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NEWSFLASH October 2016

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October 2016
In This Edition

Left Column

Canada, Vancouver: Watkins Research Group Ranks Vancouver #1 in Canada and #2 in North America

France: Strasbourg Convention Bureau 2016 Update

Germany, Hamburg: City Previews Landmark New Venues at IMEX America

Guam - emerging destination with unspoiled beauty, charming culture and top technology

Iceland Enjoys Successful Growth in MICE Tourism

Norway: Congresses among the most affordable in Europe

Right Column

IMEX America research reveals the untapped potential for event technology

Spain: Tourism Figures Show Double-Digit Increase in First Half of 2016

Taiwan: Tourism Bureau Will Make Its Debut at IMEX America 2016

Did you already made your appointment with Berlin Convention Bureau at IMEX America?
Click here:
Click here to make your appointment at IMEX America
Publishers Note

Dear Reader!

The preparation of this edition made it very clear that in the years’ busy last quarter, a huge number of events take place, while we’re already planning ahead for 2017.

Our aim is to support your planning through bringing news and trends to your attention. And, in 2017, are you looking for new destinations? In this edition, we’re featuring articles about Guam and Iceland.

And, of course, we are also looking into established destinations. Watkins Research Group introduced its biennial Meeting and Convention Planners Survey results which rank Vancouver #1 in Canada and #2 in North America.

In Europe, tourist arrivals are growing significantly in Spain – the country reports 2-digit growth rates for the first 6 months of 2016 over 2015. Hamburg, Germany is showing off the city’s new landmark venue, Elbphilharmonie, opening in January 2017. And, in France, Strassbourg’s Convention Centre added three auditoriums. Union of International Associations (UIA) pointed out Oslo Congress Centre as one of the most affordable ones in Europe – an excellent reason to look into Norway!

In Asia, we’re bringing you new developments in Hiroshima, Japan, and the Taiwan Tourism Bureau debuts at IMEX America introducing financial grants for groups. D

o you think NEWSFLASH could be interesting for your colleagues? You are welcome to forward it through his link.

Best regards

Martina Warter
General Manager & Publisher
MICE Media Marketing
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Canada, Vancouver: Watkins Research Group Ranks Vancouver #1 in Canada and #2 in North America

Do you rely on recommendations and research results when selecting your event’s host city? The Watkins Research Group has released their biennial Meeting and Convention Planners Survey result evaluating 40 North American cities.

Vancouver was ranked top convention city in Canada and second in North America.

Watkins’ rankings are based on responses from nearly 900 industry planners and decision makers from around the world. Their collective positive evaluation of Vancouver showcases the city’s global reputation as a leading meetings and conventions city, an impressive response given the competitive nature of the industry. The honours Vancouver was awarded in the survey include:

#1 for Client Advocate Score, a calculation indicating whether respondents would advocate or promote the destination to peers planning future events (the higher the ranking, the more advocates)
#1 for superior convention centre facilities
#1 for superior convention centre services
#1 for being a safe and secure destination
#1 for superior Convention and Visitors Bureau

“Vancouver’s impressive results are a testament to client dedication and to the pride the entire hospitality community has for their city,” said Curt Watkins, founder of the Watkins Research Group. “Having personally just visited, I can see why clients completing this year’s Watkins Research Group survey rated Vancouver so exceptionally high.

Not surprisingly, given the results of Watkins report, visitation to Vancouver from business and leisure travellers alike is stronger than ever. Recently, the International Congress and Convention Association named Vancouver the top meetings destination in North America – one of many accolades the city has earned recently, alongside Skytrax’s award for number-one airport in North America (the seventh consecutive year Vancouver International Airport has received the award, an unprecedented record); Best Destination in Canada, according to Travel Weekly’s poll of more than 12,000 travel professionals; and TravelAge West’s Editor’s Pick Award for Canadian destination with the highest client satisfaction.

Planners! Take advantage of exceptional hotel and resort values in North America.

Global Travel Resources, Barbara Shapiro, is ready to assist you with direct connections to hotels, resorts, DMCs, and Event Production companies across the USA and Mexico, all ready to deliver an unforgettable experience for your clients’ groups.

New York

Meetings / Incentives / Special Interest Groups – city hotels, up-state resorts, DMC and transportation companies.

Take a bite out of the Big Apple hotel values with cash to enjoy the Great White Way theaters or Christmas shopping.


Miami Beach — South Beach
Orlando — Kissimmee
Naples — Tampa — St Pete Beach
Palm Harbor — Key Largo

Golf and Spa Resorts – Beach Hotels
Activities and entertainment for Groups:
Deep Sea Fishing – Culinary Tours
Catamaran Sailing – Water Sports
Everglades Safari


Beaches – Cities- History- Culture - Mexico has it all!

Cancun – Mexico City – Los Cabos – Riviera Maya – Cozumel


Contact Global Travel Resources for the latest value offers. Minimum group size 10 pax.

Barbara Shapiro,
Director Global Travel Resources/Global Site Inspections
Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!
T: 304 599 0511 M: 571 278 0666
Skype: barbara.shapiro3

France: Strasbourg Convention Bureau 2016 Update

Strasbourg, one of the seats of the European parliament and classified as a UNESCO world heritage site has a long history of art and culture. The city’s university has not only a long tradition, but it is today also the home to three Nobel prize winners and their continuing research.

This year the Convention Centre added 3 auditoriums with 500; 1,200 and 1,800 seats to the 23 meeting rooms (up to 500 seats); the exhibition space of 10,000 sqm / 107,639 sq ft; and the dining area for up to 1,500 persons.

During the same time two 3*-hotels opened in the city, adding to the 140 hotels offering 8.400 rooms in all categories. Hotel Adonis is located close to the Convention Centre and Brit Hotel Le Lodge situated 15 minutes from the train station, the city’s airport and Zènith Europe with its 7,800 seats.

Also during this year, improved connectivity from the two Parisian airports Paris City and Roissy Charles de Galle has reduced the connection time to approximately 1:45 hours. With the same transfer time to Frankfurt/Main airport and 1:40 hours to Luxembourg airport the connectivity completes direct flights to Strasbourg Airport – situated 9 train-minutes from the city centre – perfectly.

The City offers a welcome package. For information please contact Anais SCHAMBIL Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!.

Germany, Hamburg: City Previews Landmark New Venues at IMEX America

Planners at IMEX America in October can preview the latest landmark venues scheduled to open in Hamburg next year. 2017 will be a bumper year for Germany’s second biggest city with a wide range of new venues, hotels and updated congress facilities set to make their mark. Moreover, the city will attract international attention when it hosts the G20 summit 7-8 July 2017.

Due to ‘set sail’ on 11 January next year, the Elbphilharmonie philharmonic hall is designed to resemble a rolling wave in homage to Hamburg’s world-famous harbour. This innovative venue on the edge of the River Elbe will provide a truly unique meeting venue for planners and delegates as well as a 250 room 5-Star Westin Hotel offering further meeting space and a 360-degree panoramic view of the city and harbour. The hotel and plaza opens on 4 November this year.

Offering breath-taking views of the city’s famous Alster Lake, the Fontenay hotel is a new 5-star hotel due to open at the start of 2017. Located in its own private park in the city, the hotel’s conference facilities are across four rooms equipped with the latest in audio and visual technology. Designed by Hamburg-born star architect Jan Störmer, the hotel has a modern and innovative sculptural design featuring 131 rooms and suites.

Twenty-nine other new hotels are scheduled to open in Hamburg over the next three years and the Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) is in the midst of a major renovation and expansion which will make it one of Europe’s largest and most modern convention centres when it fully reopens in summer 2019.

Hamburg Convention Bureau at IMEX America: booth 2223-12.

Guam - emerging destination with unspoiled beauty, charming culture and top technology

The Pacific Island of Guam has seen its overall visitor numbers double over the past few years.

As part of this growth, Guam is also proving to be an emerging meetings destination with over 9,450 hotel rooms on island and a number of venues capable of hosting everything from small groups to 4,000 delegates -- including the newly completed Guam Convention Center at the Dusit Thani Guam Resort.

Guam’s rich culture creates one-of-a kind team building and networking experiences such as outdoor fiestas with traditional Chamorro – the food of Guam’s early ancestors - including seafood, coconut, edible seaweed and more, interactive dancing, music and coconut cracking. Want to organize an event in a local village to absorb the culture even more fully? – no problem, that works in Guam too.

Guam also offers top notch international dining, shopping, gorgeous flora and fauna, and activities like dolphin watching, snorkelling, golf and more.

Finally, Guam combines all this unspoiled natural beauty and meetings capabilities with technology. Having been able to build up a tech infrastructure from a clean slate, Guam offers strong Wi-Fi connectivity, is creating a Guam planner portal, and is also developing a Smart Guam strategy to leverage mobile devices and the Internet of Things for delegates.

It is a combination that is delivering results. In terms of a meeting track record, the United Nations World Tourism Organization & PATA 2016 Annual Conference (Pacific Asian Travel Association) Summit were held in Guam earlier this year, the World Health Organization Conference in 2015 and MetLife & Toyota events in recent years have all demonstrated that Guam’s meetings credentials are world class.

Iceland Enjoys Successful Growth in MICE Tourism

Through strategic marketing efforts the MICE sector in Iceland has grown by 25% since 2013 and the annual growth in 2015 was 11%.

In recent years the importance of the social and economic contribution of the MICE market has gained more interest among the government. This is reflected in national and international collaboration and why our Minister of Industry and Commerce Ragnheidur Elín Árnadóttir was asked to chair the Politicians Forum at IMEX 2016 in Frankfurt, as well as taking part in an open debate on topics relating to the international meetings industry.

Reykjavík, Iceland is quickly becoming a popular year-round destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) in Europe. Situated midway between North America and Europe, a growing number of international companies and organizations are choosing Reykjavik for its convenient location, interesting venues, great food, comfortable hotels and thriving culture. A surprisingly high number of airlines offer direct flights to Keflavik International Airport, and it seems like new connections are added every day. The Icelandic nature is inspiring through its beauty, energy and diversity and supplies the stimulation needed to inject creativity and innovation to meetings and events.

Norway: Congresses among the most affordable in Europe

Norway was recently named by the Union of International Associations (UIA) as one of the 20 most popular countries in the world in which to arrange congresses. Now the Oslo Congress Centre has also been singled out as one of Europe's most affordable congress centres, according to the European Convention price survey.

According to the new report, the Oslo Congress Centre is the 4th most affordable for groups of up to 500 participants and the 5th most affordable for groups of up to 1.000 participants. “This absolutely confirms that Norway is competitive on price, especially when it comes to conventions and business meetings. Hotel prices in Norway are less expensive than many assume and in comparison, with other countries, the standard of accommodation is good and there are no hidden costs. Breakfast and Wi-Fi is always included, so the total price of a conference is often less expensive than the actual cost in some other countries” says Cathrine Pia Lund, Director of Brand Norway at Innovation Norway.

Norway most popular in the Nordic region

Norway hosted nearly 400 conventions in 2015, and was ranked 19th in the world for countries that are most attractive for organising congresses in, according to the report from the UIA.

In the report Norway is also ahead of Finland, Iceland and strong meeting destinations with considerable capacity, such as Sweden and Denmark. This is the third time since 2010 that Norway has been ranked higher internationally than its Nordic rivals. Oslo and Tromsø are two of the cities that have seen the best increase in the number of valid congresses, according to the UIA.

The congress market is a very profitable segment for Norwegian industry. A tourist survey has shown that international congress delegates have an average daily spend of over NOK 3,000 per day, which is far higher than that of a foreign holidaymaker.

Background Information:

Innovation Norway and the Norway Convention Bureau (NCB) have since 2009 worked purposefully together to promote and develop Norway as a meeting, incentive and congress destination. A common national strategy for investment has been developed and through collaboration we benefit from each other's strengths, expertise and networking.
It is the Union of International Associations (UIA) which annually reports statistics about the world's most sought after congress destinations, which includes meetings and congresses organised by international organisations where there are a minimum of 50 participants for a period of a minimum of 2 days.
The European Convention Centre Survey is an annual survey that compares the prices of European congress centres.
In 2015, 21 European convention centres were included in the survey, which had the purpose of providing a basis for comparison for organisers of international meetings and events.

For more information, contact Frode Aasheim, Managing Director, Norway Convention Bureau, e-mail Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!.

IMEX America research reveals the untapped potential for event technology

61.3 per cent of meeting professionals agreed that currently available event technology makes event management much easier and that it will develop and change dramatically in the next 10 years, but 92 per cent admit that meeting planners are not making the most of such technology solutions.

These were among the key findings of new research carried out for IMEX America by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) providing fascinating insight into the views of meeting professionals on event technology.

It also revealed that when buying event technology products and services, only 21.2 per cent of those surveyed approached the project with confidence.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group said: “Event technology is a fast growing sector that offers vast untapped potential to help with the planning and efficient operation of events."

“We believe that having technology demonstrated by experts face to face is a highly effective way for buyers to get to grips with technology and discover how it could help them. At IMEX America we have facilitated this through guided tours and demonstrated such technology in dedicated educational areas. In addition, the many event technology suppliers at the show will be happy to explain the capabilities and benefits of what they offer at their booths."

Among the initiatives that IMEX America has introduced to meet this need is the EventTechTours. Taking place throughout the show, they will be led by Tahira Endean, who was recognized in 2015 as one of the Top Five Women in EventTech and who now specialises in explaining the integration of technology into our lives, businesses and events.

Innovation Tours are also planned for Tuesday and Wednesday, led by Glenn Thayer of Emcee Squared. They will demonstrate how tech, innovation and trends can be implemented into general sessions, as well as examining the future of meeting experiences.

IMEX America also features the TECHknowledge Area, powered by The Meeting Pool, where experts will deliver targeted technology sessions, TECHbytes, answering questions on hot topics such as Snapchat, Slack, OneNote and wearable technology, and guide buyers through the latest tech in the Gadget Lab. More information is available here.

The survey also asked “what problems do you face in your day-to-day work that you would like technology to solve for you, that isn’t currently covered?” The responses revealed a strong widespread demand for ’consolidation, integration, ‘one-stop’ complete solutions and consistency.’

Typical of these views were requests for ‘the compilation of information from various sources/modules into a single flexibly formatted report;’ ‘a one-stop, affordable complete event management solution, from exhibitor management to budget reconciliation’; and ‘one SMMP system consolidating everything including event management and procurement’.

Carina Bauer concludes by adding “The industry is clearly seeing the tip of the iceberg in event technology at present. We expect there to be much more to come and we believe that by visiting the event technology area at the show and making the most of our Tours and TECHknowledge Area, buyers can learn so much that will be valuable to them in planning and running their events more effectively now and in future.”

IMEX America 2016 takes place from 18 – 20 October in Las Vegas. For more information about the show please visit

Useful links:

How to register for IMEX America 2016

2016 Exhibitor Directory

SMART Monday

Sustainability and CSR


Download your copy of MICE:destination now!Looking for destination features? Please check the list below and download your required edition with one simple click on the link!

And yes of course, you are welcome to pass a copy on to your colleagues too!

Africa  Edition Link
Ethiopia May 2016
Ehtiopia Sept 2015
Indian Ocean: The Maldives, Maurice, Seychelles Sept 2015
Asia – On Promotion: Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand Jan 2016
Australia Jan 2016
Hong Kong July 2015
Malaysia May 2016
The Philippines Mar 2015
Philippine Incentives May 2015
The Philippines Mar 2016
The Caribbean  Edition Link
Anguilla  May 2015
Jamaica  Jan 2015
Saint Lucia  July 2015
Middle East 
Dubai, UAE  Jan 2016
Malta May 2016
Madrid  Mar 2015
Stuttgart, Germany July 2016
North America  
USA - Greater Fort Lauderdale & Broward County Update  May 2015
Spain: Tourism Figures Show Double-Digit Increase in First Half of 2016

Official statistics through June of 2016 (released July 29, 2016) from Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (Spanish: Instituto Nacional de Estadística or INE) reflect an impressive increase in visitors over the previous year:

Spain received 7.6 million international visitors in June 2016, an increase of 12.7% over June 2015.
During the first six months of 2016, the total number of tourists visiting Spain so far is 32.8 million, a rise of 11.7% compared to the first six months of 2015.

Included arrivals from the USA are

274,283 persons during June 2016 representing an increase of 7.4% compared to June of 2015.
Cumulative arrivals from the USA during the first six months of 2016 are 891,612 representing an increase of 7.9% compared to the first six months of 2015.

Taiwan: Tourism Bureau Will Make Its Debut at IMEX America 2016

Taiwan’s unique geology and topography have created countless breath-taking landscapes and comprehensive infrastructure for incentive travel and meeting requirements. You will find that this technologically advanced island country also nurtures a wide variety of tourism and ecological resources, a diversity of traditional folk customs, a rich culture, modern arts, fantastic food, and the friendliest people in the world.

Taiwan is situated at the heart of Asia, just 90 minutes’ flight to Hong Kong or Shanghai, and reaches all other East Asian cities within only 4 hours. There are also direct flights linking Taiwan with more than 10 North American Cities. Based on ICCA statistics 2014, Taiwan ranks 28 in terms of global international association meetings and Taipei City ranks 20. In Asia, Taiwan ranks 4 and Taipei ranks 5, a fantastic performance in the international meetings industry.

Taiwan Tourism Bureau will provide administrative support and subsidies to encourage incoming meeting and incentive travel groups, featuring tour planning assistance, cultural performances and special souvenirs etc. Financial grants range from USD 1,000 to 60,000 depending on the size of group. What’s more, for the first-time incentive group over 150 pax and above, the Bureau will provide a welcome gala dinner as a token of special welcome bonus!

For information on Taiwan, visit Taiwan Tourism Bureau at IMEX America 2016, Booth 3039.

Visit Taiwan Tourism Bureau's at