Category Archives: Meetings

Thailand gets its first in-depth MICE portal

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Thailand’s first and only in-depth, interactive online portal for MICE industry – meetinthailand.com – was launched by Image Asia Events. “Phuket – the pilot geographical area – is up and running and work has started on phase two: Koh Samui, Krabi and Khao Lak, to round out the south of Thailand, before moving on to tackle Bangkok,” said Grenville Fordham, IMAGE Asia’s Founder and Managing Director. For buyers in these industries, meetinthailand.com affords a real opportunity to preselect venues and other components of an event based on real, hard information. The automated ‘Request For Proposal’ (RFP) feature, sends a detailed enquiry direct to a list of pre-selected suppliers with a single click, is a real time saver, while interactive checklists help ensure that no detail is forgotten in the event planning process.

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Saudi Arabia to invest $1.6 billion in MICE industry

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Saudi Arabia aims to become the main destination for conferences and exhibitions in the Middle East by 2020. The Kingdom has announced ambitious plans to invest USD1.6 billion in its MICE tourism industry for the coming years to 2019, and several centres and venues will benefit from this financial boost. Traditionally seen as a site for religious travel, Makkah is attracting a growing number of local companies and government authorities looking to combine their meeting and training requirements with Umrah pilgrimage. Conrad Makkah Jabal Omar, the first Conrad property opened by Hilton in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, has seen its MICE business grow steadily, driven by demand from pharmaceutical companies and government entities that tend to conduct their board and annual meetings, as well as training and development programs, over weekends in the Holy City. “There are several factors that contribute to the development of MICE tourism in Makkah including the improving infrastructure, companies’ desire to hold their meetings and trainings in nearby locations, and continuous government support,” said Ismail Sirry, General Manager of Conrad Makkah Jabal Omar.

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Singapore MICE to surge to US$ 2.5 bn by 2021

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Singapore MICE tourism market projected to reach nearly US$ 2.5 Billion across 20 countries by the end of 2021, says a report of Research and Markets. Facilities for both business and leisure such as World Resort Sentosa, Universal Studios Singapore, Merlion’s Park, Suntec Singapore and Singapore EXPO ensure Singapore’s position as a prime MICE destination, it states. Japan MICE travellers have enjoyed a significant role in contributing revenue to the Singapore economy in 2015. Japan contributed 18.1% share in 2015. It is predicted that China, India and Indonesia will be leading revenue generators by the year end of 2021, the report added.

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Thomas Cook to host India Travel Summit in Mumbai on Nov 16

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Thomas Cook India Limited will be organising a summit titled ‘India Travel Summit’ on November 16, 2016 in Mumbai. It will be a half day conference by invitation only. Abraham Alapatt, President & Group Head- Marketing & Service Quality, Financial Services & Innovation-Thomas Cook (India) Limited, said, “We looked at our increased stake in both inbound and outbound space in India and we realised that we didn’t have an India equivalent of something like World Travel and Tourism Council’s Global Summit. So, we saw the need to create a platform which would allow everyone in the eco-system to come together.” Suman Billa IAS, Joint Secretary of (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Chinmai Sharma, Chief Revenue Officer, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces and Ragini Chopra, VP (Corporate Communications), Jet Airways, will be key speakers deliberating on the session on India’s outbound market.

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Kolkata, Chennai emerging as optimum cities for MICE facilities

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Kolkata and Chennai have emerged as one of the few cities which offer suitable MICE offerings at a reasonable rate. Kolkata’s super-luxury hospitality space will add over 500 rooms in the super-deluxe category in the next three months. Currently , Oberoi Grand, Taj Bengal, ITC Sonar and Hyatt -together offer 917 rooms. The count will go up to 1,231, a 134 per cent jump over the current strength in the next 18 months. Ranju Alex, GM of JW Marriott Kolkata, said, “Kolkata, with its unique character and soul, is a significant addition to the MICE map globally.” Shift of MICE from Mumbai and Hyderabad to Chennai, owing to cheaper room rates, has spurred growth for the city.

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54 per cent of all global travel is MICE: Suman Billa

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The India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB), kick started its annual flagship event – the 9th Conventions India Conclave from October 13 to 15, 2016 at The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel. The event was inaugurated by Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India,  Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Tourism & Chairman, ICPB, Chander Mansharmani, Vice Chairman, ICPB, Pooja Joshi, General Manager, Delhi Tourism, Saurabh Bhargava, Honorary Treasurer, ICPB, and Amaresh Tiwari, Honorary Secretary, ICPB. Stating that 54 per cent of all global travel is MICE, Billa said, “There has been 0.69 per cent of growth, if we want to increase these numbers, MICE must lead from the front.” Billa said that MICE will show overall buoyancy. On the context of reforms in visa taken by the government, Zutshi said,” Matter for the reforms in visa has gone to the cabinet. E-visa, for business tourists at large has been agreed upon. Other e-visa reforms will also take place.” He mentioned the need to set up convention centres in Tier-2 cities. Extending a warm welcome note, Mansheramani said,” We should make the conclave a true marketing and networking platform. We have 44 organisations showcasing and more than 100 buyers. As an organisation we will bid for international conference.” Highlighting the status of MICE sector, he said, “MICE can be integral part of economic diplomacy, there is a need to prioritise source markets.”  

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TICA, KMA team up to elevate MICE professionals

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The Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) and the Korea MICE Association (KMA) signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the education and training of MICE professionals and strengthening of business platforms for the development of the MICE industry in South Korea and Thailand. Eung Su Kim, president of the KMA, and Sumate Sudasna, president of TICA, said they would collaborate for the growth of the MICE industry in the two countries with the aim of contributing to their respective economies and the enhancement of international goodwill and cooperation. “This MoU allows both countries to leverage on our knowledge and experience to gain further insights in service excellence on an international level. Business events will continue to have a strong impact for any country, especially among Asia-Pacific countries,” said Kim.

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eVent Portfolio unveiled for MICE planners

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Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central, and The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central, have launched an offering of efficiency and convenience for MICE planners through  eVent PortfolioTM, a mobile tool that streamlines the event planning process and helps event planners go green. eVent PortfolioTM, gives event planners, event managers and clients the means to collaborate via one centralised web-based tool. “Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel and The St. Regis Macao are the first Starwood hotels to adopt eVent PortfolioTM in Macao and the Greater China region, and our goal is to integrate cutting-edge technology into our offerings in order to set new standards in the hospitality industry, and create unforgettable guest experiences,” said Daniella Tonetto, General Manager of Sales and Marketing for Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel and The St. Regis Macao.

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JATA Tourism EXPO unveiled in Tokyo

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The JATA Tourism EXPO Japan officially opened with 140 countries and 47 regions in Japan. Delegates including Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Akihiro Ohta, and the Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency, Norifumi Idee were welcomed at the inaugural event. Ohta said that Japan wants to become an advanced tourism country, to push not only international inbound travel, but to also focus on more domestic travel as well. UNWTO Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai, and David Scowsill, President and CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) also graced the occasion with their presence. Rifai stated that Japan’s ambitious target of recording 40 million annual visitors by the year 2020 – the original goal was 20 million, was achieved last year and first upped to 30 million before the current target was proposed.

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Atlantis, The Palm introduces MICE incentive for Indian trade

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Atlantis, The Palm has extended its booking incentive programme for all MICE bookings and stay until March 31, 2017. Sonu Shah, Manager Sales at Atlantis, The Palm said, “India is one of the top markets for Atlantis and has immense potential. With this programme we aim to maximise bookings across all segments such as weddings, corporate meetings or large scale entertainment events and at the same time reward our trusted partners with an experience at our resort.” Exclusive experiences  include complimentary tickets to Aquaventure Waterpark or Lost Chambers Aquarium or complimentary dinner and spa vouchers for confirmation of over 700 room nights, among many more.

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