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NEWSFLASH December 2016

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December 2016
In This Edition

Left Column

Australia, Sydney: Showtime for ICC Sydney

Belgium, Antwerp: Flanders Unveils its New Meeting & Convention Center - FMCCA

Japan: The Venue Boom

Singapore: Transforming the Hotel Industry for Sustainable Growth

South Africa: Insights into the Country’s Meetings Industry

Right Column

UK, Scotland an update on grown world connections

XING Events Publishes its First Research about Digitalisation in the Event Industry

Click here to view past editions!

Publishers Note

Dear Reader!

In this edition – I can’t believe that we’re almost at the end of 2016 – we’re inviting you to look at two spectacular new Convention Centres which have just opened their doors to the public: in Australia, it’s Showtime for ICC Sydney and in Belgium there is a Room with a Zoo for you: Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp.

Japan sees a Venue Boom – and we’re keeping you updated, and in Singapore an important focus is on training and education in the hotel industry which will keep the country’s hospitality industry staff among the top echelon.

The South Africa National Convention Bureau unveiled first preliminary results of its three year study of the South African business events industry – don’t miss the article. And Xing Events also shares the results of its first research about “Digitalisation in the Event Industry” You’re welcome to download your copy.

The world connections into Scotland are continuing to extend. This triggers significant investments into the Scottish airports – don’t miss our update!

Last, but not least, are you interested in the destination Mauritius? We’re working with Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority to put a site inspection programme together – likely programme dates are between mid-February and mid-March. Are you interested? Please click here to register your interest and we will keep you posted!

Happy HolidaysAnd, finally, all of us here at MMM wish all of you a holiday season filled with joy, laughter, good food, good friends and hope for the New Year. Be kind to each other.

As usual, you are warmly invited to share this edition with your colleagues!

Best regards

Martina Warter
General Manager & Publisher
MICE Media Marketing
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Australia, Sydney: Showtime for ICC Sydney

In December 2013, the former Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre was demolished to create space for the new International Convention Centre Sydney – ICC Sydney - which launched its opening campaign, IT’S SHOWTIME, at IBTM World, in Barcelona last week.

The stage is now set for delegates, exhibitors, keynote speakers, performers and guests to take their place in the world class facilities, which include five-star convention and exhibition centres, 8,000 sqm / 86,111 sq ft of meeting room space, 35,000 sqm / 376,737 sq ft of exhibition space and a stunning 5,000 sqm / 53,820 sq ft open air event deck. Australia’s largest Grand Ballroom and three impressive tiered theatres, including the 8,000 seat ICC Sydney Theatre, will also be on show.

As the doors open and Sydney’s business events landscape is transformed, Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney, said the $1.5 billion destination will deliver a paradigm shift in the events industry, and that IT’S SHOWTIME – a multi-platform marketing campaign that uses theatrical pizazz to showcase Australia’s premier exhibition, convention and entertainment venue – brings this to life.

“The stage is set, the dress rehearsals have been applauded, and we are ready to dazzle. We know that ICC Sydney will fundamentally change the way events are experienced in Sydney, and are committed to ensuring that every event is a show to remember. This promise has already allowed us to secure more than 400 bookings, ahead of our opening, and we can’t wait to deliver on our spectacular potential.

“ICC Sydney is a flexible and fully-integrated precinct, offering industry leading technology, professional service and a year-round calendar of dynamic business and entertainment events, all in one place. It will draw the biggest corporate and consumer events from around the globe to our city, from the World Congress of Accountants and OpenStack Summit, to Amway China and International Bar Association,” he said.

ICC Sydney is already operating to a new industry benchmark and can cater to every event type and request.

For more information, visit

MauritiusMICE in style
Enjoy everything that Mauritius has to offer...

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.

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.

Belgium, Antwerp: Flanders Unveils its New Meeting & Convention Center - FMCCA

A promise delivered. “A Room with a ZOO” in Antwerp is now open and the auditorium’s stunning audio quality scores at 10+

After 28 months of hard and creative work the Elisabeth Concert Hall, part of the congress venue Flanders Meeting and Convention Center Antwerp, has celebrated it’s opening stunning the audience not only by the state of the art design and colour use, but most of all by the mere perfection in acoustics.

Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp (FMCCA) is located within one of the world’s best preserved & award winning 19th century zoos, and provides the meetings industry sector with a new venue for the 21st century.

The hall has been quoted 10+ by the world’s finest acousticians and architects. Every seat offers perfect audio-visual pleasure, both for concerts and congress meetings. The Centre not only managed to open in time and within budget, but from now on is the precious heart of the whole new congress venue.

Located adjacent to the world’s most beautiful railway station, within the historical centre of Antwerp and on the sites of the legendary Antwerp ZOO as extras, FMCCA is a destination that stands out – worldwide – in its uniqueness. No other venue combines world top accommodation with historical greatness and animal wildlife just footsteps away. Antwerp ZOO was opened in 1843, and is one of the founding zoos in the world with some 7.000 animals and 550 species. It has an award-winning reputation for global preservation and breeding programmes.

With easy access for Europe and the world with both Brussels & Antwerp International Airport close by and the railway station next door, the FMCCA will provide a low environmental impact, sustainable and low energy consumption venue with the latest technical facilities and equipment. Antwerp itself offers over 4,600 hotel rooms within walking distance from FMCCA.

Japan: The Venue Boom

Japan continues to capture the attention of the meetings industry with new luxury hotel brands opening around the country and more culturally significant venues becoming available for exclusive events.

Tokyo has seen a boom in international hotel openings since the announcement of the 2020 Olympics, with the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho (A Starwood Luxury Collection) which opened last July. Hyatt will launch its Centric brand in Japan with the Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo and the Four Seasons will expand with a second Tokyo property in 2020. The Four Seasons also expanded into Kyoto, with the Four Seasons Kyoto that launched this October. Osaka will grow its hotel portfolio with the Conrad Osaka in 2017 and the ancient capital of Nara, known for its abundance of Buddhist temples, will claim its place as a global meetings destination with its first internationally branded hotel, the JW Marriott Hotel, to open in spring 2020.

Culturally important venues across the country are also being made available exclusively to meeting planners who are seeking unique venues for gala dinners and special events. The Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts has launched a one-of-a-kind program that connects local artisans with meeting delegates, so event attendees can fully experience Japan's traditional culture. Additional modern venues include the Miyajima Shopping Street and Takanobashi Shopping Center in Hiroshima, which can both be converted into private venues allowing groups to enjoy traditional and modern shops, take in performing arts, explore food stalls, try on kimonos, experience taiko drumming and more. -

VisitBerlin Convention Office

Come experience Berlin!

Meeting Place Berlin
© visitBerlin, Foto: Mike Auerbach

Join us for Meeting Place Berlin from 13 to 17 July 2017! Experience the unique rhythms of the city which make Berlin a special and globally sought-after destination for meetings, conventions, and incentives. Discover the latest trends and check out both the classics and the newcomers to Berlin’s hotel and venue offerings. Network with international meeting experts and decision-makers from professional associations and companies. Meeting Place Berlin is organised by the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office, which has been the first contact for anyone planning events in the German capital for 15 years.

“A wonderful event”, “an extraordinary experience”, and “a great opportunity”: the reactions of past participants say it all. So, come be inspired and register today at!

Singapore: Transforming the Hotel Industry for Sustainable Growth

The Hotel Industry Transformation Map (ITM) was launched in November by Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry.

Four strategies were identified to transform the hotel industry for sustainable growth. These are:

building manpower-lean business models;
developing new solutions through innovation;
growing businesses through internationalisation;
building a strong pipeline of quality talent.

The Singapore Tourism Board developed and will implement the Hotel ITM, in partnership with the Singapore Hotel Association, Food, Drinks and Allied Workers Union, the Hotel Sectoral Tripartite Committee as well as other agencies such as Workforce Singapore, SkillsFuture Singapore and International Enterprise Singapore.

Build Manpower-lean business models and innovate to develop new solutions

One key strategy for transformation is to develop manpower-lean business models that are productive. To support hotels which are constrained in adopting productivity solutions due to building legacy infrastructure, STB launched a time-limited hotel retrofitting grant this April. Hotels can apply for this grant to redesign their premises to unlock productivity gains.

Hotels should also build up capabilities in lean operations and measurements. A Lean Hotel Initiative developed by STB, WSG and McKinsey & Company will guide hotels to identify and implement productivity initiatives as well as build capabilities towards manpower lean operations. It is expected that 16 hotels will embark on this programme early next year.

Grow Businesses through Internationalisation

The outlook for global travel and tourism continues to be positive. Between 2010 and 2030, it is forecasted that international visitor arrivals globally will grow at 3.3 per cent per year, and at 4.9 per cent per year within the Asia Pacific.

To capture these growth opportunities overseas, the Hotel ITM will support Singapore hotels in their internationalisation efforts. As Singapore hotels develop lean business models locally, their ability to operate with lower cost and manpower can become a source of competitive advantage overseas.

Build a strong pipeline of talent and Deepen Skill workforce

To build a strong pipeline of talent and a future-ready quality workforce, several initiatives have been rolled out, including the Professional Conversion Programme for Professional Executives (Hotel Industry), the Skills Future Earn and Learn Programme, and most recently, the SkillsFuture Study Awards for the hotel industry.

A Hotel Career Campaign will also be carried out to galvanise awareness of good hotel jobs and careers. It is slated to start in the first quarter of next year. The SkillsFuture Leadership Development Initiative will also be launched to support aspiring Singaporeans in acquiring leadership competencies and critical experiences.

South Africa: Insights into the Country’s Meetings Industry

The South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB) unveiled the preliminary results of its three-year study into the South African business events industry at IBTM World last week. While the studies final findings will be released at Meetings Africa taking place from 28 February – 1 March 2017, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Chief Convention Bureau Officer at the SANCB introduced first findings:

In 2014 and 2015 main source markets for business events closely mirrored South Africa's core leisure tourism markets – the United States, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Turkey, India, Australia, Germany, China, France and Kenya.
Accommodation offers outside the traditional offerings – e.g. airbnb - had not yet a significant effect. Between 69% and 85% of international delegates are still booking into hotels and a growing number are opting for guesthouses, game lodges and bed-and-breakfast establishments while attending business events.
Travel destinations were mostly Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, but also Sandton, Bloemfontein, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Polo Kwane and Pietermaritzburg. Tourist destinations such as the Drakensberg, Pilanesberg, Soweto, Sun City, Parys, Rustenburg, the Kruger Park, Hermanus, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch also featured strongly in delegates' itineraries, suggesting an overlap of business and leisure tourism.
Length of visits: approximately 50% of delegates stayed between 6 and 10 days while a significant proportion stayed between 3 and 5 days and 10% visited the country between 11 and 15 days.
Approximately 50% of business delegates are accompanied by one person but a significant number are joined by 3 or more persons.

The full report will be made available at Meetings Africa, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa from 27 February to 1 March 2017. -

UK, Scotland an update on grown world connections

While being well connected, not only flights are adding into the destinations, but airports see major investments. Look at the latest updates!

European connectivity

With direct air links with most European and Scandinavian countries exist, new and additional routes continually grow. Air France has recently expanded its short-haul network with daily flights to / from Glasgow the airlines 3rd Scottish destination. Through the existing - and growing - number of air links to European hubs including London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schipol, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt and Istanbul; Scotland is excellently linked to key destinations in all continents.

Middle East connectivity

Existing daily direct flights between Glasgow and Dubai increased to twice daily in 2012. Following the success of this route, both Etihad and Qatar launched direct flights from Edinburgh into Abu Dhabi and Doha respectively offering excellent gateways connections to Asia, Africa, Australia and China.

North America connectivity

In the last three years Scotland has seen very strong growth in the number of direct flights from North America. New York, Chicago and Philadelphia are key hubs for Scotland, connecting the country with as many as 60 other cities throughout the United States - a key MICE market for Scotland. This year has also seen new routes and increased frequency from Delta Air and Air Canada Rouge.

Passenger numbers bring confidence to airport expansion

With passenger numbers soaring, Scotland’s airports are also expanding thanks to the confidence delivered through increased visitor numbers and growing airline connections. Over the last decade, the number of passengers travelling through Edinburgh Airport has increased by 20%. Passenger numbers are predicted to rise by a further 18% to 13.1 million in 2020. Glasgow and Inverness airports report similar increases in international passenger numbers. Confidence in continued growth in passenger numbers is being matched by investments in infrastructure.

Aberdeen International Airport is undergoing a £20m expansion that will result in a 50% increase in the size of the terminal building and with it, a comprehensive transformation of current passenger facilities. The expansion coincides with the building of the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre due to open in 2019 which will include a 12,500 capacity arena with a moveable stage, 47,000 sqm / 505,904 sq ft of flexible exhibition space and three new hotels.

Edinburgh Airport has invested £25m in a significant expansion of the airport’s terminal building, providing passengers with additional space; a new state of the art security area; new retail areas; and a new airline business centre. The extension has moved the terminal access closer to the new Edinburgh tram stop. The development is part of a £150m investment in the airport over five years with further expansion plans proposed up until 2040.

At Inverness Airport, soaring international airline traffic into Inverness prompted airport operator HIAL to invest £900,000 to expand and upgrade Inverness airport’s terminal building. Thus, passengers will enjoy faster, more streamlined security processes, a purpose built international arrivals hall, a new look departure lounge with 75% more capacity and a threefold increase in retail and catering facilities. Inverness has also seen the establishment of daily direct flights with British Airways into London Heathrow and a seasonal direct flight to Amsterdam with KLM.

XING Events Publishes its First Research about Digitalisation in the Event Industry
The use of digital solutions in the event industry is on the rise
Digitalisation is predominantly spreading throughout event marketing and event organisation
There is a large gap between what attendees want and what organisers offer
Three-quarters of organisers could meet their goals

XING Events - experts in attendee management and event marketing - published its research about digital transformation in the event industry. Digital transformation entails various changes in existing business models and structures in the event industry. Digital technologies are in the process of taking over the traditional trade fair and event sector, creating the need for further development.

XING Events wanted to find out how organisers are using digital transformation for their purposes, which new developments there are and where the challenges lie. The comparison of attendee and organiser perspectives regarding this topic offers particularly interesting insights. The research also includes valuable, practical and easy-to-implement tips for using digital technologies efficiently.

Download your copy on:

Digitalisation Is Predominantly Spreading throughout Event Marketing and Event Organisation

Three-quarters of organisers noticed an improvement in their processes, particularly in event preparation, by using digital technologies. This is also reflected in the opinions of attendees who feel that additional event information, networking opportunities and online ticketing are the greatest advantages that digital event preparation offers.

There Is a Large Gap between what Attendees Want and what Organisers Offer

Especially when it comes to ticketing, the answers diverge strongly. Although nearly half of organisers surveyed are using online ticketing, this solution is not their prime focus. However, it has become indispensable for almost 90% of attendees. Although organisers feel that event marketing and attendee communication has successfully been optimised, attendees expressed their need for more information.

Three-quarters of Organisers Could Meet their Goals

When opting for digitalisation, the main goals for organisers were to achieve efficiency in terms of time, costs and organisation, and increase attendee satisfaction. 75% of organisers could reach these goals by using digital solutions.

A look at future trends shows similar results: Three-quarters of organisers want to continue expanding their digital event management solutions in the future. Attendees have also noticed an improvement, and 81% find digital solutions to be indispensable.

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   
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