibition booths, premium ballroom that can accommodate up to 2000 people and 41 meeting rooms, fully ready for its grand reopening. In addition, Songdo Convensia is playing its role as the optimal convention centre that aims for sustainable low-carbon meeting venue as Asia’s first LEED-certified convention centre with MICE application platform support for paperless meetings. When the second stage of the construction is completed, it will be one of the best places for MICE with its newly built exhibition, conference, and sales facilities. The international conference room and multipurpose square are expected to attract a variety of exhibitions and events. Lee Yeong-Geun, IFEZ Commissioner, said, “The exhibition and conference industry is critical for Songdo International District to be globally competitive. The second stage of construction of Songdo Convensia will be a backbone of this high value added service industry.”

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