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NEWSFLASH March 2017

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March 2017
 
In This Edition

Left Column

Meetings Africa: New Bidding Fund for South Africa National Convention Bureau

Czech Republic: Prague Welcomed the Largest Number of Events Over the Past Decade

Germany, Berlin: Number of international visitors exceeds five million for the first time

High heels meet high ambitions: IMEX recognises girl-power within events industry by celebrating International Women’s Day

Right Column

Successful trials lead IMEX in Frankfurt to fully-fledged roll out of Zenvoy networking service

South Africa, Cape Town: CTICC 2 takes conferencing to another level

Thailand extends visa fee waiver scheme for tourists from 21 countries

Publishers Note

Dear Reader!

This month, it is a pleasure to post our impressions from the show floor of Meetings Africa. Our pre-event visit to Cape Town clearly showed us a modern and highly developed city with facilities capable and suitable to host most wonderful events.

The modern Sandton Convention Centre proved to be an ideal venue for the event. The easy access from Johannesburg’s O.R Tambo International Airport to Sandton with Gautrain – the cities’ clean and modern rail in just 12 minutes (4 Stations) leaves you with only 8 walking minutes to Sandton Convention Centre. Upon completion of the current roadwork you will find many highly suitable hotels in easy walking distance to the Convention Centre.

Meetings Africa has proven to be a highlight for anyone planning events in the Southern African region and is sure to grow its influence on the African continent. We highly recommend attending the 2018 edition of the show!

In our upcoming edition of MICE:destination we will report about our experiences before and after Meetings Africa in detail – including our post-event visit to Entabeni Safari Conservancy.

In this NEWSFLASH we update you on the Cape Town International Convention Centre extension project and on the extended support of South African National Convention Bureau and the regional Convention Bureaus.

See the updates on record setting conference trends in Prague, Czech Republic and in Berlin, Germany and we’re also updating you on the extension on the visa fee waiver scheme for visitors from 21 countries in Thailand.

And of course, we’re also looking forward to IMEX in Frankfurt. IMEX has successfully tested Zenvoy networking services which will be rolled out for the show in May – don’t forget to apply to the hosted buyer programme if you are an eligible European buyer!

As usual, we warmly invite you to share this edition with your colleagues!

Best regards

Martina Warter
General Manager & Publisher
MICE Media Marketing
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Don't forget to apply for our Hosted Buyer Groups to

IMEX in Frankfurt for European Buyers - Germany - 16 - 18 May 2017

MICE East Africa Forum & Expo - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - 8-10 June 2017

visit micemm.com for information

Meetings Africa: New Bidding Fund for South Africa National Convention Bureau

South Africa’s Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom announced at Meetings Africa in Johannesburg a new bidding fund of 110 million Rand (8 million Euros / 8.45 million USD) for the next 3 years to support the National Convention Bureau’s competitiveness as well as the regional convention bureaus in the bidding process for international conventions, conferences, meetings and incentives.

For the upcoming financial year starting April 1, 2017, 20 million Rand (1.45 million Euros / 1.53 million USD) are assigned, 90 million Rand (6.55 million Euros / 6.9 million USD) are assigned to the subsequent three years. A focus is on the countries identified economic priority sectors which include mining and metals, manufacturing, the creative industry, life sciences, information and communication technology and business process outsourcing.

Minister Hanekom stated: “This ground-breaking fund will enable us to bid aggressively for international association conferences, meetings, incentives and exhibitions. This is fantastic news! The fund will be a catalyst that propels our business events industry to a higher league.”

The tourism’s business events sector is a key contributor to the South Africa economy, but the minister did not only point out the importance for South Africa, but for the entire African continent. He stressed that bringing a business event or a rotating conference to South Africa may also increase the chances of winning a subsequent event to other African countries and thus opens a path to the important development in other African countries.

Meetings Africa

  2017 key figures for Meetings Africa
  271 Exhibitors
  207 International and African Association Hosted Buyers
  137 Members of the Media
  55 Attendees of the IMEX–MPI–MCI Future Leaders Forum
  1,308 Visitors and Corporates
  15,943 scheduled meetings

Meetings Africa – hosted by South Africa Tourism – is designed to support not only business events in South Africa, but to foster the development of the meetings industry in Southern Africa and – in medium term – throughout the African continent. This approach is underlined by the presence of 8 other African National Convention Bureaus, Tourism Organizations and associated exhibitors including the Botswana Tourism Organisation, Malawi Tourism, Mozambique Tourism, Reunion Island Tourism Board, Rwanda Convention Bureau, Seychelles Tourism Board, Swaziland Tourism Authority, Zimbabwe National Convention Bureau and delegations including Angola, Egypt, Tanzania, Namibia, Kenya Lesotho, Mauritius, Zambia and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa from Ethiopia.

 

MauritiusMICE in style
Enjoy everything that Mauritius has to offer…

www.tourism-mauritius.mu

Mauritius is the perfect MICE destination, combining quality, elegance, and style!
MICE buyers will see big potential in Mauritius as it has the infrastructure and superstructure to cater for MICE groups, not only during the low season but all year round.

The island offers easy accessibility through its simple visa entry programme and direct access from a large number of destinations.

Whether you are interested in buying for large, medium or small groups, and are looking at Mauritius as either a long-haul or short-haul destination, we deliver world-class, luxury MICE packages at the best business-friendly venues on the island.

Activities
The island boasts a wide variety of activities that can be organised specifically for MICE groups – ranging from golf to adventure sports. The island also offers countless stunning outdoor locations for team-building exercises.

Czech Republic: Prague Welcomed the Largest Number of Events Over the Past Decade

Per the Czech Statistical Office data, Prague welcomed 4,426 conferences in the collective accommodation establishments in 2016 which is one-third of all events held in the Czech Republic. It is an increase of 5.7% compared to 2015, and it also is the largest number of events since 2006. The 2016 conferences organized in Prague attracted 541,412 delegates.

Czech Statistical Office data, which tracks only the events held in the collective accommodation establishments, with attendance of more than 50 persons, shows that meeting planners preferred four-star and three-star hotels for their events. Prague Convention Bureau’s statistics also confirm the popularity of accommodation establishments as event venues. Statistics of the Prague Convention Bureau are based on the members’ data and record also the events with less than 50 delegates organized not only in the hotels, but also in congress centres and other alternative venues. There were 2,528 events held in Prague according to the Prague Convention Bureau’s data, out of which 85% took place in hotels, and the rest in other venues, congress centres and at universities.

“We can observe a very positive trend of delegates staying in Prague for longer time. While in 2015, delegates stayed here for 1.99 days on average, in 2016 it was 2.22 days. The statistics recorded a considerable increase of more than 100% even in the segment of events lasting more than six days. We believe the trend, which has a very significant economic impact on Prague, will continue in the following years. In the long-term perspective, the seasonality also plays a smaller role now, but still, the autumn months belong to the most preferred ones,” said Roman Muška, Managing Director at Prague Convention Bureau.

Prague Convention Bureau’s statistics show that half of the events in Prague were attended by foreign delegates, who came to the Czech capital mostly from the United Kingdom, Germany, USA, Italy and Belgium. Pharmacy led the ranking of the most discussed topics, followed by industry, IT and telecommunication topics. Smaller corporate events with the attendance of less than 150 delegates prevailed over the bigger, predominantly association conferences and congresses with more than a thousand delegates.

www.pragueconvention.cz

Germany, Berlin: Number of international visitors exceeds five million for the first time

• Moderate growth in visitor numbers
• 7.7 million overnight stays for conferences and conventions

Berlin-Brandenburg’s Statistics Office reported moderate growth of 2.7% for overnight stays in Berlin to more than 31 million and the number of international visitors exceeded five million for the first time.

Particularly large numbers of visitors came from Great Britain, USA and Spain. Israel also features among the top 10 countries with the most overnight stays for the first time. German guests, with 54.4 percent, still account for the largest proportion of overnight stays.

The city’s Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, Ramona Pop, stated that tourism ensures the incomes of more than 240,500 persons in Berlin and announced plans to develop a new approach to tourism in the year ahead. "The first concern will be to take into account criteria for a city-compatible and sustainable tourism industry."

"Berlin has asserted itself in a difficult international environment as one of the top 3 European destinations”, says Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin. "To continue our success, we must improve the connections for intercontinental visitors. After years of growth, it is time for all parties to work together to create a tourism infrastructure for the future."

More than half of visitors come for art and culture

A typical visitor to Berlin is an average of 39.3 years old. On average, guests stay 2.4 days in the city. However, with 2.8 days, visitors from overseas stay longer in Berlin than German tourists. The three most important reasons given for a trip to the German capital are the sights, the art and culture scene as well as the cityscape and architecture.

One quarter of all overnight stays by conference delegates

The Berlin conference industry has developed positively in 2016. With 7.7 million overnight stays, the conference industry generated around a quarter of the 31 million hotel stays in Berlin in 2016. These figures come from the latest conference statistics from the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office.

Last year a total of more than 11.5 million participants travelled to the German capital for around 137,500 events. This represents an increase of around two percent in both the number of participants and events. Around 2.4 million international participants attended events in Berlin in 2016 and one in five of these travelled from an overseas country.

Berlin is the city for future issues, medicine and research

More and more conventions in Berlin deal with future issues. Some famous examples are the "World Health Summit", the "Re:publica" or the "TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin" that will move from London to Berlin in December 2017. Over the past year 16 percent of events in Berlin can be attributed to the medicine, science and research industries (2015: 12 percent). Conferences dealing with the IT, electronics and communication industries come in second place with 13 percent.

http://convention.visitBerlin.com

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  Link
Ethiopia 3:2016
Ehtiopia 5:2015
Indian Ocean: The Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles 5:2015
Mauritius 1:2017
Asia-Pacific 
Asia – On Promotion: Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand 1:2016
Australia 1:2016
Hong Kong 4:2015
Malaysia 3:2016
The Philippines 2:2015
Philippine Incentives 3:2015
The Philippines 2:2016
The Caribbean  Link
Anguilla  3:2015
Jamaica  1:2015
Saint Lucia  4:2015
Middle East 
Dubai, UAE  1:2016
Europe 
Malta 3:2016
Madrid  2:2015
Stuttgart, Germany 4:2016
North America  
USA - Greater Fort Lauderdale & Broward County Update  3:2015
High heels meet high ambitions: IMEX recognises girl-power within events industry by celebrating International Women’s Day

IMEX is supporting International Women’s Day on 8 March by celebrating the role women play across the international meetings and events industry and throughout the forthcoming show, IMEX in Frankfurt, taking place 16 – 18 May.

Women play a fundamental role in the industry and as participants at IMEX shows; they account for nearly half of all attendees at IMEX in Frankfurt. Many inspiring female speakers are part of the packed education programme in Frankfurt this year, which includes latest research into the changing roles of women in the global events industry.

Senior female planners from Wells Fargo, Mac Cosmetics, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lego Group and Estée Lauder are among the experts speaking at Exclusively Corporate at IMEX, the dedicated event for in-house event and travel planners.

In addition, Tremaine du Preez, certified executive coach and lecturer in critical thinking and emotional intelligence is the confirmed speaker at PCMA Business School, which takes place on IMEX’s brand new EduMonday, 15 May, at the Congress Centre, Messe Frankfurt.

Du Preez works with women leaders across the globe and finds them an inspiration as she explains: “Women who manage family and household commitments and can still give 100 per cent of themselves at work are a true inspiration to me. They are the unsung heroes. I regularly come across many women from every walk of live juggling busy personal and professional lives and they’re able to take everything in their stride.”

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, sums up: “There are extraordinary women in all sectors of the meetings industry – and around the globe. It’s right for us to celebrate their achievements and acknowledge their skills and contributions. As a business where three quarters of our staff - and 70 per cent of our directors - are female, IMEX is well placed to say we understand what it’s like, and we know what you’re up against. We’re here to help and inspire you and to support your business ambitions, whether you’re a rising star or a highly experienced female leader. International Women’s Day is the perfect chance to say, ‘We’re on your side’.”

International Women's Day on 8 March celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. www.internationalwomensday.com

www.imex-frankfurt.com

Successful trials lead IMEX in Frankfurt to fully-fledged roll out of Zenvoy networking service
 

Continuing its drive to enable buyers and exhibitors to make the most of networking opportunities, IMEX in Frankfurt has partnered with networking specialists Zenvoy to make it easier for attendees to meet even more like-minded people at the show.

The introduction of this new service at IMEX in Frankfurt follows a pilot test a year ago and its successful introduction and roll-out at IMEX America in October 2016.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group said; “We’re always interested in partnerships and collaborations with innovators who can bring new concepts to market - everyone from education designers to event tech developers. When there’s a clear benefit to an important audience, in this case meetings and events planners, then we like to conduct a small, manageable trial and, if the results are sound and the feedback’s good, then we tend to move quickly to a formal roll-out and launch. Zenvoy’s a great example of that process.

10,000 introductions to date

“Zenvoy creates networking opportunities not only at the show but long afterwards. After facilitating 3,000 plus introductions before and during IMEX America, over 10,000 introductions have now been made for IMEX America buyers and we have an IMEX America community with more than 1,300 active users.

”Helping our clients make powerful connections with the right people is now built into our mission. New partners with fresh new ideas, such as Zenvoy, help us keep that target in plain sight.”

Meaningful connections

Devan Chauhan, Assistant Manager - MICE & Leisure, at Globe Forex & Travels Ltd was a Hosted Buyer at IMEX America 2016. He says, "In this era of digitization, Zenvoy is an awesome platform for digital contact exchange and networking, allowing users like me to contact professionals of the same field. I am really happy with it and would like to continue to take its services in future."

Zenvoy achieves results for IMEX by inviting pre-registered hosted buyers and visitor buyers to opt-in and complete a confidential profile. It then uses intelligent data profiling software to analyse and match each person with others with similar business profiles including job title, nature of business and number of years in the industry. Like-minded individuals are then invited to connect online or arrange to meet face-to-face at the show during lunch breaks or at the end of the day.

Leo Gestetner, Co-Founder and CEO of Zenvoy commented; “The service and the data are entirely private, meaning attendees are assured of complete discretion and the introductions are specific to IMEX in Frankfurt. There is no downloading, swiping, searching, hunting or spamming. Zenvoy turns IMEX from a 4-day event to months of networking!”

www.imex-frankfurt.com

 

Don't forget to apply for our Hosted Buyer Groups to

IMEX in Frankfurt for European Buyers
Frankfurt, Germany
16 - 18 May 2017

MICE East Africa Forum & Expo
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
8-10 June 2017

visit micemm.com for information

South Africa, Cape Town: CTICC 2 takes conferencing to another level

The Cape Town International Convention Centre has become synonymous with delivering world-class conferences, exhibitions, meetings and events. Home to must-attend events such as the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Africa Travel Week and African Mining Indaba, the centre has played a major role in Cape Town’s reputation as a premier business events destination.

With seasoned event specialists on staff and expert suppliers on call, the centre has hosted more than 5 295 events since it opened its doors in 2013 and have set the benchmark in international standards of best practice with three ISO certifications from the International Standards Organization, five-star grading from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa, and with sustainability practices aligned to the United Nations Global Compact.

CTICC Expansion Project

Now, the CTICC is poised to extend its reach with its expansion project. Opening in 2017, the 31,148 sqm / 335,274 sq ft facility will double the Centre’s conference and exhibition capacity and will provide clients with exciting new venues and options to plan and grow their events. CTICC 2 offers multi-purpose exhibition and conference space sub-divisible into six halls, as well as four meeting suites, five meeting pod rooms, two terrace rooms, and a modern sky bridge over the Heerengracht street that will connect the original CTICC facility with CTICC 2.

The CTICC, City of Cape Town and Western Cape Government are investing a total of R832 million (60.6 million EUR / 64 million USD) in the project. The expansion is of strategic value to the investors as it will help to raise the global competitiveness of Cape Town as a leading meetings and events destination ensuring significant socio-economic benefits to the region.

CTICC 2 has already secured several high-profile events, testimony to the support the expansion project is receiving from the industry. Due to its expansion, the CTICC will host the World Ophthalmology Congress for 2020 which is set to attract 15 000 delegates to Cape Town.

www.cticc.co.za

 
Thailand extends visa fee waiver scheme for tourists from 21 countries

The Royal Thai Government recently approved the extension of the visa fee waiver and reduction for visas on arrival for tourists from 21 countries. The original scheme, established on 30 November, last year, will now be extended until 31 August, this year.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “Thailand’s tourism sector is thriving but with extra government support; such as, this visa waiver and reduction scheme means we can remain the top destination in the region. By continuing, this policy will help motivate visitors from these countries to discover Amazing stories in Amazing Thailand.”

The extension of the visa incentives for tourists for a further six months was proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and was approved at the weekly Cabinet Meeting earlier this month.

The new period, lasting until 31 August, will mean that travellers applying for tourist visas at Royal Thai Embassies or Thai Consulates abroad will not have to pay any fees for entry visas, while the fees for visas on arrival (VoA) have been reduced from 2,000 Baht to 1,000 Baht per person.

The new regulation will be effective for passport holders from 21 countries and territories including Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Click the link to view or download the full list of countries and territories entitled for Visa exemption and visa on arrival to Thailand: https://www.businesseventsthailand.com/why-thailand/resources/mice-rules-regulations/immigration-customs/country-lists-for-visa-exemption/.

www.businesseventsthailand.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
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