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NEWSFLASH December 2015

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December 2015
In This Edition

Left Column

Australia, Adelaide: Excitement Builds For Dreamtime 2015 - Tourism Australia's Signature Incentive Showcase

Australia, Cairns: Hall of Fame for Cairns Convention Centre

Czech Republic: Prague Strengthens Its Position in the International Congress Arena

El Salvador Hosted Third Annual El Salvador Travel Market

South Africa -- "It's The Place To Be" - Minister of Tourism In South Africa, Outlines Next Decade of Opportunities For The MICE Industry

Right Column

Reed Travel Exhibitions To Partner With oneworld

Final Figures Confirm New Records At IMEX America 2015

Hong Kong: New Responsive HKCEC Website Designed For Mobile Device Users

Click here to view past editions!

Publishers Note

Dear Reader!

Thank you for reading Newsflash, for your feedback, your ideas and your support! 2015 was – and still is - an incredible year. So many positive and exciting things happened – and then there were days that left us deeply shaken.

In May the attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo shocked the world. I couldn’t, and didn’t want to, imagine anything worse. But- again in Paris - but also in too many other cities and countries, worse did happen. Some of those attacks on liberty and freedom gained global attention, others barely made the evening news channels. But no matter the amount of press, I felt much sorrow.

But then, I walked through the aisles of a recent MICE industry trade show and I see how peacefully and professionally we are working cross-cultural, cross-language, cross-habits, in destinations we know very well, but also in new destinations. Some of those new destinations have very new Convention Bureaus, offer an experience in a different culture, new and modern structures for meetings and events, such as….

Rwanda created its Convention Bureau in 2014!
Ethiopia announced the creation of a MICE chapter this month!
Algiers will see the opening of the Centre International de Conférence d’Alger in 2016
The Addis-Africa International Convention & Exhibition Center is under construction and will open 2019
The Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre will open in 2016…

We discuss, chat, smile, laugh, and after this, we bring people together to chat, smile, laugh and experience!

And so as I look at this and imagine the exchange and communication of people meeting and interacting, I believe that we have an incredible chance of contributing to a better understanding among peoples of the world. I have hope!

2015 is coming to an end. Thank you for your contribution and dedication to create global opportunities for people to meet and communicate.

December is the month of celebrations, and whether yours is Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, or other feasts, I’m sending my best wishes for a merry and joyful season and a wonderful and loving celebration with your family and friends. May 2016 be a happy, successful and peaceful year for everybody.

Best regards

Martina Warter
General Manager & Publisher
MICE Media Marketing
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Australia, Adelaide: Excitement Builds For Dreamtime 2015 - Tourism Australia's Signature Incentive Showcase

Preparations for Tourism Australia's signature incentive showcase, Dreamtime, to be held from 6 to 9 December 2015 in Adelaide are well under way and gathering momentum. This year, over 100 qualified buyers and media from more than 10 key markets will experience Australia's incentive offering first hand through a program of business sessions, networking events, destination showcases and educationals. Engaging with international buyers and media in the lead up to the Dreamtime is crucial to delivering a deeper awareness of the quality and variety of Australia's incentive offer, and to this end Tourism Australia has developed a comprehensive communications plan for Dreamtime, including enlisting the help of some of South Australia's most passionate food and wine personalities such as Penfolds Chief Winemaker Peter Gago.

Check out the film to see why he calls Adelaide home. -

Hosted Buyer Invitation:
MICE East Africa Forum & Expo 2016
9-11 June 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The first MICE industry trade show in East Africa will take place from June 6-9, 2016 at the Millenium Special Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The three-day event will offer 150 hosted buyers the opportunity to meet with more than 100 of the region’s top suppliers.

Attending the MICE East Africa Forum & Expo will allow you to experience Addis Ababa’s MICE infrastructure and the cities top level suppliers and meet with the major Ethiopian tourism offices; the East and Central African country tourism organizations, airlines, hotels and resorts with suitable MICE facilities, local venue providers and vendors, professional conference and event organizers, destination management companies etc.

The Hosted buyer programme includes round trip air tickets to/from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,u p to 4 night hotel accommodation during the show, free admission to the exhibition hall, the East Africa Innovation Center, the event’s networking functions, food & beverage services of the event, ground transportation and a minimum of 25 valuable business appointments during the 3-day event.

Information on

Click here to apply:

Australia, Cairns: Hall of Fame for Cairns Convention Centre

The Cairns Convention Centre is proud to have won the Business Event Venues Gold Award at the 2015 Queensland Tourism Awards. The Centre also received the Gold Award in 2014 and 2013 so were inducted into the Hall of Fame at the gala dinner in Brisbane in November 2015.

The awards acknowledge and celebrate the tourism operators in Queensland who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and contribution to the state's tourism industry. The Business Event Venues award is judged on criteria including: tourism excellence, business planning, marketing, customer service and sustainability.

Ross Steele, General Manager, Cairns Convention Centre said, "It was an honour to receive this Award as it recognises a level of sustained excellence over a long period of time. It is worthy recognition for our team who take great pride in providing clients with a world class venue that delivers consistent quality through friendly tropical hospitality."

Czech Republic: Prague Strengthens Its Position in the International Congress Arena

Popularity of Prague as a congress destination across the world grows continuously. Congress destination number one in the Czech Republic attracts more interest in the international congress industry. This year, Prague has won its second annual Meeting Star award of the Slovenian Congress Magazine, which focuses on topics of Central and South-eastern Europe congress tourism. Prague strengthens its position within the region becoming the second most popular congress destination for the second year in a row.

The evaluation included 60 destinations across the region in total. With the score of 4.60 points Prague ranked just behind Istanbul. Istanbul confirmed its leadership for the second time, gaining 4.61 points. The third place went to Belgrade.

When evaluating the destination, multiple criteria such as the natural and cultural factors, general and transport infrastructure, tourism and congress infrastructure and marketing communication are taken into account. The current position of the destination in the ICCA world ranking and the list of cities ranked by quality of life published by Numbeo company are taken into consideration too.

According to the International Congress and Convention Association ICCA, Prague positions on the 10th place in the world comparison of congress destinations and the 9th position within Europe.

Meeting Star awards will be presented at the opening ceremony of the Conventa Trade Show in Ljubljana, Slovenia in January next year.

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
Ehtiopia Sept 2015
Indian Ocean: The Maldives, Maurice, Seychelles Sept 2015
Hong Kong July 2015
The Philippines Mar 2015
Philippine Incentives May 2015
The Caribbean 
Anguilla  May 2015
Jamaica  Jan 2015
Saint Lucia  July 2015
Madrid  Mar 2015
North America  
USA - Greater Fort Lauderdale & Broward County Update  May 2015
El Salvador Hosted Third Annual El Salvador Travel Market

El Salvador's Ministry of Tourism once again hosted the country's premier tourism event, "El Salvador Travel Market," from Nov. 8 to 14, 2015 in the country's capital city of San Salvador.

The third annual show featured more than 30 tourism providers from El Salvador, including DMCs, receptive tour operators, hotels, restaurants and airlines, as well as various operators specializing in eco-adventure and cultural travel, including archaeological and historic tours.

Approximately 40 hosted buyers, primarily from the United States and Canada explored El Salvador on four different pre-tours and conducted one-on-one business meetings with Salvadoran suppliers in attendance. A media delegation also visited the country under one of the following themed trips: Maya archaeological sites and colonial towns; local art workshops and culinary classes; surf classes near world-class surf points or hiking in national parks and volcanos.

The North American market represents 36.3% of annual international arrivals to El Salvador. According to El Salvador Ministry of Tourism statistics for 2014, more than 488,547 travellers came from North America last year. International arrivals to El Salvador have been registering positive growth since 2009. The Government of El Salvador, through the Ministry of Tourism, will invest $25 million over the next five years for the development of the marine coastal area of El Salvador from funds provided by a loan of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

South Africa -- "It's The Place To Be" - Minister of Tourism In South Africa, Outlines Next Decade of Opportunities For The MICE Industry

Derek Hanekom, Minister of Tourism for South Africa outlined how South Africa, as a world-class business events destination, will respond to the next decade in the face of rising interest in the African continent.

Speaking at ibtm world in Barcelona, Minister Hanekom outlined how South Africa hosted 124 international association conferences in 2014 alone which attracted just under 70 000 industry professionals. Of these 124 conferences, 81% were international rotating events.

Looking to the future, SANCB has secured 163 bids for South Africa between 2016 and 2020, from industry sectors as diverse as mining, health and agriculture. Collectively they are expected to bring over 150,000 delegates to South Africa and contribute approximately R3.1billion to the economy.

"The potential of Africa for the MICE industry is exponential. The tide has turned, we can see that our growth opportunities are now also within the African market. There are 770 registered African Associations on the ICCA database” said Minister Hanekom. He stated that 178 of these are based in South Africa and in 2014 218 regional conferences took place in Africa. During the last 5 years, these conferences summed up to 610 events out of which 63 were hosted in South Africa.

The Minister also announced the SANCB is most excited that the European Cities Marketing (ECM) programme is coming to South Africa. This will be the first time that this initiative takes place in South Africa just ahead of the 2016 edition of Meetings Africa.

Speaking at the press conference, alongside Minister Hanekom, ECM President Ignasi de Delàs, said, "We are really thrilled to have our first ECM Academy organised in South Africa. It's a new landmark in ECM development to host the derived version of our successful ECM Summer School. The ECM Academy is a tailor-made course for partner organisations outside Europe. We will do our maximum to guarantee the success of the ECM Academy in Johannesburg by maintaining the highest standard of course content, recruiting the best speakers, and giving the latest examples showcasing the most up-to-date trends in the Meetings Industry."

Summing up, Minister Hanekom said: "South Africa offer the business events industry excellent value for money, deliver authentic, memorable and enriching experiences in one of the most captivating, safest and beautiful countries that I am proud to call my home."

Reed Travel Exhibitions To Partner With oneworld

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) announced at ibtm world in Barcelona that it has signed a global agreement designating oneworld as its exclusive airline alliance partner for 2016, in what is believed to be the biggest yet partnership of its kind.

It covers RTE events worldwide in 2016, including World Travel Market (WTM), International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events (ibtm) events -- a total of 19 shows, taking place in some 15 cities on five continents, attracting an estimated 100,000 delegates from across the travel sector worldwide.

Participants of the travel events that are under the umbrella of Reed Travel Exhibitions will, from December 2015, be able to make flight reservations via for travel to these shows - and receive discounted fares for themselves and a companion. They can fly on any oneworld member airline, serving between them more than 1,000 destinations in 150 plus countries.

Members of any oneworld member airline frequent flyer programme will be able to take advantage of their usual privileges and benefits along the way -- including earning miles/points and, for top tier cardholders and one companion each, the use any of the 650 plus airport lounges provided by the alliance's airlines the world over.

oneworld and oneworld events, the alliance's travel solution for the meetings, conferences, conventions, exhibitions and special events sector, will be prominently promoted at RTE's 2016 events including during their build up.

Both parties believe that the synergy of their expertise and quality of customer service will build an alliance where connections really do mean business. - -

Final Figures Confirm New Records At IMEX America 2015

Final figures just published for the fifth IMEX America confirm that the trade show broke many significant records.

According to statistics now available on the event's website, IMEX America 2015, which took place in Las Vegas from 13 to 15 October, attracted a total of 10,732 industry professionals. These included 3,030 hosted buyers, an increase of 4% on 2014. They represented 54 countries with 26% from outside the US and Canada, notably 5% from Brazil, 3.5% from the UK, 3% from China, 2.5% from Mexico and 1.5% from each of Germany, India, Argentina and Australia.

9% of them represented associations, 21% were corporate buyers, 62% were from incentive houses and agencies and 8% were independent planners.

The show also attracted 2,053 trade attendees from 69 countries, an increase of 7% year on year.

The data also confirms that the number of prescheduled one-to-one appointments and booth presentations had risen by 7% to a record 57,000 while there were also 9,700 buyers at group appointments. 51% of meetings had profiles attached, another new high.

Michael Friend from Superior Meeting Services in the USA explains: "Having the opportunity to meet everyone in one location is great. It allows me to maintain relationships and take things to a whole new level. IMEX is also an excellent opportunity to experience first-hand what's going on and what's new on the horizon. When it's all here, under one roof, I can really take care of business. The global presence at IMEX America really shows how far the industry has come in bringing everyone together."

Figures also confirm that this was the biggest ever IMEX America. Overall booth space grew by 5% compared with last year's previous record. There were 3,100 exhibiting companies representing 150 countries and 80 new booths.

Paul McDonagh from the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority adds: "The quality of buyers has been good and we've met decision makers for both incentive and meetings business. This is one of our key events each year and always proves to be a good investment."

The IMEX America 2015 at a Glance Fact Sheet can be downloaded at

Hong Kong: New Responsive HKCEC Website Designed For Mobile Device Users

The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre has recently revamped its website - - adopting the new 'Responsive' technology. It is now fully available for desktop as well as mobile phones, tablets and other mobile devices with different screen sizes and configurations.

Over 70% of the 20,000 daily visitors use their mobile devices to visit the HKCEC website. The revamp provides them with user friendly navigation along with enhanced services and easy to access information.

The design of the entire website follows the principle "visual first", using photos, graphics and short copies effectively to communicate information. This strategy matches the preferences of mobile users, and makes navigating the site easier.

Another main feature of the revamped website is the "interactive floor plan", which enable users to select their preferred HKCEC venues or restaurants by simply clicking on the floor plans. Major HKCEC venues are presented by "panoramic virtual tours" helping event organisers to visualise the different venues and their specific settings and decor. Each of the HKCEC's seven individual restaurants is now presented with a "thematic restaurant page".

An online reservation enquiry system has been added to the website, allowing customers to make enquiries even after operational hours. As a demonstration of the management company's commitment to corporate social responsibility, "web accessibility" features have been built in to ensure that the content is easily available for all, including people with visual impairments.