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NEWSFLASH April 2017

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April 2017
In This Edition

Left Column

IACC and Meeting Professionals International Form Global Alliance

PATA: APAC Visitor Forecast Data 2017-2021 released

Belgium, VisitFlanders: New Association Experts Attract International Conferences to Flanders

Germany, Berlin: Meeting Place Berlin welcomes meeting planners to its 9th edition – 13 – 17 July 2017

Thailand: TCEB Launches Spice Up Thailand 2017 Campaign – Special Privileges for MICE travellers

Right Column

IMEX in Frankfurt: Far from business as usual: revamped education programme offers innovation and inspiration for planners

UAE: Dubai welcomes Forever Living mega-incentive group

USA, New Orleans: Destination Update

Publishers Note

Dear Reader!

You may have noticed that this edition of NEWSFLASH is coming into your mailboxes a week later than usual – we were invited to site inspect Prague – the Czech Republic’s beautiful capital - for you and will provide our review in MICE:destination!

We are – as many of you will soon do – preparing for IMEX in Frankfurt and I am looking forward to the event and its’ revamped education programme – see the coverage.

And we are also looking forward to MICE East Africa Forum & Expo in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Ozzie Hospitality Business Management, and two companies of Midroc Ethiopia Technology Group - Rainbow Exclusive Car Rental and Tour Services and TNA Trans Nation Airways for the purpose of Pre-and Post-Event Tours to MICE East Africa Forum & Expo.

In Belgium, VisitFlanders has added 3 new association specialists to develop the association market – and from our end, we will attend the official opening ceremony of Flanders Meeting and Convention Centre in Antwerp next week – and we will of course bring our review to you.

Berlin will welcome planners to the 9th edition of Meeting Place Berlin this July – Hosted Buyer applications are open for this great event.

Don’t miss the news about the new Thailand Spice Up Privilege programme for MICE travellers.

Do you have specific subjects that you wish us to report on for you? Don’t hesitate to contact us – simply email us or come to see us at IMEX in Frankfurt.

Sharing this edition? Please use this link.

Best regards

Martina Warter
General Manager & Publisher
MICE Media Marketing
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IACC and Meeting Professionals International Form Global Alliance

IACC, the only association to certify conference and meetings-focused venues on a global basis, and Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the leading global association for meeting professionals, have announced a five-year global partnership for the mutual benefit of their members. The two associations will share event and learning platforms, including education delivered at annual conferences, regional events, and online as well as research initiatives.

In the last year IACC has delivered education at European and US MPI events, including more recently at the Southern California Chapter Conference and MPI Philadelphia Area Chapter Education Institute, and the two associations are exploring opportunities for additional MPI chapter events. In addition, MPI presented two workshops at the IACC-Americas Connect conference this week in Los Angeles.

One new project slated to roll out in 2017 will entail MPI conferences streamed live to IACC venues, where MPI members can come together, learn and experience valuable networking. The venues will all be IACC certified and capable of delivering a quality event with live streaming of content, supported by IACC member staff. MPI’s 2017 World Education Congress (WEC), which takes place June 19-22 in Las Vegas, will be the first conference featured.

MPI will also take part in the next phase of the IACC Meeting Room of the Future™ research project, which aims to transform the meeting experience through a global collaboration of leaders in conference and meeting space design, technology, hospitality, delegate collaboration, experience and conference management. The first phase surveyed meeting planners, including MPI planner members, and was published in 2016, and the second phase will focus on the venue buyer community and look to draw parallels with the initial research.

The results will be unveiled at MPI’s WEC 2017 this June, with IACC conducting a Research Showcase at the conference. A full copy of the initial report and infographic can be downloaded from the IACC website here.

Education, Education and More Education

With IACC leading the field in representing the top one percent of small-to-mid-size meetings-focused venues in 25 countries over four continents and MPI representing the largest community of meeting professionals worldwide, this alliance is a natural one and comes following many years of working together.

This is an era where the industry sees a significant increase in the number of part-time meeting planners, who with busy jobs look at professional development a little differently. IACC certified venues, which host smaller conferences and meetings, has many part-time planners booking space and one objective of this alliance is to provide relevant education to this important group.

Additionally, IACC venues consist of many individual and small specialist conference group venues, which MPI and IACC will make more accessible via simple venue search tools on their respective websites. -

Hosted Buyer Invitation:
MICE East Africa Forum & Expo 2017
8-10 June 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The first MICE industry trade show in East Africa will take place from June 8-10, 2017 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

PATA: APAC Visitor Forecast Data 2017-2021 released

Enjoy key insights from the latest five-year forecast data of international visitor arrivals and visitor receipts for the Asia Pacific visitor economy. The forecast data are now available for download at PATAmPOWER, exclusive for PATA Corporate members.

For PATA non-Corporate members and non-members, learn how to access these forecast data by contacting Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!.

Asia Pacific to welcome more than 630 million international visitors in 2017

Collective foreign arrivals into 39 Asia Pacific destinations will grow by 5.9 percent over 2016 and add around 35 million additional foreign arrivals in 2017 relative to 2016.

Between 2017-2021, foreign arrivals into Asia Pacific are expected to grow at an average rate of five percent per annum, reaching a combined foreign inbound count of close to 758 million.

By 2021 the Americas (as defined by PATA) will be receiving 156 million foreign arrivals annually while Asia can expect to receive over 573 million. The Pacific is forecast to receive over 28 million foreign arrivals annually. China, Hong Kong SAR, the USA, Korea (ROK) and Canada will all remain in the top five traffic-generating markets for the Asia Pacific region.

The Russian Federation generates 4M foreign visitor arrivals to Asia Pacific by 2021

By 2021 the Russian Federation will grow to third place by absolute volume gain over 2017, following China and Hong Kong SAR, and will then be generating some four million additional foreign visitor arrivals to the region. Thailand (+37.5%), Lao PDR (+9.7%) and Korea (ROK) (+7.5%) will register the highest average annual growth from the Russian Federation over the next five years, while a few destinations such as Hong Kong SAR (-5.0%), Cambodia (-3.6%) and the Northern Marianas (-2.3%) are expected to face a slowdown in numbers from this source market.

Source Markets of IVAs to Asia Pacific: Top Performers vs. Losers

Kuwait will top the source market chart in percentage growth terms with an average growth rate of 63 percent annually between 2017 and 2021, followed by Finland (31%). Iraq and Myanmar are predicted to rank far behind with these source markets each contracting by around -15 percent annually over the same forecasting period.

“Although visitor arrivals growth remains impressively strong for destinations in the Asia Pacific region over the next five years ongoing global economic uncertainty, coupled with rising political populism in the USA and Europe, will present a continued challenge to and impact upon disposable income of travel consumers, travel demand and movement between countries. These forecasts provide a valuable quantification of the expected future trends of travel demand for the Asia Pacific region and thus allow for risk assessments to be made well ahead of the curve.” - PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy

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, VisitFlanders: New Association Experts Attract International Conferences to Flanders

VISITFLANDERS adds 3 new association experts to targets international associations and corporations to draw conferences to Flanders and Brussels by 2021.

A study conducted by VISITFLANDERS shows that, on average, conference delegates are of greater economic value to a destination than traditional holidaymakers. VISITFLANDERS is bringing on board three association experts to develop the regions huge potential for growth in the conference industry. In collaboration with local convention bureaus in Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent and Leuven, VISITFLANDERS promotes the region as an international conference destination. The new team members are vital to further develop the contacts with associations – who are representing the region’s largest growth potential - and to help finding the right match between associations’ demands and the conference venues on offer in Flanders. The goal is to draw twice as many major international conferences to Flanders by 2021.

Creating a very special meeting experience

The biggest Flemish strong suit is the location of its conference centres: right in the middle of the historic city. It’s precisely this quintessential cultural heritage that creates Flanders’ appeal as a meeting and conference destination. Flanders offers a broad range of unique experiences and social activities to planers, such as gala dinners, teambuilding events and private tours, linked to our historical heritage, as the Flemish Masters for example.

Flanders owes its strategic added value as a meeting and conference destination to its reputation and expertise in certain key industries. These industries are highly developed, with specialised know-how at hand, in one or more Flemish cities and regions: for example, the petrochemical industry in Antwerp, biotechnology in Ghent, nanotechnology in Leuven, healthcare in Bruges, etc. The large cluster of association headquarters in Brussels is another fantastic advantage.

Welcome Gemmeke and Tuya

As the chairwoman of MPI, Gemmeke de Jongh knows the ins and outs of the meetings industry. She has invaluable experience in the associations market. In the past, she was responsible for attracting association conferences to the Benelux, Mexico, Singapore and the province of Alberta in Canada.

Tuya Beyers has accrued 14 years of experience in various segments of the meetings industry, including Guava and The Oval Office. She devoted her creativity and logistical experience to the organisation of conferences and meetings with PCO The House of Congress.

The third expert will start later this 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  Link
Ethiopia 3:2016
Ehtiopia 5:2015
Indian Ocean: The Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles 5:2015
Mauritius 1:2017
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
Malta 3:2016
Madrid  2:2015
Stuttgart, Germany 4:2016
North America  
USA - Greater Fort Lauderdale & Broward County Update  3:2015
Germany, Berlin: Meeting Place Berlin welcomes meeting planners to its 9th edition – 13 – 17 July 2017

Berlin Convention Bureau welcomes planners to experience the city and meet with the cities providers this summer. The bi-annual event opens its doors for the ninth subsequent time inviting qualifying buyers to look and feel Berlin.

The programme will allow buyers to Meet with the Berlin Suppliers, Experience Berlin Incentive options, participate in site inspections matching the individual business requirements and of course to join into sightseeing tours to absorb the German capital’s inspiring vibes.

Buyer feedback about past editions of Meeting Place Berlin was extremely positive, so we highly recommend participating in this destination event.

Please check the event website at - the Hosted Buyer application is open!

Thailand: TCEB Launches Spice Up Thailand 2017 Campaign – Special Privileges for MICE travellers

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB,) has launched the Spice Up Thailand 2017 campaign for the 4th consecutive year in collaboration with five key partners offering special privileges for MICE travellers, such as 10% hotel discounts, 50% discounts for car rentals and airport transfers, Bt500 cash coupons for shopping, 25% restaurant discounts, and 50% off golf course green fees. In addition, other hotel, shopping, dining, wellness, activity and transportation promotions have been made available.

Mr. Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, the President of TCEB, stated that promoting MICE-related business through adopting an online marketing strategy has been a significant tool aimed to boost the domestic and international market of MICE travellers while also supporting the overall economic growth of the country.

The campaign is developed to promote and create awareness of the MICE industry overseas and to deliver a first-class experience to MICE travellers; in turn, this will help to increase spending and encourage MICE travellers to extend their stay in Thailand. The campaign has been carried out for the previous three years and is continuously developing in terms of adding new privileges for domestic MICE travellers, and targeting tile MICE industry in Asia, specifically in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

In 2016, a total of 46 MICE events from 16 organizers registered to join the campaign with more than 43,000 coupons redeemed, generating over 20 million views online. The Top 5 most popular products and services redeemed by MICE visitors were restaurants, shopping, attractions, spas, and transportation (car rental and airport transfers). The Top 10 nationalities of MICE travellers redeeming such coupons during the campaign were China, India, Singapore, Vietnam, USA, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Australia, Algeria, and Thailand.

In 2017, the Spice Up Thailand Campaign is working in alliance with registered organizations with more than 60 exhibitions in total.

MICE travellers can access these privileges by registering and downloading the Spice Up Privilege Coupons via the campaign's Website, or pick up the Spice Up Privilege Coupons Booklet at the registration counter. The coupons must be shown to participating shops, venues and businesses to activate the special Spice Up Thailand privilege. Offers run from this month (April) until December 2017. If you need any further information, please feel free to contact: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!

IMEX in Frankfurt: Far from business as usual: revamped education programme offers innovation and inspiration for planners

“We don’t believe in ‘business as usual’ – and are always seeking engaging and effective ways to further our industry,” explains Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.

One of the ways the IMEX team has done this for IMEX in Frankfurt 2017 is through its education offering: a comprehensive programme of free education running across all three days of the trade show, 16 – 18 May, combined with its brand new EduMonday, 15 May.

Brand new - EduMonday

EduMonday will combine contemporary learning styles with hot industry topics and the latest personal development teachings. With registration free of charge and open to all, the day will provide insights into event design, future trends and hot new technologies. IMEX’s EduMonday will feature experts from the new Zeus Eventtech Academy, the German Convention Bureau (GCB), Meetology® Masterclasses and Play with a Purpose. IMEX is also offering the Event Design Certificate Programme Level 1 of Mastery as part of a three-year agreement with the Event Design Collective. This allows 30 English and 30 German-speaking event professionals to take their career to the next level by taking the certification free of charge on the day.

Event Design training

The Event Design training will be delivered by Roel Frissen and Ruud Janssen, from the Event Design Collective. Roel explains: “Events can be demanding for the event owner and the team responsible for delivery. Event Design should be fun, democratic and engaging for everyone involved in order to deliver events of high quality. The Event Design Certificate programme level 1 of Mastery equips teams with a methodology to do just that."

Healthcare Spotlight

Also on EduMonday, meeting professionals in the healthcare sector can gain valuable credibility by participating in the accredited Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC) programme, delivered by MPI. The HMCC provides a foundation in healthcare disciplines, designed for planners and suppliers who need an understanding of regulations, in particular new regulations and laws in healthcare reporting.

A wider programme of free education runs across the three days of the show with close to 150 seminars, including workshops, campfires and bite-sized show-floor education. Participants can choose from carefully selected tracks to create their own bespoke schedule, all designed to help them keep a finger on the pulse of the industry.

Many sessions have a firm eye on the future covering topics such as Visioneering the future of meeting spaces delivered by the IACC plus MPI’s Deep dive into the industry’s business trends.

The second phase of your career that no one knows about will help attendees of all career levels understand what it means to mindfully and purposefully set their career path and achieve goals, part of Purposeful Meetings, IMEX’s new Talking Point.

Guided Tech Tours

Back by popular demand are the IMEX Tech Tours, in both English and German. These provide a guided tour of the show floor and a chance to discover new products, services and gadgets in the field of event technology.

Event risk in a changing world will guide attendees through the steps to create their own safety action plan. Security is explored further in Event security challenges in an elevated security climate by Pete Murphy from Priavo Security and security and risk consultant Angelique Lecorps.

Security expertise

Pete has over 20 years’ experience across the government and private security sector following commendable service within UK Special Forces. He explains why security should remain a key consideration: “Despite the enormous increase in attention to security after recent major international incidents, too many organisations are already slipping back into complacency and cutting corners. Security is considered by some to be an ‘invisible cost’ but this doesn’t make it any less vital.”

IMEX in Frankfurt takes place at Messe Frankfurt from 16 – 18 May 2017.

EduMonday (separate registration required) is on 15 May. Registration is free of charge and open online -

EduMonday registration:

UAE: Dubai welcomes Forever Living mega-incentive group

One of the largest ever incentive groups to Dubai, with 12,000 visitors from more than 100 countries worldwide being hosted over the course of nine days

Dubai has officially welcomed one of its largest ever incentive groups, with more than 12,000 visitors from over 100 countries worldwide arriving for the Forever Global Rally 2017, taking place 2-11 April. Dubai Business Events, the city’s official convention bureau, successfully won the bid in 2015 to host USA-based Forever Living’s annual trip in partnership with a few local stakeholders, including Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), Emirates and other key suppliers to the tourism and hospitality industry.

The Forever Living Global Rally builds on the attractiveness and growth of Dubai as a destination for large incentive groups, as first demonstrated by Dubai hosting NuSkin in 2014.

Forever Living markets and sells aloe Vera based health and wellness products through a direct selling structure and visitors in this month’s group include Forever Living business owners from around the world, as well as top executives, employees and their families.

Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing said: “Dubai has consistently captured the hearts of travellers from around the world, and has cemented its reputation of being an attractive destination for leisure and business. The growing influence of the incentive segment cannot be overlooked as it is a major contributor, not only towards the development of the overall business events industry, but also towards the success of the city’s tourism sector. Hosting the Forever Global Rally 2017 is a significant milestone for Dubai, and is testament to Dubai’s world-class physical infrastructure that is evidently capable of welcoming and accommodating large-scale groups. Dubai also continues to be attractive for incentive groups because of the large variety of activities and experiences that are available.”

As part of the Forever Global Rally 2017, engaging workshops and events will be held at Dubai World Trade Centre on 7-8 April, where announcements regarding new product launches will be made, and the company’s financial results will be disclosed to members and Forever business owners from around the world. Apart from annual sales meetings and networking events, the Rally also offers the opportunity for attending visitors to truly discover Dubai, experiencing the city’s superior hospitality offerings, as well as the diverse range of leisure activities that Dubai is world-renowned for.

Additionally, this article continues on our website. Please click here to read on.

USA, New Orleans: Destination Update

New flights

British Airways has begun nonstop service from London to New Orleans four days per week, and announced that starting October 30th, 2017, the service will increase to five times per week. This new, international nonstop flight will depart from London-Heathrow Airport and fly to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, connecting New Orleans to more than 130 destinations and beyond. This is the first direct flight from Europe to New Orleans since more than 20 years.

Opening a second direct connection to Europe, Condor Airlines will begin one new twice-weekly departure from Frankfurt, Germany to New Orleans on May 3rd, 2017 through October 4th, 2017.

New records

New Orleans has broken tourism records by welcoming 10.45 million visitors and $7.41 billion in visitor spending to the city in 2016.

Visitor spending increased by 5.1 percent compared to the visitor spending record set in 2015.

Visitation to New Orleans in 2016 was the highest since 2004 and increased by 6.9 percent compared to 2015.

New Terminal expansion plan

The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has announced an expansion to the plans for the new terminal, currently under construction, bringing the total number of gates from 30 to 35. The plans include a 2,190-car parking garage, a central utility plan and a ground transportation area.

The new terminal is now set to open in February 2019.

The five gate expansion and new opening date comes as the airport has exceeded all passenger enplanement targets and added new international airlift to Europe and South America.