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CWT’s business travel magazine | UK & Ireland | autumn 2015

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Perfect partners

Numbers you need

All eyes on Ireland

Why it makes sense to manage meetings and travel

The falling cost of business travel

Why the Emerald Isle is the place to hold your next event


inside 05

Exploring consolidation

Connect investigates the growing trend of consolidating travel and meeting spend

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Travel smarter

Travelport’s Jason Nash talks about how business can travel better

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Data: the bigger picture

From static to real-time reporting, the industry-leading tool unveiled

Produced by CWT UK & Ireland Marketing: Maple House, High Street, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, EN6 5RF, United Kingdom Editor: Jo Arthur | marketing@carlsonwagonlit.co.uk Designer: Tom Hedges | thedges@carlsonwagonlit.co.uk Copyright © 2015 CWT

31

A tale of two cities

Ireland rises destination rankings to be a top corporate meetings contender

Advertising opportunities: Adam Grimshaw | agrimshaw@carlsonwagonlit.co.uk


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Exploring consolidation Travel and meetings: will two become one? P6



connect | autumn 2015 5


Travel and meetings: will two become one? Latest evidence shows the number of business travel managers responsible for meetings and events is growing, and the trend looks set to flourish as Magda Ibrahim reports.

6

connect | autumn 2015


I

n fact, half of travel buyers have already developed a consolidated meetings, events and travel programme – or are in the process of doing so – according to a recent study from the GBTA Foundation1. Meanwhile, research from Business Travel News2 has found that 68 per cent of travel managers are currently involved in managing their companies’ meetings. ‘If a travel manager hasn’t got M&E in their remit at the moment, there’s a large chance it will be on their to-do list in the next 12-18 months,’ points out Chris Goundrill, strategic meetings management specialist, CWT Meetings & Events UK & Ireland. So what does consolidation mean for your organisation, and how can you get the most out of it? 

1 2

Meetings, Events, and Travel Programs: Consolidation Drivers and Barriers, sponsored by Lanyon, July 2015 Business Travel News Strategic Meetings Management report 2015

connect | autumn 2015 7


Travel and meetings: will two become one?

Exploring consolidation

“Best business practice is the ultimate goal�

8

connect | autumn 2015


Travel and meetings: will two become one?

Exploring consolidation

The first thing to bear in mind, says Chris, is the process is about gaining visibility and control over what can be a fragmented part of the business. ‘While there are differences in managing travel and meetings and events, capitalising on the synergies can prove enormously rewarding,’ he adds. Travel management programmes – including the use of technology such as a global distribution system (GDS) – are often well established within a business, however, a strategic meetings management programme may be a newer concept. But at the heart are similarities: policy development; technology; data collection and reporting; and supplier management to name a few. And Chris notes that cost savings can be as high as 28 per cent when a travel and meetings programme is fully consolidated – a business benefit achieved by a client in the pharma industry. ‘An extensive management programme of its business travel and meetings’ is allowing CWT to work out its full spend leverage, adds Chris, and benefit from its purchase power. ‘The important thing is reaching a happy medium of policy and savings, while at the same time meeting the needs of the booker,’ he explains. Benefits include not only maximising spend through better negotiated rates, but also increasing efficiency and improving the booking service for stakeholders. For communications business Ericsson, it was the symbiotic relationship between its travel and meetings that sparked the decision to take a consolidated approach. Having worked with CWT for five years on travel management, Ericsson is currently in the process of developing an overarching programme. 



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Travel and meetings: will two become one?

Exploring consolidation

Mirela Horvath, category manager – travel, at Ericsson, explains: ‘A benefit is the data we are gathering, which we can analyse and that will help us plan our strategy in the future. Having all in one source is bound to support a strategy aiming at better control over data, greater visibility over spend, and increased compliance towards deployed travel programmes.’ A critical point, stresses Chris, is that there is no one size fits all approach. ‘One of the key differences with meetings management is the number of stakeholders involved and the risk to reputation that you don’t have with, for example, booking a single flight,’ highlights Chris. Not only could there be a need to ensure a meeting fits with the company’s brand image and is appropriate for the attendees and subject matter, but there are regulations to consider, such as the UK Bribery Act 2010, and the ABPI Code of Practice in the pharmaceutical industry. ‘The differences can often blindside a travel manager, and that’s where having a good policy in place comes in,’ adds Chris. A consistent policy ties the programme together – whether individual elements include which suppliers and venues best represent the brand, to what spend is authorised for flights, accommodation bookings and food and beverage expenses. He adds that some businesses might simply take on board one or two elements of a travel and meetings programme, rather than going for full management. ‘Every company has its own needs and individual way of looking at things, so you can’t copy and paste a programme,’ explains Chris. ‘One business might want to focus on gaining visibility over its spend, while another wants to get the most out of suppliers, or ensure compliance with policy.’ Underpinning an eventual move towards consolidation is technology, and GBTA research manager Kate Vasiloff says it’s the backbone of an efficient programme. ‘I have crassly called management technology the gateway drug of consolidation,’ she says. ‘Once such technologies are integrated and working, company leadership realise how much more efficiently their companies could be operating and have greater confidence to move towards full consolidation.’ With technology and policy combining to allow for data capture and analysis, gaining an idea of the return on investment of travel and meetings spend becomes within grasp. ‘The only way to get to that position is by having that visibility,’ stresses Chris. ‘Best business practice is the ultimate goal.’

10 connect | autumn 2015


Exploring consolidation

Travel and meetings: will two become one?

The customer journey to consolidation What were the key drivers for Ericsson to consolidate management of its travel and meetings? Cost and compliance are of utmost importance to Ericsson and we always keep in mind that meetings are critical drivers for organisations to align on strategic business objectives and effectively communicate with employees. To justify expenses related to business travel or attending conferences, one must be able to quantify the balance between total costs and benefits. Having all in one source is bound to support a strategy aiming at better control over data, greater visibility over spend, and increased compliance towards deployed travel programmes. What do you think have been some of the benefits to your business so far? Due to the continuous demand for driving efficiency, the tendency is to move towards consolidation. I can mention great collaboration over the years with CWT, trust and ability to optimise services, to name but a few benefits. Has the process been easier or more complicated than you imagined? There are lots of changes in the role of negotiation towards procurement of travel

services at corporate level. The challenge is to get the right balance between the employees’ needs and the travel policy, in order to ensure that corporate goals are met. The focus is now towards centralising travel procurement activities so that we leverage from a global perspective. For instance, some of our challenges entail not having enough visibility on user behaviour and patterns. How far along in the process are you now, and how long has it taken to reach this stage? We are not there yet, at the stage of reaping the benefits. Technology has a major impact on improving communication, planning, erasing geographical boundaries and for our industry it has been challenging to find ways to calculate and justify ROI for organising meetings and implementing meeting programmes. What future results do you envisage? We envisage getting greater visibility and control over our spend. Once that is established, we will have better leverage when we negotiate with our hotel suppliers. Mirela Horvath, category manager – travel, Ericsson 

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Travel and meetings: will two become one?

Exploring consolidation

Top reasons to consider consolidation Improving visibility and transparency of meetings, events and/or travel costs “Where businesses don’t know what the travel, meetings and events spend is, I have found in 9/10 cases that it is vastly higher than the client thought it would be,” says Chris Goundrill, SMM specialist, CWT M&E.

Making sure there is consistent messaging that is in keeping with a company’s objectives Do venues and other suppliers always reflect the brand values of the business, or meet internal guidelines around CSR? Chris continues: “there is a big difference between the needs of a public sector organisation and a major consumer brand.”

Better leveraging and maximising spend through improved negotiated rates Once the spend is visible, it can be a powerful tool to negotiate a better deal with suppliers.“Savings of between 12-28 per cent can be achieved, depending on how many elements are included in the programme,” reveals Chris.

Increasing efficiency and improving service for stakeholders Streamlining the booking process makes for an easier journey when the time comes to book that meeting, annual event, or business travel. The best venues and suppliers are already pre-approved at a great negotiated rate, so bookings are simpler and quicker – without compromising on creativity.

Talk to your CWT programme manager today to discuss the benefits of consolidation. 



connect | autumn 2015 13


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Travel smarter Industry Insider P16



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Industry insider

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Industry insider

Travel smarter

Jason Nash is head of global marketing & product incubation for technology giant Travelport. On the eve of CWT’s annual client conference, Exchange, journalist Martin Ferguson talked to Jason about new market entrants, innovation and disruption to the managed travel supply chain, and how providers will market and sell products and services in the future…

After six years at Travelport, do you think the company has had evolved to continue meeting customer needs? Travelport is a different beast today than it was six years ago. We are increasingly differentiating ourselves as a platform, while providers regard us as more than a traditional GDS. That’s why we are now known as a travel commerce platform, working to redefine the way travel products and services are searched, shared, bought and sold. We are having many more conversations these days across a far broader range of functions within the airlines. There are many more stakeholders interested in differentiating the way their products are presented to travel agents. As a consequence of this, more than 100 airlines now distribute their branded fares and ancillaries through Travelport Smartpoint. Agents can instantly compare fares, see pictures of the cabins and seats in a single window allowing them to suggest options they may not have previously considered for their customers. In the hospitality sector we are distributing more content than any of the traditional GDSs. Our investment in Hotelzon allows agents to put their own content into the system, making it instantly bookable. This would not have been possible in years gone by. Furthermore, Travelport in the last year took a majority stake in virtual payment firm eNett and acquired mobile specialist MTT. Both deals indicate where we think the future lies. In terms of innovation and development, what can our industry learn from others? Many businesses in the technology sector have adopted agile software build processes. We now also look at agile as a way to build, measure and learn quickly by engaging with customers. We employ the Kanban approach (a Japanese scheduling philosophy which entails lean, just-intime production) first used in the manufacturing sector. For example, we put out fortnightly scripts for our ViewTrip product to maximise how workloads and people are managed. The sharing economy is gaining extraordinary traction around the world. How can the industry ensure it stays relevant and respond to this change in the provider landscape? The sharing economy is challenging many traditional businesses to adjust how they add value. These new providers are evolving the way business is conducted. Consumer-to-consumer commerce is leading to the disintermediation of the supply chain. People are asking: can I reduce my overheads by connecting to customers directly through a technology platform? Mobile is also a great example. Consumers are connected everywhere all the time. This is also forcing change to tried and tested business strategies. But none of this means that providers to the managed corporate travel space will disappear. There are opportunities. Some will become even more relevant, because with all the choice in the marketplace travel is becoming more complex. Travellers will require guidance from experts. Finally, it’s worth remembering the sharing economy will not cannibalise the market. It has very much the opposite effect, and that is what’s exciting. 

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“An increasing number of people are booking on the day... Mobile GPS technology aids the buying process. It is this type of technology that is driving change�

18 connect | autumn 2015


Industry insider

Travel smarter

How is Travelport responding to the attempts by some providers to bypass intermediaries? Our response started some time ago. Providers can distribute their content using rich content. It is no longer the classic green screen. There are descriptions, logos, screen shots and so on. Our approach to the mobile channel is the same, hence our investment in MTT. Provider merchandising and ancillary service charges are increasingly commonplace. What lies ahead? Unbundling and ancillaries have been lucrative for providers. However, people don’t always book these extras at the time of travel or booking. It’s often difficult for the traveller to predict what they will want or need. There needs to be a flexible way of interacting with customers, to make it as painless and transparent as possible to purchase at any time. Travellers have to be empowered to buy. What is the future of mobile in travel? The mobile usage statistics, from multiple sources, demonstrate why MTT was such an important acquisition. But new buying patterns are emerging. Take one example: the hotel sector. An increasing number of people are booking on the day within close proximity to their desired property. Mobile GPS technology aids the buying process. It is this type of technology that is driving change. With all the technology and choice of content in the marketplace, has it become easier and more enticing for a traveller to book out of policy? Some provider marketing strategies and the unbundling of rates and fares makes the application of travel policy harder. The corporate online booking tools have to do a better job of integrating the ability to purchase these elements. If it is not made easy at the point of sale or booking it is more likely that a booker will go elsewhere. But there is no technological limitation. Using APIs (application programming interface or a link between data sources), for example, allows these elements to be integrated in the managed travel process. What significant changes should we expect in the next two to five years? For me, there are two main areas; one more specific than the other. Firstly, technology is changing at breakneck speed. If you think about change over the last two to five years, the mind boggles at the possibilities of the future. In the travel space, the most interesting development is the driverless car, and it’s potential to disrupt the whole car segment. If an easily bookable driverless car picks up a passenger at the door and drops in any desired location it becomes an extremely favourable alterative. It could be hugely disruptive, and is probably one of the reasons Uber has such a big valuation. Its platform could facilitate the point-to-point movement. Take the cost of the driver out and it reduces the overall cost of the model. 

connect | autumn 2015 19


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Data: the bigger picture AnalytIQs P22 The numbers you need P28



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AnalytIQs If a picture tells 1,000 words, CWT’s AnalytIQs is re-writing the book when it comes to data analysis. Catherine Chetwynd finds out how the tool is leading the industry advance from static to real-time reporting.

S

tatistics are the bedrock of the travel buyers’ ability to manage their programmes. ‘Live’ data might once have been a flight of fantasy on the wish list of every travel manager but now it is reality thanks to the launch of CWT AnalytIQs, a tool that collects and shows globally consolidated data within 30 minutes of a transaction taking place. This is a major step forward from the performance of most reporting tools. CWT’s revolutionary new service brings numerous advantages to customers: it allows benchmarking against an average of CWT’s customers or an average of the TMC’s top 20 per cent of performers. Benchmarking criteria include online adoption, average ticket prices and average room rates. And from next year, comparable organisations can be defined by industry, geography and size. Some 40 key performance indicators have been built into the tool and buyers can benchmark for hotel and air against each of these. In addition, the system captures not only post-ticketing data but pre-ticketing as well, allowing managers to check action against policy and intervene where necessary, and to compare price paid against price quoted. 

connect | autumn 2015 23


AnalytIQs

Data: the bigger picture

“Data is not just presented as intimidating rows of figures – imagery is key and visuals play a major role”

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AnalytIQs

Data: the bigger picture

‘We will be able to provide the capability for an organisation to do ‘what if’ scenarios: my online adoption is 50 per cent and that of my peer group is 70 per cent. If I shift my online adoption to 70 per cent, what are the savings?’ says director of product marketing UK & Ireland, Dan Kelly. ‘And they can do that calculation by sliding a bar within the tool.’ ‘In some cases, the effort and internal marketing required to make the shift might be disproportionate to the saving. As part of that realisation, we will make recommendations as to what they can do to improve their performance against their peer group,’ he says. The tool can also be set up to provide varying degrees of access, according to the user, so that a cost centre manager can have access only to data that is relevant to their area, and they can build in budgets to allow them to monitor spend against the budget. But all this data is not just presented as intimidating rows of figures – imagery is key and visuals play a major role in AnalytIQs. Following in the shoes of engineer and political economist William Playfair, who invented the line graph, bar chart and pie chart, AnalytIQs presents data in easy to understand infographics, giving a lively and dynamic illustration of a company’s status quo. ‘I am very happy that CWT has created a forum for their customers to help drive the strategy and direction of CWT AnalytIQs. As a pilot user, I find the features being developed a major step forward,’ says corporate travel services manager at Shell Oil Company Cindy Morse. ‘We did a lot of work in the previous tool on advance booking and it now has a chart that shows what the ticket price would be based on booking seven days and 21 days in advance. That’s really helpful for us because it’s right there, in real time.’ Oracle’s director of global travel GPO Rita Visser also participated in the trial. ‘I can see myself and my peers using CWT AnalytIQs every day, simply because of the ease of use,’ she says. ‘The real-time nature of the data and the flexibility of seeing what I want, when I want and how I want it is great. Additionally, the level of data available gives way to building and creating programme strategies around the globe, specific regions and even down to country level, if and when needed.’ 

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Data: the bigger picture

AnalytIQs

AnalytIQs leads the way with:

Integrated technology that allows faster access to information

A new enterprise data warehouse, built to support big data analytics and integrate additional data sources for end-to-end spend management

A new, visual interface that is eye-catching and easy to use

The tool’s core attributes are speed, with near real-time data and faster insight into that data; intelligence, providing higher quality data from more sources, with the most important information picked out, and all backed by ‘what if’ analysis; and intuitive design means users get the answers they want quickly and easily and can drill into detail, as required, thanks to clear language and an uncluttered, attractive layout. This tool is also fun to use. 

26 connect | autumn 2015


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The numbers you need Good news – the overall cost of each of your travellers’ business trips* is down 8.7 per cent to £421.12 according to CWT’s travel barometer. Fast facts UK business travellers continue to pay less for their trips.

Overall cost per trip decreased by 8.7% to £421.12

The hotel average room rate has reduced by 1.8% driven by a continuous shift towards standard and economy hotels.

Premium economy market share drops by 19.1% to 2.2% driven an increase in ATP.

The overall cost per trip is falling

£421.12 Cost* per trip Q2 2015

-8.7%

Compared to last year, travellers are paying 3.5% less on car rental.

Prices continue to fall in all categories Average room rate for hotel

-1.8%

*costs = air+hotel+car

Share of top tier tickets declining

Manchester and Birmingham hotels see growth in share of bookings.

Average daily rate for car

-2.1% Share of market

0.4%

-10.4%

13.8%

-16.6%

Prem econ

2.2%

-19.1%

Economy

83.7%

-5.4%

First Business

28 connect | autumn 2015

Average ticket price for air

-7.7% Average rail ticket price

-3.5%

*costs= air+hotel+car (April - June 2015)


Data – the bigger picture

The numbers you need

Demand for economy and standard hotels continues to increase

Continental flights continue to be the most common bookings

Market share

4.6%

Domestic

Continental

Inter-continental

27.2%

53%

19.9%

10%

Economy

41.5%

3.3%

Customers are booking in advance for better rates

Standard

37.3%

-14.3%

41.1%

Booking more than 14 days in advance

First

They’re staying almost as long

16.6%

-21.7%

Previous YTD

2.5 days

Deluxe

-0.4%

Current YTD

2.4 days

London continues to be the top destination for hotel bookings, followed by strong growth in Manchester and Birmingham. Domestic

Dublin

Intercontinental

-3.6%

San Francisco

New York

Edinburgh

8.3%

21.7% -2.7%

Manchester Birmingham 4.2%

6.7%

Madrid

8.8%

-6.8%

Amsterdam -10.8%

Brussels Paris

-7.5%

-10.1%

Singapore -4.8%

Houston Dubai

3.8%

London 3.4%

connect | autumn 2015 29


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Ireland – North & South A tale of two cities P32 Dublin P34 Belfast P36

Belfast

Dublin



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A tale of two cities

Ireland – North & South

A tale of two cities

32 connect | autumn 2015


Ireland – North & South

A tale of two cities

Searching for somewhere budget-friendly, versatile and, above all, fun to host a conference or event? Look no further than the island of Ireland, suggests Rose Dykins.

W

hen you think of the Emerald Isle, certain stereotypes instantly come to mind. But did you know that the Convention Centre Dublin was named the world’s Best Overseas Conference Venue at this year’s C&IT Awards? Or that the UK destination that enjoyed the biggest rise in interest from the rest of the world (65%) was Northern Ireland’s County Antrim (a key film site for Game of Thrones)? The island of Ireland’s up-to-the-minute facilities, fascinating history, and bewitching scenery are gaining the recognition they deserve from the rest of the world. It’s hot right now, and meeting planners should definitely have the capitals of Dublin and Belfast firmly on their radar for 2016. CWT’s business travel quarterly barometer (P28) found that in the second quarter of 2015, costs were on the decline – with the overall cost per trip falling by 8.7 per cent. It also found that 80 per cent of UK corporate flights were for either domestic (27 per cent) or continental (53 per cent) travel. This suggests that travel managers and event planners are being especially mindful of not only their budgets, but the amount of time delegates can afford to spend out of the office. ‘We connect to all the major European hubs, then you land at Dublin airport and you’re in the city in 15-20 minutes,’ says Sam Johnston, manager of the Dublin Convention Bureau, ‘so we’re easy to reach for Europe-based travellers, and they won’t need to take too many days out of their schedule.’ 

Picture credit: Giuseppe Milo - The Liffey river, Dublin, Ireland (pixael.com)



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Dublin

Ireland – North & South

Dublin

34 connect | autumn 2015


Ireland – North & South

Dublin

As well as recently being voted the second-friendliest city in the world by Condé Nast Traveler magazine in the US (after Sydney), Dublin was also shortlisted for Best Short-haul Destination at this year’s C&IT Awards).

O

ur MICE tourism has seen between 6 per cent and 8 per cent growth over the past few years, and the trend seems to be the return of large corporate meetings,’ says Sam Johnston, manager of the Dublin Convention Bureau. ‘There has been a real spirit of working together from all the hotels, venues and local organisations, and I think that has really galvanised trade. Clients have commented on the ‘can do’ attitude we have.’ Dublin’s currency remains weak against the British Pound and the US dollar, presenting great value for money for travellers from the UK. In terms of hotel stock, the city may not have many new-builds, but instead, its 20,000 rooms are continually being refreshed. ‘Every one of our hotels has gone through some sort of refurbishment programme over the past couple of years,’ says Johnston, ‘and the convention centre is just over five years old, but it looks as if it opened yesterday.’ As for incentives, Irish culture presents plenty of opportunities for unique team building activities – such as Gaelic football games at Croake Park (the national stadium for Gaelic games, complete with a conference centre) or Irish drumming or dancing lessons. CWT Meetings & Events recently hosted a three-and-a-half-day conference in Dublin for a leading mobility series provider, which brought together 250 delegates from across Europe and the Middle East. Delegates stayed at both the Clayton Hotel and the Intercontinental Dublin (which are opposite each other), with the main conference held at the latter. The itinerary included a gala dinner at the Guinness Storehouse and a team-building event at the Royal Dublin Society that involved building bikes for local youth charities, followed by a surprise-filled dinner in the venue’s library and concert hall. ‘Guests didn’t know, but some of the tables were reinforced ‘bounce’ tables,’ says Mark Broadbank, senior event manager for CWT Meetings & Events. “Between the main course and dessert, we quickly stripped the tables and dance troupe Slidestep came in and danced on them. Everyone knows Riverdance, but our client wanted a more up-tempo, modern feel, and that’s what they achieved, they were absolutely fantastic.’

New venues • • •

Picture credit: Guinness Storehouse

Conrad Dublin – Set to open in March 2016 following an extensive refurbishment, the five-star property will have a 350-capacity ballroom. Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Dublin – Burlington Road – Recently reopened after a major revamp, the 501-room hotel has a conference centre featuring a 1,200 sqm ballroom. Teelings Whiskey Distillery – Open since June, this operational whiskey distillery offers industrial-chic event space. 



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Belfast

Ireland – North & South

Belfast

36 connect | autumn 2015


Ireland – North & South

Belfast

This year, has been a record year for Northern Ireland’s capital. The destination secured 24 conferences, worth around £28.3 million, and has generated an impressive £13 million from events since January.

O

ur MICE scene has developed dramatically since about 2007,’ says Caitriona Lavery, group national and international MICE sales manager for Hastings Hotels. “About £1 billion has been invested in the city for meetings and tourism. And many incentives that go into Dublin include Belfast as a day trip, because it’s such a new destination, but also because the two cities offer completely different experiences.’ Since the opening of the Titanic Belfast attraction in 2012, visitor numbers to the city have increased dramatically, but more recently, the Game of Thrones effect has certainly played its part in putting Northern Ireland on the map – for business as well as leisure travellers. ‘We have a lot of corporate groups who do their meeting, dine around the city, and then they go off-site to do a Game of Thrones-themed team-building activity,’ says Lavery, ‘They head off with maps on treasure hunts or visit the Winterfell site where the first series was filmed.’ 

Picture credit: Nico Kaiser - Titanic Belfast (pixael.com)



connect | autumn 2015 37


Ireland – North & South

Belfast

New venues •

38 connect | autumn 2015

Belfast Waterfront Exhibition and Convention Centre – the flagship venue is undergoing a 4,000 sqm extension – virtually doubling its capacity – which will be completed in Spring 2016. Belfast Grand Central Hotel – Hastings Hotels has invested £30 million in transforming Windsor House – one of the tallest buildings in Northern Ireland – into a 200room four-star hotel, due for completion in 2018. Titanic Exhibition Centre (TEC) – Open since September, the new venue has become Belfast’s largest exhibition space at 6,000 sqm. 

Picture credit: William Murphy - Titanic Belfast


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Connect Autumn 2015