Category Archives: Meetings

TCEB’s TIME 2017 lures MICE players to Thailand

TCEB

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

Songdo

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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Choice Hotels unveils ‘We mean Business’ for corporate travellers

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels International has amplified its focus on the business travel segment with new appealing offerings. The company announced its ‘We mean Business’ platform, signifying a commitment to partner with corporate travel managers and demonstrate expanded services for business travellers. Choice has strengthened its managed travel programme by helping corporate clients drive compliance, improve travel budgets, and keep travellers happy by opening new upscale properties like Cambria Hotels and the Ascend Hotel Collection that provide an experience tailored to meet the needs of today’s modern business traveller, while enabling organisations to control travel costs. Transforming upper midscale and midscale brands like Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, and Sleep Inn, the group helps to ensure that corporate managers are recommending the best products in those segments to business travellers. Expanding to nearly all of the top business markets with 6500 hotels worldwide, travel managers can feel confident in Choice being able to provide accommodations in virtually any location. Choice Hotels also offers preferred rate programmes that can minimise an organisation’s total travel costs, provide dedicated corporate contacts who partner in managing business travel programmes, deliver essential amenities,and offer the one-of-a-kind Your Extras benefit as part of the award-winning Choice Privileges loyalty programme. Designed with the corporate traveller in mind, Your Extras lets members digitally select additional instant rewards on every midweek stay. “Choice’s diverse portfolio of brands enables our guests travelling on business to find the right option for every trip. We’re constantly adapting and improving our brands based on guests’ feedback because, at Choice, We mean Business,” said Tom Disantis, Vice President, Sales Strategy and Operations, Choice Hotels.

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Korea takes first place in UIA global meetings ranking

Kapsoo Kim (KTO MICE Bureau Executive Director) (002)

Korea now ranks in the number one spot worldwide for global congresses hosted in 2016, according to the latest International Meetings Statistics Report released by the Union of International Associations (UIA). The result is a reflection of strong growth by established Korean meeting cities such as Seoul, as well as rising destinations like Busan, Jeju, and Incheon, contributing to the country’s increasingly diverse business events portfolio. Supporting this growth is the Korea MICE Expo that is jointly organised by the Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) along with its 11 Regional Convention Bureaus. The nation recently concluded the 18th edition of Korea MICE Expo 2017, its leading business events trade show that brought together 250 businesses and more than 300 buyers from around the world, including India. The expo showcased their MICE products in a two-day expo at Incheon’s Songdo Convensia between June 15-16, 2017 that recorded a total of 3,000 attendees. This reflected a 21.6 per cent increase in attendance over the previous year. Kapsoo Kim, Executive Director, Korea MICE Bureau, says, “These latest findings are a strong reflection of Korea’s broad growth not only across the country’s meetings section, but across the country itself. Established event destinations like Seoul are continuing to show their prowess, while an increasing number of regional capitals are giving global meetings planners an increasing variety of options, and so boosting Korea’s appeal for congresses

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Pullman unveils business and leisure hotel in Japan

Pullman Tokyo guest room

Pullman Tokyo Tamachi is being developed as part of the MSB Tamachi mixed-used complex and will open for the fall of 2018. Featuring 143 rooms, the contemporary designed hotel successfully connects the international style of Pullman with a delicate touch of Japanese art and culture. This business and leisure hotel includes meeting facilities and unique dining concepts. The hotel is directly connected to the JR Tamachi Station east exit and a three-minute walk from the Toei Subway Mita Line. From the hotel to the Haneda International Airport is about 30 mins by public transport and just one stop from JR Shinagawa station to Osaka and Kyoto via bullet train. Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer for Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia, AccorHotels, “The increasing inbound market, especially from Korea and other Asian countries (China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam) is on a continuous positive trend which will be amplified as the country will benefit from the worldwide attention with the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympic Games.” “The global nomad is Pullman’s representation of the new generation of travelers and business leaders who fully and naturally blend work and leisure,” said Eric D’Ignazio, Vice President Japan, AccorHotels.

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World MICE Day 2017 from Oct 25-27 in China

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World MICE Day 2017, will be held during October 25-27, 2017 in Qingdao, China. The event is an initiative of the Qingdao Government and CCPIT-Qingdao Sub Council, BIT Congress Inc. The theme chosen for the maiden edition 2017 is ‘Boosting Silk Road Meeting Industry’. At the three-day extravaganza, 400 domestic and overseas hosted buyers and over 2,000 visitors plan to check-in at the expo, with 150-200 sellers and exhibitors. The delegates can also be a part of six forums – the Keynote Forum for government representatives, MICE Industry Forum for PXOs, MICE Organization Forum, MICE Partnership Forum, Technology and Innovation Forum and the Pre-Scheduled Appointments / Training Courses. Qingdao is a major seaport and industrial centre for China and continues to attract MICE visitors.

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Park Inn by Radisson Kigali offers adaptable meetings concept

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Park Inn by Radisson has announced its debut in Kigali, Rwanda. This marks the fifth hotel in East Africa for The Rezidor Hotel Group. Park Inn by Radisson Kigali’s Smart Meeting and Events concept offers adaptable and versatile meetings, training and conference rooms, suitable for focused meetings for 2 to 18 people, or large groups up to 400. The four modern meeting rooms offers flexible seating accommodation, event space, complimentary Wi-Fi internet, natural daylight, air conditioning, well trained staff and an environmentally conscious carbon offset programme. “The Park Inn by Radisson Kigali is a great new choice for corporate and leisure travellers seeking an international hospitality experience in Africa, with great value, uncomplicated and friendly service,” said Thomas Stene, General Manager of Park Inn by Radisson Kigali.

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Thailand ranks 24th position for MICE: ICCA

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With more than 300 meetings and trade shows to be organised in Thailand during the second half of this year, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is aiming to create a sustainable growth. Early this month, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) put Thailand on the 24th  position in the world’s association meeting destination list, up from the 27th  of last year. Paris was ranked number city one in the survey. In addition, the rank of Bangkok also jumped from 16th to 12th position. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, Acting President, TCEB, said the improved ranking reflect the high preference related to Thai competitiveness and professionalism in the world’s MICE industry thus bringing in increasing number of such events to Thailand. An initial survey indicates that during the period from June to December this year, about 360 events are being organised in Thailand, about 75 per cent of them are international scale conference and trade exhibition. “Thailand popularity is on the rise. We see some exceptional large event coming to Thailand such as Thaifex-World of Food Asia that is expected to draw 70,000 people to the show in early June. And last month, Thailand was the host of Intermatch at 31,000 people and Infinitus at 8,000 people,” he added. In 2015, the Thai MICE industry generated a total direct revenue of 150 billion baht, responsible for 164,000 jobs with a GDP contribution of 0.77 per cent.

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Radisson’s ‘Blu’ Planet for meetings

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Radisson Blu is launching a unique product  to enable carbon-free meetings worldwide by the end of the year. Termed as ‘Blu Planet’, it is the First Climate carbon offsetting project contributing to fight the global warming and support the UN Sustainable Development goals. “Since the COP21 climate accord, an increasing number of corporations are concerned about fighting climate change and about reducing their carbon footprints, also when they plan meetings,” says Inge Huijbrechts, Vice President of Responsible Business for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “We know that face-to-face meetings are crucial to business success. Research has shown they boost profitability. With Blu Planet for Meetings, we help our guests have successful Experience Meetings and help protect our environment by reducing their overall carbon footprint.” “By offsetting carbon emissions from meetings and events taking place at Radisson Blu Hotels and Resorts, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group demonstrates its commitment to a low carbon economy and makes a valuable contribution to climate change mitigation,” says Sascha Lafeld, CEO of First Climate Markets, the service provider that assists Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in carbon emissions management. “By choosing to offset carbon emissions using high-quality Gold-Standard projects, Carlson Rezidor also contributes to the generation of multiple co-benefits in the project regions that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

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GST to hit MICE: ICPB

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Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB, shared that the GST slabs announced for hospitality industry will negatively affect inbound tourism immediately. “The MICE industry will be terribly hit as most of the convention facilities are only available in 5-star hotels which have room rates of Rs. 5000 or above. The high tax rate of 28 per cent will negatively impact conventions and conferences in the pipeline as well. I feel scope for manipulation has been left for the hotels where one can charge Rs. 4990 for a room and pay only 18 per cent instead of 28 per cent. Also, there is confusion whether the tax will be charged on rack rate, published rate or on the negotiated rate. The whole purpose of one tax one India is defeated,” he added.

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