Dienstag, 12 Dezember 2017
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South Africa unveils ‘accelerated drive’ to attract more business events

At IBTM World, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Tourism, Elizabeth Thabethe, announced a “bold and ambitious” delegate-boosting plan as part of a Bidding Support Programme to propel the country’s business events industry forward.

Ms. Thabethe stated in a press conference held by the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB), that South Africa – and Africa – is “open for business ... [and] on an accelerated drive to increase our share of the global business events pie,”

This drive entails bringing more high-value business events delegates to South Africa, aiding economic growth and sustaining much-needed jobs throughout the broader tourism economy, Ms.Thabethe explained. This is besides the contribution such events make to the local knowledge economy, she noted.

Announcing the results of SANCB’s three-year study Ms. Thabethe said South Africa hosts about a million business delegates every year and - directly and indirectly - the local events industry sustains more than 250,000 jobs. The business events industry contributes about R115 billion (appr. EUR 6.8 billion / USD 7.9 billion) to South Africa’s gross domestic product every year.

“This research proves what our industry has always suspected – that South Africa’s business events industry contributes significantly to our broader tourism economy,” Ms. Thabethe told assembled media.

Importantly, she added, the study shows that delegates have an appetite to experience South Africa’s leisure attractions and that most have the disposable income to enjoy an extended holiday add-on to their business trip. “Armed with this research, we want to entice business events delegates to come to South Africa, stay for longer and bring people with them,” she said.

To help achieve this tourism growth, the South African government has allocated R90 million (appr. EUR 5.3 million / USD 6.2 million) for a Bidding Support Programme to enable South Africa to bid more aggressively for international association conferences, meetings, incentives and exhibitions over the next three years.

The country is already widely regarded as a “go-to” destination for hosting international conferences, particularly in the medical and scientific field – last year’s International Aids Conference being a case in point. “Such high-profile events are putting South Africa on the map as an exciting and cost- effective option for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions. We have all the infrastructure, technical capacity, expertise and experience that’s needed, not to mention extremely welcome, service-oriented and capable people.” But more needs to be done for the country’s business events sector to reach its full potential, she said.

Hence the need for the Bidding Support Programme. As part of this, the SANCB is spearheading a global delegate-boosting campaign, targeting members of the association conferences that are already confirmed to take place in South Africa over the next five years.

“We have already started reaping the rewards of this fund,” Ms. Thabethe said, revealing that since April the SANCB had submitted 54 bids that could potentially contribute R1.6 billion to the economy, attract 57 660 delegates and generate more than 214 combined conference days.

She noted that each time a blue-chip international event was hosted in South Africa, it not only added to the country’s prestige – “it also delivers important socio-economic benefits to our people ... [which is why] Africa is the best place to bring your next business event, meeting or conference”.

Meetings Africa, Africa’s premier business events travel trade show, takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 to 28 February 2018. Visit www.meetingsafrica.co.za for more details.

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The Netherlands, The Hague: Museum Venue Reopens after Extensive Renovation

The Museum for Communication (COMM) has reopened its doors after a large-scale renovation project. The new and improved COMM is designed to meet the needs of event planners looking to organise a congress, corporate gathering, meeting, or reception.

COMM has a variety of meeting rooms, amongst them are the largest newsrooms in Europe which are available for meetings. The venue offers a webcast studio with extensive livestream possibilities, modern meeting rooms with video conferencing amenities and the historic Theosophical Temple. Moreover, ten breakout rooms for up to 250 people are available. For event planners looking for larger spaces, COMM offers rooms that can accommodate up to 650 participants.

The COMM is a new addition to the long list of museum venues in The Hague. Other museum venues such as the Mauritshuis, Gemeentemuseum, Museum Escher in het Paleis, and the Louwman Museum are internationally recognised for their exhibitions.

For more information about the COMM, please visit:
https://www.theconferencethehague.com/venue/comm-museum-voor-communicatie/

Further information about unique museum venues in The Hague can be found here:
https://www.theconferencethehague.com/organise-an-event/find-a-venue/

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The Netherlands: Utrecht Marketing introduces Utrecht Region Pass

Travel easily by public transport from, to and within the Utrecht region. During its event “Verrassend Verbinden Utrecht” (Surprisingly Connected Utrecht) Utrecht Marketing introduced its public transport and admission card for international visitors.

''Such a card does not exist yet in the Netherlands'', said Rijk van Ark, director of Utrecht Marketing. The Utrecht Region Pass is a public transport card that provides access to the entire public transport system in the Netherlands, including the bicycle. It is the only "pay-as-you-go" public transport card with national coverage linked to a credit card. Additionally, the traveller can use the pass to visit the most valued destinations and places of interest within the province.

The Utrecht Region Pass is about convenience and hospitality. It also promotes environmentally friendly travel and a regional distribution of tourism. Van Ark: "The Netherlands has an excellent public transport network, but for international visitors it is not easy to understand the OV chip card, day tickets and special variants. The Utrecht Region Pass not only offers the solution for this problem but also contributes to promoting all the beauty the region has to offer.''

The traveller reserves the Utrecht Region Pass online, collects it upon arrival at a pick-up location and can immediately start to travel. No need to charge the card. After returning it, the user receives a detailed specification. The payment takes place automatically via credit card. The costs of travel are exactly the same as when traveling with a regular public transport chip card.

The Utrecht Region Pass is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2018.
www.utrechtconventionbureau.com

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Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau introduces Thailand Connect 2018 for the EU Market

To support and stimulate the MICE industry development, TCEB has announced it’s 2018 promotion for the European market. The programme consists of three key initiatives:

MI – Connect

To stimulate growth in Thailand’s meetings and incentive travel business, TCEB’s Meet By Design Promotional Campaign comprises three components: MEET NOW, MEET SMART and MEET MEGA, each offering a tailored menu of incentives and support for groups bringing their events to Thailand.

For mega-events of corporate meetings and incentive travel events to Thailand, a financial subsidy of up to Euro 25,000 (Baht 1,000,000) is available to groups of over 3,000 delegates, staying in Thailand for at least 3 nights. The event must be held at a venue certified under the Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS). Generous non-financial support is also available for these mega-events.

C-Connect

For conventions coming to Thailand, TCEB’s Convene in Paradise promotional campaign offers up to Euro 25,000 (Baht 1,000,000) in financial support for eligible convention events for conventions with a minimum attendance of 1,000 international delegates or in the 5 industries prioritised under Thailand 4.0.

E-Connect

For exhibitions, TCEB Premier Exhibition Access aims to provide world class support and services to exhibition organizers worldwide, offering a range of key support measures tailored to maximise the success and impact of conventions and exhibitions held in Thailand.

www.businesseventsthailand.com/nc

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Taiwan: High Five to Taiwan's New International Conference Environment

When it comes to conference events, Taiwan is not to miss! Taiwan has an advantageous geographical location, near China, Japan, and Southern Asia, the nation is rich with domestic government, corporate, and NGO resources. Annually, over 400 international conferences are held in Taiwan. What impressed visitors most was the advanced and convenient services provided by high-tech applications—which Taiwan is particularly well-known for—such as mobile apps, which are especially useful to practice paperless meetings. Technology and a mature infrastructure, matched with kind and professional people, are just a few of the many perks visitors can experience during meetings and conferences in Taiwan.

To advance the conference industry, MEET TAIWAN, sponsored by Taiwan's Bureau of Foreign Trade and implemented by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), intends to enhance the conference environment with complete and advanced development of different industries, such as medical biotechnology, science, and IT. Furthermore, MEET TAIWAN will integrate useful resources by cooperating with related organizations, such as NGOs, INGOs, PCOs, and local and central governments to engage more potential buyers and meet their needs.

Moreover, to accumulate conference capabilities, MEET TAIWAN continues to spare no effort to discover and develop domestic resources. According to statistics, most of Taiwan's small and medium-sized international conferences are initiated by professors from colleges and universities. MEET TAIWAN provides a one-stop service, encouraging and supporting bid applications for international conferences. MEET TAIWAN also provides a communication platform for NGOs and PCOs, so all parties involved may easily exchange information.

Currently, per Taiwan government’s policy, innovative industries have become key to development, including green energy, the Asia Silicon Valley Development Agency, biotechnology, intelligent machinery, national defense, new agriculture, and circular economies. To keep mainstream, MEET TAIWAN aims to attract related-industrial conferences to be held in Taiwan. With a new and solid conference environment, give Taiwan a High Five and be satisfyingly surprised!

www.taitra.org.tw/index.asp

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