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report

MICE the

MEETINGS AND BUSINESS TRAVEL

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

PARIS Je t’aime Qatar

LUXURIANCE OF ARABIA

MasterCard

MAXIMIZE YOUR MEETINGS BUDGET

Singapore Rocks HIGH-IMPACT EVENTS IN THE EAST

£3.45 / €4.50

VOL 2 / NO 1

STOCKHOLM GHANA MONTENEGRO HOUSTON BUDGET AIRLINES MEDICAL TOURISM TRAVEL FRESH Cover Vol 2 Issue 1.indd 8

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OUR BUSINESS IS YOUR PLEASURE

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© Elifranssens | Dreamstime.com • Cover © Marisa Allegra Williams

1

editor’s letter

www.themicereport.com

Design & Print Production Phillip Wentworth Advertising Sales James Stone Colin Gilmore-Smith Peter Ritter Lucy Goldsmith Publishing Director Julian Bonny Finance Director Andrew Lidstone Subscriptions Manager Liam Bonny Published by Raellen Communications Ltd 145-157 St John Street, London EC1V 4PY United Kingdom Tel: +44 208 777 8355 Web: www.themicereport.com

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MICE the

MEETINGS AND BUSINESS TRAVEL

Newsagents please contact W.E. Saarbach GmbH Tel +49 2233 79963

Charles Vandeleur

MICE the

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report

Editorial Team Cliff James Ed Carpenter Peter Morrin

ometimes it’s not easy to be ingenious when it comes to coordinating incentives that are more outstanding than before, or delivering the most imaginative events in impressive locations. According to received wisdom, the highest expression of genius is originality – an ever-rising benchmark for event organisers – which is why, inside this edition of The MICE Report, innovation is the watchword. Fresh perspectives on familiar locations can provide some bold results, and we take a revolutionary look at that all-time avant-garde favourite: Paris. With a summer programme teeming with cultural events, we reveal the highlights and top business hotels in the ‘City of Lights’. Rediscovering Europe, we report on the environmental and financial advantages of European conferencing, and explore the stately capitals of Stockholm and Bratislava. Pioneering eastward, we travel to the Arabian Peninsula and encounter the rich heritage and luxurious hospitality of Qatar as a modern business destination. Our global journey to new MICE frontiers takes in Ghana, Montenegro, and the cosmic conference facilities in Houston, headquarters of NASA. For the most recent innovations in event administration, we review MasterCard’s ground-breaking partnership solutions and online tools for the effective management of meetings expenditure, and reveal the latest sure-fire strategies for delivering a perfect meeting every time. Although international travel can take its toll on the health of business travellers, we uncover the hottest nutritional tips for keeping fit, focussed and stress-free while on the move. And, as medical tourism becomes a worldwide phenomenon, we take a detailed look at the incentives of combining medical or cosmetic treatment abroad with a well-deserved vacation. If originality is the highest mark of genius, then this edition of The MICE Report is a valuable master class in the art of inventive event management.

report

Editor Charles Vandeleur editor@raellen.com

MEETINGS AND BUSINESS TRAVEL

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All rights reserved. All material in The Mice Report is wholly copyrighted and reproduction without the written permission of the publisher is strictly forbidden. The views expressed in this publication are entirely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Raellen Communications Ltd. The information in this publication is carefully researched and produced in good faith. However, neither the publisher nor the editors accept responsibility for any errors.

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Every Business &

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MICE Traveller to GHANA must know about this HOTEL

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MICE

report

the

M ee t i n g s a n d b u s i n e s s T r a v e l

10

16

>> CEO Interview 12 Cracking the WIHP Vincent Ramelli, CEO of WIHP, talks about a commission-free future for hoteliers

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38

>> world perspectives 16 Paris The city of light >> features 10 MasterCard Corporate Solutions Intergrated tools for efficient event management

34 Michelin Guides Travel your own way with the new Michelin Green Guides

60 Serviced Apartments Home-from-home for the business traveller

50 IMEX The premier exhibition for MICE planners 52 Budget Airlines The hidden fees of no-frills travel 08 | themicereport

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contents

42

>> MEETINGS

>> medical tourism

66 The Perfect Meeting A guide to managing successful events

103 Medical Tourism Travelling abroad for health and beauty

73 The European Solution Advantages of delivering MICE events in historical Europe

>> Hotel Reviews 70 The Mandala Hotel Purist luxury in the heart of Berlin 80 Grand Resort Bad Ragaz Swiss-style stimulation in spa heaven 30 InterContinental Paris Avenue Marceau The art of luxury 40 The Grand Hyatt Doha A masterpiece of grand design in the Qatari capital

112 Slovakian Rhapsody Relaxation in the Health Spa Piešt’any

>> health 00 Fresh Impressions Staying fresh and de-stressed on business trips

54 Clever Cuisine Tasty tips for keeping fit and focused on business trips

70

treatment

106 Pantheon Beauty Combining holidays and healthcare in Bulgaria and Greece

>> Destination Reports 24 Revolutionary Paris Cultural revelations in the City of Light 38 Qatar Arabian hospitality meets modern luxury and innovation

42 Simply Singapore Your MICE event made easy by YourSingapore

94 Ghana – The Land of Sunshine An African adventure on the Gold Coast

80

88 Montenegro Europe’s last secret MICE destination 83 Spectacular Stockholm Clean, green and pristine – The Venice of the North

77 Engadin St Moritz Visionary thinking in the Alps 108 From Slovakia with love A warm welcome in the Hearth of Europe themicereport | 09

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MasterCard Corporate Meeting CardS

Solutions from etouches and Worktopia, when combined with MasterCard Corporate Meeting Card, maximize meeting management efficiencies

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asterCard Worldwide announced in August 2009 new strategic enhancements to its corporate meeting solutions portfolio to provide companies with greater control, efficiency and transparency around meeting planning and management. The company partnered with two leading providers of online meeting solutions to address the needs of different stakeholders in today’s fragmented corporate meetings market.

© Konstantin Inozemtsev | istockphoto

“Since meeting needs differ dramatically by organization and type of event, we chose to partner with best-in-breed providers to offer our corporate customers a suite of flexible solutions that meet their individual needs, provide clear visibility into spend, and improve efficiencies throughout the entire meeting planning and execution process,” said Steve Abrams, group executive, Global Commercial Products, MasterCard Worldwide. “In today’s tight economy, our corporate customers are looking to optimize their card programs to capture meeting spend, and seek access to productive meeting planning tools that can help identify additional savings opportunities.”

Expanded Controls for Booking Small Meeting Spaces with Worktopia Worktopia addresses the need for a web-based platform to search for, compare and book small meeting rooms online and in real-time, efficiently and conveniently. By using one channel for all bookings, meeting planners can increase efficiencies while procurement can have greater visibility. Through this alliance, the MasterCard Purchase Control application will be the exclusive purchase control feature on Worktopia’s tool, and during the booking phase, eligible MasterCard corporate customers can conveniently control an employee’s use of card accounts to pay for meeting room reservations and services. “With increased pressure to measure and manage expenditures related to small meetings, more companies today have to justify the ROI of face-to-face interaction while also complying with corporate budgets and goals,” said John Arenas, CEO, Worktopia. “Together with MasterCard, we can help companies establish enforceable policies by providing procurement with central visibility and control while allowing decentralized purchasing by meeting arrangers across the organization.”

Easy-to-Use Tool from etouches Streamlines Event and Meeting Management etouches provides a cost-effective online attendee registration and management tool to help maximize attendance, enhance flow of information to attendees and sponsors, and reduce costs associated with time spent on event registration tasks. The easy-to-use tool can create registration websites quickly and easily, provide automated emails, and generate reports to track registration status against goals and budgets. Companies that subscribe to etouches through MasterCard will receive special offers.

Flexible Controls for Managing Meeting Expenses with MasterCard Purchase ControlTM The MasterCard Purchase Control application works with MasterCard Corporate Meeting Cards to help meeting planners and procurement managers reduce maverick and unmanaged spend, while improving compliance. Through a tailored workflow tool within MasterCard Purchase Control, eligible companies can have:

“Tasked with managing a diverse portfolio of events and meetings with limited budgets and human resources, meeting planners today are looking for ways to increase productivity through strategic information management solutions,” said Leonora Valvo, CEO, etouches. “With our integrated event planning tools, such as eReg, our cost-effective event registration module, companies can take advantage of a hosted solution that reduces workflow complexity and enhances end-user experience without the cost of traditional, enterprise software.”

• Enhanced authorization controls that direct

• One-time use, virtual account numbers assigned to employees to enable those without commercial card accounts to book meeting rooms and services online.

how, when and where cards may be used.

• Enhanced levels of security, control, data capture and traceability on every purchase as limited use virtual account numbers may be set on a transaction-by-transaction basis, allowing meeting planners to report on meeting expenses on a more granular level than ever before. For more information or inquiries, go to www.mastercardbusiness.com/europe u

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cracking the WIHP With independent hotels currently being charged an average 20% commission on reservations made through online booking agencies, hoteliers are seeking new ways to recoup their revenue. A commission-free solution is now at hand, as the marketing specialist company WIHP provides comprehensive strategies to help hotels increase their direct income. Cliff James talks to WIHP’s General Manager, Vincent Ramelli, about a commission-free future for hoteliers.

V

incent Ramelli understands the nuances of the hotel industry. As the owner of two successful boutique hotels, he has firsthand knowledge of the vagaries of the hospitality trade – in particular, the often exorbitant fees charged by online travel agencies for internet bookings. However, the route he took to becoming an hotelier included substantial careers in marketing and web promotion. In retrospect, it seems inevitable that Vincent’s areas of expertise would coalesce in the 2009 launch of WIHP (World Independent Hotel Promotion) – a groundbreaking marketing organisation that enhances revenues for hotels with no extra cost to hotel guests. “Back in the 1990s, I worked for a telecom company and saw how the internet was going

to be the future sales channel for travel,” he explains. “I co-founded a company called 1001webpromotions and we began doing websites. With my own hotels, I quickly discovered the importance of having a great online marketing strategy and so I created WIHP to combine hotel management and hotel marketing into one structure that could offer a complete array of services to hotels.” More than proposing a mere marketing plan, WIHP takes a holistic approach in analysing all aspects of a hotel’s profile and uses pioneering techniques to scrutinize a huge range of information. Vincent explains that their first step when working with a hotel is to gather feedback from hotel guests on websites such as Tripadvisor. “We’ll see what they like and dislike, and this gives us an idea of where the added value is for a hotel and what needs to be remedied. Sometimes hotel owners

have a fixed idea of how to promote their hotel. But while the hotel image must be respected, the marketing strategy must be aimed at the potential customers, not the owners.” This radical approach to devising an effective marketing strategy is augmented by WIHP’s programme of hotel staff training workshops, bespoke website design, and the launch in 2009 of a commission-free online distribution channel, Lookotel.com, which drives internet traffic and direct sales to the hotel’s own website – thereby bypassing the excessive charges of the OTAs. Having refined a proprietary analytics system that constantly assesses the efficiency of a hotel’s website, the marketing specialists at WIHP know when a website is not producing sales and will work on the issue until a solution is identified. “What we offer isn’t a website; it’s bookings,” says

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“What we offer isn’t a website; it’s bookings...” Vincent, drawing upon his substantial experience in web promotion. “If there are no results, we review our actions and adjust them until they work – and that’s the way with all our products. Having been on the receiving side, we know what hotels need. “A site is more attractive with special offers and packages. The site also has to be made attractive by the use of real photos and video. Our objective is the same as the hotelier: ensuring the guest arrives directly on the hotel’s website and reserves directly with the hotel.” As a hotel owner himself, Vincent’s own experiences have informed the quality of service provided by WIHP. He reveals that the company’s vision is to assist other hoteliers market their properties and take their share of the pie in direct bookings, whether that be through website enhancement, search engine optimization, payper-click advertising, offline marketing or through the lookhotel.com distribution channel. Based upon the company’s impressive growth within its first year, WIHP’s specialist approach is proving immensely popular, with more than 350 independent boutique and luxury hotels in various countries already benefiting from the service. In Paris alone, WIHP makes more than 15,000 commission-free bookings for celebrated venues such as Hotel de l’Abbaye, Hotel Ares Eiffel and The Five Hotel.

Vincent Ramelli maintains that hotels are opting for this specialist marketing service because it bears greater return on investment than the alternative. “WIHP provides a bespoke website for around €9000, depending on the options that the hotelier wants to add,” he explains. “Membership of lookotel.com starts at €50 a month, and our marketing management and social marketing campaigns begin at €1500 per month.

the hotel – a huge dent in the monthly budget. We aren’t out of the recession yet so saving 20% on commissions is a big saving. I have two hotels myself, so I know the difference this can make in a budget.”

“On the other hand, the average commission for regular OTAs is 20% of the revenue brought to themicereport | 13

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Travel your own way with the NEW Michelin GREEN GUIDES With travellers’ expectations always changing, Michelin has redesigned its famous travel guide series - the GREEN GUIDES - ready for the new decade. Whether you want to spend a weekend in Rome, shop in New York City, or explore the Wine Regions of France, Michelin lively, easy-to-read GREEN GUIDES will help you enjoy your stay. ALL

GREEN GUIDES £14.99

AVAILABLE NOW IN MOST GOOD BOOKSTORES

Michelin Maps & Guides, Hannay House, 39 Clarendon Road, Watford, Herts, WD17 1JA Tel: 01923 205240 Fax: 01923 205241 e-mail: travelpubsales@uk.michelin.com www.michelin.co.uk

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“website”

We won’t give you a We’ll give you

bookings... commission

As specialists in hotel marketing both online and offline, we produce the website as part of a broader direct marketing strategy for the hotel. The website isn’t just some designer’s “brainchild”, it’s a careful study of user trends and how to create direct bookings for the hotel. We make monthly over 15,000 bookings in Paris alone, all direct, and all commission free. Many of our customers are independent boutique hotels and luxury design hotels that want the extra visibility that a direct website and marketing campaign offers.

free

With trained analysts and proprietary analytics software we’ve become the leaders in hotel websites for independent hotels in Europe. Because we measure our success on your bookings, not on visits or awards received. If you think you could increase your direct revenues or increase that share of the pie - contact us. We’ll analyse your existing marketing and let you know if we can help you. Contact us for a quote. It may just be more affordable than you think.

World Independent Hotels Promotions (WIHP) 77, rue du Faubourg St Antoine, 75011 Paris, France Phone: +33 1 53 46 10 60 Fax: +33 1 44 87 90 35 email: contact@wihphotel.com website: www.wihphotel.com WIHP Advert V2.indd 1

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PARIS The Seine river in Paris at night

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WORLD PERSPECTIVES THE MICE REPORT TAKES A SNAPSHOT VIEW OF SOME OF THE WORLDS GREATEST CITIES.

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PARIS La Grande Arche

in La Defense at sunset

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PARIS Sunset in the La Ville-Lumière, the City of Light

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PARIS Arc De Triomphe and

Avenue Des Champs-Elysses

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paris

REVOLUTIONARY

PARIS

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paris As one of the world’s most recognisable cities, Paris continues to seduce the international traveller with its innate originality and indomitable sense of style. Cliff James investigates the charms of the city that sets the standard for MICE hospitality.

The cliché may be successful, as Paris attracts more than 45 million business visitors and tourists each year, with the Eiffel Tower being the single most visited monument in the world. But it is also a city of unparalleled originality and, time and again, the creative culture of the city triumphs over its own stereotype. The sheer scale of ground-breaking exhibitions, festivals and events ensures that the City of Light is constantly reinventing itself – and

explains why the city remains a leading destination for MICE customers. Business travellers to the French capital this summer will have access to an immense range of cultural activities as the city bursts into artistic and creative bloom as never before. The high-tech Pompidou Centre, always at the forefront of pioneering art, has recently extended one of its most unmissable exhibitions until next year due to its remarkable success. The Elles@centrepompidou exhibition is one of the biggest collections by female modern artists ever compiled, showcasing more than 500 objects by award-winning artists such as Annette Messager, abstract sculptor Louise Bourgois and the renowned painter Frida Kahlo. This worldclass display runs at the Pompidou Centre until February 2011.

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veryone thinks they know Paris. From the gothic austerity of Notre Dame and the iconic Eiffel Tower to the pompous grandeur of the Louvre, the very mention of Paris conjures up a panoramic cliché of classic architecture, romantic boulevards and avant-garde artists drinking carafes of wine in the louche cafés of Montmartre.

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paris

© Dan Breckwoldt | © Monkey Business Images | Nessguide | Dreamstime.com

Maddox. With performances at the Parc de la Villette and Cabaret Sauvage, the Jazz à la Villette runs until 12th September.

On a scorching summer day, history-lovers with a taste for the macabre can descend into the chilly depths and explore a sinister side of Paris on a tour of the awe-inspiring Catacombes de Paris. Built in the 18th century on the Avenue du Colonel Henri RolTanguy, the bones of more than six million Parisians from the city’s overpopulated cemeteries are laid out in a labyrinth of obscure galleries. Lectures and story-telling tours are available to groups throughout the year.

Previous page: A gargoyle of Notre Dame Cathedral keeps watch over the city of Paris; the iconic Eiffel Tower on the Champ de Mars; the ultra modern business centre of La Défense; french cafe society is never complete without the baguette.

For the MICE client seeking light relief from their own gruesome schedules, Paris chills throughout August with the Pianissimo Jazz Festival at the Sunset/Sunrise music club, 60 Rue des Lombard. This annual jazz festival showcases the cream of international bands on stylishly intimate stages within the legendary jazz club. The Jazz à la Villette festival picks up where the Pianissimo leaves off, with a celebration of experimental jazz from the likes of Jimi Tenor, Gil Scott-Heron and Napoleon

Cole Porter famously said that he loved Paris in the summer, “when it sizzles”, and the sensational al fresco culture really heats up from July right through to the autumn with an array of outdoor events. A Mediterranean beach – Paris Plage – appears on the banks of the Seine and the Bassin de la Villette until 20th August, complete with sand dunes, boating, outdoor bars and cafes. In the balmy evenings, the ultramodern Parc de la Villette turns into an open-air Cinema Festival, where visitors can spread out picnics and enjoy their favourite films until 22nd August. Le Festival d’Automne à Paris (the Paris Autumn Festival) transforms countless public spaces and venues of the city into a sweltering celebration of contemporary theatre, music, dance and visual arts from 1st September to 31st December. The open-air lifestyle is cultivated in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris’s western park, which is more than twice the size of New York’s Central Park. From May to October, the gardens are an exquisite backdrop to a festival of Renaissance theatre, where plays by Shakespeare are performed in both English and French – a dream of a mid-summer night’s entertainment. The City of Light – so called because of the abundance of night-time illuminations – also received its nickname because of its fame as a centre of scientific ideas during the Age of Enlightenment. It is fitting that one of the world’s most ambitious exhibitions on the origin of the universe is displayed in Paris’s Cité des Sciences – Europe’s largest science museum. The ongoing two-level exposition

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Learn French and understand the bigger picture.

Take our new breakfast course for faster learning of French. 30 hours over 10 weeks, 2 sessions a week. Monday & Wednesday from 8am to 9.30am or Tuesday & Thursday from 8am to 9.30am starting 4th October 2010. Levels: Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Intermediate. To find out more call 020 7581 2701 or visit institut-francais.org.uk/courses Language Centre, 14 Cromwell Place, London SW7 2JR 027 Institute Francais Advert.indd 1

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It’s hard to picture a better incentive than the view from the Eiffel Suites

For centuries Paris has been the dream destination of travellers worldwide. And today, where better for hosting meetings and incentives than the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, with its magical location in the heart of Paris and picture-perfect views, both inside and out. Tel.: +33 1 53 67 65 04 www.plaza-athenee-paris.com

An Extraordinary Collection The Dorchester

The Beverly Hills Hotel

Le Meurice

Hôtel Plaza Athénée

Hotel Principe di Savoia

The New York Palace

Hotel Bel-Air

Coworth Park

45 Park Lane

LONDON

BEVERLY HILLS

PARIS

PARIS

MILAN

NEW YORK

LOS ANGELES

ASCOT (2010)

LONDON (2010)

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takes visitors on a fascinating intergalactic journey to the furthest reaches of time and space. The perfect cultural balance of music, art, theatre and science in Paris is matched by an extraordinary neoclassical exhibition at the Musée du Louvre this year. Until February 2011, the business traveller with a few spare hours can savour the splendours of 18th century sculptures, paintings and decorative objects, as the Musée hosts ‘Antiquity Rediscovered’ – a substantial exhibition of the neoclassical aesthetic in European art.

Clockwise from top: Entrance of the Louvre museum under its famous glass pyramid; Disneyland Paris at night; the river Seine at night; Arc de Triomphe in Place Charles de Gaulle

Elifranssens | Dreamstime.com • © Anderm | Dreamstime.com

A flawless MICE experience in Paris requires a flawless venue for conferencing and accommodation, and few locations can compare with the magnificent Hôtel Plaza Athénée. Situated at 25 Avenue Montaigne, a short walk from the Grand Palais and Champs-Elysées, the Plaza Athénée boasts two luxurious banqueting rooms that can host 120 guests in style and be fitted with the latest conferencing technology. Recently restored to its original splendour, the Athénée offers six floors of period Louis XVI and Regency style rooms, and two floors of Art Deco style. A basic room costs €800, and all the suites come with the option of king, queen or twin beds. The arrival of the renowned chef Alain Ducasse in 2000 has brought a culinary distinction to the hotel; the Athénée’s three-star Michelin restaurant has become one of the most sought-after gastronomic experiences in this city of culinary excellence. For a more contemporary alternative, Business Solutions at Disneyland Paris offers MICE clients a huge range of venue possibilities and meeting facilities in the peace and comfort of its designated conferencing area. Situated 20 miles east of the city centre, the Convention Centre at Disney’s Hotel New York provides 5,000m2 of space for professional meetings, gala dinners and exhibitions. Similarly, the Convention Centre at Disney’s Newport Bay Club can cater for 2,200 conference guests in 5,500m2 of modular space. Hosting more than 1000 major corporate events each year, both Disneyland centres come with an attached Business Centre with IT equipment, secretarial services, telecommunications and printing

facilities, and are incorporated into stylish hotels that can accommodate more than 3,000 guests. Getting to Paris has never been easier since Eurostar revolutionised intercity travel between Britain and the continent and introduced high-speed trains travelling at 186mph. With up to 20 trains travelling from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord and Disneyland each day, and travel time of a little over two hours, Eurostar offers a seamless city-centre to city-centre experience for business travellers who need to arrive at their destination feeling relaxed and comfortable. With such ease of access, exclusive conference facilities, and a vibrant season of musical, theatrical and artistic celebration, Paris promises to deliver a truly revolutionary MICE experience this summer. u

where, what, how in paris For more details on cultural events in Paris, visit: www.parisinfo.com. For details on Eurostar train services, visit: www.eurostar.com For further information about Business Solutions at Disneyland Paris, visit: www.drpbusiness.com/uk/001.php For more information about the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, visit: www.plaza-athenee-paris.com

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InterContinental Paris Avenue Marceau Cliff James reviews the art of fine hospitality in the heart of Paris

A

THE

ARTOF LUXURY

legendary artery flows through Paris: the Axe Historique – that incandescent line of boulevards and monuments that runs from the Louvre, along the Champs Élysées and west to the ultramodern skyscrapers of the city’s business district, La Défense. At the heart of this celebrated avenue, where all roads seem to converge on the majestic Arc de Triomphe, is the most exclusive area of Paris – and it is in this quarter that the new InterContinental Paris Avenue Marceau opened its prestigious doors to enchanted guests in December 2009.

former pupil of the world-famous designer Philippe Starck, whose replica frescos of the Venetian renaissance adorn the ceilings.

In a modish neighbourhood famed for chic bistros and designer boutiques, the InterContinental Marceau seamlessly combines three heritage buildings around a central courtyard. Behind its 19th century façade, the hotel reveals a visual feast of exquisite décor and unique furnishings, conceived and created by some of the greatest contemporary artists.

With easy access to both Orly and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airports, the InterContinental Marceau also provides a convenient setting for first-class corporate events. Equipped with the latest technology, including video projectors, integrated wall screens and 300m2 of stylish seminar space that can be divided into three areas, the hotel’s conference team are committed to providing a personalised service of excellence to their business clients.

A masterpiece painting by Picasso’s student, Raymond Moretti, welcomes guests on their arrival, while stylised furniture by Le Corbusier and other eminent designers generate the impression of a sumptuously comfortable art gallery. Pervading the hotel is the decorative hallmark of Bruno Borrione, a

As an incentive for staff, the InterContinental Marceau offers 55 uniquely designed rooms, with stunning views of the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower from the top floor suites. Fine dining at the hotel’s elegant restaurant, Le M64, is provided by talented head chef, Romain Marzet, whose authentic French cuisine is informed by fresh seasonal ingredients and can be savoured within the tranquil greenery of the hotel’s enclosed courtyard.

A luxurious blend of the contemporary and the classical, the InterContinental Marceau at 64, Avenue Marceau, is an ideal location for business and leisure travelers in the fashionable heart of Paris ◆

64 Avenue Marceau, 75008 Paris - France Tel: +33 (0)1 44 43 36 36 contact@ic-marceau.com www.ic-marceau.com

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annonce mice

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H OT E L - M E E T I N G R O O M S - " L E M 6 4 " R E S TA U R A N T “Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail” Léonard De Vinci

64 avenue Marceau - 75008 Paris - France Tél. +33 (0)1 44 43 36 36 Fax. +33 (0)1 42 84 10 30 contact@ic-marceau.com

031 Intercontinental Paris Avenue Marcau Advert [L].indd 1

Sales, seminars and banqueting department Tél. +33 (0)1 44 43 36 14 seminaires@ic-marceau.com

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LIBERTY INCENTIVES & CONGRESSES FRANCE UNIQUE SELLING POINTS • Offices in Paris and Nice, with services throughout France • Experience of coordinating events of 20 to 2000+ guests • A reliable partnership bringing you creativity and quality • A swift and strong capacity to react • The experience of working with customers from around the world • A multilingual team devoted to the success of your event • Financial security and credibility OUR PHILOSOPHY Liberty Incentives & Congresses France appreciates the importance of the fine details that make a real difference. We believe in delivering the best possible service and performing above and beyond the ordinary, which is why – after more than six years and innumerable world-class events – LICF is recognized as one of the key players in the French MICE market. But a respectable Destination Management Company does not achieve this reputation by accident. Responsiveness, budget and creativity are the fundamental concerns of every LICF project manager working on your leisure or MICE programme in our Paris and Nice offices. This is why we have grown from a team of two into a multilingual team of 20 with a rich history of professional experience. If you need something ‘out of the box’ that fits your budget, LICF will prove that this is feasible; the “wow effect” does not have to be expensive to be impressive.

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES LICF offers specialist destination management expertise and services throughout France, with dedicated MICE and leisure departments; expert PCO and congress management services; superior event productions (including product launches, conferences, meetings and exhibitions), and enhanced sports and team building activities.

OPERATIONAL REACH France is a celebrated MICE destination, and LICF’s daily challenge is to deliver new and innovative opportunities in the country you thought you knew. With our knowledge, dedication to detail and a few special touches, we will create your perfect event anywhere in the country. REFERENCES LICF provides successful destination management services for numerous international organisations, including: Ecma, Buongiorno, Daikin, Boehringer, Mac Valves, Convin, Evca, AEP, Vitatron, Esra, Finat, Deutsche Bank, Group La Martiniere, Heineken Int., Daikin Dealers, Comverse, Minolta, Amadeus, Deloitte & Touche, and many more.

Au Hu

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LIBERTY INCENTIVES & CONGRESSES FRANCE http://www.liberty-incentive.net/france/

• TAILOR MADE PROGRAMMES THROUGHOUT FRANCE • OFFICES IN PARIS & NICE • LEISURE & MICE DEPARTMENTS • A GUARANTEE OF QUALITY • MORAL & FINANCIAL CREDIBILITY

DYNAMISM MOTIVATION COMPETENCE Teambuilding

Symposia

Congresses

Events

Incentives

PARIS OFFICE

NICE OFFICE

26, rue de l’Industrie - 92400 COURBEVOIE Phone: + 33 1 55 70 25 25 - Fax: + 33 1 43 33 37 59 parisoffice@liberty-incentive.fr

3, rue Alphonse Karr - 06000 NICE Phone: + 33 4 92 00 57 80 - Fax: + 33 4 92 00 32 42 niceoffice@liberty-incentive.fr

a personal touch worldwide Austria - Argentina – Baltic states - Brazil - China - Cuba - Czech Republic & Slovakia - Egypt - France - Germany - Great Britain - Greece - Hong Kong Hungary - India - Italy - Kenya & Tanzania - Libya - Morocco - Poland - Portugal - Romania - Russia - Slovenia & Croatia - South Africa – Spain – Turkey

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michelin

MICHELIN

TRAVEL YOUR OWN WAY WITH THE NEW MICHELIN GREEN GUIDES

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• FAMILIES:

ith travellers’ expectations always changing, Michelin has revitalized its famous travel guide series – the GREEN GUIDE – ready for the new decade. Whether you want to spend a weekend in Rome, shop in New York City, or explore the wine regions of France, Michelin’s lively, easy-toread GREEN GUIDES will help you enjoy your stay. WHAT’S SO UNIQUE ABOUT THE GREEN GUIDES? As one of the founders of the modern travel guide, Michelin combines its passion for mobility with an appeal to the entire family. This means that the GREEN GUIDES are perfect for:

Our family-friendly tips will help you experience great activities with your children. • OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS: Our star-rated driving and walking tour selections are the ultimate in familiarising yourself with a place. • FOOD LOVERS: Our insider tips for Michelin’s selected hotels and restaurants will help you get the most from your travel. With its sights organised geographically, its comprehensive coverage and its striking contemporary look, we trust that the new GREEN GUIDE will offer the thorough and substantive information you need to realise the trips of your lifetime.

© Bowie15 | Dreamstime.com

We make planning your trip a breeze:

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EASE-OF-USE We make it easy to understand where to go, how to get there and how to get around. Try a walk through the ‘Passages of Paris’ for a look at some of Paris’s most beautiful arcades - like the Galerie Véro-Dodat, with a charming old toyshop and windows with brass surrounds, rebuilt to match the originals from 1826. INSIDER TIPS Local expert information on what to remember before you get there and after you arrive. Don’t forget to experience our walking tour, a night-time exploration of Paris’s illuminated monuments, for a uniquely beautiful perspective on the city. UNIQUE PERSPECTIVES Comprehensive standard information, themed tours and fresh perspectives on the city. We give you all you need to know to take a roller-skating tour of Paris and other fun, quirky and out-of-theordinary ways to see the city. Jump into the heart of the city by understanding what makes it tick. COMPLEX IDEAS MADE SIMPLE We cover everything from classical architecture to 20th century music and make it easy to understand the differences between Early, Rayonnant, and Flamboyant Gothic architecture and how to tell them apart – a must in a city of such beautiful architecture. HISTORICAL DETAIL Benefit from the detailed description of the Arrondissements and the historical timeline starting with the 3rd century BC, with extra bits of fascinating history, such as Richard Wright’s finally getting an American passport only after Gertrude Stein arranged for the French Government to extend Wright an official invitation.

BROAD BUT DEEP An in-depth overview of the entire region, not just the more famous parts. The GREEN GUIDES show you how to find every imaginable culture in Paris, from the Raï music of the working-class districts of Oran to a history of the two main Jewish synagogues in Paris. FAMILY-FRIENDLY We place a KIDS symbol next to all the best places for children and highlight activities to keep your children interested, no matter where you find yourself. If you happen to take your children to the “Mouffe” (Rue Mouffetard), there’s a small playground in the St-Médard churchyard — perfect for a refreshing break.

ADDRESS BOOKS Michelin’s noted ability to choose the best hotels and restaurants for every budget and taste, plus what to do for sport and recreation. Hotels and restaurants are organised by locality and price categories.

MAPPING Trustworthy, reliable and incredibly easy-to-read mapping. For example, check out our map of Les Halles for a great example of the detail that Michelin’s maps include, without sacrificing ease-of-use. Three-dimensional representations of the Louvre show you how to get inside and helpful symbols, like the carousel, show you neat spots for kids.

So, where should you go on your next holidays? With our range of 57 GREEN GUIDES on various regions and countries of the world, the choice is yours. For £14.99, the Michelin GREEN GUIDES are the perfect tool to help you travel the way that suits you the best! ◆

MICHELIN OVER 100 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN TRAVELLING It all began in 1901 with the brothers Edouard and André Michelin, the founders of the MICHELIN Tyre Group, and their brilliant idea of preparing a small guide with a red cover whose initial purpose was to “enable travellers to find food and lodging.” Later on, in 1919, MICHELIN felt that the increasing demand for tourist information should not be ignored and created a guide with the itineraries that would list possible stopovers, necessary precautions, local tourist attractions and, of course, addresses of good hotels and restaurants as well as tyre repair shops and dealerships. This marked the launch of the very first MICHELIN tourist guide, which was quickly to become the MICHELIN Green Guide. In 2010, the MICHELIN Green Guide is still putting customers first by innovating and offering the possibility of creating their own personalised travel books, enabling them to visualise the trip they’ve dreamed of and see it unfold before their eyes. Travel.ViaMichelin.com offers a wealth of trip-planning tools, including a route calculator, detailed maps, satellite photos and the option to conduct searches for tourist attractions based on a theme or by location, as well as for hotels and restaurants.

57 destinations to choose from.

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INTERVIEW A peaceful peninsula that extends into the Arabian Gulf, Qatar has attracted commercial travellers for thousands of years – and is now a world-class business destination for the 21st century. Cliff James talks to Mr Ahmed Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority, about the rich MICE opportunities in this pre-eminent destination.

Mr

Al Nuaimi has been Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority since 2007. Having led the organisation through the merger of the Exhibitions Authority and the Tourism Authority, he has been the driving force behind the country’s immensely successful MICE strategy. With a focus on promoting Qatar as a business destination with upscale leisure activities, Mr Al Nuaimi’s strategy is augmented by the spectacular landscape and bountiful heritage of this peninsular nation. “Our country offers tourists both natural beauty and cultural richness,” he explains. “More than 90 per cent of the people who visit Qatar travel to the region for business purposes, and extend their stay to enjoy the leisure and cultural activities. “Our objective is not to focus on mass tourism, but rather on the quality tourism we can offer. Our skills and infrastructure are geared towards business, convention and exhibition tourism, and we are strong in sports and culture. The goal is to integrate these segments with high-end leisure tourism.” This integration of business events with high-quality leisure facilities is enhanced by the wealth of Qatari heritage and cultural amenities. “The Museum of Islamic Art is an architectural masterpiece, housing a magnificent collection of artworks dating back to the seventh century from one of the world’s great civilizations,” he says. “The Souq Waqif is a bazaar where visitors can hunt for local treasures, perfumes, oils, textiles and traditional clothes. “The Cultural Village is a celebration of all cultures, with a Roman-style amphitheatre, a European-style opera house, theatre and

international restaurants – an ideal venue for large scale events.” In addition, Doha – the capital city – is the 2010 Arabic Capital of Culture, with events scheduled throughout the year including the annual Tribeca Film Festival and concerts from the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. As for the outstanding MICE facilities, Mr Al Nuaimi highlights the reasons why Qatar is a unique destination for business tourism, pointing to the development of the Qatar National Convention Centre and the Doha Convention Centre and Tower. “These centres will meet the demand for exhibition space that our current Doha Exhibition Centre cannot accommodate due to an already full calendar,” he explains. “All of this, coupled with the expansion of Qatar Airways into new markets, will maintain a steady stream of visitors to Qatar.” By pursing the new route expansion by Qatar Airways, aiming particularly at stopover passengers, Mr Al Nuaimi’s five-year strategy targets five per cent of the 50 million passengers that will come through the New Doha International Airport by 2015. “This will yield 2.5 million visitors to Qatar,” he says. And what of the accommodation amenities for this targeted influx of business travellers? “Qatar has many new luxury hotels and unique facilities scheduled to open between 2010 and 2012 in Doha and in our new urban developments: the Pearl-Qatar and Lusail,” he says. “They are managed by global names including the Hilton, Marriott and Starwood and will target new markets and draw in more guests. Our focus is on presenting our country as a world-class business destination with highquality services. ◆

“Our country offers tourists both natural beauty and cultural richness,” he explains. “More than 90 per cent of the people who visit Qatar travel to the region for business purposes, and extend their stay to enjoy the leisure and cultural activities.

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GRAND MEETINGS MEETINGS AND EVENTS OF STATURE IN AN IDYLLIC LOCATION Grand Hyatt Doha provides over 2,200 sq m of ďŹ&#x201A;exible banquet space in three boardrooms, seven meeting rooms and a ballroom. Combining grandeur and elegance, the Al Silia ballroom features a VIP balcony, a spectacular high ceiling and a 950 sq m foyer, and can cater for up to 1,000 guests. The hotel complex is located directly on the beach, allowing al fresco settings and activities. A team of dedicated catering professionals ensures the success of an intimate meeting, social event, exhibition or large-scale theme concept.

For reservations, please call +974 448 1234 or e-mail: reservations.ghdoha@hyatt.com.

West Bay Lagoon, P.O. Box 24010, Doha, State of Qatar TELEPHONE +974 448 1234 FACSIMILE +974 448 1235 doha.grand.hyatt.com HYATT name, design and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt International Corporation.Š 2010 Hyatt International Corporation. All rights reserved.

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QATAR

ARABIAN HOSPITALITY MEETS MODERN LUXURY AND INNOVATION

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ocated halfway along the western coast of the Arabian Gulf, the State of Qatar acts as a bridge between East and West, welcoming visitors from around the world. At the crossroads of economic, cultural and natural heritage, the strategic location of the country has attracted visitors to the region for thousands of years. The country brings together a harmonious blend of Arabian hospitality with modern luxury and innovation. With sprawling dunes in the south, sandy coastlines and islets, reefs and salt flats, the small peninsular-nation offers as much natural beauty as it does cultural richness. From being a centre for fishing and pearling trades in days gone by, Qatar’s identity has been shaped by an ancient sea-oriented civilization, hosting travellers as guests. Highlighting its authentic heritage and rich past, while installing pride in its future, Qatar is a centre of both tradition and innovation. Reputed for quality and excellence, Qatar is recognized as a leading destination in the Gulf region for meetings, exhibitions and conferences, offering travellers a business-oriented destination combined with leisure activities. Although conveniently accessible via a short flight on most international carriers – including the five-star Qatar Airways – the unique atmosphere of Qatar makes it feel as though you are truly off the beaten track.

T to B: Capital city of Doha; Souq Waqif, Grand Hyatt Doha

In addition to the existing and spacious Doha Exhibition Centre, two new conference centres totalling an additional capacity of nearly 90,000 square metres of exhibition space - are scheduled to open in Qatar. The Qatar National Convention Centre, located in Doha’s Education City, a hub for education, science and research, is scheduled to be opened in 2011 and will feature a 2,300-seat lyric-style theatre, a 500-seat theatre and a multipurpose hall for conferences, as well as outdoor exhibition space. In addition, 40,000 square metres of divisible exhibition space are available to meet the demands of global conference and exhibition organisers. The convention centre is built to the highest green building standards. The Doha Convention Centre and Tower in the city centre are scheduled to open in 2012, providing another first-class exhibition venue for Qatar. The project’s tower will reach more than 100 floors and provide a new icon for Doha’s skyline. Adjacent to the Tower, the Convention Centre will provide 45,000 square metres of showcase space with many VIP amenities and world-class facilities. Additionally, many of the world’s top luxury hotels are represented in Qatar. To meet forecasted demand, hotel capacity will increase to nearly 30,000 luxury rooms and apartments by 2013. Nearly 40 hotels and hotel apartments will be opened in 2010, bringing 7,000 rooms to the

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qatar market, and this will rise to a total of about 15,000 rooms in the next 12 months. Every five-star and four-star hotel in Qatar is equipped with worldclass conference facilities to cater for every type of meeting or conference event. The hotels’ luxurious spas, resort amenities and variety of exceptional dining experiences, steeped in the Arabian tradition, offer a quiet and relaxing respite from the charged activities of the day. Qatar is consistently ranked as a high-quality conference and exhibition destination. The State of Qatar is a progressive, modern Arab state where English is widely spoken. It is one of the safest countries in the world, attracting many high-profile conferences, exhibitions and events. Boasting the world’s fastest growing economy, Qatar is a country very focused on building a sustainable post-carbon economy, and promotes research and technology projects geared towards achieving a green and clean future. 48 hrs in Qatar: our business is your pleasure Qatar is becoming a premium travel destination: an ideal stop-over destination when travelling on long flights from east to west, as well as offering business travellers a number of ways to unwind after work, providing many reasons to extend their stay. There has never been a better time to visit Qatar. The calendar is packed with world-class cultural attractions, international sporting events and exciting activities for the whole family. Adding to the cultural attractions in Doha, The Waqif Art Centre in the centre of the authentic Souq Waqif hosts many local and regional art exhibitions. The spacious Doha Exhibition Centre is the venue for many acclaimed regional and international trade fairs, including the well-attended annual Jewellery and Watches Exhibition and the Doha Trade Fair. Inspiring a new generation of filmmakers in the Gulf Region, the Doha Tribeca Film Festival premiered in Doha in October 2009 and featured a myriad of films, many written or directed by Middle Eastern filmmakers. But no trip to Qatar would be complete without experiencing the country’s year-round attractions. The capital city of Doha is home to the I. M. Peidesigned Museum of Islamic Art, which boasts one of the largest and finest collections of objects from one of the world’s great civilizations. For those looking for a truly genuine Arabian experience, the vast deserts of Qatar promise adventure through camelback safaris, exhilarating rides along the dunes and wonderful nights beneath the stars. Alternatively, shoppers and explorers are encouraged to wander among the authentically preserved Arabian souqs, while discovering local treasures. Upscale shopping in the city’s contemporary shopping malls and along the piazza in the newly opened Pearl-Qatar

Clockwise from top: Qatar National Convention Centre; Museum of Islamic Art; Falconry in Qatar remains popular until the present day; Dune Bashing in the south; Aspire Zone

development, offers a wide range of well-known luxury brands and goods in a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. For sports enthusiasts, Qatar is host to more than 100 sports events, including many world championship events. Events include the Sony/Ericsson WTA Championship and Qatar ExxonMobil Open Men’s Championship, the Commercialbank Qatar Masters Golf Tournament, the Moto Grand Prix and the Formula 1 Powerboat Racing World Championship. Football is the nation’s national pastime, as enthusiastic crowds cheer on their favourite team at each match. Qatar is looking forward to being the official host of the 2011 Asian Cup, and is one of the main contenders for the World Cup 2022 bid. The sprawling ASPIRE Zone, main venue for the 15th Asian Games in 2006, is an impressive multi-purpose facility offering both local and international visitors access to world-class sports facilities and activities, high-end retail shopping and luxurious green parks for relaxation and for family enjoyment. Aside from the myriad of attractions and activities, Qatar is known not only as a destination for travellers, but also as a centre for business, education and research. Qatar is home to Education City, an impressive undertaking

which hosts six world-class university branches of prestigious American institutions. The Qatar Science and Technology Park is a local home for technology-based companies from around the world. Known as the founder of free speech in the Middle East, Qatar is home to Al Jazeera, the first independent Arabic news channel in the world. Whatever your interests, Qatar has something for everyone – from business travellers looking for a break between meetings, to backpackers eager for unique desert adventures, to families hoping to relax on a luxurious beach. Qatar: Catch our independent spirit in just 48 hours. Qatar Tourism Authority +(974) 499 7499 • www.qatartourism.gov.qa themicereport | 39

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GRAND HYATT

DOHA

World-class conference facilities, grandly designed palatial courts, a choice of delicious restaurants and a vast stretch of private beach - all in the heart of Qatar’s capital: Peter Morrin explores the splendour of Grand Hyatt in Doha.

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ituated on the breathtaking new waterways of the West Bay Lagoon district of Doha, Grand Hyatt Doha occupies more than 150,000 square metres of beautiful landscaped gardens overlooking the beach. Just minutes away from Doha International Airport and the city’s financial and commercial centre, this luxury hotel is also conveniently close to the Qatari capital’s cultural and historical centre – and an ideal destination for exclusive business meetings and events. Blending a magnificent old-world exterior with modern interior furnishings, Grand Hyatt Doha provides the highest quality accommodation for Doha’s growing number of MICE visitors. The mixed-use complex offers a variety of exceptional spaces, including 249 guestrooms, more than 90 residences and 43 executive club rooms. The extensive guestrooms range from 40 to 205 square metres, with spacious balconies overlooking the azure shores of the Arabian Gulf.

illuminations subtly alter the hotel’s ambience throughout the day and night. Adjacent to the hotel, the Residences provide long- or short-term rental opportunities for business travellers who seek a luxurious sanctuary in the heart of Qatar. With two, three, and four bedrooms available, the Residences offer comfort as well as the complete facilities and amenities of the hotel.

A masterpiece of grand design, the hotel combines contemporary style with Arabian splendour. The public areas are truly palatial in size and are refined by marbled floors, vast courts and towering glass windows. Inspired by the local architecture of Qatar, the property recreates the traditional elegance of an Arabian palace with lavish passageways and halls, decorated with the traditional art of Qatari-based artist Linda Nijenbandring De Boer. The carefully designed lighting plays a key role in accentuating the enchanting atmosphere of the hotel, as the

Grand Hyatt Doha also boasts four outstanding restaurants and two lounges that have been individually designed to contain show kitchens that feature the finest international cuisine. Isaan – the signature restaurant – serves an exquisite Thai menu, while the all-day dining venue, The Grill, specialises in grilled premium meats, seafood and vegetable dishes, and is renowned for its breakfast buffet and Friday brunch. The tranquil poolside Rocca restaurant offers a culinary excursion along the Mediterranean coastline, with classic platters from Italy, France, Turkey, Morocco, Spain and Greece.

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The Biscotti Italian CafĂŠ and bakery shop showcases a delicious selection of pastries, cakes, chocolates and homemade gelato for those with a sweet tooth. At the centre of the lobby, the Al Maha lounge is a highly popular meeting place that serves light snacks and beverages. For an al fresco experience in the cooler season, the Dunes Lounge serves thirst-quenching drinks in a stylish outdoor seating area. As a perfect venue for international conventions, the hotel includes an extensive conference centre with a 1,500 squaremetre ballroom and 937 square metres of pre-function space. With 11 meeting rooms on two levels, the facilities can accommodate everything from an intimate meeting for 12 participants to a conference of 1,000 delegates. The hotel features an exclusive entrance and reception area for VIP guests and more than 540 indoor parking spaces. In addition, the dedicated catering team will ensure that the culinary needs of all meetings, conferences and events are meticulously and professionally managed. The hotel also excels in relaxation incentives, with an Arabiainspired Jaula Spa, a 400-metre private beach, three outdoor swimming pools and fitness centre with indoor lap pool. As an idyllic destination for MICE travellers, Grand Hyatt Doha delivers an Arabian dream. u themicereport | 41

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A new brand underscores Singapore’s commitment to partnering with event organisers to leverage its dynamic environment of vibrant knowledge and wide networks. YourSingapore creates innovative solutions for business success and customises fun and rewarding experiences.

At

IMEX 2010, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) launched a new brand to represent Singapore as an ideal destination for the business travel, meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) market. The brand is a subset of the recently launched YourSingapore destination brand and - in conjunction with this brand launch - the YourSingapore website (www.yoursingapore.com) will include new features to address the needs of business travellers and event organisers.

The new brand represents Singapore and the STB’s commitment to partnering with event organisers and creating winning solutions for their events. The aim is to achieve success by leveraging Singapore’s extensive global trade and communications networks and dynamic environment – which are built on established strengths in knowledge-based industries – and empowering them to customise fun and unproblematic experiences for their business and leisure needs. “The new brand identity underscores Singapore’s commitment to building synergistic partnerships, which is underpinned by our pro-business and future-oriented environment,” says Melissa Ow, Assistant Chief Executive of the Business Travel and MICE Group, Singapore Tourism Board. “We have extensive expertise in bringing together international business leaders, industry experts and policy makers for the robust exchange of ideas and business networking opportunities. Together with other Singaporean government agencies, local associations, academia and research institutions, STB works closely with event planners and organisers to co-create innovative and contentdriven platforms, and collaborates successfully to execute these ideas.” Creating Innovative Solutions for Success Singapore’s new brand reflects the significance of partnership in the success of international events. In the high-technology arena, RoboCup 2010 – the world’s largest robotics and artificial intelligence event – has been made possible through a close multiparty collaboration between various partners, including the Singapore Polytechnic, the Science Centre Singapore, the Singapore Economic Development Board and STB. RoboCup

Singapore

rocks SECB Introduces YourSingapore to the Business Travel & Events Industry

2010, which made its Southeast Asian debut in Singapore in June, is a testament to Singapore’s growing position as a regional hub for robotics and intelligent systems. In the lifestyle sector, LIVE! Singapore 2010 is a new international event for the performing arts industry that was held in Singapore in June 2010. Koelnmesse created a unique, multi-format business event that comprised a conference, international trade fair and live performances. This was achieved in association with IMG Artistes and in partnership with the Economic Development Board (EDB), National Arts Council of Singapore (NAC), and the STB. Singapore was selected as the ideal partner for this inaugural event because of its vibrant arts industry, with more than 7,500 performances annually and several major festivals such as the Singapore Arts Festival, Mosaic Festival and Singapore Sun Festival.

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singapore knowledge-based industries – such as banking, finance, biomedical sciences, energy, ICT and media, transport and security – Singapore continues to attract key international events in each of these sectors. The 2010 events pipeline includes several business events that will make their global debut in Singapore, in addition to other events that Singapore will host for the first time. As a testament to Singapore’s standing as a leading healthcare hub in Asia and its commitment to developing the biomedical sciences, Singapore will host the 10th World Congress of Bioethics for the first time in July. “The International Association of Bioethics decided to hold the 10th World Congress in Singapore because we wanted it to be organised by a group that has the support of a reputable local academic institution for bioethics,” says Professor Leonardo De Castro, a board member of the International Association of Bioethics (IAB). “We are also assured of the capability of a Singaporean entity to launch thorough, timely and efficient preparations, and that all the facilities and resources are first class.” The decision by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) to set up its Asia Pacific office and launch its first Asia Pacific Meeting in Singapore in December 2010 serves to underscore the added value that Singapore contributes. It achieves this through its investment in research and knowledge in the various industries and its ability to use its networks to efficiently connect clients and partners with markets in Asia Pacific.

“We have extensive expertise in bringing together international business leaders, industry experts and policy makers for the robust exchange of ideas and business networking opportunities.”

“LIVE! Singapore will provide an exciting and unique platform for all genres and business sectors within the international performing arts community, enabling them to conduct business and network successfully in the Asia Pacific market,” says Michael Dreyer, Vice President Asia Pacific, Koelnmesse Pte Ltd. “The strength of our experience and business network, coupled with the firm support from the NAC, EDB and STB, laid a strong groundwork for the staging of this event in Singapore.” Leveraging a Dynamic Environment Built on Knowledge and Networks With an extensive global trade and communications network that provides market access and trade flows to Asia Pacific and the world, Singapore is a home base of thoughtleadership and innovation. Bolstered by an excellent infrastructure and unique strengths in

“The International Osteoporosis Foundation has selected Singapore as the location for its new Asian-Pacific Regional Office for several reasons,” says Patrice McKenney, Chief Executive Officer of the IOF. “Firstly, Singapore is a central, easyto-reach destination, renowned for its efficient business climate. It is also effectively bilingual, which facilitates communication between our regional office and our Asia-Pacific member societies. Secondly, we have several active member societies in Singapore: the Osteoporosis Society of Singapore, the Endocrinology and Metabolic Society of Singapore and the Asian Pacific Osteoporosis Society. “These organisations are carrying out tremendous research work in the area of osteoporosis and bone metabolism, as well as patient and health professional awareness and training activities. With their support, and due to the excellent venue, we expect that our upcoming scientific congress – the IOF Regionals: Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting – will be a great success, both scientifically and in terms of regional and local attendance.” themicereport | 43

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Concentration of Business and Leisure Offerings Singapore’s dynamic and ever-changing skyline encompasses state-of-the-art convention and exhibition facilities and hotels, celebrity chef restaurants, world-class entertainment and arts events, a plethora of retail offerings, and the first Universal Studios theme park in Southeast Asia. The blend and concentration of what Singapore has to offer business travellers and event organisers strengthens Singapore’s appeal as a leading business events destination. “Singapore is a country that is constantly reinventing itself to offer a vibrant cosmopolitan landscape and exciting new developments for MICE travellers and event organisers,” says Dr Martin Buck, Director of Messe Berlin and the organiser of the annual ITB Asia, the region’s leading tourism tradeshow. “This is a key reason why we continue to host ITB Asia in Singapore, so that we can offer our delegates an exhilarating mix of business and leisure activities.” As part of the ongoing transformation of Singapore’s tourism landscape, exciting new additions include the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, the Resorts World Sentosa Integrated Resort, the upcoming International Cruise Terminal, and the River Safari and Gardens by the Bay. All of these will enhance the diversity of experiences and MICE venue options for organisers and delegates. To enable business event partners and travellers to tap into a wide spectrum of attractive promotions with ease and convenience, the City Advantage smartphone application has also been introduced. This intuitive smartphone application places the City Advantage Guide in the palms of the hands of event delegates. The Guide is a compact directory

comprising a suite of attractive lifestyle-related deals and privileges specially conceived for business travellers to enhance their experience in Singapore. Users will be able to search and find detailed listings of all establishments participating in the programme and includes promotional offers. Delegates can also enjoy special deals by simply flashing their smartphones. “The launch of the new MICE brand is timely,” says Miss Ow of the Business Travel and MICE Group, Singapore Tourism Board. “The Singapore tourism industry is undergoing a landmark year of changes with key tourism developments that will provide a myriad of possibilities for business events organisers and visitors. Our concentration of business events venues, attractions and leisure activities within a relatively compact and integrated space, coupled with the ease with which business visitors and delegates can access these offerings, enables them to easily personalise their experience and customise their events according to their requirements. As an extension of YourSingapore, the new MICE brand builds on these unique destination attributes. It delivers what today’s business event organisers want: the ease and flexibility to customise and deliver high-impact experiences to LOGO their clients.” u Full Colour - BT MICE Master Brand

Singapore Tourism Board Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau Tel: +49-69-92077013 Fax: +49-(0)69-2978922 E-Mail: michaela@stb-germany.de www.yoursingapore.com Recommended size

40mm

Minimum size

25mm

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experience A combination of style, comfort and technology to meet every need of business and leisure travellers. At Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg, discover the true meaning of luxury in contemporary accommodation. The hotel offers 296 generously sized deluxe rooms, including 56 suites. With 2 500 square metres of conference and banqueting space, Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg boasts the most impressive and technologically advanced facilities in the city: a 600 square metre ballroom, five meeting rooms and one boardroom. Guests have a choice of dining in one of two restaurants, a lounge and a bar as well as free access to the Myst SPA and Fitness Centre. For reservations, call Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg at +7 343 253 1234 or e-mail: reservations.hrekaterinburg@hyatt.com.

8, Borisa Yeltsina Str., 620014, Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation telephone +7 343 253 1234 facsimile +7 343 253 1235

ekaterinburg.regency.hyatt.com

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SWEET AMERICAN DREAMS AT

FLATOTEL

Intimate comfort, cosmopolitan chic, and deluxe style – Peter Morrin savours the superior facilities at New York’s fashionable Flatotel.

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he stylishly cosmopolitan, fourstar Flatotel Hotel in New York City appears to accomplish the unattainable. Situated in the vivaciously commercial, cultural and financial centre of the world, the Flatotel in Manhattan provides the unique intimacy and contemporary comfort of a boutique hotel within the dazzling core of the Big Apple. Inspired by the innovative principles of Frank Lloyd Wright – the “greatest American architect of all time”, according to the American Institute of Architects – the Flatotel exemplifies the spirit of Wright’s Prairie School and Usonian style, with custom designed furnishing, finishings and fine details throughout. So much more than just a tasteful gallery or exhibition to the stunning design of this great architect, the Flatotel provides an essentially warm and comfortable haven for visitors to the City that Never Sleeps. With 288 spaciously deluxe rooms and suites, the Flatotel successfully combines apartmentsized rooms with designer hotel intimacy. From the luxurious 300-thread count Egyptian bed linen to the considerately stocked compact refrigerators, it is apparent that precise detail and fastidious care have been invested in ensuring the highest degree of customer contentment.

as a suitable venue for a wide variety of event sizes and budgets. The design of the new deluxe rooms, for example, is animated with Wright’s concept of the hearth as the heart and soul of a house. Here, the customised bed is the central element of the room, from which all furnishings and features – such as the desk and Aeron chairs, Direct TV, Sony Wega TV, CD player, and Essential Elements amenities – all appear to emanate.

The sheer diversity of superior suites available for business travellers distinguishes the Flatotel

For business travellers who prefer more lavish dimensions, the Flatotel offers a range of

spacious suites to satisfy every taste. These rooms range from the 750 square foot Studio Suites, complete with a full kitchen and extensive bedroom, to the One-Bedroom suites that extend over 1100 square feet and include a separate dining area. The hotel also offers TwoBedroom Suites, which contain two bathrooms and a spacious living room covering 1500 square feet. The opulent Deluxe Penthouse Suites provide 2200 square feet of space, including a full-sized and fully equipped kitchen with spectacular

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flatotel hotel with the high-tech sophistication of a conference centre, the venue provides 14,000 square feet of space for every kind of business event. Whether the need is for a board meeting of 10 members, an elaborate cocktail reception or banquet, or a corporate event for 450 delegates, the Flatotel has the professional taste and first-rate facilities to deliver a flawless experience. The 5th Avenue and the Broadway conference rooms each present a refined meeting space for up to 22 delegates, and can be transformed into an exclusive reception area for up to 40 guests. At the other end of the scale, the Midtown Room provides a comfortable meeting space for up to 56 delegates, which can be converted to a deliciously elegant banqueting hall for 200 guests. With the latest audio and visual services, video conferencing, plasma monitors and smart boards, the cutting-edge facilities at this outstanding hotel are genuinely enviable. Delegates can enjoy the finest Mediterraneaninspired cuisine or a custom-tailored menu at Flatotel’s well-appointed Moda Restaurant – a chic Italian eatery with a magnificent outdoor patio area that overlooks 52nd Street. The

and take in the awe-inspiring view of New York from the Observation Deck. Equally close are the Museum of Modern Art, the American Folk Art Museum and the illustrious Radio City Music Hall, known as the Showplace of the Nation. With all the major New York City tourist attractions on the doorstep, it is no surprise that the Flatotel is directly accessible by taxi, shuttle bus or subway from JFK Airport. Surrounded by celebrated skyscrapers in the heart of Manhattan, the intimate charm and cosmopolitan chic of the Flatotel delivers a tangible American dream. u views of the world-famous Manhattan skyline. Hi-speed internet access, portable computers and state-of-the-art telecommunication systems are also available for executives who need to meet deadlines while enjoying the magnificent New York panorama. Meeting organisers are spoilt for choice by the excellent facilities in the elegant Flatotel, as the hotel offers a selection of unique event venues, including a ballroom, spacious lofts and an outdoor plaza that can host 500 guests. Blending the intimate ambience of a boutique

proximity of this jazz club avenue, which famously hosted the legendary likes of Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Billie Holiday, highlights the central location of this stylish hotel and the abundance of attractions nearby. Business guests can truly savour the best of the Big Apple by visiting the Russian Tea Room before taking in a show at either the Gershwin Theatre or Carnegie Hall, all of which are just a short walk away. The monumental art deco Rockefeller Center stands only a few blocks away, at which visitors can soar 70 floors high

Flatotel’s Meeting and Special Events 135 W. 52nd St., New York, NY 10019 Phone: 212-887-9515 Fax: 212-887-9849 www.flatotel.com

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imex 2010

SIGNALS GLOBAL GROWTH AND STRONG BUSINESS OUTLOOK The eighth IMEX will open on May 25th at Messe Frankfurt with its largest ever hosted buyer programme in place and buyer, exhibitor and trade visitor targets all on course for year-on-year growth.

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new hosted buyer groups have been confirmed for IMEX 2010; with many of these new buyers coming through key global hotel groups who have expanded the regions from which they are delivering clients. These include Marriott International, Mandarin Oriental, Kempinski, Hilton, Starwood, the Ritz, Rocco Forte, Concorde, Sol Melia and Leading Hotels of the World. A total of 50 exhibitors have already increased their stand space compared to 2009. From Europe, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Czech Tourism Authority, Romania, Serbia, Iceland, Meet Sicily and Figur Tourism will all have a larger presence at the show. Continued strength among Asian exhibitors is also demonstrated by increased space for Seoul, Korea, Malaysia, Macau, Indonesia and Japan. From the Middle East, Qatar and Discovery Jordan will be taking bigger stands, whilst further growth in the Latin American market has prompted Argentina and Uruguay to increase their stand space. Other larger exhibitors include St Petersburg Express, China, DMC South Africa and the Canadian Tourism Commission. Among the hotel groups, Rezidor, Ritz Carlton, Steigenberger, Möevenpick, Fairmont/Swissotel Raffles, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Rixos Hotels have also increased the size of their stands.

Hotels also account for a number of brand new exhibitors to IMEX 2010. These include Scandic Hotels, Albert Management and Warwick Hotel International who are making a welcome return. Visitors will also see Columbia, Meeting Point International, Showcare, DMC4EU, Business on Cruise and Green Globe Tourism exhibiting for the first time. Abercrombie & Kent return to IMEX with their biggest stand ever. Spain has once again increased its presence at IMEX. This now makes it second only to the GCB Germany stand in terms of size. Spanish exhibitors now account for 800 square metres, which includes separate stands for Valencia and Madrid for the first time this year.

Planning for Associations; How to Decide where to Hold International Congresses and Leveraging Conference Content Online. The day’s educational programme will also include ‘Convention 2020 Research - A Snapshot of The Future of Association Meetings.’ Following the educational element, suppliers from recognised association partners of IMEX will be invited to network with Association Day guests. This evening drinks reception frequently draws up to 700 people and has become the unofficial start of the show, taking place as it does the night before opening.

In addition three suppliers brand new to the meetings industry will each be celebrating winning a free place on the Wild Card Pavilion. This year’s winners are: Uganda; Morzine in France and the Hof Conference Center in Iceland. The US Pavilion will once again be an extremely diverse and business-centred section of the show.

POLITICIANS FORUM AND FUTURE LEADERS FORUM 2010 Industry leaders and politicians attending this year’s IMEX Politicians Forum will hear the views of panellists including Mr Hein Verbruggen, President of SportAccord and Honorary Member of the International Olympic Committee and the Honorary Bruce Baird, MP, Australia. Both have extensive experience of the impact a major sporting event can have on a destination and its long-term legacy and will share their insights with delegates.

ASSOCIATION DAY –RESULTS REVEALED This year’s IMEX Association Day will be held at the Messe Frankfurt Congress Center. This important annual event allows association buyers and planners to participate in a tailor-made education and networking programme. Concurrent and themed sessions for 2010 include: Strategic Global

As Ray Bloom, IMEX Group Chairman explains, “With each passing year the importance and influence of this Forum becomes more obvious and more direct. We now have a host of examples of destinations acquiring more funding for new infrastructure and marketing efforts in particular as a direct result of their political representatives attending the Forum,

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imex 2010 meeting like-minded politicians and understanding the wider benefits of hosting large-scale meetings and conventions in their home regions. This is extremely gratifying and precisely why we continue to pour a great deal of effort into this Forum. I am delighted to announce the Politicians Forum is already expanding into other countries through a variety of new IMEX alliances and I will announce further details after the show.” TOPICAL GERMAN LANGUAGE SEMINARS IMEX 2010 will present a choice of 17 German language seminars. The sessions will each address an important issue currently facing the industry in Germany. Topics will include ‘Change management in associations’ and ‘Association Sponsorships’. Detailed discussions about the growing role of corporate social responsibility will be covered in ‘CSR meets live communication’ and ‘Green meetings – change or necessity?’ Marketing and media issues will be addressed in two seminars – ‘Trends in the German media’ and ‘The challenges of online direct marketing’. Other seminars will look at current technology, logistical and liability issues. The programme has been devised by the German Convention Bureau. SIMPLE NEW GREEN MEASURES IMEX has also taken the market’s appetite for environmental education and green suppliers into account by developing a new green education and awareness programme. New drop-in workshops will take place every hour on the Corporate Responsibility Stand (powered by the Green Meeting Industry Council). These will offer live case studies from previous IMEX Green Award winners plus insight into the many green meeting industry standards that now exist, including the GRI Report Initiative, Green Globe Certification, ISO and APEX. Other topics will also be addressed. GIVING EDUCATION A NEW EDGE Other seminars and presentations at IMEX will include Women’s Forum sessions on ’How to develop your personal branding’ plus a CrossCultural seminar on ‘Getting a competitive edge from culture’ by Richard Lewis Communications. A team from the COP15 taskforce will also look at ‘How to implement extremely sustainable events that transform a destination’ and share the lessons learned from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. Summing up the benefits of IMEX 2010, IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom, says: “IMEX continues to advance, invest and innovate. This year will be no exception. In fact, with industry sentiment both realistic and robust, we must continue to deliver on all fronts. Never has IMEX been more comprehensive, or more necessary for business.” ◆

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budget airlines economy or false economy?

Many national airlines experienced a slump in passenger numbers at the height of the recession, as businesses slashed travel budgets. So how have the likes of Ryanair and easyJet managed to cash in on record profits during this turbulent climate? Cliff James investigates whether the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;budgetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; airlines really offer value for money â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or if there is a hidden sting in those ancillary fees. 52 | themicereport

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budget airlines

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hen the going gets tough, it seems the tough get going on no-frills airlines. The temptation for companies to cut back on travel budgets during financially unstable times has seen the profits of premier carriers take a nosedive in 2009, whereas revenues soared for budget airlines. The UK’s flag carrier airline British Airways, for example, has traditionally depended upon business class passengers for much of its profits – and yet it saw business and first-class trade fall by a fifth in February 2009 compared with the same month in 2008. In Europe, BA’s passengers were down 2.9 percent in September 2009. Budget airline Ryanair saw a passenger increase of 17% for the same month compared with the year before, while easyJet enjoyed a 5% rise. Industry experts suggest that the triumph of budget airlines will last only as long as passenger gullibility continues – and savvy travellers are increasingly aware that a seemingly good deal on the budget airlines may conceal hidden fees. “Remember that aircraft are big pieces of kit and the cost of running them has to come from somewhere,” says Barry Smith, co-founder of the comparison website skyscanner.net. “If flights are 1p, the airline will rely on customer naivety to make its money.” Ryanair, in particular, has attracted criticism from the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over allegations that its advertised cheap prices were misleading, and was found to have breached advertising rules seven times within two years. In July 2009, Ryanair agreed to include the telltale statement: “Fares don’t include optional fees/charges” on its website to satisfy the OFT. However, in January this year, the Chief Executive of the OFT, John Fingleton, again denounced Ryanair for concealing credit card fees until the end of the booking process. The company deducts a £5 charge – per passenger, per one-way journey – for online debit or credit card payments at the final booking stage. Under this practice, a family of four would be charged an extra £40 for a return flight. The charge is only waived if the passenger pays with a Pre-Paid MasterCard. “It’s almost like taunting consumers and pointing out: ‘We know this is completely outside the spirit of the law, but we think it’s within the narrow letter of the law,’” Fingleton stated. Ryanair rejects this criticism, stating that the payment handling fee is discretionary - passengers can avoid it by paying with the MasterCard debit card. Whereas most standard operators include reasonable luggage allowances within their price, baggage becomes a convoluted minefield with

budget airlines. For example, easyJet permits passengers to check-in baggage up to a combined maximum of 20kg – but for a fee. This fee is only revealed: “at the time of booking baggage (whether during or after booking your flight)”. If the baggage exceeds 20kg in weight, each passenger must pay an excess charge of £10 per kg. So a bag weighing 30kg will be charged an extra £100 on top of the original baggage fee (which itself may only be revealed after the flight has been booked). The baggage charges for Ryanair are equally tortuous. Checked baggage fees are charged per person and per one-way flight. Passenger can check-in two bags each (provided they are each under 15kg), with the first bag being charged at £15, and the second bag at £35. However, paying for the baggage fees at the airport or through a Ryanair call centre will result in even higher charges: £35 for the first bag and £70 for the second. If the baggage exceeds 15kg, it will be charged an extra £20 per kg. And so the costs mount up. Ryanair does offer passengers the opportunity to check-in online, for a £5 fee, but those who forget to bring their boarding passes to the airport are charged an extra £40 for the privilege of having the paper reissued. Light refreshments on the budget airlines are not included in the price of the flight, and a bottle of water can typically cost £3. The company vigorously defends its no-frills ethos, claiming it charges for these optional extras so that passengers who do not require such services can travel for the cheapest prices. A key issue to consider when weighing up the cost of travelling with budget airlines is that the destination airports are often a significant distance from the chosen cities. For example, Ryanair flies to Frankfurt Hahn airport (120km from the city centre), a pattern that is typical for many budget airline routes, resulting in additional transport time and costs for the business traveller on arrival. National carriers are quick to contrast their own policy of ‘the price you see is the price you pay’ against the additional fees that budget airlines pile onto their advertised prices. “It’s well documented that some no-frills carriers charge for a range of extras that we consider to be part of our core service,” says Richard Tams, head of UK & Ireland Sales at BA. However, one man at Ryanair takes a somewhat different view. “Sixty-six million passengers know that flying Ryanair guarantees the lowest fares, the best punctuality, no check-in queues and the pleasure of joining the Michael O’Leary fan club,” says Michael O’Leary, the Chief Executive Officer of the company. themicereport | 53

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food for thought

FOOD FOR

THOUGHT If, as Napoleon famously said, an army marches on its stomach, then the legions of business travellers that trek across the world each year need to pay careful attention to their travelling rations. Ed Carpenter serves up some appetising advice on what to eat to keep fit and focussed on business trips.

L

and so the well-prepared traveller would do well to replace coffee and tea with regular intakes of water to invigorate their mental and physical stamina.

ong-distance flights, airport lounge fast-food, a quick sandwich in the taxi to the next meeting, and a fatty take-away when the conference wraps up – all washed down with endless cups of fatigue-busting coffee: not the most prudent recipe for a healthy body or a healthy mind. A wholesome diet is an essential ingredient in keeping the brain alert during those important meetings, particularly if jetlag, cultural disorientation and tiredness are causing mental indigestion. Although the lack of time and nutritional options frequently restrict the traveller’s bill of fare, a healthy diet is still feasible – providing some key guidelines are followed. Tea and coffee, for example, are often taken to combat jetlag as the caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and alleviates fatigue. The British Nutrition Foundation suggests that up to four cups of coffee a day is a moderate amount, but more than that can be detrimental to health, causing nervousness, headaches, anxiety, muscle tremors and gastrointestinal problems – symptoms that are hardly conducive to an effective business meeting. Taken as a stimulant, caffeine may ward off drowsiness – but it can also upset sleeping patterns and cause insomnia when a good

night’s sleep is most desired. As a remedy for sleeplessness, a traditional hot cup of milk is recommended for travellers before they go to bed. It contains the amino acid tryptophan that activates the release of the body’s natural sleep hormone, melatonin.

A tightly organised conference and dining timetable in an unfamiliar city presents obvious challenges for delegates who may wish to retain some control over their own eating schedule. A recommended dietary plan for travellers involves frequent short meals that are replete with proteins and low in saturated fat and sugar. Nutritionists suggest that, where possible, travellers should avoid heavy restaurant meals and

As air travel dehydrates the body, avoiding alcohol and drinking at least 200ml of water for every hour on a flight is recommended. Dehydration takes a hefty bite out of energy levels and mental concentration,

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food for thought encouraged to enjoy a healthy breakfast each morning that is rich in proteins, such as eggs – or high in fibre, such as wholegrain cereals. At other meal times, travellers can adopt a shrewd eating strategy that avoids the inefficient lethargy and discomfort that follows a lunchtime of overeating. Opting for smaller dishes and appetizers rather than heavy meals, salad side-dishes rather than chips, and shunning fried food altogether can contribute towards an afternoon of enhanced mental and physical agility. replace them with prepared snacks, such as granola, wholegrain sandwiches, peanut butter, almonds, cashews and other nuts that are energy-rich with protein and can give a much-needed boost to the body’s metabolism. Breakfast is universally acclaimed as the most important meal of the day as it replenishes the blood-sugar levels that fall during the night, whereas skipping breakfast is likely to result in poor concentration and fatigue. In preparation for a demanding day of events, business travellers are

Attentiveness, memory and improved mental competence

are believed to be enhanced by the consumption of ‘brain foods’ – foodstuffs that are high in vitamin B1, vitamin K, omega-3 or proteins. For delegates who need to remain focused and alert during important meetings, whole grains, bran, rice and organ meats all supply the body with vitamin B1, or thiamine, which assists nerve cell function and feeds the brain with glucose energy. Vitamin K, which can be found in broccoli, is an antioxidant that can prevent the demise of nerve cells, and has been proposed as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Similarly, omega-3 is widely recognised as having a significant impact upon brain activity as it increases communication between the brain cells, and also enhances a cell’s ability to receive serotonin. Found in fish oils, almonds, avocadoes and cold-water fish such as salmon, omega-3 is a natural anti-depressant and improves mental clarity. In addition, a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates, such as potatoes, pasta and bread, will provide a stable supply of glucose - an essential energy source for the brain. With the right preparations and nutritional know-how, smart eating can be a recipe for a fruitful and focussed business trip. u

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

• Zinc is an essential trace element that plays a critical role in brain function and aids the learning process. It can be found in nuts, beans, various seeds, including sesame, pumpkin and poppy, and red meats, especially beef, lamb and liver. • Cobalamin, or Vitamin B12, sustains the central nervous system and brain performance, and is particularly useful to memory. It can be found in breakfast cereals, fish and shellfish, meat (especially liver), poultry, eggs and milk products. • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that has a key role in the development and performance of the brain and nervous system. It is found in seaweed, and cold-water fatty fish, including herring, sardines, salmon, mackerel and anchovies. • Vitamin B9, or folic acid, is also essential for healthy brain development and functioning, and acts as an anti-depressant. It is found in leafy vegetables, such as spinach, asparagus and lettuce, and fortified grain products such as cereal and wholegrain bread. • Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), and Niacin (Vitamin B3) contribute towards a healthy nervous system, the metabolism of fats, and mental clarity. They are present in milk products, leafy green vegetables, yeast, tomatoes and organ meats (liver and kidney).

© Hypermania37 | Dreamstime.com

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Keeping up appearances can be a tricky affair, especially after a longdistance flight with all the strain that can entail. Peter Morrin uncovers some top tips for staying cleansed and refreshed while travelling to that all-important meeting where presentation matters.

It

s a universal truth that there is only one chance to make a first impression – and that impression, for better or for worse, is indelibly made within the first few seconds of meeting a new contact. Specifically, it is made within the first seven seconds, according to Roger Ailes, President of Fox News and author of You Are The Message. “When meeting someone for the first time, concentrate on one thing: your energy level,” he advises. “If you don’t demonstrate an energetic attitude on your first day, you’re already screwing up.” For those business travellers who run the gauntlet of international planes, trains and automobiles to arrive on time (albeit exhausted) at that allimportant first meeting, the odds of making a favourable impression seem impossibly remote. It may have been a heroic battle to overcome check-in crises, baggage blunders and security setbacks, but stress-induced perspiration is likely to be the first thing that hits your new colleagues when you enter the room. Disastrous first impressions can be prevented, however, by following a few simple tips to keep fresh and stress-free during the most harrowing journeys and make the best impact upon arrival. PREPARATION, PREPARATION The key to stress-free travel is, according to most travel advisers, to be prepared and to reduce journey time as much as possible by making careful travel plans. Arriving fashionably late for an important meeting is neither fashionable nor profitable. Flying direct to smaller regional airports that are closer to the final destination can save time and hassle, as the parking facilities, security processes and check-in systems are generally less congested than at the larger airports. Checking-in online cuts out this protracted process at the airport and reduces the potential

FRESH for unsettling delays. However, online check-in is only worthwhile if your luggage can fit within your handheld cabin baggage (usually 56cm tall x 45cm wide x 25cm deep), otherwise it will have to be checked-in at the desk. Whenever possible, book or upgrade to a seat near the front of the plane for an easy exit after landing. Avoiding the throng of static passengers in the middle of the plane will relieve stress levels before you arrive at the meeting. Similarly, booking a window or aisle seat will give more comfort and elbow room to use a laptop than a mid-row seat. Booking a hotel that caters to business travellers and is close to the meeting location is also a wise

choice, as this is more likely to have services to suit specific business needs and keep inconvenience to a minimum. STAY FRESH Keeping hydrated is a fail-safe way to appear fresh and energised on arrival, no matter how long or gruelling the journey. Most travel advisers recommend that travellers drink plenty of water on the flight and avoid alcohol, which produces a dehydrating reaction. Using a spray bottle of water on your face and moisturiser for your arms and feet is also advocated as a refreshing pickme-up when feeling fatigued, although all bottles must be less than 100ml and presented at airport

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fresh impressions

STAYING FRESH AND DE-STRESSED ON BUSINESS TRIPS

IMPRESSIONS security in a transparent resealable bag (usually a maximum size of 20cm x 20cm). The sensation of moisture has a psychologically stimulating as well as physical effect, and so disposable antiseptic hand-wipes and anti-germ hand gels have been suggested as a means of duping the body into believing it has been cleansed and refreshed. Brushing your teeth or using lip-balm or mouth-wash has a comparable effect, although a breath-freshening mint or gum may at times be the only option. Some travel stores at airports now produce their own pre-packaged refresher kits containing many of these items with separate packs for men and for women.

DRESS APPROPRIATELY: Wearing loose-fitting clothes and slip-on shoes is undoubtedly more comfortable, particularly on long-distance journeys, than tight-fitting or bulky items – and also makes any airport security searches less time-consuming. If possible, a change of clothes in your cabin baggage is also a shrewd option.

Some seasoned travellers prefer taking a good book or music and headphones to stay relaxed, as these can also provide a calming distraction from any frustrating delays or nuisances that might arise. Others prefer simple relaxation exercises, such as tensing the shoulders and back muscles for several seconds, and then relaxing completely.

AND RELAX… A good night’s sleep before travelling and then making full use of the complimentary sleepmasks on the plane to steal forty winks are reliable techniques to arrive at your destination feeling vitalised and ready to make the right impression.

Whatever the preferred method of relaxation, the traveller who arrives at their destination feeling fresh and reenergised will make an instantly more favourable impression at that all-important meeting than the one who bears the burden of their journey into the boardroom. themicereport | 57

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In the past few years Best Western was probably the fastest growing hotel group in Belgium. Today, it offers a range of three- and four-star meeting, corporate and leisure hotels (54) in 36 locations throughout the country. Each hotel is defined by its distinctive style and character, reflecting the personality of its location for a memorable experience that only an independent hotel can offer. Besides this, the hotels all follow the international standards of a global chain, e.g. they all provide free internet access. Since the beginning of this year 2010, Best Western Belgium has already added three hotels to its portfolio, two in the Ardennes (in Dinant and Vielsalm) and one in Brussels (BW Expo at the Heysel).

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BW Mice Report

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serviced apartments

SERVICED APARTMENTS HOME FROM HOME FOR THE BUSINESS TRAVELLER

T

The fully furnished, self-contained and all-inclusive home-from-home: Ed Carpenter investigates the rise of serviced apartments as an alternative to hotel accommodation.

he UK serviced apartment sector has expanded very rapidly over the last four years. Virtually every major UK city can now offer the business traveller a range of serviced apartments as a serious alternative to hotel accommodation – a trend that the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) can confirm. Membership of ASAP has doubled in the last four years and its 32 members now collectively represent some 5,000 properties – compared to 2,000 properties in 2005. Similarly, the Institute of Travel & Meetings (ITM) is reporting an increase in demand for serviced apartments amongst their 500-strong buyer membership. “Our research confirms that serviced apartments have become an integral part of many company accommodation programmes over the last 2 years,” says Paul Tilstone, Chief Executive of ITM. “Some 48% of our members report that demand for this product has been increasing and 57% of buyers confirmed that they were using serviced apartments to reduce costs and provide alternatives to traditional hotel content for shortterm stays of five days or less.”

many companies to consider serviced apartments for the first time, in view of the value for money they offer. In addition, the comfortable ‘home-fromhome’ factor is one of the many key reasons for the increased popularity in this sector, according to City Apartments (London).

This research from ITM – and the expansion of ASAP – indicate that the recession has prompted

“A serviced apartment provides the business traveller with a fully furnished, self-contained flat

including a fully equipped kitchen and separate areas to sleep, work and eat so it offers a more complete ‘home-from-home’ experience where you can properly relax and enjoy more privacy,” says David Smith, Chairman of the Association and Managing Director of City Apartments (London). “A key benefit is the extra space offered: you can expect 30% more space than a comparable standard of hotel room.”

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serviced apartments

of developments are modern, which means the business traveller can expect contemporary, stylish interiors complete with mood lighting and the latest in-room technology. Apartments can be booked for one night, one week, or even several months with the cost generally decreasing the longer the stay. Furthermore, the VAT element reduces to only 3.5% for stays of more than 28 days. Apartments are usually situated in prime city locations, conveniently close to the place of work – a further advantage for those on a tight schedule. As clients are likely to be staying only a very short walk away from their office, less time is spent commuting and more can be spent onº the business at hand.

“Serviced apartments are cost-effective: there are no expensive ‘extras’ to consider such as hotel mini-bars, restaurants and room service. Guests appreciate the flexibility to prepare their own breakfast and/or dinner, especially if they are staying for several nights, and not be restricted by hotel restaurant opening times. Most operators provide a generous ‘welcome pack’ of groceries to ensure you have sufficient food for the first 24 hours of your stay.” “Individual travellers can use the living room as a ‘virtual office’. If you book a larger apartment, you can even hold meetings in the lounge/dining area without having to go to the expense of hiring a separate meeting room. And many clients

entertain guests to an informal drink or dinner in the relaxed and private environment of their own apartment.” “Companies can choose to book, for example, a two-bedroom ensuite apartment to be shared by two colleagues who are working on a project together, which can cut costs further since you pay for the apartment, not per person.” There are a wide variety of apartment products on offer for the discerning MICE customer, ranging from studios to four-bedroom apartments and penthouse suites. Top of the range developments may even offer roof terraces or access to a swimming pool or gym. In this dynamic young industry, the vast majority

All of the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers’ members commit to a charter and a code of conduct guaranteeing a high quality product. The members range from individual businesses with a niche product of 30-50 apartments in a single city to international companies with a large portfolio of properties in many different locations. In the UK, some of the key locations include London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Newcastle, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Cardiff. Visit www.theasap.org.uk - for full details of the 32 members of the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP). u

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advertising feature

SUNSAIL EVENTS… AT A GLANCE

EXPERIENCE A WHOLE NEW WORLD ON THE

WATER

• Competitive racing at its very best; • World’s largest matched fleet; • Motivational team-building events; • Regatta packages for Cowes Week, Round the Island Race and Exclusive Racing Series; • Networking & incentives; • Fantastic shore-side facilities. YOU SET THE OBJECTIVES AND SUNSAIL WILL ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS! Whatever it is you are looking for, Sunsail Events will work with you to achieve your objectives and organise your perfect event. Your event will be exactly that: completely bespoke and tailored for you. They will arrange anything from corporate sailing events, international regattas to teambuilding and hospitality days, or even a perfect and unforgettable celebration with family and friends. Leading the way in sailing events, Sunsail is very proud to be able to offer a matched fleet of 60 Sunfast 37 yachts, which is the largest one-design charter fleet in the world, and is available if you want just one boat or the entire fleet. Whether you are looking to motivate your team or build customer and client relationships, you will be inspired by the perfect sailing conditions and fantastic scenery on offer across their worldwide destinations. Whatever your experience, you can climb aboard with Sunsail – they can provide professional RYA Skippers for the novice sailor, or simply make sure you have everything you need onboard if you are looking to take the helm yourself. Sunsail Events boasts a team of enthusiastic professionals who offer a unique one-to-one service which is second to none. Their passion about what they do is unrivalled by any other such company, and you can rest assured that you can leave everything to them; all you need to do is enjoy the fantastic and unique experience. This energetic company understands what is important to you and the team works with you to ensure that your individual objectives are met and goals are achieved. LET YOUR SKILLS SHINE THROUGH AND WIN! Based at their UK base in Port Solent, Portsmouth, you will find the largest one-design fleet in the world. Having a matched fleet is a great selling point as it means that you are really able to let your sailing skills and team tactics shine through; it is all about you and your crew and how much you want to win! Under sail, you will enjoy a lightweight, racing feel from the Sunfast 37, which also boasts a fast hull and large sail area. This yacht also

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V5_


cowes week 2010 Experience the thrill of one of the biggest events in the sailing calendar!

!SOURCOMMITMENTTOENABLINGBOTHSAILORSANDNONSAILORSALIKETOGET OUTONTHEWATER 3UNSAILHAVECREATEDPACKAGESTHATREQUIRENOPREVIOUS experience. 7ITHCOMPETIVERACINGDURINGTHEDAYANDLIVELY@!PRES3AILATNIGHT WE PROMISETOPROVIDEALLTHETHRILLSANDEXCITEMENTTHATYOUCANEXPECTFROM an international sailing regatta.

MICE REPORT READER SPECIAL OFFER!

Book a whole boat FORADAYORMORE and get FREE 4 SHIRTSFORYOU ANDYOURCREW

Cowes Week - One Day Individual Race Package

Only ÂŁ199* Per Person Your Crew Package at the Races includes: s#REWPLACEONBOARDA3UNFASTYACHT s%NTRYINTOTHE3UNSAILCLASSOFTHE2EGATTA s/VERNIGHTACCOMMODATIONONBOARD s3UNSAIL3KIPPERTOMAXIMISEYOUR RACEPERFORMANCE s#REWBREAKFASTONBOARD s0ACKED,UNCHONBOARD s!FTERRACEPARTYANDPRIZEGIVING PLUSENTRYINTO#OWES9ACHT(AVEN

Passionate about sailing

Call 0844 463 2397 or visit www.sunsail.co.uk/MICE

Terms and Conditions: *Price is based on a maximum of six crew places onboard for the race day package, available any day throughout the event and includes a Skipper. +Price is based on up to 6 people onboard, joining the boat at 7pm and disembarking at 5pm the following day, available any day throughout the event and includes a Skipper. ++ Price is based on up to 8 people onboard collecting your boat at midday on Friday 30th July and returning 5pm Sunday 8th August and does not include a Skipper. Skippers available on request. Travel to and from Cowes Yacht Haven, Isle of Wight is not included. **Applies to full boat bookings only during Cowes Week 2010 and includes t-shirts with maximum 2 logos and text for up to 8 people. Offers cannot be applied for retrospectively and is available for a limited period only, for readers of MICE Report.

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advertising feature

Don’t miss out on this year’s biggest race week – it’s not too late!

offers a comfortable interior with a surprisingly large galley and saloon, along with three private cabins and a shower. And they are not just built for racing; they are great for taking the family or a group of friends on a charter holiday or weekend break around the stunning Solent. Motivate your team and get the wind back in your sales! Get your staff or clients on the water for an unforgettable Team-Building event. The Sunsail team will create your tailored team-building event with your particular business and what you want to achieve at the forefront of their minds. Working with you, Sunsail will ensure that the bespoke itinerary uses skills and content relevant to your business and leaves everyone involved with lasting abilities that they can apply when back in the working environment. Nothing inspires bonding and teamwork like sailing. This naturally rewarding sport encourages everyone to work together - in sometimes challenging situations - towards a common goal. Communication is key in sailing and so your team will need to focus together as one in order to be a success. Sunsail Events can offer one-day programmes or a full week’s itinerary – it is entirely up to you! PLUS: they can provide an onboard facilitator who will work with you and your crew to ensure that your objectives are always at the forefront of your minds, and that your team works together to achieve them.

Example of the one-day itinerary: 08:30hrs - Bacon butties with tea & coffee; 09:00hrs - Introductions to the team; 09:30hrs - Safety briefing; 10:00hrs - Depart for morning sail; 12:30hrs - Anchor for buffet lunch; 14:00hrs - Fun regatta begins; 16:30hrs - Return to Port Solent base; 17:00hrs - Afternoon tea and cake at Portsmouth Harbour Yacht Club; 17:30hrs - Guests depart at leisure or retire to PHYC bar. Dates for your diary UK Events: Sunsail Summer Racing Series - 17th to 18th Jul Cowes Week - 31st Jul to 6th Aug French Rally - 27th to 30th Aug Little Britain Challenge Cup - 16th to 19th Sep Sunsail Autumn Racing Series - 25th to 26th Sep Autumn Solent Quest - 2nd to 3rd Oct Sunsail Autumn Racing Series - 9th to 10th Oct & 16th to 17th Oct Sunsail Racing Series: The Final - 6th Nov Worldwide Events – Ask the team for more details: St Maarten Heineken Regatta BVI (British Virgin Islands) Spring Regatta Antigua Race Week Tahiti Pearl Regatta Sunsail Sailing Cup Australia Hamilton Island Race Week u

Join Sunsail Events between Saturday 31st July and Saturday 7th August 2010 for one of the world’s most famous sailing events. Cowes Week provides everything you need for the perfect summer’s day out. Whether you want to simply be a spectator from your deck or get involved in the race action, Sunsail Events can arrange it for you. With its own racing class in this prestigious event, Sunsail Events promises to provide all the thrills and excitement that you can expect from an international sailing regatta. Compete with Sunsail and get involved with every element to make this the ultimate summer event.

MICE Readers’ Special Offer - Cowes Week 2010 One Day Individual Race Package – ONLY £199* per person! Package includes: • Crew place onboard a Sunfast 37 yacht; • Entry into the Sunsail class of the Regatta; • Overnight accommodation onboard; • Sunsail Skipper to maximise your race performance; • Crew breakfast on board; • Packed lunch on board; • After-race party and prize-giving, plus entry into Cowes Yacht Haven. PLUS, also available: • One-day whole boat Race Package - £1839 per boat for up to six crew members+ • Seven-Day whole boat Race Package – change crew as often as you like and get two extra days FREE! - £8939 per boat++ Terms and Conditions: *Price is based on a maximum of six crew places onboard for the race day package, available any day throughout the event and includes a Skipper. +Price is based on up to six people onboard, joining the boat at 7pm and disembarking at 5pm the following day, available any day throughout the event and includes a Skipper. ++ Price is based on up to eight people onboard collecting your boat at midday on Friday 30th July and returning 5pm on Sunday 8th August and does not include a Skipper. Skippers are available on request. Travel to and from Cowes Yacht Haven, Isle of Wight, is not included. **Applies to full boat bookings only during Cowes Week 2010 and includes t-shirts with a maximum of two logos and text for up to eight people. Offers cannot be applied for retrospectively and is available for a limited period only for readers of MICE report.

For more information or to book your Sunsail event give one of the team a call on 0844 463 2397 and quote MICER.

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Smooth Sailing For the ‘ultimate event’ take to the water and explore all that London has to offer from the River Thames We specialise in events for 2-150 people. Our knowledgeable office staff take the effort away from your organisation and will guide you every step of the way. Our experienced chef is able to produce terrific menus from our own kitchens, and our onboard staff ensure that your event goes without a hitch. Recent months have seen us host presentations, board meetings, clay shooting from the boat, wedding receptions, 40th birthday parties, golden wedding anniversaries, marriage proposals, BBQs and of course New Year’s Eve firework celebrations.

Thames Executive Charters London’s Premier Private Charters

London Office: Festival Pier, Riverside Walk, London SE1 9XP Head office: Riverview Business Park, Station Road, Forest Row, RH18 5DW

01342 820 600

www.thamesexecutivecharters.com

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Š RenÊ Mansi | istockphoto.com

top tips for running a

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business meetings

Research consistently highlights the significant return on investment served by meetings and events – and yet, when economic times are uncertain, the budgets for meetings are often the first victims of company cutbacks. Cliff James takes a look at the all-round benefits of maintaining meetings and considers the top tips for managing a successful business event.

G

ood meetings are good for business in a variety of ways, according to successive studies, and regular faceto-face conferencing with colleagues and target audiences is credited with enhancing corporate success. Although videoconferencing and other forms of computer-mediated communication are on the increase, research commissioned by Hilton Hotels in 2009 revealed an overwhelming consensus amongst senior executives that offsite meetings build stronger business relationships and are a necessity, not a luxury. The Hilton study uncovered a multiplicity of ways in which face-to-face meetings can bolster a company’s corporate ethos and strategic development, while also providing a high return on investment. From inspiring workforces and strengthening team bonds to encouraging breakthrough thinking, more than 80 percent of executives believed that meetings bring out the best in people when compared to other communication forms. “The research illustrates that despite the current economic challenge, meetings still matter,” confirms Andrew Flack, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing in Hilton Hotels Asia Pacific. “A large majority of those surveyed felt that faceto-face meetings are where the real business gets done and where the biggest breakthroughs are made.” The Hilton findings are supported by academics such as Professor Richard D. Arvey of the National University of Singapore, who investigated the importance of such conferences in a White Paper on ‘Why Face-to-Face Business Meetings Matter’. “Face-to-face business meetings afford participants opportunities to develop transparency and trust - an integral part of business relationships,” he states. “Face-to-face

meetings are also strong vehicles for participants to learn the relative norms of the organisation.” The meeting becomes a subtle presentation of the company’s culture and a means of reinforcing the corporate objectives. In the light of such research, it becomes all the more important to ensure that the meeting is thoroughly planned and effectively executed. Planning the meeting should be seen as an investment, and those companies that neglect the planning process risk undermining their return on investment. The role of the event manager has been compared with that of a theatre director who orchestrates the props, timings, cues, budget, team motivation and overall stage management of the ‘performance’. In coordinating so many variables, preparation is everything. Initial considerations The fundamental point to consider when planning any meeting is its purpose. Meetings are a means to an end, a process rather than a destination, and the conclusion of the meeting should be regarded as the commencement of the actions that have been generated at the meeting. The planning should therefore begin with defining the aims and objectives of the meeting. Once the objectives of the meeting have been identified, the list of participants and the agenda should both fall into place. If an issue needs to be addressed that involves members of a particular team, invite that team and list the issue on the agenda. Soliciting input on the agenda items from participants is also good practice, as is distributing the agenda well ahead of the scheduled meeting date. This prepares participants for the event and engenders a sense of active involvement and inclusion within the process – and is likely to enhance team bonding and stronger business relationships.

With the agenda and list of participants identified, the type of meeting that is required should become more apparent. In drawing up an initial checklist, it may be useful to think about the size of the group, ages of attendees and any special needs. When determining the meeting date, take into account bank holidays, festivals and avoid conflicts with other company events. If the meeting is to include a presentation, speakers may need to be booked – and this could influence provisional dates for the event. Consider seating arrangements, audiovisual and production equipment, refreshments for each session, entertainment activities and team building exercises. If the event is to be held offsite, transportation may also need to be figured into the equation. Devising a timeline for the production of invitations, promotions and other materials is a particularly effective means of keeping on top and staying sane – as is delegating some responsibilities to a colleague. Budget Effective management of the overall budget is critical to the success of the meeting and will determine many aspects of the event, such as the venue, whether delegates travel is to be included, and if there is a contingency fund for emergencies. When preparing the finances, ensure that a financial officer has approved and signed off the budget at an early stage. It may also be worthwhile exploring whether the meeting can be part-funded by sponsorship. Other basic budgetary considerations include: determining the currency in which the account should be run, the dates by which accounts must be settled, and whether suppliers need to present quotes in advance. Destination Perhaps the most important consideration after the budget, the event destination will undoubtedly have a substantial effect upon themicereport | 67

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the attitudes and expectations of participants. It is imperative to select a suitable destination, taking into account where attendees are travelling from, flight schedules and frequency, travel costs and hotel availability. Factors such as weather, security and convenience should be balanced to determine the suitability of the location. Venue Professional congress organisers and destination management companies can be found at many international cities to help the bemused event organiser find the right venue. In any chosen destination, the first step should always be to formulate a selection criteria based on the type of hotel that will best meet the requirements, the proximity to airports, the number and size of requisite conference and guest rooms, and the availability of presentation equipment. Once a shortlist of venues has been drawn up, a first-hand visit to each site is advisable to make the final decision. The event organiser’s aptitude for skilful negotiation is invaluable at this stage to ensure that the best rates are secured, as is a fine eye for detail to make

The role of the event manager has been compared with that of a theatre director who orchestrates the props, timings, cues, budget, team motivation and overall stage management of the ‘performance’. In coordinating so many variables, preparation is everything. certain that cancellation policies and contracts are acceptable, before submitting the request for proposal (RFP). Refreshments Details of the dietary requirements of all participants should be gathered in advance and a good quality caterer employed. An army marches on its stomach and a troop of hungry delegates will lose concentration, no matter how stimulating the agenda. A buffet could be

considered for lunch as it offers quicker service and greater variety, and enough time should always be scheduled into the timetable for meals. Guest speakers A professional speaker should only be recruited if their portfolio corresponds with the key objectives of the meeting and the needs of the delegates. Well ahead of the event, the organiser should brief the speaker on the purpose of the meeting to ensure that their presentation matches the desired outcomes. It is also important to keep to the budget by confirming fees and contacts in advance, and to maximise the use of the speaker at the event.

© Aspect3d | Dreamstime.com

business meetings

Evaluation When the event comes to a close, the chief priority for the organiser is to gather comprehensive feedback from the delegates on all aspects of the meeting. These responses constitute a valuable appraisal of the meeting, a gauge to measure the return on investment, and a foundation upon which to build future events. Although the conclusion of the meeting may feel like the end of the event, it is from this point that the original objectives of the event begin to have effect. u

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you could travel afar, but where you arrive makes all the difference...

HOTE L

THE MANDALA HOTEL | BERLIN, POTSDAMER PLATZ TEL +49 (0)30 590 05 00 00 | WWW.THEMANDALA.DE RESERVATIONS@THEMANDALA.DE

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THE

MANDALA HOTEL

Design, light and stunning aesthetics in the heart of Berlin Peter Morrin investigates the stylish delights of The Mandala Hotel

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E

the mandala hotel

xtensively redeveloped as a futuristic business centre in the bustling heart of Europe, Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz hosts a profusion of sophisticated restaurants, fashionable shopping malls, casinos and world-class cultural events. In the midst of this dynamic quarter, The Mandala Hotel is something of a paradox: an oasis of contemplative calm and aesthetic comfort – and an ideal haven for the business traveller in Berlin. With an emphasis on genuine hospitality and personal service, The Mandala has honed the art of affable, individual care to perfection. “Personal dedication comes from a personal approach,” say the hotel managers, Lutz Hesse and Christian Andresen. “This is something we insist on and promote.” The result is a congenial, relaxed hotel culture that is geared towards the individual needs of guests, with unique provisions such as personal trainers, personal shoppers, and the refrigerators in each room stocked according to individual tastes. With 157 spacious guest rooms, each with at least 430 sq. ft. of living space, this stylishly designed boutique hotel presents a refreshing retreat for business events in the centre of Berlin. All suites are furnished with fully equipped workstations and can be transformed into a mobile office, while the hotel’s naturally lit conference rooms range from 550 to 650 sq. ft. and provide a luxurious setting for select business meetings. In keeping with the ethos of personal care, The Mandala also supplies aromatherapy services, breathing exercises with personal trainers and massages during meeting breaks to ensure that attendees remain relaxed and focused.

The presence of an award-winning gourmet restaurant at The Mandala Hotel is an additional delight for guests, as master chef Michael Kempf’s deliciously sophisticated menu at the FACIL restaurant has become the talk of Berlin’s culinary scene. As a relaxing daytime retreat, the QIU lounge serves a selection of culinary specialities in a superb art deco sanctuary of soothing colours, mosaics and cascading water – while in the evening the lounge becomes an exclusive and vibrant chic club for Berlin socialites. On the 11th floor, the hotel’s ONO spa offers guests a palace of wellbeing and physical indulgence, with an innovative reflexology walk around the spa terrace, saunas, relaxation and sensory equipment, and massage therapists to relieve the stress of business – all with stunning views overlooking the city. As an incentive for hard-working staff, The Mandala Hotel offers a complete package of personalised comfort, wellbeing and pure luxury within the vibrant centre of Germany’s capital. u Photography: Opposite page: © Christian Gahl; this page © Christian Gahl, © Lukas Roth

HOTE L

THE MANDALA HOTEL | BERLIN, POTSDAMER PLATZ TEL +49 (0)30 590 05 00 00 | WWW.THEMANDALA.DE RESERVATIONS@THEMANDALA.DE

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Design hotel of the year 2008 in Austria – Winner of the Gala Spa Award 2009 Details about our hotel & region: X X X X X X X X X X X X

47 design rooms & suites 1.400 m² Balance Center & Spa Outdoor pool & sun terrace Bar & lounge with open fire place Awarded gourmet cuisine Free internet access Free garage parking Skiing-biking-hiking area just 700 m away Zell am See Golf Course, 2 x 18 holes, 2 km from the hotel Lake Zell, 700 m away All year round Kitzsteinhorn glacier skiing area, 5 km away Outstanding variety of other options

Details about our INVIDA meeting room: 50 m² for up to 35 persons* Daylight through 2 front windows State of the art techniques such as a beamer PC with remote keyboard & mouse DVD player Bose Dolby surround system touch panel for all settings, … W-Lan and broadband internet Individual service Exclusive use of the whole hotel possible

W W W W W W W W W W

*for larger groups (up to 1.000 persons): the Ferry Porsche Congress Center, just 2 km from the hotel

Enjoy your management meeting or incentives travel - by the lake, surrounded by the unique scenery of the Austrian Alps! MAVIDA Blance Hotel & Spa Kirchenweg 11 I 5700 Zell am See I T + 43.6542.5410 I F +43.6542.56760 info@mavida.at I www.mavida.at

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meetings in europe

the

european solution by David Aherne

A

German visitor to my stand at International Confex said he was fed up with the high cost of taking his meetings to the Caribbean and Mexico. So, I asked, why do you go there? I replied. The weather is most reliable in that part of the world, he said. And he’s right; if you go during the hurricane season, you can expect an exciting event, but the carbon cost to the planet of flying your 250 delegates half way round the world really is no longer acceptable. When the European Convention Bureau was launched 14 years ago, British Tourist Authority research indicated that conference delegates coming to Britain from abroad spent around £700 during their stay, over and above their travel and accommodation costs in the local community. Inflation alone must have

increased that to at least £1,000, which means a conference with 1,000 delegates generates £1,000,000 Pounds Sterling or €1,200,000, creating jobs and prosperity in the area where it takes place, far beyond the venue where it is held. Because conferences and incentives are such valuable invisible exports, they need to be encouraged. The U.K. Government expresses concern that overseas visitors may shun Britain as the traditional gateway into Europe, but one obvious solution lies in their own hands: do away with all Airport Taxes, which earn the Country far less than visitors to our shores. It would be a major boost to a flagging airline industry, crippled by ever rising costs and price wars, and in the process give Britain a huge competitive edge over her European neighbours.

Europe has an historical pedigree hard to beat! From medieval castles to glittering palaces, the superb chateaux of France and Germany, so many unique venues for an event of character never to be forgotten by the participants. A floating venue on the Thames in London, the Seine in Paris or on the Rhine and Rhone which flow through so many European Countries. Or perhaps a major convention for 1,700 delegates aboard a luxury ship in complete security cruising in the Mediterranean. The possibilities really are endless when you choose Europe for that special event. An alternative to Mexico and a lot closer to home for Europeans is Turkey, which offers good weather for most of the year, boasts outstanding conference and major convention facilities throughout the country, as well as themicereport | 73

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meetings in europe

Europe has an historical pedigree hard to beat! From medieval castles to glittering palaces, the superb chateaux of France and Germany, so many unique venues for an event of character never to be forgotten by the participants. offering superb sandy beaches. Conferencing in Turkey not only reduces the carbon footprint of your event, but saves you money on air fares and accommodation. For islands in the sun, without the severe risk of being mugged, as can happen in certain Caribbean islands, take your meeting to the Canaries. Fantastic weather all year round combined with major three-, four- and five-star conference hotels, convention centres and the North African climate make the Canaries the idyllic location for almost every event - except, perhaps, for a snow boarding contest. With all the sunny islands in the Mediterranean, why would anyone from Europe need to look further afield than Malta and all the others? The largest, Cyprus, is another excellent location for event organizers who are concerned about temperature. Between the seaside town of Limassol and Pafos you will be spoilt for choice, with every size and grade of hotel you can imagine, waiting to host your small incentive

group through to the major conventions booked years in advance. Now that Cyprus is in the Euro Zone and no longer using the costly Cyprus Pound, the cost of holding your event there has reduced considerably. The food served in Cyprus’s restaurants and hotels is generally of very good quality and for a vegetarian, such as myself, far better than in Spain, where if you order a cheese sandwich you can be almost sure it will have ham in it. That’s not to say food in Spain is poor, but finding good vegetarian food in Spain can be a problem at times, save in the better hotels. Madrid does have some restaurants which are a work of art in themselves, such as the Restaurant Teatro in Madrid, with its superb Art Deco lines and fittings. Croatia has invested heavily in making the country conference and incentive-friendly, and when first-class accommodation is combined with lower prices than those in found Western Europe for the same thing, you are on to a winner.

The Croatian Convention Bureau, whose president is the former Wimbledon Tennis star, Nic Racic, offers full support at no charge to event planners considering this lovely country as the destination for a future event of any type and size. Finally, I would always recommend using an experienced local Destination Management Company, which can usually get you a far better deal than you could yourself using the Internet. Apart from speaking the language, they are well known to the local hotels and ancillary services companies, who pay them a small commisssion, so you don’t have to. u

David Aherne is the Director of the European Convention Bureau which was launched in 1996 to bring new meetings, incentives, events and exhibitions into Europe. www.euro-congres.org Services are free of charge.

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Grand Resort Bad Ragaz The Leading Wellbeing & Medical Health Resort

Experience a unique environment of healthy wellbeing.

Our unique luxury resort with 56 new Spa Suites and Spa Lofts in the Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites combines timeless elegance with modern design and consummate hospitality with excellent service. In the Business & Event Center we offer exclusive facilities for inspiring business meetings or sparkling events.

7310 Bad Ragaz, Switzerland Tel. +41 (0)81 303 30 30 Toll-free 00800 80 12 11 10 reservation@resortragaz.ch www.resortragaz.ch

GRBR_ins_Image_210x280.indd 1 075 Bad Ragaz Grand Resort Advert.indd 1

Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz To B. Wellbeing & Spa 路 Medical Health Business & Events 路 Golf 路 Tennis Courts Tamina Therme 路 Casino Bad Ragaz

11.06.2010 5/7/10 16:39:41 10:03:32


Maloja Sils Silvaplana St.Moritz Celerina Pontresina Samedan Bever La Punt Chamues-ch Madulain Zuoz S-chanf Zernez

The workshop starts at 2pm sharp â&#x20AC;&#x201C; on the mountain. Create the ideal working environment: hold your next workshop in Engadin St. Moritz. Inspired by the pure alpine air, the majestic mountains, the picturesque lakes and the exceptional quality of the light, your colleagues are sure to work out winning strategies. Information: Engadin St. Moritz phone +41 81 830 08 13 mice@estm.ch www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/mice What mountains. What lakes. What light!

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switzerland

Skiing in Corviglia/Piz Nair St. Moritz © KVV St. Moritz

Engadin St. Moritz where strategies are made with vision! E

ngadin St. Moritz, situated at an altitude of 1,800 metres, offers the perfect location for meetings, conferences and incentives in an unspoilt natural setting. The pleasant climate with 322 days of sunshine a year is more invigorating, the pure air drier, and the snow more reliable than almost anywhere else. Crystal-clear lakes, alpine forests and majestic mountain peaks adorned with awe-inspiring glaciers make an incomparable setting for outdoor activities. Sports, culture and wellness options abound, providing an exceptionally wide range of leisure options for both business and individual travellers. All this is what makes Engadin St. Moritz the ideal – and the most appealing – meetings and incentives destination in the Alps, both in summer and in winter. Accommodation The Engadin St. Moritz Tourism Organisation groups together 13 villages and resorts, including the world-famous town of St. Moritz. The central region around the main resorts of St. Moritz and

Pontresina, some 10 km across, offers more than 4,600 hotel rooms. Nearly half of these are to be found in the resorts’ celebrated five- and fourstar hotels; the remainder are in mid-range hotels of various sizes, as well as in more basic hotels. Overall, Engadin St. Moritz offers more than 6,500 hotel rooms in 160 hotels, with an emphasis on personal attention. Would you care to wake up on the shore of a forest lake, or at an altitude of 3,000 metres to breathtaking views of the Bernina massif, or to snow on your doorstep? The choice is yours.

Venues The Rondo Convention and Event Centre offers a versatile infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities designed to meet the highest expectations. A large auditorium accommodating up to 500 people as well as seven seminar rooms and three foyers make ideal settings for small and mediumsized conferences, meetings and banquets. Beyond Rondo’s walls lies Pontresina’s magnificent landscape of mountains and glaciers.

The breathtaking views, the seemingly endless expanse of the lake-strewn Engadin valley, the exceptional quality of the light… all this invariably enchants visitors to the region of Engadin St. Moritz. Add exclusive, cosmopolitan and glamorous St. Moritz, and the authentic culture and traditions of the Engadin valley, and you have a ºunique combination

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switzerland

Unique hotels for meetings and events The seven 5-star hotels in Engadin St. Moritz offer a wealth of possibilities for hosting meetings, product presentations and gastronomic events. Facilities range from elegant and intimate settings for small, private events to spacious venues for anything up to 500 people. For a more relaxed atmosphere, the various 4- and 3-star hotels offer a host of facilities ranging from rustic rooms decorated in traditional Engadin style to spaces showcasing the best in contemporary design. Fine cuisine, luxury shopping, personalized service and large leisure and spa areas all help to make for an unforgettable stay. Rustic rooms, mountaintops and other special venues You may prefer to hold your meeting in a cosy panelled Engadin “Stube”; on a mountaintop, with spectacular views of the Engadin Alps; among aeroplanes and helicopters in an airport hangar; or in the tranquillity of a secluded side valley. When it comes to finding a special venue for a meeting or a culinary event, Engadin St. Moritz can offer an exceptionally wide choice. Activities The high valley of the Engadin offers innumerable possibilities for unique incentive programmes. In summer, Engadin St. Moritz is home to 580 kilometres of footpaths and 400 km of biking trails set against a spectacular alpine backdrop. It also offers three high-altitude golf courses as well as via ferratas (fixed-rope climbs), glacier hiking, spas, bathing in mountain lakes, wine- and food-tasting, horse-drawn carriage rides – and a host of other opportunities for relaxation after a productive day’s work. In winter, Engadin St. Moritz is transformed into Switzerland’s largest snow sports region – with 350 km of runs, 190 km of cross-country ski trails, and 150 km of winter walking paths. There are plenty of other adventures on offer, too – from curling and snowshoe hikes across the magical, snow-covered landscape to thrilling toboggan rides from Muottas Muragl down to the valley floor. Here, in Engadin St. Moritz, the extraordinary is the norm. From the horse races held on frozen Lake St. Moritz to the Gourmet Festival, and from an opera festival to the British Classic Car Meeting, the events in Engadin St. Moritz’s busy calendar are both highly memorable and uniquely stylish. How should you go about choosing the right accommodation, or the ideal outdoor or evening programme? The wealth of options can be bewildering. Ask the professionals: Engadin St. Moritz Convention Services, part of the Engadin St. Moritz Tourism Organisation, is your contact point for all aspects of the meetings business. u

Rondo Convention and Events Centre © Pontresina Tourism

Diavolezza © Andrea Badrutt

Engadin St. Moritz Convention Services | Via San Gian 30 | CH-7500 St. Moritz Phone: +41 81 830 08 13 | Fax: +41 81 830 08 18 mice@estm.ch | www.engadin.stmoritz.ch/mice themicereport | 79

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grand resort bad ragaz

HEALTH CHECKS AT

GRAND RESORT BAD RAGAZ Stimulating stays in spa paradise: Ed Carpenter investigates the exceptional health, wellbeing and fitness delights of one of Switzerland’s leading health resorts.

T

he Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is a heaven of the traditional and the contemporary, where legendary Swiss Grand Hotel culture, elegance and hospitality come together. The unique combination of luxurious and stylish accommodation, fine food, natural thermal spa water, business amenities, world-class golf, wellbeing and medical facilities of the highest level make the Grand Resort unmistakable and incomparable.

Weight Loss Programme The Weight Loss programme is a six-day course that combines medical tests, counselling and exercise, and is designed to help guests achieve body satisfaction, a healthy relationship with food and a feeling of complete wellbeing. The programme includes delicious meals from Cuisine Équilibrée, the resort’s new healthy eating concept that features varied and fresh menus to help control calories whilst remaining appetising.

Located just one hour from Zurich, this luxury resort not only offers two traditional style Grand Hotels, the Quellenhof and the Hof Ragaz, but also the new ‘Spa-Tower’. The new Spa Lofts and Spa Suites come complete with butler services and each one features a private wellbeing-oasis bathroom with a steam shower and thermal water on tap – and some even include their very own sauna.

• • • • • • • •

The medical team at the Swiss health retreat Grand Resort Bad Ragaz have developed a series of packages specifically suited to target health problems caused by modern day living, addressing everything from weight worries to being overstressed and over-worked. The packages called ‘Weight Loss’ and ‘Burn-out Prevention’ help guests focus on keeping a healthy body and achieving an optimum work-life balance.

Weight Loss Programme Includes: Thorough medical examination; Measurement of weight and body mass index; Hearing and eyesight test; Screening for skin changes; Central nervous system function check; Spinal column check; Detailed assessment of joint status; Laboratory examinations of liver, kidneys, thyroid, blood sugar, blood lipids and blood count, as well as prostate screening if appropriate; • Cardiovascular function test on an ergo meter (resting and stress ECG); • Body fat measurement; • Analysis of eating and exercise habits; • Nutritional advice in two 60 minute sessions; • Daily personal training in 50 minute sessions; • Daily work-out including introduction;

• • • • •

Daily ‘Cuisine Equilibrée’ full board; Daily four litres of Ragaz thermal spa water; Concluding medical consultation (discussion of all investigative results and preparation of a personal dietary and exercise plan); Personal health dossier; Personal guidance during the programme.

Optional Additions: Your programme – additional week (seven days): • Medical follow-up; • Body fat measurement follow-up; • Nutritional advice follow-up; • Daily ‘Cuisine Equilibrée’ full board; • Daily four litres of Ragaz thermal spa water; • Daily personal training in 50-minute sessions; • Daily work-out (without trainer); The Weight Loss programme costs from €3,360, and the additional week is €1,786 per person, excluding accommodation. This particular programme can be booked in combination with a minimum stay of six nights’ accommodation in the Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites or the Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz, and the arrival day is Sunday only. Furthermore, a price reduction of 10 per cent can be allowed on all room categories for stays of up to six nights and a price reduction of 15 per cent for every additional week.

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grand resort bad ragaz

The accommodation price includes: • The ‘Cuisine Equilibrée’ breakfast; • Welcome drink; • Access to the 5500 m² ‘To B. Wellbeing & Spa’ area; • Free admission to the 7300 m² Tamina Therme; • Daily fitness and relaxation lessons; Burn-out Prevention Programme Long nights at the office and one-too-many work trips can take their toll on even the most dedicated of employees. Consequently, the Burn-Out Prevention programme is ideal as it is specially designed for the worn-out, over-stressed city worker. Offering a complete clinical examination, the programme tests general fitness as well as office-related health problems (such as incorrect posture, a frequent problem for those who spend too long at their desk), and suggests dietary advice and mental coaching to help identify career potential. The Burn-out Prevention programme, which lasts three days, includes: • Medical-psychotherapeutic initial consultation; • Biofeedback; • Nordic walking with a personal trainer; • Introduction to medical training therapy (MTT); • Daily training sessions in the fitness centre (without coach); • Daily bathing in thermal spa water; • Medical whole-body massages (50-minute sessions); • Relaxation massages (75 minute sessions); • Medical-psychotherapeutic final consultations with recommendations for everyday life, work and sport; • Written report with ‘take-home messages’; • Personal guidance during the programme; For comprehensive burn-out prevention, the physician also recommends an additional two day experience, which includes: • A supplementary medical-psychotherapeutic progress consultation; • Psychological evaluation tests of personal strengths; • Nordic walking with a personal trainer; • Daily training sessions in the fitness centre; • Daily bathing in thermal spa water; • Water therapy (30 minute sessions); • Lomi Lomi Nui massage (90 minute sessions); The Burn-out Prevention programme lasts three days and only costs from €1,610. The additional two day experience costs €1,003 per person, excluding accommodation. The Burn-out Prevention programme can be booked in combination with a minimum stay of three nights in the Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites or the Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz. The arrival days for this programme are Sundays to Tuesdays,

or Sundays only if the guest is also booking the Burn-out Prevention “Plus” programme (which includes an additional two nights’ accommodation). As an added bonus, the resort also offers a price reduction of 10 per cent on all room categories. The accommodation price includes: Generous breakfast buffet; Fresh fruit and Ragaz water each day; Welcome aperitif; Access to the 5500 m² ‘To B. Wellbeing & Spa’ area; • Free admission to the 7300 m² Tamina Therme; • Daily fitness and relaxation lessons;

• • • •

Getting There: The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is particularly accessible as Swiss International Airlines (www. swiss.com/uk; 0845 601 0956) offers up to 20 daily flights a day to Zurich from London Heathrow, London City, Birmingham and Manchester airports. It is also surprisingly easy to travel from London to Zurich by train, taking Eurostar to Paris, then a direct Paris-Switzerland high-speed TGV. TGVs from Paris to Zurich are run by Lyria, a consortium of the French and Swiss national railways. From Zurich, Bad Ragaz is an easy train ride away, taking only one hour, and the trains run every 30 minutes or so. ◆

For more information visit the website www.resortragaz.ch or call the reservation desk on 00800 80 12 11 10 or email reservation@resortragaz.ch. themicereport | 81

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PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK

Welcome to Stockholm

The conference capital If you organise a conference in Stockholm, you can be sure that everything will run smoothly and that all your participants will have a memorable time. Congress Stockholm, part of the official Convention Bureau of Stockholm, is here to make things as easy as possible. We provide a completely free service, offering all the support you need to plan a successful conference. Give us a call or e-mail us to discover what makes Stockholm unique, and why so many congresses return here year after year. Meetings & Conventions Ph +46 8 508 28 500 congress@svb.stockholm.se www.congresstockholm.se

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stockholm

Spectacular

Once the imperial seat of power in the vast Swedish Empire, Stockholm now stakes its rightful claim as an international epicentre of commerce, innovation and sustainable living.

stockholm

N

estling on the picturesque estuary where the majestic Lake Mälaran flows into the Baltic Sea, Stockholm was born to be an enchanting natural treasure. The terracotta and vanilla-coated townhouses, mediaeval steeples and baroque palaces extend across 14 individual islands, linked by a network of 57 bridges. Celebrated as ‘the Venice of the North’, Sweden’s pristine capital city should really be the gold standard by which all other water-cities are judged, for the canals of Stockholm are clean and clear enough to bathe in.

© Adeliepenguin | Dreamstime.com

Consistently ranked first on the lists of the world’s greenest, most pollution-free and liveable cities, Stockholm is currently enjoying the well-deserved title of European Green Capital 2010. The first city to be awarded this distinction by the EU Commission in recognition of its environmentally-friendly urban planning and sustainable development, there are few other global capitals than can claim to have cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25 per cent per inhabitant since 1990. But with a history that goes back to the heyday of the marauding Vikings, Stockholm’s modern reputation for environmental protection, progressive welfare policies and Nobel Prizes, may - at first glance - seem at odds with its rapacious past. However, the Swedes are the first to point out that their Viking forebears were primarily traders and commercial adventurers who established international trade routes stretching from Baghdad to Russia, Iceland and even North America. With such pioneering ancestors, it should come as no surprise that contemporary Stockholm has been ranked as the most innovative city in Europe, according to the Maastricht Economic Research Institute, and the best Nordic city to locate a business. As a hub for global conferences, Stockholm can boast one of Europe’s largest and most modern congress and exhibition centres, uniquely located within the city centre. The stunningly ultra-modern Ericsson Globe Arena, for example, is the largest spherical building in the world and can hold up to 16,000 guests within its vast range of banqueting themicereport | 83

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BAHAMAS · BARBADOS · CUR AÇAO · DOMINICAN REPUBLIC · JAMAICA · PUERTO RICO · TRINIDAD

�ravel is more than just A to B. �ravel should help you achieve success. Hilton Caribbean can help you raise the bar with meetings that truly succeed. With innovative online booking tools to make reserving your meeting easier and the Hilton Caribbean Meetings Peace of Mind Promise, you’ll relax knowing your next meeting will top them all. And the Book Now and Save promotion offers great incentives that make meetings with Hilton even more rewarding.

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stockholm

Consistently ranked first on the lists of the world’s greenest, most pollution-free and liveable cities, Stockholm is currently enjoying the well-deserved title of European Green Capital 2010 © Mikdam | Dreamstime.com • © Pinkbadger | Dreamstime.com

halls, theatre spaces and conference rooms. The list of notable events held here – ranging from the Eurovision Song Contest and MTV Music Awards to appearances by Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II and the Dalai Lama - is a testimony to the international stature of this venue and this global city. For the conference delegate who is blessed with the gift of unscheduled free time, Stockholm offers a smorgasbord of tourist delights to exceed every expectation. The vibrant and fashionable Södermalm neighbourhood, situated on the city’s largest island, is a bohemian paradise of alternative shops, art galleries and trendy nightclubs. Stockholm has one of the highest coffee-consumption rates in the world, which accounts for the profusion of espresso bars and chic cafes in this stylish district. A short walk north of Södermalm stands the jewel in Stockholm’s crown, the old town of Gamla Stan, which dates back to 1252 and still possesses the original maze of mediaeval cobblestone streets. A meander through these narrow avenues of red, orange and gold houses, handicraft shops and souvenir stalls will inevitably lead to the Royal Palace, official residence of the King of Sweden. Built in the Italian Baroque style in the 18th century and containing five museums, the palace

is one of the largest in Europe and is open for public tours. Beside the palace stands the Storkyrkan, the formidable gothic cathedral which dates back to the 13th century and contains a reliquary that, according to legend, holds the bones of St George. The cathedral overlooks the historical Stortorget square in the centre of the old city, which also hosts the Nobel Museum and the French Rococo Stock Exchange Building – where the winners of the Nobel Prizes are announced each year. The immense historical riches of Stockholm are not confined to Gamla Stan’s charming streets, but pervade the entire capital. Any balanced tour of the city should include the grandiose Drottningholm Palace on the island of Lovön; modelled on the Palace of Versailles, this palace is the private residence of the Swedish royal family and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. With such a bewildering abundance of historical sites, museums, theatres and art galleries to choose from, Stockholm truly offers one of the most sublime cultural experiences in the world. The city is surprisingly accessible to the international traveller, with high-quality rail

Previous page: Gamla Stan, the Old Town of Stockholm. This page: Stockholm city at night; Sergels Torg, the main square in Stockholm city

links across the new Öresund Bridge that links Sweden to Denmark and mainland Europe. The city is also well serviced by several airports, the largest being Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, 40km north of the capital, with Skavsta International Airport situated about 100km to the south. But however one arrives in ‘the Venice of the North’, the experience of encountering this richly historical yet entirely modern city will remain forever. ◆ themicereport | 85

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PHOTO: RICHARD RYAN

Stockholm is situated on fourteen islands where the blue waters of the Baltic meet lake Mälaren, resulting in a very compact city where everything is within easy reach.

If you want to do business in Scandinavia, there is no better place to start than in Stockholm. Located right at the heart of the region, Stockholm is Scandinavia’s epicentre for business, meetings and culture.

Stockholm Visitors Board 2

Scandinavia’s economic powerhouse Stockholm is the largest business and consumer market in the Scandinavian and Baltic Sea region. Based on innovation and fuelled by high technology, the region’s economy boasts one of the world’s most prominent ICT clusters, one of Europe’s largest life sciences clusters and fast growing cleantech and fashion industries – to name but a few. Add the fact that Northern Europe’s financial centre is located here and you quickly

realise that Stockholm is the natural first stepping-stone for anyone who wishes to enter the Scandinavian and Baltic market. In fact, two thirds of all Fortune100 companies with Scandinavian head offices have chosen to base them in Stockholm. World-class infrastructure You can get to and from Europe’s major cities by air in less than three hours from any of Stockholm’s five airports. Six

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PHOTO: WHITE ARKITEKTER AB/JARL ASSET MANAGEMENT AB

Welcome to Stockholm – the Capital of Scandinavia


major seaports, high-speed trains to Sweden’s larger cities, and very good regional and local public transportation offer excellent conditions for doing business.

PHOTO: RICHARD RYAN

High value lifestyle… According to a recent international comparison1, Stockholm ranks as one of the top metropolitan cities for quality of life. Perhaps no wonder, since the Stockholm region combines a unique combination of big city excitement and the calm of nature. It’s safe and secure and one of the world’s cleanest cities.

sionally executed and memorable meetings, congresses and incentive trips. A high standard of service, flexibility and technology pervades throughout Stockholm and the city is perfectly geared for handling meetings of all sizes. How many destinations can offer 6.000 hotel rooms within a ten-minute walk of the central station? A further 5.000 hotel rooms are available within a short (10 minute) public transport hop and a total of 25.000 in the greater Stockholm area.3

…at very affordable prices One of the few things that haven’t been on the up for Stockholm and Sweden over the past decade is the local currency, the Swedish crown. A weak crown makes Stockholm a place where most things are reasonably priced. In a recent cost of living survey 2, Stockholm didn’t even make it onto the list of the top 50 most expensive cities in the world.

An ever-increasing capacity for large meetings Stockholm International Fairs – the largest conference venue in Northern Europe, with a capacity for meetings with up to 25.000 participants, are expanding their venues even further. A new addition to their current premises will open in October 2009, and will offer a further 10.000 square meters, taking the total available area for events to an incredible 70.000 square meters.

A leading international meeting destination The number of visitors to Stockholm is increasing every year and Stockholm is fast becoming the top-of-mind name when it comes to well organised, profes-

Furthermore, a totally new venue – the Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre – will open its doors in February 2011. When finished, the new hotel and congress centre will be able to accommodate 3.000 delegates in the auditorium as

well as provide banquet facilities for 2.000 guests – all at the very heart of the capital. The congress facility off 13.700 square meters with its spectacular design and shimmering rooftop will be a unique venue, placing Stockholm among the select group of cities around the world offering congress facilities of this magnitude. 1, 2) Mercer Human Resource Consulting, 2009 3) a further 1500 new hotel rooms will be ready before the end of 2010.

The first European Green Capital Stockholm will be the first city to be awarded the European Green Capital in 2010 – a clear recognition of the fact that the environment is continuing to be a top priority for Stockholm.

PHOTO: WHITE ARKITEKTER AB/JARL ASSET MANAGEMENT AB

When the Stockholm Waterfront is completed in 2011, Stockholm will receive a new and exciting congress hall, accommodating up to 3.000 delegates.

Stockholm Visitors Board 3

For more information, send us a mail or give us a call! Stockholm Visitors Board Meetings & Conventions Phone: +46 8 508 28 500 congress@svb.stockholm.se meet@svb.stockholm.se www.congresstockholm.se

6/7/10 06:52:10


montenegro

MONTENEGRO This small country on the Adriatic, which has been investing heavily in its infrastructure, offers first-rate hotels and technical knowhow, and lures the visitor with its rich culture.

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montenegro

W

ith an area of just 13,812 km2, this country also offers its guests many ways to enjoy an active vacation – biking through olive groves, rafting on the River Tara, sailing in the Bay of Kotor, or hiking in the mountains. During the months of May and June, visitors may well be able to go skiing in the mountains and to enjoy the sun and the sea on the beach on the same day.

Montenegro’s Destination Management Companies (DMCs) offer creative incentives and events as well as congresses in this new meeting destination. Groups and companies get the best information and support for their travel planning and programmes. These DMCs include Adriatic Express, Astakos, Black Mountain, Boka Bay Travel, Congress Travel, Gorbis, Luminalis, Miross, Montenegro Adventures, MN Holidays, and Talas M.

• The coastal region, including the Budva Riviera and the cities of Bar and Kotor, where large new and renovated four- and five-star hotels can cater for events involving more than 700 participants (for example, Hotel Splendid Conference and Spa Resort, Hotel Maestral, Hotel Mediteran, The Queen of Montenegro Hotel, Hotel Princess Bar, Hotel Avala Resort and Villas, Hotel Vardar, and many more).

Meeting travelers increasingly expect an extraordinary experience – and Montenegro offers just that: a tremendous diversity of natural beauty and a rich cultural history, all in one small area.

Massive investment in hotel development and infrastructure is making Montenegro the destination of choice for discerning clients who seek a new European destination. The development of international-standard meeting facilities is a priority. In particular, meeting facilities have been expanded in:

Over the next ten years, around €6 billion has been budgeted for the development of major projects in the regions of Orascom Lustica, Velika Plaza and Ada Bojana. The latest project announcement is that of the Egyptian-based company Orascom’s 99-year lease for the Luštica Peninsula, located between Tivat and Budva. Orascom will be investing around €1.1 billion and plans to construct a new tourist resort. Within the next 12 years, there will be eight hotels with 3,300 rooms, 700 villas and 600 apartments. There will also be golf courses, a marina, bars, restaurants and a school with a clinic. The first stage of the project is scheduled to be completed within four years.

The topography of Montenegro ranges from dramatic coastline, to magnificent mountain ranges, to the world’s second deepest canyon (after the Grand Canyon) and, incredibly, the only fjord in the Mediterranean. It is also home to cultural and heritage sites listed by UNESCO. In fact, Montenegro is an ecological state that is committed to preserving its wild beauty. Five fantastically diverse national parks invite you to enjoy nature-based activity programmes. In winter too, Montenegro’s wild beauty lures incentive guests with suitable offers. For example, organized skiing tours guarantee both fun and an immensely motivating experience for participants.

• The mountain region, where Kolašin’s Hotel Bianca Resort & Spa can accommodate small to medium-sized groups of up to 70 delegates and cater for various nature-based side activities during the summer and winter. • The modernized Hotel Podgorica in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, offers modern conference facilities with several conference rooms that can host a maximum of 120 participants, with more meetings rooms that can host up to 45 delegates.

The exclusive hotel operator Aman Resorts has signed a 30-year management contract for the Villa Milocer – the former king’s summer themicereport | 89

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montenegro

residence – which opened in December 2008. The eight spacious suites combine elegance with state-of-the-art facilities. Villa Milocer is part of the new ‘Montenegro-Resorts’ by Aman Resorts, to which both the Queen’s Beach Hotel and the neighbouring island of Sveti Stefan (due to open in May 2010) will belong. One of Europe’s most luxurious marinas – Porto Montenegro - is currently under construction in the bay of Tivat. Total investment in the project is estimated to be €400 million and is chiefly financed by Peter Munk, one of Canada’s most successful businessmen. The modern marina will offer 800 anchorages and a comprehensive infrastructure. There will also be a golf course, a residential area and a business complex with the first Four Seasons Hotel in Montenegro. Other developments are planned to increase the growth of the MICE market, with international chains such as Hilton and Marriott currently in discussions to open hotels in the capital Podgorica, which will also open up the potential for city and shopping breaks. In February 2009, the prestigious hotel chain Kempinski signed a contact to open their first hotel in Montengro in the Budva region.

At the borders of the national parks, there are plans to develop traditionally designed, environmentally friendly ‘Wild Beauty Resorts’. Outside the national parks, innovative, natureintegrated holiday villages are also planned. The focus will be on the preservation of tradition, culture and nature and the new projects will combine traditional architecture with energy efficiency and present-day conveniences, aimed

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Holland, surprisingly refreshing! Hollandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well-organised public transport offers great accessibility. Visit us at: www.holland.com/meetings

Our public transport. A Fresh Dutch View on sustainability Superbus is a creation of Hollandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first astronaut, Prof. Wubbo Ockels. Ockels has a distinct passion for sustainability. Superbus is an electric vehicle offering hi-speed public transport without any direct CO2 and NO2 emissions. www.superbus.tudelft.nl

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montenegro

at finding a symbiosis between the inhabitants’ requirements and those of the tourism industry. Another advantage is Montenegro’s geographic location; a direct flight from central Europe takes only two hours. In addition to the two airports Podgorica and Tivat, a third attractive flight destination for airline tourists visiting Montenegro is nearby Dubrovnik in neighbouring Croatia. Montenegro can be reached from this airport within 30 minutes after arrival. Montenegro Airlines has flights to Tivat and Podgorica from major European cities all year round. Growing quality and efficiency, as well as high levels of service and facilities, are the success factors that make the land of wild beauty a MICE destination well worth the joy of discovery. Montenegro is Europe’s last secret MICE destination - now being unveiled! u Your contact in Montenegro: Montenegro Convention Bureau, Rimski trg 47, 81000 Podgorica, Montenegro Tel:+382 (0)20 235 157, Fax: +382 (0)20 235 159, E-mail: mice@montenegro.travel, www.montenegro.travel

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Ghana The Land of Sunshine

© Aprescindere | Dreamstime.com

An equatorial paradise of white sandy beaches, forested plateaus, and eco-friendly nature reserves teeming with Africa’s finest wildlife – Peter Morrin explores the tropical delights of Ghana.

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estling on the Gulf of Guinea just a few degrees north of the equator, Ghana is a stunning beach idyll that basks as much in the tropical sun as in its international reputation as one of the most welcoming nations in Africa. Known in colonial times as The Gold Coast, the country is among the most stable and prosperous in the region, owing much of its success to the wealth of natural resources and its role as a world-leading producer of gold. With a rich historical heritage, a vibrant culture and vast wildlife reserves, Ghana is a preeminent hotspot for MICE clients in search of an African adventure.

As an exotic incentive or corporate reward to staff and VIPs, Ghana offers more than 500km of pristine palm-lined, white sandy beaches and coastal resorts on which to eat, drink and sunbathe beside the Atlantic Ocean. For those who like to mix relaxation with recreational activities, many of the resorts, such as Bojo Beach near the capital, Accra, and Ada Foah 100kms further east, present visitors with a wide selection of water-sports– including fishing, diving, yachting and waterskiing. The unsurpassed beauty of the countryside further inland is a nature-lover’s dream, as Ghana is pioneer of community-based ecotourism.

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ghana Balancing the needs of local communities and conservationists with that of the tourism industry, Ghana now enjoys 16 spectacular national parks and conservation areas that span savannahs, tropical forests and wildlife reserves. Visitors to the Boabent-Fiem Monkey Sanctuary in the midlands, for example, will experience troops of black-and-white colobus monkeys in their protected homeland. Ghana’s largest nature reserve, the Mole National Park, offers intrepid travellers a thrilling encounter with wild African mammals, such as elephants, hippos, baboons, lions and leopards. The greatest concentration of community-based ecotourism sites abound beside Lake Volta – the largest artificial lake in the world – where outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy opportunities for hiking, rambling and mountain-biking through the most diverse and enchanting terrain in the region. At one time or another, all visitors to the country are sure to encounter the vibrant capital of the Land of Sunshine: Accra. Enriched by the cultures of the various peoples that settled the area, Accra is a model multicultural capital where the marketplaces bustle with the music, dance, cuisines and colourful costumes of the Ashanti, the Fante, the Akyem and other Ghanaian tribes. The traditional coexists with the contemporary, as Accra is a rapidly modernising capital with the latest facilities to serve the most exacting MICE needs. For conference facilities close to Kotoka International Airport, the lavish Holiday Inn at the airport presents exceptional meeting facilities, including 168 guestrooms (starting at around €200 per night), ancillary equipment in each of the five meeting rooms and catered receptions for up to 450 delegates. Similarly, the luxurious African Regent Hotel is situated close to the airport and stands as a monument to Ghana’s blend of bold contemporary design and traditional African décor. Offering a 150-seat conference theatre and banqueting hall, the Regent Hotel also provides exclusive terraces with spectacular views of Accra’s skyline for al fresco events. With 109 suites, prices at the African Regent Hotel begin at around €150 per night. The exclusive M Plaza Hotel is centrally situated close to Kotoka Airport, and is one of the capital’s prime locations for hosting first-class events. With 100 luxurious guestrooms (prices begin at around €130 per night), balconies with writing desks, direct internet access, swimming pools and sophisticated cocktail bars, the M Plaza is a favourite for diplomats and heads of state. The conference facilities include three halls that can hold up to 250 guests, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, and a classic banqueting hall.

Also conveniently close to Kotoka Airport is the beautiful Golden Tulip Hotel, a first-class business hotel with 238 suites, and five modern meeting rooms that can hold up to 300 delegates. The professional conference team at the Golden Tulip are proficient at planning and delivering the perfect event. These can include sightseeing tours to the nearby Golden Jubilee House, the impressive ultramodern presidential palace that towers above the cityscape – or the National Museum of Ghana, which displays a stunning collection of African archaeological treasures dating back to the Stone Age. Overlooking the shores of the Atlantic, La Palm Royal Beach Hotel sits as a self-contained deluxe village within 30 acres of landscaped gardens and includes eight bars and restaurants, a shopping mall, casino, swimming pool, spa and sauna. As a city-centre coastal resort, the hotel offers extensive facilities for conferences in the heart

of the capital, as well as an ideal tropical beach incentive to reward staff and their families. Further eastwards along the coast, the Labadi Beach Hotel caters for meetings and incentive travellers alike by blending swimming pools, tennis courts and idyllic tropical gardens overlooking the ocean with a choice of conferencing facilities that can host up to 180 delegates. With more than 100 spacious guestrooms and executive suites, prices at the Labadi begin from around €230 per night. Travelling to Accra is becoming surprisingly straightforward, with British Airways already flying direct from London Gatwick to Kotoka International Airport in Accra. Now that Virgin Atlantic has announced plans for scheduled flights from London Heathrow, and Brussels Airlines are to charter direct flights from Europe to Kotoka Airport, accessing the Land of Sunshine has never been easier. u themicereport | 95

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ACC R A A I R P O R T

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houston

WELCOMES INTERNATIONAL MEETINGS Houston is a cultural melting pot – home to a vibrant arts scene, thriving ethnic neighborhoods and NASA’s Johnson Space Center. It is also home to the world’s largest concentration of medical professionals, world’s largest rodeo and nationally acclaimed restaurants and shopping. With 56,405 acres of total park space, Houston rates first among the nation’s 10 most populous cities in total acreage of park land.

T

he Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) recently entered the arena of international meetings, incentives, conventions and events armed with a vast and modern infrastructure and utilizing the years of expertise from their international sales team. With over 60,000 hotel rooms and two major convention centres, Houston has not only the facilities, but the experience, services and a diverse international community to welcome groups from abroad. Furthermore, convention attendees can in most cases find a direct flight or a one-stop flight to Houston from practically any major city in the world. Jorge Franz, Vice President of Tourism and International Sales, stated: “I’m pleased with the new direction that the GHCVB has taken. Houston is definitely ready to handle this challenge and our team has partnered with other Houston entities in order to offer the best available convention package”. Other entities include the Greater Houston Partnership and the Houston Airport System which work in harmony so that conventions and meetings can have a smooth and profitable experience in Houston

INTERNATIONAL CITY Most people relate Houston with NASA and with Texas and cowboy life. And Houston is indeed home to the NASA Johnson Space Center and to the largest rodeo in the world, the annual Houston Livestock Show in Rodeo; however Houston has become a cosmopolitan city of the 21st Century. Houston boasts a rich cultural life with a 17-museum district and professional performing arts groups, international cuisine, professional sports, outdoor green areas and world-class shopping. Founded in 1836, Houston is a fairly young city that has come a long way thanks to the vision of its leaders. The greater Houston area, with a population of 5.2 million, is home to 92 consulate offices, the third largest concentration in the nation trailing New York and Los Angeles. Houston is also a major corporate centre. Numerous multinationals maintain operations in Houston and 29 companies listed in the 2009 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here. FACILITIES The George R. Brown Convention Center and Reliant Park are the two main convention facilities in the city, both with easy access by METRORail.

Reliant Centre

The downtown location of the George R. Brown (GRB) offers convention attendees a pedestrianfriendly experience from what is now one of the largest convention facilities in the United States. 1.8 million square feet (167,225 m2) of meeting, exhibition and registration space are housed in the red, white and blue GRB facility, which is flanked by Toyota Center and the Hilton Americas-

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houston

George R. Brown Convention Center

Houston 1,200-room convention hotel and has Discovery Green Park as its front yard. Ranked among the nation’s 10 largest convention centres, GRB is perfectly positioned in the centre of a lively sports, dining, entertainment and nightlife destination, all in walking distance. The GRB is 100% powered by green energy and offers many “green” initiatives for environmental and social sustainability. A 100-kilowatt solar panel system sits atop the 16-acre roof of the building, which is one of the largest installations in the region and

Livestock Show and RodeoTM, Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Final Four in 2011. With 1.6 million square feet (148,644 m2) of total meeting/exhibit space, Reliant Park is the largest, most versatile sports, entertainment, consumer-show and convention/trade show complex in the United States. Reliant Park offers all the capacity and flexibility to accommodate every aspect of any convention. The 71,500seat Reliant Stadium boasts a retractable roof, and a natural grass stadium that can be configured for general sessions, catered functions, exhibits, concerts and much more. Both Reliant Stadium and Reliant Center have state of the art technology to handle audio visual needs. Reliant Park is connected by METRORail to the Museum District, Texas Medical Center and Downtown. UNIQUE EVENT FACILITIES AND INCENTIVES For smaller meetings and unique events, venues such as the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Space Center Houston, Texas Ranch Life and The Cowboy Solution provide the space, meeting services and environment for an experience to remember.

the start of a “green” roof vision and master plan for the building. Reliant Park complex includes four major facilities: Reliant Stadium, Reliant Center, Reliant Astrodome and Reliant Arena in an extensive area of 350 acres. Home to the National Football League’s (NFL) Houston Texans, the Houston

CONVENTION SERVICES International offices of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau are strategically located in Mexico City, Toronto, Caracas (for Latin America), Hannover (for Europe, Russia and Middle East) and in Taipei (for Asia). The international reps are ready to assist in planning your next meeting in Houston. From the initial request for proposal to setting up site visits, the Houston staff will work with you to ensure that your meeting is a success.

LEISURE ACTIVITIES Located in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center is Discovery Green, Houston’s new 12-acre urban park, with two restaurants, a lake, water fountains and year-round arts programming. Within walking distance is the new Houston Pavilions, home of House of Blues, Lucky Strike Bowling Lanes and a variety of fine dining options, shopping and live-entertainment. Meeting planners can stretch their entertainment budget with a Houston CityPass. $39 USD per CityPass provides admission to the top six attractions in Houston. CityPass attractions are: Space Center Houston, Downtown Aquarium, Houston Museum of Natural Science and Houston Zoo, plus two to chose from either the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, or the Children’s Museum and Museum of Health, or the George Ranch Historical Park. CONNECTIVITY Travelling to Houston has never been easier. Houston Airport System is the 6th largest multiairport system in the world. Houston’s major airport, Bush Intercontinental Airport, ranks third among U.S. airports for nonstop destinations, serving 43+ million passengers annually and approximately 110 domestic and 68 international destinations. The new US$440 million Terminal E and Federal Inspection Services (FIS) with 84 primary inspection booths can process more than 4,500 passengers per hour. Houston’s team of international experienced professionals is ready to assist in making your meeting a success.

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medical tourism

MEDICAL

+

© Mehmet Salih Guler | istockphoto.com

The number of patients travelling abroad for cheap and fast healthcare has become a worldwide phenomenon in the past few years. Ed Carpenter investigates the advantages of the global healthcare industry for the business executive.

he pursuit of a fast-paced globetrotting career presents many benefits for professional business travellers, from the allure of exploring international locations to attendance at exclusive events in spectacular venues. However, the pressures of international travel can carry a cost higher than that which can be reclaimed on expenses. All executives recognise the need to be presentable and perform at the highest levels despite gruelling travel schedules, and yet the demands of business travel are not always conducive to a fit and healthy lifestyle. It may come as no surprise, therefore, that the rise of the MICE industry has been accompanied by a corresponding expansion in medical tourism. Defined as travel to another country for a medical procedure, medical tourism – or ‘global healthcare’ – has grown rapidly in recent years as more people are opting for quicker medical or cosmetic treatment abroad at reduced prices. One of the industry’s leading websites, www. treatmentabroad.com, states that the number of international medical tourists runs into the millions each year, with most clients travelling from the US, UK and Europe for clinical treatment in India, Thailand and Malaysia. From the UK alone, the Department of Health estimates that more than 50,000 people travelled abroad for healthcare in 2005, whereas Treatment Abroad suggests this may have risen to 200,000 in 2010. The vast majority of medical tourists travel abroad for ‘elective’ – or non-urgent – treatment, with Treatment Abroad estimating that around 43 percent of global healthcare patients travel for corrective dental care and 29 percent for cosmetic surgery. The advantage of accessing cheaper private treatment abroad without the hindrance of waiting lists is increasingly attractive for business travellers on the go

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medical tourism Staff incentives are progressively more likely to include global healthcare packages – with the added dividend that companies benefit from a healthier member of staff on return. Furthermore, the relatively inexpensive treatment on offer ensures that corporate bonuses stretch much further when spent on foreign treatment. “One dental implant and crown in the UK can cost £3,500,” says Keith Pollard, Director of Treatment Abroad. “In Budapest, the same implant and crown can be obtained for around £1,000 or less. Many clinics and medical tourism companies are now offering an all-in package embracing all procedures, travel and accommodation costs that may offer additional savings.” In their latest PriceWatch survey, Keith Pollard also suggests that medical tourists can easily save 50 percent of surgery costs by travelling abroad for treatment, followed by an all-inclusive recuperative holiday in an exotic location. The additional benefit of combining a relaxing vacation with therapy is particularly crucial for patients seeking to conceive through invitro fertilisation treatment. The Barbados Fertility Centre, for example, provides high quality personalised IVF treatment to patients from around the world, and recognises that stress can have a hugely negative impact on both fertility and IVF success. The provision of an anxiety-free holiday experience in the Caribbean whilst receiving treatment increases the likelihood of conception, particularly for those who have been immersed in stressful professions for many years and unable to start a family. Relaxing vacations are also recommended for clients who have undergone extensive surgery abroad, and the British Medical Association advises health tourists to consider the risks of travelling home too soon after treatment. Catching a long haul flight after a serious surgical operation can increase the risk of complications, such as swelling, blood clots and infections, and therefore patients are recommended to allow plenty of time to recover in the country where the medical procedure is completed.

© Günay Mutlu | istockphoto.com

Although research conducted by Treatment Abroad suggests that 90 percent of health tourists are “very” or “completely satisfied” with their experiences, it is still worth remembering that the quality of treatment abroad varies and patients may not have legal recourse to seek recompense resulting from negligence or malpractice. There are no international regulations governing global healthcare providers, although medical tourists can check whether their chosen clinic is registered with a recognised accreditation body, such as the Joint Commission International (JCI) or the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). As medical tourism grows ever more popular, the advice from the British Medical Association is for prospective patients to conduct extensive research on the quality, hygiene and follow-up care of the clinic beforehand. Internet enquiries can reveal testimonials from previous patients, and confirm whether the clinic’s doctors are registered with a particular country’s Medical Council. Treatment Abroad offers information about insurance and legal issues, and now provides a Code of Practice to reassure patients that their registered clinics adhere to a standard of best practice.

+ From the UK alone, the Department of Health estimates that more than 50,000 people travelled abroad for healthcare in 2005, whereas Treatment Abroad suggests this may have risen to 200,000 in 2010.

Provided that sensible care is taken to ensure the quality of treatment at a health centre abroad, the time- and cost-saving benefits of medical tourism can be an added bonus for active business travellers in need of a clinical indulgence. ◆ themicereport | 103

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WIN! Michelin Green Guides for France and Great Britain

To win a pair of Michelin Green Guides for Great Britain and France please answer the following question: In which famous city can you find the Galerie Véro-Dodat? a) Berlin • b) Moscow • c) Paris Please find the competition entry form at www.themicereport.com Closing date for competition is 31st August 2010

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Get the brilliance you deserve Dentistry is fast-moving and more accessible and helpful than ever before with the provision of treatment in the UK and abroad – and smart technology and innovation that enables improvement for everyone. The dazzling smile has become a holy grail - with modern dentistry possessing a unique position bridging the medically essential and the cosmetic. And with innovation and research moving forward daily, healthy, attractive teeth are more accessible than ever – regardless of age, says Dr Bela Batorfi, a dental surgeon based in London and Budapest. Implantation, Dr Batorfi points out, is now suitable for almost everyone and frequently has a lifechanging impact. Furthermore, the latest developments make them greatly accessible. Where additional surgical procedures are required for insertion into the bone to gain better stability, such as sinus lift surgery or bone augmentation (where synthetic bone grafting material is used), techniques and recovery are also now vastly improved. For instance, in those who have been wearing dentures for a long time and in whom bone has receded but who nevertheless would like a fixed solution with dental implants, bone block surgery can be employed, where bone can be taken from the patient’s own chin or their hip. This provides hope particularly for those who have previously been rejected for dental implant procedures, says Dr Batorfi – and six months after the bone replacement it is possible to provide dental implants and crown or bridgework on top of the implants.

The rise in impressive improvements in dentistry has meant that cosmetic dentistry is far more accessible and more effective than previously. Dr Batorfi highlights the importance of the quality of raw materials – from the best and most aesthetically-pleasing crown and bridge materials to the methods of tooth whitening, such as Zoom. He points to the crucial role now played by computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacture (known as CAD/CAM) technology in the dental laboratory, where crowns and bridges are now perfected by computerized image and tailored by design to patients’ own smiles using photos made prior to starting the treatment, ensuring an attractive but naturalistic effect. The choice is wider than ever before, empowering patients to make the most of their budget and maximize the results - patients can choose from the latest technology such as zirconium, full porcelain crowns such as those by Procera and as well as the now regularly found porcelain-fused metal crown/bridge. Tooth whitening is always advised before the prosthetic works to match the color of the whitened teeth to the crowns/bridges. Dr Batorfi’s aim is the provision high-quality dental care at an accessible price, achieved by combining consultation in London with operations and procedures in Budapest, Hungary if a patient wishes – a combination that typically offers a saving of up Batorfi Dental Implant Clinic Budapest: Kenéz u. 36., Budapest H-1161 to 70 % of the cost of a treatment London: 8F Gilbert Place, London WC1A 2JD and consultation conducted in the Call us free from the UK: 0800 862 0398 UK alone. International: +36-30-968-4585

contact@batorfi-dentistry.co.uk

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medical tourism

Beauty

abroad The main advantage of Medical Tourism is the fact that it combines holidays with healthcare in a foreign country, often at a lower cost than the patient’s country of residence.

who is pantheon beauty? Pantheon Beauty is a joint venture of a team of doctors, entrepreneurs, psychologists, web designers, travel agents and patients who have already received treatment. Together they aspired to develop and perfect the medical tourism services available to date. Our aim is to provide proper help, advice, guidance and assistance to all of you who are interested in having an operation away from your country of residence. Realizing how difficult it is for someone to organize a trip to a foreign country and select with confidence the right doctors, who would perform the surgery and achieve the best results, we have been working towards finding solutions that would make your operation as easy and safe as possible. We have secured accredited hospitals with trained and experienced doctors in foreign countries, as well as comprehensive travel and

health packages, including medical and travel insurance, at a reasonable price. The Services Pantheon Beauty offers comprehensive packages for Beauty and Health services in Greece and Bulgaria, with accommodation in four- and five-star hotels, and sightseeing tours of the most important sights in each city. The Pantheon Beauty Personnel undertake all responsibility for arranging all the services and the requests that the clients ask for. The collaborating institutes and the travel agents adhere to the legal framework of the European Union, ensuring full insurance cover and excellent results. The accommodation, sightseeing tours and entertainment of clients and the people accompanying them, as well as their travel insurance, are organized by the travel agent working with Pantheon Beauty.

About Medical Tourism in Greece & Bulgaria Medical Tourism is a practice that combines tourism with healthcare services. Over 50 countries have acknowledged Medical Tourism as a national industry. This industry has developed rapidly over the last few years. The concept of Medical Tourism has nowadays started to be accepted by the public and the medical community of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as a real solution to the high cost of healthcare in those countries. For patients without healthcare insurance, Medical Tourism offers an attractive alternative to the increasing cost of healthcare. Apart from that, Medical Tourism also serves those patients who seek better medical services than those offered in their own country, and those who prefer discretion. Although it is a pioneering concept, it is not something new. The ancient Greeks used to travel long distances to take advantage of the therapeutic properties of the soil, the hot spas and so on, and to meet the famous healers of the time. Moreover, sanctuaries and places of therapeutic restoration and mental rejuvenation, such as the Temple of Asclepius, used to offer their services and receive patients from faraway places. The main advantage of Medical Tourism is the fact that it combines holidays with healthcare in a foreign country, often at a lower cost than the patient’s country of residence. A recent survey on Medical Tourism revealed that by 2017, more than 16 million Americans will have traveled abroad, and mainly to Europe, for comprehensive medical care. Furthermore, according to The Economist, 150,000 Americans crossed their borders in 2007 in search of cheap and quality healthcare services. The medical services offered rarely deal with emergency procedures, while more often they involve treatment of a chronic ailment (cardiothoracic surgery, hip arthroplasty, etc). The most frequent cases, though, involve cosmetic or dental procedures. However, the accreditation, legislation, safety, insurance and the quality of the medical services offered vary widely around the world. Doctors’ Hospital in Greece The Doctors’ Hospital general clinic was established in the centre of Athens with the aim of providing top-quality health services, taking full advantage of the state-of-the-art medical technology.

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medical tourism

It boasts fully renovated, luxurious rooms, with a capacity of 96 beds, and covers a wide area of diagnostic, research and treatment facilities, specializing in the surgical treatment of obesity and cosmetic surgeries. The rooms and common areas are decorated with authentic works of art, while all the rooms have the latest technology wooden beds with remote controls. Other facilities available to patients include phones, fridges, TVs, internet access and headsets. Therefore, accommodation resembles that of an exclusive five-star hotel. The clinic has a sophisticated intensive care unit and state-of-the-art surgical rooms, with fully-trained medical and nursing personnel. It also has fully-equipped labs, which keep increasing in number. The latest top-quality addition to the equipment is the Da Vinci robotic surgery system (one out of the five operating in Greece), which has assisted in performing the most advanced surgical techniques. Medline Clinic in Bulgaria Medline Clinic is a newly-built general hospital, established by Greek and Bulgarian doctors in the second-largest city of Bulgaria, Plovdiv, in 2004. The hospital boasts state-of-theart equipment, as well as fully-trained and accredited personnel, ready to offer the

best possible healthcare and plastic surgery services. It has five fully-equipped surgical rooms, 35 luxurious one- or two-bed rooms and a four-bed intensive care unit. Moreover, the hospital fulfills all the prerequisites necessary for running a modern hospital, in accordance with the EU regulations.u

Procedures

www.pantheonbeauty.com

• Breast Augmentation • Breast Lift • Breast Reduction • Breast Reconstruction (TRAM Flap) • Gynecomastia • Otoplasty • Blepharoplasty • Liposuction • Hair Transplantation • Reconstructive Surgery • Rhinoplasty • Face lift • Abdominoplasty – Tummy Tuck • Brachioplasty – Arm Lift • Thigh Lift • Buttock Enlargment • Buttock Lift • Free Flap • Gastric Band • Gastric Sleeve • Gastric Bypass themicereport | 107

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FROM

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SLOVAKIA

WITH LOVE

Seated among the ancient mountain ranges of central Europe is one of the continent’s best kept beauty secrets. Cliff James explores Slovakia – an immaculate terrain for adventurous tourists and a hidden treasure for MICE organisers.

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ormed in 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of the former communist Czechoslovakia, the modern Slovak Republic has a rich and heroic history, replete with mediaeval battles and imperial sagas. This illustrious past is still written across the landscape by the presence of fairytale castles, restored palaces and picturesque ruins. Partly because of its famed hospitality and partly because of its location in the centre of the continent, Slovakia is known as the Hearth of Europe – a homely epithet that hints at the warm welcome awaiting modern-day MICE visitors. Formerly at the core of the Great Moravian Empire, and then a dominant territory in the Kingdom of Hungary which lasted for more than a thousand years, Slovakia has managed to retain something of both its imperial splendour and its rustic charm. Modern visitors to this central European land can explore the sublime terrain where armies of Celts, Romans, Huns, Slavs, Franks and

hikes among the mountain ranges, waterfalls and caves can be arranged with tour operators during any season of the year, including trips to the country’s most beautiful and highly symbolic mountain, Krivá . In addition, the northern High Tatra peaks are an ideal skiing destination for MICE delegates who enjoy combining business events with sporting activities. The remarkable mountainous landscape is complemented by vast scenic lakes, such as the Great Hincovo Lake in the High Tatra range, where delegates can take advantage of an inspiring day tour to reflect on their business event. For those who prefer to test their mettle in a team-building challenge, white water rafting excursions are widely available on numerous rivers, including the Orava, Bela, Vah or Dunajec.

Magyars once marched. The Slovak landscape is distinguished for its mountainous peaks and lush green valleys, with the Carpathian Mountains stretching across most of the north of the country. Recreational and advanced

A high-altitude terrain shaped by glacial activity, it is no surprise that Slovakia is exceptionally rich in mineral and thermal water springs – designating it a perfect incentive destination for employees who deserve to recharge their batteries. Many springs have been developed

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slovakia

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over centuries into health spas that offer curative treatments, relaxation and wellness services. The most popular spa resorts are situated in Salvator, Slatina, Rajec, Miticka, Fatra and Piešt’any – the biggest and most renowned spa resort in the country, with a developed complex of hotels and MICE facilities. The capital of this dramatic country, Bratislava, is as spectacular as the landscape, and has a history that goes back more than two thousand years. With a skyline characterised by quaint mediaeval towers, gothic spires and grandiose palaces, the city is an exquisite dream for conference delegates who love to lose themselves in history. Recommended tours for any visitor to the city include the turreted Bratislava Castle, which rises on a hill overlooking the River Danube and was the seat of the royal Habsburg Dynasty, and the 13th century gothic Cathedral of St Martin, formerly the coronation church of the Kingdom of Hungary. The Old Town provides a rich concentration of historical sites for conference delegates to explore, such as the 14th century Town Hall, the remains of the mediaeval fortifications and the City Museum. An array of must-see baroque palaces dominate the historic centre, including the 18th century Primate’s Palace, the Archiepiscopal Palace, and the Grassalkovich Palace – now the official residence of the Slovak president. As a fascinating backdrop for international events, Bratislava also offers a variety of firstrate MICE venues and facilities. Close to the Old Town, the five-star Bratislava Sheraton Hotel offers eight conference rooms, complete business services and a superior range of classic, deluxe, club and executive suites overlooking the River Danube. The recently

Partly because of its famed hospitality and partly because of its location in the centre of the continent, Slovakia is known as the Hearth of Europe opened Kempinski River Park Hotel also possesses spectacular views of the river and offers the very latest meeting technology – including translation cabins – in a variety of stylish conference suites. The art nouveau Tulip House Hotel provides spacious penthouse, executive and luxury suites, a Business Lounge with the capacity for 60 guests, and the Kaviareň Café – a chic dining area that, when connected to the Rhapsody Restaurant, can accommodate up to 270 guests. Also in the historic city centre, the Crowne Plaza is just minutes from Bratislava Airport, and offers 224 stylish rooms and 15 suites with free high-speed internet access and the latest business technology equipment in 14 modern meeting rooms.

Situated in the very heart of the continent, Slovakia’s capital is predictably easy to reach from most European destinations. As the only national capital to border two independent countries, Bratislava is just 60km from Vienna and is well connected by rail, road and air services to its EU partners. As a MICE experience, Slovakia is an exhilarating opportunity not to be missed. u themicereport | 109

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advertising feature

CROWNE PLAZA BRATISLAVA catch up on some work, no effort has been spared to ensure that all the required facilities are close at hand.

T

he Crowne Plaza Hotel Bratislava is a wellestablished property, centrally located on the edge of the Old Town and opposite the Presidential Palace. The Crowne Plaza Bratislava takes pride in representing the young, upcoming city of Bratislava, and is located only 35 minutes from Vienna Airport and just minutes away from Bratislava Airport. The 224 refurbished guest rooms, including 15 suites, boast every comfort and guarantee an unforgettable visit. All rooms and suites are fully equipped with the latest technology and free high-speed internet access. The Crowne Plaza Bratislava offers you superb facilities that combine the benefits of an exclusive club with the all-round hospitality of a deluxe business hotel. The Club Floor can be found on the top floor of the hotel. The Club rooms and facilities are designed with comfort and relaxation in mind, but when it is time to

The Crowne Plaza has launched the Sleep Advantage programme with new beds and bed linen, and advice from Dr Chris Idzikowski – an expert on sleep and the Director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre. The hotel will do everything possible to make sure you get a good night’s sleep. In designated quiet zones, no housekeeping or engineering activities are carried out from 9pm to 10am. The hotel guarantees a wake-up call within five minutes of your requested time, or your room is free. The hotel also offers This Works aromatherapy essential oils. These include a roll-on Breathe In product made with frankincense and eucalyptus, and a Deep Calm pillow spray with lavender and camomile. Dining at the Crowne Plaza Bratislava is an unforgettable experience. Try the Euro-Asian specialities in the restaurant Fusion or have coffee with a delicious dessert at the Plaza Bar. The Fusion restaurant offers the most alluring medley of fresh aromatic meals from Malaysia, Thailand, India and China with a slight touch of European cuisine – all prepared for you right before your eyes at an open wok station by the world-renowned Chef Saravanan Gurusamy. Enjoy a quiet breakfast in the restaurant Magd A Lena and watch as the Old Town awakens around you – or have a great Sunday brunch with a delicious variety of breakfast and lunch menu items.

The lobby area and Plaza Bar are always busy with people chatting and light streaming through the large windows. For guests that like to explore something different, the hotel offers a wide range of hand-rolled cigars and a hand-picked selection of whiskey and cognac brands at the Cigar Lounge. The 18 event rooms hold more than 1,200 m2 of meeting space and are appropriate for every kind of meeting, conference or reception. The Crowne Plaza Bratislava is the perfect meeting place where hospitality and professionalism work side-by-side with contemporary standards and sophisticated technology. The meeting rooms offer many possibilities to organise events of any size and include a ballroom with the capacity for 350 people theatre-style. Most meeting rooms have daylight and can be connected and adjusted according to your preference. The Bratislava Boardroom has a unique concept: it is a large, panelled room with a circular boardroom table and traditional chairs. Besides the working area, there is also a chill-out area with comfortable chairs and coffee tables in the same room to ensure the meeting is self-contained. ◆

Crowne Plaza Bratislava, Hodzovo namestie 2 816 25 Bratislava, Slovakia tel: +421 2 5934 8111 • fax: +421 2 5443 3265 e-mail: btsha.reservations@ihg.com www.crowne-plaza.sk • www.ihg.com

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health spa piešt‘any

Slovakian Rhapsody MICE280x210 Z:Sestava 1

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Nestling within the heartland of Europe, the Meeting Health Spa Piešt'any offers a unique location for tranquil MICE events, while providing the finest relaxation facilitiesand for guests with its famous healing springs Ed Carpenter explores the Health soothing realms of a Slovakian idyll.

L

Combine your next

ocated in the naturally stunning Trnava Region of Slovakia, the Health Spa Piešt'any is on the doorstep of two of Europe’s ancient cities: a mere 80km away from Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, and 140km from the Austrian capital, Vienna. Renowned for its invigorating and nourishing environment, the Health Spa Piešt'any has a well-earned reputation for its healing thermal mineral water and sulphur mud.

meeting, conference around Piešt'any

offers an astonishing variety of from water-skiing, biking and unique treatments hiking to horse-riding and much more. or congress with the sport opportunities, of Health Spa Piešťany. Experience our thermal

Place for ideas The complete technically equipped Congress healing sulphurous mud. Room in the Social Centre offers a capacity of Choose from wide range 400 seats for a medium-sized MICE event, while of wellness and sport the Small Hall offers capacity of 100 seats. The activities within the Smallenvironment Saloon is suitable for more intimate events beautiful andIsland. can provide a comfortable meeting venue of Spa for up to 15 people. In addition to these facilities, congress rooms are also available in each of the Conference hotels in this visually striking region. package mineral water and

Working and feeling good The Congress Centre at Piešt'any is closely connected to a range of superior hotels, which enable congress participants to sample various relaxing treatments immediately after a meeting or event. Swimming pools are available in each of the hotels, and the nine-hole golf course, two full swing golf simulators and three tennis courts are situated nearby on the beautiful island. The area 112 | themicereport

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from 37 EUR.

The Congress Centre, for example, has the capacity to host 300 guests, while the Salon Tel.:+421 33 775 29 14 Venezia offers an excellent congress room for 45 konferencie@spapiestany.sk people in the Hotel Balnea Esplanade Palace, in the Balnea Splendid, the Green Saloon can host spapiestany.sk Your best experience in Slovakia

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MICE280x210 Z:Sestava 1

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Meeting and Health Combine your next meeting, conference or congress with the unique treatments of Health Spa Piešťany. Experience our thermal mineral water and healing sulphurous mud. Choose from wide range of wellness and sport activities within the beautiful environment of Spa Island.

Conference package from 37 EUR.

Tel.:+421 33 775 29 14 konferencie@spapiestany.sk

spapiestany.sk

Your best experience in Slovakia Health Spa Piestany Advert.indd 1

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health spa piešt‘any

Wurttemberg, Swedish Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerloff, Czechoslovakian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Masaryk, novelist Jaroslav Hasek (author of the famous Private Svejk novels), and the renowned painter and graphic designer Alphonse Mucha. events for up to 40 guests, and the intimate Blue Saloon offers the capacity for 20 delegates, as does the Orange Hall in Hotel Balnea Grand. Largely due to its remarkable natural location, and enhanced by the latest technical equipment, the town of Piešt'any is a key location for regular international congresses, conferences, seminars, trainings, workshops, presentations, company meetings and many other events. Wide range of accommodation As a result of its naturally occurring thermal mineral water, the expansive spa facilities in Piešt'any have developed to include numerous spa hotel complexes. These include the first five-star rated hotel in Slovakia, the Thermia Palace and Irma Health Spa, the four-star Balnea Esplanade Palace, the three-star Balnea Splendid and Balnea Grand, and the Pro Patria Hotel. Each of these charming venues is located in a beautiful spa park with everything under one roof, from physicians’ clinics to therapeutic pools, providing the highest quality of balneotherapy (bathing treatment) facilities. The Hotel Jalta

and its attractive annexes - Smaragd, Šumava, Riviera and the Garni Hotel Villa Berlin – are also part of this integrated spa complex. They are all located in the centre area of Piešt'any on the pedestrian zone, and only a few metres away from the Spa Island. The Health Spa Piešt'any and its various spa hotels have been incorporated into the Danubius Hotel Group in 2002. This renowned group of international hotels is the largest owner of spa facilities and wellness centres in Europe, with hotels in Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. VIP Guests Many famous personalities in European art, culture and politics have visited the Health Spa Piešt'any to enjoy this exceptional environment. The Spa is particularly notable for hosting a meeting of three emperors, when the last Austro-Hungarian Emperor Charles I met the German Emperor William II and the Bulgarian Tsar Ferdinand I. Other prominent guests to visit the Spa in the 20th century include Archduke Ferdinand of Tuscany, Princess Pauline von

In addition, numerous Indian maharajahs, Arabian shahs and many others from the international stage have come to relax in the thermal waters of this famous Spa Island. Most recently, the UN General Secretary - Ban Ki-moon – has enjoyed the qualities of this wholesome region, as have the presidents of Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic, highlighting the international attraction and superb facilities of the spectacular health spa in Piešt'any.

Slovak Health Spa Piešt'any Winterova 29 921 29 Piešt'any, SK Tel. : +421/33 775 2526 konferencie@spapiestany.sk www.spapiestany.sk

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The MICE REPORT - Issue 2  

Magazine aimed at Business & Leisure Industry

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