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MICE 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

£3.45 / €4.50

Vol 1 / No 1

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timeless style

charismatic Hotel Principe di Savoia

20124 Milano (I) Piazza della Repubblica 17 | t. +39 02 62305555 f. +39 02 653799 reservations@hotelprincipedisavoia.com | www.hotelprincipedisavoia.com

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editor’s letter

www.themicereport.com

Print Design & Production Phillip Wentworth design@raellen.com Advertising Sales James Stone Colin Gilmore-Smith Philip Joyce sales@raellen.com Publishing Director Julian Bonny Finance Director Andrew Lidstone accounts@raellen.com Subscriptions Manager Liam Bonny subscriptions@raellen.com 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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hat’s the age-old difference between a world-class commercial success story and a third-rate market tragedy? Solid research and business parables have always held that investments in internal meetings, conferences and events enhance brand value and improve performance. Team-building, training and motivational incentives give companies confidence and a competitive edge in the marketplace – and this is especially true during recessions, which always leave the boardroom giants standing head-and-shoulders above the rest. In this bumper issue of The MICE Report, we take an extensive look at the leading locations for events during the economic upturn, and reveal the top executive incentives, international settings and VAT tips for businesses with the imagination to manage change effectively. From the island paradises of Sicily, Cyprus, Malta, Tenerife and the Caribbean to the invigorating resorts of Iceland and Switzerland, The MICE Report explores the complete range of climatic hotspots to inspire creative strategies. We take a truly panoramic view across the continents to highlight the most fascinating destinations that combine history, beauty and ultra-modern amenities for the perfect business trip, from Tsarist magnificence in Russia, the exotic delights of Istanbul and Macau, to the post-modern cityscapes of Prague, Poland, Germany, France and Holland. With an investigation into the prime MICE destinations of 21st century Africa and a survey of the foremost hotel chains across the globe, The MICE Report is an indispensable guide for the international event manager who intends to turn an economic drama into a corporate coup.

Charles Vandeleur

MICE the

MICE the

report

Newsagents please contact W.E. Saarbach GmbH Tel +49 2233 799631

MEETINGS AND BUSINESS TRAVEL

report

Editor Charles Vandeleur editor@raellen.com

MEETINGS AND BUSINESS TRAVEL

VOL 1 / NO 1

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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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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MICE

report

the

MEETINGS AND BUSINESS TRAVEL

>> CEO INTERVIEW 08 Design HotelsTM Visionary founder Claus Sendlinger reveals the secrets of creative hospitality

>> FEATURES 14 WORLDHOTELS Unique hotels for unique people

21

Rixos Hotels Lending luxury to corporate conferencing

24

Fairmont Raffles Landmark locations for sophisticated travellers

27

Laico’s African Touch Cutting-edge settings for the definitive international event

30 Rocco Forte Collection Blending local charm with designer style

52

32

Business Travel & Meetings Show Joined up thinking - pushing MICE budgets further

39 Hilton Caribbean Making meetings magic the Caribbean has it all

71

Brilliant Barceló Inspirational backdrops to world-class events

>> AVIATION 45 MiGFlug Up, up and away - The ultimate high-speed incentive

121 Icelandair Exploring the unbounded possibilities of a unique MICE trip

>> EXPENSES 46 VAT - The Hidden Costs

100 86

Simplifying the system The new EU VAT directive

49 VATit Recovering VAT on global business travel

>> CRUISES 36 MSC Cruises State-of-the-art conferencing on luxury liners

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>> ACCESSORIES 42 World Connect Smart Swiss ideas for keeping connected

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contents

121

59

49 >> DESTINATION REPORTS 52

68 >> HOTEL REVIEWS 13

59 Malta and Gozo History, hospitality and versatility

62 Sicily The cultural crossroads of the Mediterranean

Lanchid 19 The spectacular lighthouse of the Danube

95 Kempinski Gravenbach Frankfurt Idyllic resort in the city of international trade fairs

107 Novotel Amsterdam Contemporary comfort from the Dutch masters

112 Badrutt’s Palace

68 Tenerife

Elegant events in the world’s conference capital

127 Hilton Evian-Les Bains Revitalising ideas in contemporary style

130 La Pinède & La Réserve Executive class conferencing on the Cte d’Azur

149 Savoy Moscow The five-star legend of Russian hospitality

151 Hilton Leningradskaya Moscow Stalin’s sister - a cultural landmark of Soviet chic

165 Four Seasons Prague 500 rich years of history and hospitality

109

Business bliss - the Island of Eternal Spring

74 78

Macau The flawless fusion of east and west

>> DESTINATION REPORTS

Germany

25

Top MICE hotspot in the heart of Europe

85 Dolce Munich

Elevated meetings in the magnificent Swiss Alps

114 Le Richemond

Cyprus Spoilt for choice in conference paradise

Uncovering the future: Munich’s unique event experience

86 Cologne A warm welcome in the carnival capital

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Accor Hotels 170 good reasons to choose Germany

96 Best Western From futuristic congress centres to romantic retreats

100 Holland Size doesn’t matter - MICE with clogs on

109 Switzerland Engadin St Moritz - visionary thinking in the Alps

116 Iceland Inspiring ideas in the Land of Fire and Ice

France Rediscovering the capital of creativity

132 Grimaldi Monaco Forum Rolling out the red carpet in the princely city

134 Poland The preferred business tourism destination

141 Warsaw The vibrant business centre of modern Europe

145 Russia Cosmopolitan conferencing in the land of the Tsars

152 Stockholm Conferencing in Europe’s Green Capital

160 Prague Inspired in the City of a Hundred Spires

155 Istanbul The dynamic city on two continents themicereport | 7

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interview the claus sendlinger

What do you offer MICE customers? Can companies host their events at your member hotels? “Of course! Design Hotels™ has developed Private Spaces+ specifically to address this need. Since launching the programme Design Hotels™ has made it possible to experience the kind of exclusivity that having a hotel all to yourself offers. We targeted the most intimate and unusual of properties for our private hire programme. At the moment about 40 hotels are participating around the world. At www.designhotels.com/privatespaces every hotel is presented with an individual profile that offers the kind of information event planners, meeting planners and travel managers are looking for when planning an exclusive event.”

How are meeting spaces developing? Can you see any movements in this area? “Absolutely. More and more hotels are creating new concepts for business meetings. Windowless conference rooms with fluorescent lights are a thing of the past. Hotels are increasingly offering inventive spaces that are designed to foster creative and productive meetings. A prime example is the newly opened Roomers hotel in Frankfurt, which was conceived by the Originals Micky Rosen and Alex Urseanu. With their unconventional meeting room high over the city’s rooftops and the Biorhythm Spa, these innovative hoteliers are catering spot-on to the needs of business travellers. But Alex and Micky aren’t the only innovators in this field. The Spanish hotel group Hospes for instance has developed

special menus for meeting attendees and the Nordic Light Hotel in Stockholm provides different lighting schemes for specific meeting situation.” What gave you the initial idea of starting Design Hotels™? “I started my own travel and event agency in my early twenties. I travelled the world and organised events with musicians, DJs, artists and other creative minds. They had very specific requirements and wanted to meet like-minded people everywhere they went. To find hotels that offered a creative environment attracting a cool crowd was a major challenge back then. That was the point when I decided to bring hotels like this together under one umbrella, which we called Design Hotels™!”

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design hotels

We sent Charles Vandeleur to interview the visionary Claus Sendlinger, founder and CEO of Design Hotels

Can you explain what Design Hotels™ does? “Design Hotels™ began as a marketing company for contemporary hotels. We started with a modest portfolio of only 10 iconic member properties and continued to expand the company, strategically tapping into new markets and hand-picking a collection of more than 175 one-of-a-kind hotels. Every single one provides a unique experience and reflects the vision of an independent hotelier – an “original” with a passion for genuine hospitality that is culturally rooted and enhanced by thoughtprovoking design and architecture. Today Design Hotels™ has blossomed into a global lifestyle brand that is synonymous with distinctive architecture and interior design balanced with

functionality and exceptional service. The company has developed into a full-service hospitality marketing consultant. With tailor-made solutions and services we provide our member hotels the global exposure they need while preserving their individual identity. Furthermore Design Hotels™ provides consulting services for hotel development projects from the concept stage up to the hotel opening or beyond. Increasingly creative investors or developers from outside of the hospitality industry are seeking professional consultation to realise new projects. Our service portfolio comprises targeted market research, feasibility studies, concept and brand development as well as technical support and preopening campaigns.”

How do you define a real design hotel? “These days, the term “design hotel” is frequently offhandedly batted around to describe just about any property that strays from the familiar, interchangeable grand-hotel or chain-hotel aesthetic. But there’s more to a true design hotel than cookie-cutter minimalism or fleeting visual trends. It all comes down to the right concept for the right crowd at the right location. We only choose hotels in which architecture, design, service, gastronomy, and guests meld into a holistic concept. An Eames chair in the lobby is simply not enough to become a member of Design Hotels™; the hotel also needs to show it has the right personality. The people behind the concept, the staff and the guests obviously play a large part in that, because they give a hotel its soul. The architecture and interior themicereport | 9

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Previous page: CEO of Design HotelsTM, Claus Sendlinger; Three visions of Ana Yela Hotel, Marrakech. This page left to right, top to bottom: Alila Villas Hadahaa, Maldives; Alila Villas Hadahaa, Maldives; Roomers Hotel, Frankfurt; Fine dining at Roomers Hotel, Frankfurt, Northern lights at The Other Side in Neiden, Norway.

design need to create the right environment for these people to interact in.” Why did design become ubiquitous in the hotel industry? “It was a natural progression. With the advent of the Internet, the world got smaller, consumers became savvier and hotel companies realized that there was no longer room for ugly hotels. Nevertheless, there’s still a distinct difference between a chain hotel with contemporary design and our member hotels. Whereas a hotel chain creates a standard concept and rolls it out, every single member of Design Hotels™ is unique.” Talking about “uniqueness”: your global “Made by Originals” campaign puts a focus on the people behind the hotels, the Originals. Why? “People and their unique hotel concepts are our key differentiator. Every member hotel was created by a person of exceptional creativity – an Original. Designers, owners, chefs: the master minds behind the hotels are the Originals. We asked some of these extraordinary characters such as Emanuele Garosci, a former race car driver, if they would like to be part of our global Made by Originals showcase and they loved the idea. So, we started a global campaign in which we feature the Originals as they really are: authentic, responsible, creative and as real as the properties they’ve brought to life. Each Original stands for the individual, aesthetic and service-driven experience which his/her hotel provides.”

In your opinion, what’s the next big thing in hotels? “Our society is undergoing a value shift at the moment. The importance of ‘‘soft factors’’ such as quality of life and well-being is growing along with a re-discovery of simple, human, even humble values. Thus, the human with all his ethical, emotional and social potential is taking centre stage within the spheres of industry and commerce. Design Hotels™ is observing growing human-centric innovation within its portfolio of member hotels. Ultimately, this will propel the entire hospitality industry forward. Hotels will have to embrace this human-centric development and offer services that go far beyond a bed and a bar. They have to be able to manage the experiences of their guests. It’s not just about sending them to a gallery, it’s about showing them around the venue as well.” Where is this going to happen? “This is a current global movement within our industry – you will find holistic, experience driven concepts all around the world! Hotels will be increasingly created around experiences. Two great examples from our portfolio are The Other Side in Neiden, Norway, and the AnaYela in Marrakech. The Other Side will be an extreme-climate take on modern luxury with panoramic views of tundra, salmon rivers and the Barents Sea. Twelve houses are laid out in groups of three, following a pattern based on a Sámi shaman drum. Each house is based on elemental forces: the Wind House is perched in the air, the Water

House over a pond and the Fire House in front of an enormous ritual fireplace. Located in the heart of the Medina, or historic city, of Marrakech, the romantic AnaYela is housed in a 300-year-old palace. The name AnaYela translates as “I am Yela”, which are the opening words of a story by Yela, a young woman who once lived in this house. The handwritten story was found in a niche of the Riad when renovations began and the Arabic text was then incorporated into the design. Each room has a chapter of the love story inscribed on its walls – so guests are literally living within the tale. The spectacular site for a candle-light dinner is AnaYela’s “flying carpet” - a large roof terrace with a tower offering panoramic views of the historic city.” Do you have any new openings around the globe? “We have several new member hotels on board such as the Kube Hotel and the La Resérve Ramatuelle both on the French Riviera, the Sanctum Soho Hotel and the Boundary, both in London and the Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali. The Alila Villas Hadahaa is just about to open in the Maldives as are The Scarlet in England, the Skeppsholmen in Stockholm, the Cosmo in Berlin, and the Palazzina Grassi in Italy as well as Firmdale’s first property in New York: the Crosby Street. So, there is a lot to look forward to.”u

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design hotels exclusive

Lánchíd 19 hotel Lánchíd 19 design hotel rests on the banks of the River Danube and reflects the stunning views of the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Budapest. The exceptional architecture and interior design of Lánchíd 19 has earned it the right to become the flagship for design hotels™ in Hungary. The hotel’s creative concept is inspired by the historical and cultural setting of this classic European capital, situated as it is a short walk from the spectacular Lánchíd Chain Bridge in the heart of the city. With an accordion-style glass façade, the exterior of the Lánchíd 19 design hotel is itself a fine piece of artwork that emanates images into the night. Effectively a lighthouse on the shores of the Danube, the glass plates of this breath-taking structure are painted with miniature graphics that mirror the river’s flow. Reacting to signals from a meteorological sensor, the glass panels of the facade move (or ripple) and change colour. Medieval walls and a water tower for the Buda Royal Castle were excavated in the cellar during construction, and have been authentically renovated. A unique archaeological feature, these historical remains are now visible through the glass floor of the lobby. The multi-award-winning Lánchíd 19 design hotel offers an extensive range of 45 rooms and three suites, each with a picturesque vista of the River Danube, the Pest riverbank or the Buda Royal Castle. With three multifunction meeting rooms of distinctive styles, the hotel boasts a combined area of 106m2 (1140 sq ft) and a capacity of seating 100 guests.

All function chambers are equipped with state-of-the-art information, presentation and communication facilities, including projector, screen, TV, DVD and video player, laptop, panaboard, and free wireless internet. The tailor-made conference packages include diverse banquet menus, business class services and guest room reservations upon request. The L19 Restaurant seats up to 60 guests and offers the ideal atmosphere for press conferences, business meetings and top-grade corporate events.

Since opening in 2007, the unparalleled Lánchíd 19 design hotel has collected an enviable array of architectural awards, including two Hungarian Design Awards and a Budapest Architectural Prize in 2007. It has featured in Condé Nast Traveller’s Hot List 2008 - among the best new hotels of the world - and in Wallpaper & Fortune Magazine’s 50 Best Business Hotels. In 2008, the hotel received The European Hotel Design Awards in Best Architecture, Newbuild Category, and a Best of Budapest Award. ◆ The Lánchíd 19 design hotel webpage can be visited at www.lanchid19hotel.hu

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worldhotels

WORLD CLASS

WORLDHOTELS OFFERS UNIQUE HOTELS FOR MICE AGENTS AND BUSINESS TRAVELLERS

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ORLDHOTELS is a dynamic and innovative collection of the world’s most unique independent hotels. Under the banner “Unique Hotels for Unique People”, it has almost 500 affiliate properties in more than 300 destinations and 70 countries worldwide – each providing an outstanding level of service and quality. For business travellers, the group provides special corporate rates for travel discounts, accreditation to collect miles from 20 different airline frequentflyer programs and 20 per cent discounts on AVIS rental cars. Most WORLDHOTELS properties offer amenities such as free morning newspapers, access to exercise facilities, business centre and meetings facilities, modern communication technology such as wireless internet access, the convenience of around-the-clock room service and laundry services. In addition, WORLDHOTELS is a leading onestop provider of conference and meeting facilities, offering maximum convenience and efficiency to MICE planners via a single point of contact. WORLDHOTELS now has the third largest portfolio of independent 4- and 5-star hotels in Europe and the largest selection of upmarket meeting facilities under a single brand. Over 90 per cent of WORLDHOTELS offer top-

tier meeting and conference facilities in key destinations such as Vienna, Paris, Madrid, London, Hamburg and Rome.

MEETING PLANNER TOOL WORLDHOTELS.EVENTS WORLDHOTELS supports MICE professionals with its meeting planner tool WORLDHOTELS. events. It features a convenient online search tool, which allows searching for hotel rooms and meeting venues among nearly 500 WORLDHOTELS properties worldwide at worldhotels.com/meetings. Meeting planners receive further support via three multilingual

group desks located in London, New York and Singapore. Quotes can be requested online or by phone and will be answered on the same day (next business day for international requests) with guaranteed rates on rooms, meeting space and banqueting.

WORLDHOTELS BOOKING INCENTIVE To emphasize its support for MICE professionals, WORLDHOTELS launched the extensive booking incentive “Unique Rewards for Unique People” for corporate and professional meeting planners. The programme rewards confirmed bookings

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worth over $5,000 made before 31 December 2009. For every booking of $5,000 the booker will receive a $50 gift voucher. That means a booking of $25,000 earns a $250 voucher, with the value increasing correspondingly up to a maximum booking value of $100,000. The vouchers can be redeemed for gifts at a variety of outlets such as iTunes, Amazon and H&M. WORLDHOTELS’ broad, unique portfolio caters perfectly for business travellers and MICE visitors. The following are just some examples of the excellent MICE and business traveller hotels that are part of the unique WORLDHOTELS portfolio.

Opposite page, top to bottom: Grand Elysee Pool; Bel Air Hotel Suite. This page, top to bottom: Stamford Grand Adelaide; Marcel at Gramercy Park; The Parklane Suite

City Inn Hotels, United Kingdom: The award winning contemporary UK hotel brand has recently joined the WORLDHOTELS portfolio. Established in 1995 as a new brand of modern, stylish, city centre hotels, the group now boasts six upmarket properties: in Bristol, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and London, with the newest City Inn opening in Leeds as recently as 23 July 2009. Part of the new Leeds Granary Wharf regeneration project, the property is located adjacent to Leeds train station. A unique feature is the Sky Lounge with meeting rooms on the 13th floor offering 360-degree panoramic city views. City Inn is planning further openings in London, right next to the famous Tower of London, and Amsterdam in 2011. All City Inns are new builds with state of the art facilities, including ‘fresh’ air conditioning, floor to ceiling ‘openable’ windows which maximise natural sunlight, award winning themicereport | 15

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Empire Hotel Bar

iMac multimedia entertainment systems giving customers access to a computer with internet connectivity and Sky and Terrestrial TV channels. Another highlight is the critically acclaimed City Café, a destination restaurant with outdoor terraces for al fresco dining, vibrant lounge bars and flexible meetings and events spaces.

The Bel Air Hotel, The Hague, Netherlands: Located between the old city centre of The Hague and the vibrant beach of Scheveningen, this impressive hotel is the latest addition to the WORLDHOTELS portfolio in the Netherlands. The 326 stylish guest rooms range from elegant standard rooms to modern executive business suites and luxury apartments. Guests can enjoy the highly acclaimed restaurant “Purple” and the authentic jazz bar “The Embassy”. Equipped with a state-of-the-art conference hall and nine multi-purpose board rooms, the hotel is able to accommodate exclusive meetings as well as large, prestigious events for up to 300 people.

in boardroom meetings, large conferences, seminars and functions, and are highly regarded in business circles: the Stamford Plaza Auckland was voted ‘Best Business Hotel in New Zealand’ at the 2008 World Travel Awards. Stamford Plaza Brisbane has just completed an £5 million facelift to offer discerning guests newlook suites and rooms, including the prestigious Stamford Suite - a haven for celebrities and dignitaries - as well as innovative dining experiences. True connoisseurs of luxury will be delighted by the inclusion of mini-LCD TVs in the bathrooms, slick 32 inch flat screen LCD TVs in bedrooms complete with iPod connection, new softly hued furnishings as well as complimentary wireless internet access.

The Einstein, St Gallen, Switzerland: More

Stamford Hotels & Resorts, Australia & New Zealand: The group is one of the largest operators

than just a hotel, The Einstein in St. Gallen is an institution. The “Small Grand Hotel”, as it has long been known, is growing and has developed into a large and modern conference centre.

of premium quality hotels in Australasia, with over 2,500 rooms available across a portfolio of nine 4-and 5-star properties in key business locations - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Auckland. Stamford Hotels & Resorts specialise

Directly linked to the beautiful classic hotel building, the ultra-modern Einstein Congress offers a variety of rooms, all of them flooded with natural light. They can be set up as required

and provide a wide variety of capacities. Every room is equipped with the most progressive technology and the most modern presentation and communication facilities. These include cordless microphones with mobile control and the latest video projectors with generous screens that guarantee maximum visibility even in full daylight. Together with the all-new Einstein FitnessPark and Spa, offering more than 3,000 square metres of wellness facilities, and top-class banqueting facilities in the Einstein Panorama Restaurant, this classic property is a superb choice in a historic, cultural city centre location.

Grand Elysée Hamburg, Germany: Hamburg’s largest hotel, the 5-star Grand Elysée is now also officially Germany’s top conference hotel. The 511-room property recently received the CongaAward - considered the ‘Oscar’ of the German event sector - based on the votes of more than 25,000 German events professionals. The Grand Elysée offers the ideal ambience for professional meetings with its 24 light-flooded conference and function rooms – perfect for small meetings, exclusive gala events and international conferences. The hotel´s professional event management is complemented by a creative,

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The Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston

Raffles Dubai

SwissĂ´tel Krasnye Holmy, Moscow

Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Hamburg

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

SwissĂ´tel Berlin

One easy link to 90 extraordinary destinations Fairmont Raffles Hotels International is truly “going globalâ€? to serve you better. Our newly formed Global Events and Meetings Solutions team offers you the option of three distinct brands, for easy access to an enormous selection of the finest event facilities and accommodations around the world. &AIRMONTĂĽ(OTELSĂĽĂĽ2ESORTSĂĽ

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Now, when seeking the ideal location for your meetings and events, 90 extraordinary locations are just one call away—no matter which you choose, every meeting or event is sure to be a rich and lasting experience. Please email our Global Events and Meetings Solutions specialists at meet@frhi.com or call: Direct to the Middle East: 971 4 437 7474

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customised gastronomic service. The Grand Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 1,200 guests, is the largest of its kind in Hamburg. Free in-room internet access, five in-house restaurants and cafés plus the extensive facilities of the 1,000 square-metre Elyseum Spa ensure the perfect environment for business travellers.

Amsterdam Group, New York, USA: New to the WORLDHOTELS portfolio since early 2009, the Amsterdam Group operates four deluxe properties in New York.

Clockwise from top: Bentley Hotel; Einstein St Gallen Restaurant, City Inn Leeds

The luxurious and recently renovated Empire Hotel near Central Park boasts 420 elegant

About WORLDHOTELS

guestrooms and suites with spectacular city views. First-class fitness and wellness areas, a stunning rooftop pool and deck, and a relaxed Lobby Bar serving signature cocktails are key features.

• WORLDHOTELS is an exclusive collection of the world’s

The stylish boutique hotel The Marcel at Gramercy is located in the heart of Manhattan within walking distance of some of the major attractions in the Big Apple. Completely renovated in 2008, the Marcel at Gramercy features 135 guestrooms with fashion runway décor and playful touches. Guests can enjoy contemporary Northern Italian cuisine in an elegant atmosphere at Bar Milano.

• For nearly 40 years, the company’s mission has been

Located in midtown Manhattan, The Moderne is within walking distance of both Central Park and the Rockefeller Center. The contemporary and stylish city hotel highlights artistic details reminiscent of the nearby Museum of Modern Art, with Art Deco architecture and pop art displayed throughout. With just 34 rooms, The Moderne gives new meaning to personal service. The exclusive Bentley Hotel’s 197 spacious guestrooms and suites offer breathtaking views of the New York City skyline and the East River, and feature luxurious amenities including Frette linens and marble bathrooms.

Park Lane Hotel, Hong Kong, China: Located in the heart of vibrant Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island, the Park Lane Hong Kong boasts spectacular views of iconic Victoria Harbour. Comfort is the hallmark of this luxurious 810-room property with the most spacious guest rooms in town.

most unique independent hotels. Under the banner “Unique Hotels for Unique People”, it now has almost 500 affiliate properties in more than 300 destinations and 70 countries worldwide. to offer business and leisure travellers easy access to a wide range of accommodation options with a strong emphasis on hotels of character and distinction.

Close to the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, and within walking distance of all of Hong Kong’s major transport systems, The Park Lane Hong Kong has full meeting and function facilities in a number of function rooms on the 27th floor overlooking the harbour. Complete audio-visual and conference equipment is in place, while rooms can be configured to suit specific needs.

WORLDHOTELS’s growing portfolio: WORLDHOTELS’s portfolio of independent hotels is continuously growing on an international level. In the first half of 2009, the group added 32 hotels to its portfolio. Hotels that are seeking affiliation with the group are subject to a rigorous selection process and must meet a variety of quality standards and other criteria. Robert Hornman, Vice President EMEA & Worldwide Sales, Marketing and Distribution at WORLDHOTELS, commented: “What sets WORLDHOTELS apart from other hotel groups is our ability to offer our guests a high-quality portfolio consisting of independent and unique hotels, whilst also providing hotel owners with a wide selection of business-building services that are on par with franchise companies.” u

• WORLDHOTELS’

guests benefit from an extensive portfolio of partnerships, including frequent flyer programmes from 20 of the world’s leading international airlines, including Air France/KLM, United Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa.

• Through state-of-the-art distribution and technology and

global marketing campaigns, WORLDHOTELS gives independent hotels the collective strength of a strong, global hotel brand whilst still allowing them to retain their strong individual character and unique identity.

For further information, visit worldhotels.com. Photographic material is available in the news section of worldhotels.com or from susie@saltmarshpr.co.uk. For further information please contact: Susie Tempest The Saltmarsh Partnership Tel.: + 44 (0) 20 7928 1600 susie@saltmarshpr.co.uk Andrea Hammes WORLDHOTELS Tel.: +49 (0) 69 660 56 – 255 ahammes@worldhotels.com For further information on this promotion, please call Fiona Jones on 020 7766 3119 or visit www.roccofortecollection.com/special/introductory_ group_offer.htm

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Rixos Hotels (1) Advert 1

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rixos hotels

business & pleasure

well mixed

Elegant meeting rooms and modern technical equipment make Rixos Hotels the ideal venue for business meetings and conferences. The experienced banquet teams can turn meetings into memorable occasions and exceed the expectations of their guests.

T

he experienced banquet staff of Rixos are able to serve 5 different dinner menus to 2.000 pax and organize outstanding team parties. The phenomenally diverse and delicious foods prepared and presented by the award-winning chefs take the guests’ breath away. The interior design of the conference and meeting rooms at Rixos lends elegance to corporate events in luxurious detail. Expert teams of Rixos Hotels work closely with corporate customers for conferences and meetings and give due consideration to every single detail. All Rixos Hotels provide many facilities for business trips and conferences, however the most significant ones among the chain are Rixos Grand Ankara, Rixos Premium Belek, Rixos Sungate, Rixos Konya, Rixos President Astana and Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik. Rixos Almaty will be welcoming its guests very soon and the guests of this brand new hotel will integrate with the dynamism of this most developed city of Central Asia.

Rixos Hotels currently owns and operates 10 hotels serving the finest quality standards with 6.000 employees represented in 4 countries, namely Turkey, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Croatia. Recent properties include Rixos Grand Ankara right at the heart of Turkiye’s capital and Rixos Sungate, located in Antalya’s Beldibi district in an exquisite natural setting and offering a truly unique vacation experience. Other new hotels of the chain are Rixos Almaty and Ottoman Palace by Rixos at the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai which will be opened soon. Rixos Vienna and Rixos Marina West Bahrain will welcome their guests in year 2010. High quality standards combined with the unconditional guest satisfaction contribute to Rixos Hotels receiving the best ratings from the distinguished tour operators, followed by an International Award for Tourism, Hotel and Catering Industry in 2002, Madrid/Spain and the Five Star Diamond Award by American Academy of Hospitality Sciences between 2006 and 2009. Golden Meridian, Star Travel.ru and Tophotels.ru are other programs which Rixos Hotels has received awards from. The latest award

Rixos Hotels has received is the “EU Quality” award by which Rixos has been selected as “the global brand of Turkiye that is appreciated worldwide and executes exemplary quality and innovation practices”. With all its features Rixos Hotels stand out amongst its competitors. The group’s “grand boutique hotel” Rixos Premium Belek is dedicated to the art of vacation, promising to change guests’ perception of a holiday in Turkey themicereport | 21

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forever, by discretely preempting their needs and desires from the very start of their visit. Rixos Premium Belek is known as the most prestigious resort hotel of Turkey with one of Europe’s biggest Water Kingdom and Dolphinarium, a vast, spectacular water park modelled on the ancient city of Troy featuring a twenty four metre-high reproduction of the Troy Horse with waterslides inside it, a lost city cave, a watchtower with further slides, an adventure river and several wave pools. The hotel has been awarded the “Turkey’s Leading Hotel” in 2008. The concept of Rixos Hotels consists also of a revitalising Wellness & Spa Center along with its unique Hammam, a modern twist to ancient Turkish rituals. Opposite page, top to bottom: Dubrovik's stunning view and room. This page, clockwise from top: Grand Ankara's Crystal Ballroom and Presidential Suite; Premium Belek's Blue Hall; Tekirova's general view; Sungate's Tuncay Cavdar Conference Hall.

The range of culinary, leisure and entertainment facilities on offer at Rixos Hotels is spectacular. Different restaurants to suit all tastes and moods,

all headed up by world-class chefs, serving everything from traditional Turkish, gourmet French and classic Italian to Mexican, Indian, Asian and Seafood. Rixos Hotels also have highly executive services like Rixos Aviation and Rixos Yachting. Rixos Aviation is a premium air transportation service company and provides transportation solutions for time-sensitive customers with the Bombardier Learjet-60 Special Edition. Rixos Yacting provides an exclusive luxurious experience for its guests and the cruise with Moon Star is a magnificent voyage in which one witnesses the breathing Anatolian Civilizations of the millennium emerging out of the enchanting blue water of the Mediterranean. The outstanding monuments of Lycia would welcome you upon your visit the fabulous bays and islands. Rixos plays a great emphasis on human resources, their ongoing training progammes and the Career Development Program aim to improve the qualitative features of the staff with regards to guest relations. The chain is generating plans and solutions focusing on progress; to become a worldfamous brand and a leader in the hospitality industry that makes a difference in peoples lives. Rixos Hotels is aiming to successfully run and manage five star hotels in new locations within major tourist and business destinations in the Eastern and Middle Europe, Mediterranean Coasts, Gulf region, and Far East providing the highest personal service and comprehensive luxurious business facilities. u

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Rixos Hotels (2) Advert 1

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fairmont hotels One easy link to 90 extraordinary destinations; Fairmont Raffles Hotels International is truly “going global” to serve you better. Our newly formed Global Events and Meetings Solutions team offers you the option of three distinct brands, for easy access to an enormous selection of the finest event facilities and accommodations around the world. Now, when seeking the ideal location for your meetings and events, 90 extraordinary locations are just one call away-no matter which you choose, every meeting or event is sure to be a rich and lasting experience.

FAIRMONT RAFFLES

HOTELS INTERNATIONAL

one easy link to 90 extraordinary destinations

A

leader in the global hospitality industry, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of distinctive hotels, which includes iconic landmarks like Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Québec City, Kenya’s Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, and New York’s The Plaza Hotel. Fairmont properties are one-of-a-kind landmarks where sophisticated travelers can discover culturally rich experiences that are authentic to the destination. Situated in some of the most exclusive and pristine areas in the world, Fairmont is committed to responsible tourism and is an industry leader in sustainable hotel management with its award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont’s portfolio includes 56 world-class hotels, with plans to develop over 30 new properties in the coming years in destinations as diverse as Shanghai, The Philippines and India. Throughout its 100-year history, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has been at the epicenter of legendary meetings. Groups at Fairmont can negotiate a deal where the United Nations Charter was drafted, or brainstorm with their team in the same room where Olympic Gold

Medallists fielded questions from the press. The Fairmont San Francisco boasts one of the most famous meetings-of-the-minds in history – the United Nations Convention, from April to June 1945, when the UN Charter was drafted in the Garden Room at the hotel. Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Québec City hosted the in 1943-44 Conferences of the Allies, which welcomed heads of staff including William Lyon Mackenzie King, Sir Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, to the Citadel and the Rose Room at the hotel. London’s Savoy, a true landmark hotel, is home to Kaspar the Lucky Black Cat, who has been a diner at The Savoy in lieu of a 14th guest since 1927, when he first joined the ranks of UK’s elitist Other Club, founded by Sir Winston Churchill. To this day, Kaspar and “Other Clubbers”, unnamed members from both Houses of Parliament, meet regularly in The Savoy’s Pinafore Room to dine and share stories. Although Fairmont is renowned for Grand Dame properties that are filled with history, the brand continues to expand its footprint across the globe with 30 hotels and over 10,000 guestrooms in its development pipeline. Underscoring Fairmont’s focus on growth and development is its robust schedule of hotel openings that will see the brand introduce distinctive new hotels

in growing markets around the globe including Cairo and China, while welcoming back a few of the world’s most iconic hotels like London’s legendary Savoy. Fall 2009 marks the brand’s entry to China, beginning with Fairmont Yangcheng Lake, Kunshan, which will feature 210 rooms and suites with lakeside views, 30,000 square feet of function space, a spa and health club, extensive dining options and a state-of-the-art business center. Fairmont Bab al Bahr, Abu Dhabi, one of several Fairmont development projects in the Middle East, will offer 369 guestrooms and suites when it opens, while other key features include a Fairmont Gold floor, a 27,000 square foot Willow Stream Spa and over 16,000 square feet of meeting space including an 850-seat ballroom. Also this fall, Fairmont Nile City in Cairo, joining sister Fairmont properties in nearby Heliopolis, will lay claim to one city’s most envied addresses, overlooking Egypt’s namesake tributary and providing picture postcard views of global wonders such as the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids of Giza. Winter will see the Fairmont Zimbali Resort in South Africa debut on an exceptional stretch of coastline on the North Coast of Kwazulu-Natal with a Willow Stream Spa and health club facility and world-class golf.

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Set to open in time for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, the Fairmont Pacific Rim will make its debut in an ideal location adjacent to the Vancouver Conference Center expansion and will provide spectacular views of Stanley Park, the Burrard Inlet, the North Shore Mountains and the city of Vancouver. Paying homage to its original Edwardian and Art Deco design, The Savoy will once again lay claim to its long-standing status as London’s premier social destination when it unveils the culmination of a nearly two-year, £100 million restoration program in early 2010. Also reopening next year is the legendary Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai. The hotel has hosted distinguished guests from all over the world, including General Marshall, Charlie Chaplin, Bernard Shaw and Noel Coward, who wrote Private Lives while in residence. To make event planning smooth across the brand, Fairmont offers administrative assistants and office managers a handy resource for onestop event planning when they are planning travel for their business colleagues. Global Event and Meeting Solutions (GEMS) is an effective tool that is only a phone call away for office employees

who often book travel for meetings, incentive trips or trade shows but don’t have dedicated travel staff. Global Event & Meeting Solutions assists office staff in identifying the perfect property for their meetings and events as well as sourcing availability, pricing and reservations at Fairmont hotels. This unique service makes it easy for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and offices to book travel in a wide variety of dynamic locations, from Beijing to Chicago, Toronto to Dubai, with just one call. The team responds to inquiries within one hour based on the destination hours of operation, and can be contacted as follows Direct to the Middle East: 971 4 437 7474 Within United Kingdom: 0808 234 3287 Direct to North America: 1 506 877 3162 Within United Arab Emirates: 800 311 8812 Within North America: 1 866 662 6060a or by emailing Meet@frhi.com For a comprehensive look at Fairmont’s group offerings, including space availability and capabilities, event planners can log on to www.fairmontmeetings.com. For details on the

Fairmont collection of global hotels and resorts, virtual property tours, suggested destination itineraries and more, please visit www.fairmont.com. ◆

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts offers warm service from colleagues trained to anticipate the needs of discerning guests; each location delivers an authentic experience of place that is a unique and luxurious expression of its locale.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts is distinguished by luxury, elegance and residential charm; each property is a landmark in its respective city, positioned at the top of its local market and rated among the very best in the world.

Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts features deluxe hotels and resorts that are ideal for today’s discerning business and leisure travelers; combining the renowned Swiss touch with a contemporary design, each Swissôtel offers personalized service with charm and efficiency.

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laico hotels

LAICO’S AFRICAN TOUCH As the world moves inexorably towards a greater integration of economies, societies and cultures, and globalisation reigns supreme as the catchword for the 21st century, cutting-edge event managers are now looking towards Africa as the authentic setting for the ultimate international conference.

W

hether a regional convention on developing markets, a gathering of international aid agencies, or a symposium of multinational industrialists or world leaders: Africa is increasingly recognised as the modern location for the definitive international conference. The continent is now witnessing the dawn of a new generation of convention facilities, as the celebrated Laico Hotels chain rolls its first-class hotel and resort network across the historic capitals of Africa. Founded in 2008, Laico Hotel Management Company already boasts a portfolio of 14 outstanding hotels (including four resorts in Tunisia, Gambia and Tanzania) which are located in the major capital cities and resort areas: Bissau, Bamako, Banjul, Brazzaville, Dar Es Salaam, Djerba, Entebbe, Hammamet, Kigali, Libreville, Nairobi, Ouagadougou and Tunis. “The core principle of Laico Hotels is best attention and care to our guests,� explains Renaud Bachoffner, Marketing Manager for the themicereport | 27

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and night entertainment venues. Laico Atlantic in Gambia’s capital, Banjul, offers preeminent facilities for large business meetings and conferences, as well as the opportunity to enjoy some well-earned rest gazing out over the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Laico hotels are equally renowned for the culinary delights and meticulous craft of their highlyesteemed chefs, as the company recognises that superlative cuisine is an essential ingredient of all successful business trips. The five-star Laico Ouaga 2000 hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, is a case in point, where the Mauritian-born Chef Lawrence has fused international cuisine with traditional local flavours to create a mouth-watering menu of superior taste. Versatile lunch menus are also made available in The Lobby Brasserie in Laico Ouaga, presenting a quick but delicious meal for business travellers on the move.

Laico Hotels and Resorts Management Company. “The hotels located in the capital cities are Business City Hotels, working with the business traveller but also hosting most of the summits and conferences organised by local governments, international and regional corporate meetings, the United Nations and World Bank as well as major non-governmental organisations.” The key Laico principles of attentive care and excellent facilities for the business traveller are evident in all its palatial premises. Each Laico Hotel offers its MICE customers the largest meeting spaces in each capital, executive floors, membership clubs, and dedicated services for individual and corporate business travellers (including complimentary Wi-Fi broadband, travel booking assistance and airport transfers). In addition to ensuring that business travel, meetings and conferences are productive and facilitated with hassle-free ease, Laico Hotels also offer a rich array of relaxing amenities to enable

clients to unwind after work. Each hotel features a swimming pool, a choice of speciality restaurants, stylish bars with live music, newsstands and an exciting variety of shops. The deluxe Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi, for example, is situated in the heart of Kenya’s capital, the regional business centre of East and Central Africa. Ideally suited for red-carpet business events, the Regency features a magnificent Crystal Ballroom that can host up to 400 guests in a lavish banquet setting, and up to 1500 guests at a luxurious cocktail reception. In addition to an exclusive gym, steam-rooms and recreation club, clients can relax after work by taking it easy in the ultra-stylish Fifth Avenue Jazz Bar.

The international standing of Laico Hotels and Resorts can be measured by its acceptance into the UTELL family of hotels and resorts, the global online hotel booking service which represents 11,000 properties in 130 countries. This development makes it simpler for the busy business traveller and event manager to locate Laico properties in Africa, Europe and elsewhere and to organise their itinerary. This is, however, just one further step in the impressive expansion of Laico Hotels and Resorts. A dynamic Development Plan is being implemented, which is soon to see more firstclass properties being incorporated into the Laico portfolio as the company is in final stages of negotiations to sign management contracts in Europe and other great locations worldwide. When all is said and done, the sophisticated edge to Laico’s formidable style is ensuring that this 21st century brand will remain at the forefront of global conferencing and business hospitality. u

The Tunisian resorts at Laico Hammamet and Laico Djerba, both basking on the golden Mediterranean coast, present large and luxurious spa facilities, close proximity to superb golf courses and a sparkling medley of discotheques

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Strand Palace Hotel advert.indd 1

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The Rocco Forte Collection is a family of 13 highly individual hotels in outstanding locations linked together by their commitment to service delivery and attention to detail.

The Rocco Forte Collection

H

otel design is overseen by Olga Polizzi, Director of Design for The Rocco Forte Collection who ensures that each property reflects its nationality and location. Local art, accessories and furniture are used to give the hotels a real sense of place. For example the bedrooms in The Augustine, which opened earlier this year, reflect the hotel’s monastic past and are decorated with a range of accessories inspired by 1930’s Czech cubism. The newest addition to The Collection is Verdura Golf & Spa Resort which opened its doors on August 1. Verdura is located in a beautiful corner of South West Sicily about one hour’s drive from Palermo airport and is The Rocco Forte Collection’s first resort boasting two 18-hole and one nine-hole Kyle Phillipsdesigned golf courses, a 4,000sq metre destination spa, a a 60-metre two-tier swimming pool and four restaurants. 2010 will see The Rocco Forte Collection move out of Europe with the opening of two properties in Abu Dhabi and Jeddah, followed by a second golf and spa resort in Marrakech in 2011.

into three separate rooms, two larger rooms for up to 150 guests each and an exciting, open-air amphitheatre which can seat up to 500 for a screening or live show. Each one benefits from generous natural light and is equipped with the latest technology, including wireless internet access and video conferencing.

The opening of Verdura strengthens The Rocco Forte Collection’s MICE product offering with an impressive standalone meetings and events building comprising ten flexible meeting rooms, seven of which measure between 43 and 112 sq m each, a double-height ballroom (355 sq m) for up to 250 guests which can be sub-divided

To celebrate the opening of its two newest properties: The Augustine in Prague and Verdura Golf & Spa Resort in Sicily, The Rocco Forte Collection, has launched a ‘no hidden costs’ introductory offer for the Conference and Incentive market. Organisers can book groups of 15 or more into either property for €350 per

room per night, inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner in addition to a daily meeting room or a leisure activity, including golf, spa and tours. The offer is available for stays from 27 July 2009 to 30 April 2010 and includes a complimentary room for every 15 rooms booked. The pricing has been fixed to include all the main food and beverage requirements and a daily menu of complimentary options has been developed allowing group organisers to tailor individual delegate itineraries. The options have been carefully chosen to add real value to group stays and offer a choice of daily activity for each group member.

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luxury hotels

OFFER DETAILS: • Single occupancy: €350 a night – includes breakfast, lunch and dinner (with wine) • Double occupancy: €495 a night – includes breakfast, lunch and dinner (with wine) • Receive a complimentary room for every 15 rooms booked

Opposite page: View of Torre Verdura, Piazza and Golf Club, Sicily; Bathroom at Verdura Golf & Spa Resort. This page clockwise from top: The sumptious Tom’s Bar at The Augustine in Prague; Charles Suite bedroom at The Augustine; Interior of the Conference Centre at Vedura Golf & Spa Resort, The Monastery Restaurant at The Augustine;

Daily complimentary menu options, per person, for Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily: • Half or full day meeting room with 2 coffee breaks, including projector & screen, internet and flip chart OR • Golf green fees (choose from two 18-hole world-class courses) OR • 40-minute Spa treatment Daily complimentary menu options per person, for The Augustine, Prague: • Half or full day meeting room with 2 coffee breaks, including projector & screen, internet and flip chart OR • Prague city tour OR • St Thomas Church and Monastery tour OR • 40-minute Spa treatment Event management teams at both The Augustine and Verdura can also organise additional leisure activities if required. We have partnered with some of the best destination management companies in Europe and have developed outstanding programmes of activity in the Czech Republic and Sicily which can be adapted to each group’s specific needs. ◆ For further information on this promotion, please call Fiona Jones on 020 7766 3119 or visit www.roccofortecollection.com/special/ introductory_group_offer.htm

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making travel and

MICE budgets work harder and smarter

A research paper commissioned at the Business Travel Show in partnership with ITM has confirmed what we, as an industry, have been forecasting for a while: that the supply and procurement of business travel and MICE activity is converging.

I

n some organisations, procurement and travel managers have already taken over the responsibility for MICE spend. A survey of business travel professionals visiting the show this year revealed that one quarter (23.5 per cent) of the 500 respondents are already responsible for meetings budgets in excess of £500,000, eight per cent of those manage spend greater than £10 million and, furthermore, 50 per cent have a meetings policy in place already. In many other companies, travel managers do not yet have – and may not even want - direct control or influence of MICE spend. However, they are still making the board room aware of the huge loss of cost-saving and T&E leverage opportunities caused by their organisation not having a joinedup approach. For example, companies that negotiate an annual conference and meetings budget outside of the renegotiations of the company’s air and hotel preferred supplier programme dilute the market leverage they have built from its overall T&E spend. And by deciding on the timing and location of individual meetings and conferences in isolation

to researching travel arrangements, companies are not getting as good a deal as first appears. For example, booking a venue in peak time may be cheap; travel most definitely won’t be. As it looks like the recession will probably not be over by Christmas, organisations are becoming more aware of unnecessary overspending and more receptive to introducing a company-wide policy for MICE planning, budgeting, expenditure and evaluation as highlighted in the results of the visitor survey. What this means for procurement and travel managers is increased pressure to be even sharper and smarter about travel and MICE purchasing and to have their finger on the pulse of both industries. The leading business travel and meetings event in Europe As the leading event in Europe for anyone who manages company travel, books business trips or sources meeting venues - and with an increased focus on the MICE industry - a trip to the Business Travel & Meetings Show is the perfect way to achieve all of this and more in one go. The event – now in its 16th year – takes place on 9-10 February 2010 at Earls Court in London, with a new two-day format.

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meetings and travel show

With around 200 leading business travel and MICE suppliers, an extensive high-quality educational programme, brand new online appointments scheduler and first class networking opportunities, the Business Travel & Meetings Show exists to help travel and procurement managers save money, enhance their efficiency, be more environmentally friendly and increase traveller and client safety and security.

Travel & Meetings Show, we provide visitors with a greater variety of new ideas, suppliers and education that fits more with their differing business needs.”

Formerly known as the Business Travel Show, the Business Travel & Meetings Show recently changed its name to reflect the convergence between the two industries and the 2010 event will shift its focus from primarily business travel to include more meetings based education content and suppliers, a specific request from 45 per cent of visitor survey respondents.

The Business Travel & Meetings Show and its new name are supported by leading industry associations ITM and HBAA. Paul Tilstone, chief executive ITM, said: “The evolution to the Business Travel & Meetings Show mirrors ITM’s own thinking as we recently changed our own name to the Institute of Travel and Meetings. ITM recognised the increasing convergence in the supply and procurement of business travel and meetings, so it’s more important than ever that the business travel community, its associations and events all support and recognise the meetings industry.”

Event director David Chapple explained: “Over the last few years we’ve seen two trends emerging in the industry. Meetings are increasingly becoming the responsibility of travel and procurement professionals and, in response, traditional travel suppliers are incorporating meetings into their customer offerings. By reflecting these industry trends in the content of the Business

Peter Ducker, executive director HBAA, said: “The name change also reflects our thinking and experience. Our members – the venue finders, meeting and event management companies and hotel booking agents – are also experiencing this convergence, but from the opposite direction. We are delighted to be assisting in developing the show’s meetings content further.”

Regular show visitor Lin Burgess is the category manager for travel at Xchanging: “The name change is a positive move and in line with the consolidation of transient accommodation, training and meetings spend in the corporate sector. It will definitely be welcomed by both buyers and suppliers alike.” World leading suppliers In terms of what’s on the show floor for travel and procurement managers, the Business Travel & Meetings Show 2009 exhibitor list featured major suppliers such as Air New Zealand, AirPlus International, Barclaycard Commercial, Budget Rent-A-Car, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Continental Airlines, Emirates, FCm Travel Solutions, First Great Western, Flybe, Gray Dawes Travel, HRG, Kenya Airways, Omega World Travel, Sabre Travel Network and thetrainline.com. And exhibitors operating within the MICE arena were the likes of Abba Hotels, ABC Corporate Services, Advantage Business Travel, ATP - The Advanced Travel Partner, Bath Business Travel, Capita Business Travel, Carino Collection, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Choice Hotels, Destination Bristol, Expotel, Four Pillars Hotels, Hilton Garden themicereport | 33

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meetings and travel show

...by deciding on the timing and location of individual meetings and conferences in isolation to researching travel arrangements, companies are not getting as good a deal as first appears. For example, booking a venue in peak time may be cheap; travel most definitely won’t be. Inn Miami Airport West, hotelshopUK Ltd, HRS. com, Hunt&Palmer, Ian Allan Travel Ltd, Isle of Man Department of Tourism, K+K Hotels, Loews Hotels, Luxe Worldwide Hotels, O Callaghan Hotels, Omega World Travel, Park Inn Hotels, Premier Inn, Residential Land, Select Apartments, Small Luxury Hotels of the World™, Steigenberger Hotels & Resorts, Supranational Hotels, The Cheval Group of Serviced Apartments, The Doyle Collection, The Rezidor Hotel Group, The Spires - Serviced Suites, Village Hotels & Leisure Clubs, Wyndham Hotel Group and Yotel. Education, education, education In addition to the extensive range of suppliers on the show floor, the Business Travel & Meetings Show provides visitors with a comprehensive and very high quality educational programme featuring keynotes, panel discussions and buyer case studies. This year, for the first time, it also included content with a specific meetings focus and in 2010 this content will be enhanced and extended in line with the show’s overall evolution. Highlights from the meeting content on this year’s conference programme included Caroline Strachan from Yahoo asking delegates ‘What business are we really in now that meetings and events are merging with business travel?’ Other topics included ‘Best practice for implementing a strategic meetings management programme’, ‘Applying risk assessment to your meetings management strategy’; ‘Procurement issues in relation to meetings’; Technology and CSR issues in relation to meetings’ and ‘MICE budget management and quantifying ROI’.

Making connections Networking is of critical important to visitors attending the Business Travel & Meetings Show and in 2010 the event will host a number of opportunities for buyers and suppliers to connect, including the annual Innovation Awards, the Business Travel & Meetings Show party, exclusive group receptions and the European Travel Buyer Awards, which debuted this year to great acclaim. With such a busy schedule of events, the organisers have introduced a brand new online appointments planner to help visitors negotiate all that’s going on and make sure they don’t miss out on the suppliers, events, sessions and people that are right for their specific business needs. The online planner is a cutting edge networking site designed to introduce buyers and suppliers and make it easier for them to interact, make appointments and create personalised agendas in advance of attending.

Users can also proactively search the database and by using their personal show email address, can request introductions and meetings with fellow attendees. And with one click, they can add appointments (meetings, events, parties and sessions) and tasks (find a product, meet an exhibitor or attend a conference) to the online planner to create a personalised agenda, which can be printed, emailed or downloaded to their PDA. The locations of their appointments and tasks are also transferred to a tailored show floor plan to allow attendees to navigate their way easily around the exhibition. The Business Travel & Meetings Show takes place from 9-10 February 2010 at Earls Court in London. For more information about exhibitors, the conference programme and networking opportunities, and to register for a free visitor pass, please visit www.businesstravelandmeetingsshow.com. u

The site will host visitor profiles with details of their specific interests, as well as information about exhibitors, product launches, events, conference programmes and networking opportunities. In order to meet the specific needs of busy corporate buyers, the sophisticated software matches keywords to suggest which exhibitors they should visit, which products they need to see, what educational sessions suit their learning needs and which parties they should attend during the show.

www.businesstraveland meetingsshow.com

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MSC Advert FPc.indd 1

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MSC CRUISES

The cruise leader that offers MICE more

MSC Cruises has impeccable credentials for hosting successful MICE initiatives, offering state-of-the-art conference, entertainment, sports and leisure facilities in luxurious ships with breathtaking interior designs that have won naval architects De Jorio Design International a string of prestigious awards and brought MSC Cruises to become the official cruise line of the G8.

P

roviding exceptional venues with unparalleled facilities, gourmet cuisine and the added stimulus of constantly-changing panoramas, MSC Cruises has an enviable track record for the success of its support for world-leading companies, including Bosch, Coutts, Electrolux, Greenvision and Nokia. This is no small part due to the professionalism of its MICE teams, who are driven by an industryleading awareness that whereas successful cruises are all about the relationship between the cruise company, its ships, crews and the guests on board, the success of a MICE initiative depends on supporting the relationship between the corporate client and its publics - something requiring very different yet complementary specialist expertise in marketing, branding, planning and logistics. MSC Cruises provides comprehensive tailored support in all these areas, combined with the peace of mind offered by complete turnkey solutions. A history of innovation Implementing the final phases of a €5.5bn investment programme launched in 2003, MSC Cruises operates the most modern cruise fleet in the world, with 10 ships in a choice of three classes cruising the Mediterranean all year round,

Top to bottom: MSC Fantasia; Wi-fi access on board allows you to do business in very pleasant surrounds! Opposite page: MSC Fantasia 1603-seat theatre, L’Avanguardia; Brisk sea air and gleaming decks make for a pleasant on-board experience.

as well as Northern Europe, the Atlantic, Caribbean and Indian Ocean, South and West Africa, North America, Canada and South America. The jewels in the crown are the twin flagships in the new Fantasia class, the largest ships ever built for a European owner. Each a third of a kilometre long, weighing 138,000 tons and accommodating 3,959 guests in superlative comfort, they were widely acclaimed as the most beautiful ships in the world at their launch in December 2008 and July 2009. Alongside the latest maritime technology, MSC Cruises’s ships also boast state-of-the-art systems for energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, testifying to the company’s love of the sea and its respect for people and the planet. Within a MICE context this of course also reflects positively on the leading companies who choose MSC to showcase their brands and products and reward their staff and customers, confident that their own values are reflected in MSC’s achievements. MSC Cruises is the first company to receive the prestigious “6 Golden Pearls” award for environmental care from international certification body Bureau Veritas. This includes Cleanship 2 Class notation for advanced air, water and waste treatment systems, ISO 14001 certification for

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cruise operators environmental management, ISO 2200 for food safety and OHSAS 18001 for occupational health and safety. MSC Cruises has also received the Green Planet Award, the CIAL Award for aluminium recycling, ISO 9001:2000 certification for quality management and was one of the first signatories to the Venice Blue Flag agreement for reducing emissions in the Venice Lagoon. Salient amongst recent corporate social responsibility developments are MSC Splendida’s compliance with the exacting but voluntary Bureau Veritas Energy Efficient Design scheme, and the launch of an important partnership with UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, which sees MSC Cruises funding a ground-breaking project to help disadvantaged children in 126 of Brazil’s vulnerable urban communities gain an empowering education. Cruising in a class of its own MSC Cruises has proven equally innovative in creating a unique passenger experience in every area from the creative design of its sumptuous interiors and luxurious cabins - most with private balconies or panoramic windows - to its immensely varied sports, leisure and entertainment amenities, gourmet cuisine and friendly yet attentive service. Recent innovations include the sumptuous MSC Aurea SPA wellness and beauty treatment centres and innovative MSC Yacht Club. The latter is a unique feature of the new flagships MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida. A “ship within a ship” in the prestigious foredecks, the 99 luxurious suites in the Yacht Club enjoy exclusive facilities with a private club ambience and attentive roundthe-clock butler service, plus privileged access to everything else on board. Companies can charter all or part of the MSC Yacht Club to create a totally unique experience for colleagues and clients alike. Character in a sea of conformity A privately-owned European company with offices in 42 countries around the world, MSC Cruises employs 12,000 people and is set to carry an impressive 1.2 million guests per year when MSC Magnifica, the fourth ship in the 90,000 ton Musica class, is launched in 2010. Yet, despite its size as one of the leading international cruise operators, it has steadfastly refused the trend to create a bland “international” product, being proud of its Italian heritage. Indeed, this distinctive identity has played an important role in its success and is evident everywhere from the Italian piazzas with traditional stonework on its Fantasia class ships to its stylish designer interiors and varied entertainment, which encompasses 1603-seat theatre, variety, live music and the latest 4D virtual reality. Its friendly yet attentive crews are likewise typically Italian, as of course is the gourmet cuisine, which offers specialities from a different region of Italy every day, alongside speciality restaurants

MSC offers a reliable turnkey service that covers every aspect from location to logistics, meet & greet, airport-to-port transfers, custom event logos, banners, collectables and welcome material, entertainment,team-building exercises, on-shore excursions, menus and much more.

serving authentic national - not international! delicacies from around the world, including China, France, Japan and Tex-Mex. The quality and variety of sports, wellness and beauty facilities is no less typically Italian and significantly enhances team-building events and informal relaxation. A partnership focus for MICE success MSC Cruises offers a uniquely specialised focus to meet the needs of corporate clients who are organising annual meetings, conferences, motivational and incentive cruises, and product launches and presentations - the full spectrum of MICE initiatives. On the technical front, it provides everything needed to make these initiatives a success, from audio-visual presentation equipment to video production and broadcasting studios, hostesses, interpreters and photographic services, advanced computer work stations and Wi-Fi, GSM and fax connectivity. But what really distinguishes MSC Cruises is its ability to bring all these strengths together with the insight required to best support its client companies’ strategic objectives. The result is a reliable turnkey service that covers every aspect from location to logistics, meet & greet, airportto-port transfers, custom event logos, banners,

collectables and welcome material, entertainment, team-building exercises, on-shore excursions, menus and much more. Heading these specialist units is Mariella Castellano, who brings a wealth of international corporate experience to providing this end-to-end support. She explains: “MSC Cruises’s MICE teams are dedicated to putting our world-leading ships, infrastructures, services and creative capabilities at the service of our corporate clients, making them theirs so they can inform, motivate and reward their internal and external publics as effectively and cost-effectively as possible.” Full information on MSC Cruises’s industry-leading MICE support is available at www.mscincentives.com. Companies are also welcome to contact Mariella Castellano directly to immediately explore how MSC Cruises can help them best achieve their MICE objectives. u

www.mscincentives.com E-mail: Mariella.Castellano@msccrociere.it Tel.: +39 081 7942 2111

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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.

©2009 Hilton Hospitality, Inc.

Fo r r e s e r vation s and a n e . b c o b i m r a / c m e e t ing n o infor m t l i h t s or c a i ation o v is ll + 8 0 n C ar ibbea 0 44 4 a. n me e ting s , 5 86 87 C anad in E ur op e or . S . and U n i 2 3 2 3 8 0 0 321

Hilton Carribbean Advert.indd 1

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caribbean

REWARDS. RESOURCES. RELAXATION.

HILTON HAS IT ALL

L

et’s be honest for a minute, from one planner to another. We’re out to impress, right? We look for a beautiful destination with great amenities, in a location that hopefully offers everything we’re looking for to host a successful event. And if we just happen to find a couple of booking incentives, well, that’s always a good thing. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Because I found a place that comes as close to having it all as it gets. Beautiful Caribbean destinations. Amazing amenities. And incentives that are truly exceptional. It’s all happening at Hilton Caribbean hotels and resorts. Right now, they’re offering a special Book Now and Save promotion for meeting planners. The more rooms you book, the bigger your reward. Plus, you’re not limited to one reward; there are several from which to choose. Here’s how it works. Rewards are based on room nights booked. So, 50–99 room nights earn you one incentive; 100–149 room nights earn two incentives and 150 or more room nights earn three incentives. themicereport | 39

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caribbean

Incentives include: • One room night out of every 35 paid is complimentary • 25% allowable attrition • Double Hilton HHonors® base points for the attendees • Complimentary staff meals for up to four staff members • 2% rebate on room revenue • 500 Hilton HHonors® Event Planner bonus points per paid group room night Planning a meeting at Hilton Caribbean really is easy. They offer great planning tools including a Guest List Manager, where you can view, download and print guest list reservations. This is really handy when I need information on the go. They also offer Group Value Dates, or special discounted rates for a group or event, ranging from a savings of 10% to 30%. Be sure to take advantage of Plan Your Event, a checklist that helps to ensure a successful event for occasions of any size. I can always use a backup checklist when I have a lot of things going on at once. And to help attendees along, Hilton offers Personalized Web Pages where I can create and customize a page specifically for my meeting. I can even include display maps, agendas and event details. These tools really make a difference when I’m right in the middle of making meeting magic.

that simple. So you can rest assured your event will be a big hit, just as you planned.

And if you think planning a meeting with Hilton Caribbean is easy, booking is even easier. They have this resource called e-Events. It’s an online program that basically takes you through the booking process step by step, and before you know it, your entire meeting is booked from start to finish. It accommodates everything – from big corporate functions to intimate special occasions and even reunions. You can book from 5 to 25 guest rooms, reserve meeting space, select audiovisual equipment and order food and beverages, all without getting up from your chair. How easy, right? This might sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. For your peace of mind Hilton Caribbean promises that every aspect of your meeting will proceed as contracted. In the unlikely event that an issue arises, Hilton Caribbean will endeavour to correct it to ensure they deliver what they promised, or you will not have to pay for the portion of the services they did not provide. It’s

Planning, booking and hosting a meeting with Hilton Caribbean might sound a little like you’re on holiday, with all the great tools and benefits they offer to make planning easier. If that’s the way you feel, just imagine the way your guests will feel. They’ll be salsa dancing in San Juan. Playing a round of championship golf on a scenic course in Puerto Rico. Snorkeling in beautiful Barbados. Shopping for treasures in Nassau. Relaxing with an oceanfront massage in Curaçao. Dining by candlelight in Trinidad. Dancing the night away in Jamaica. Sipping poolside drinks in Santo Domingo. Splashing around at the on-site Water Park in Montego Bay. Or, doing absolutely nothing at all. You might say Hilton Caribbean puts an extra splash of pleasure in their business and leisure mix. So let’s look at the big picture. A great Book Now and Save promotion with rewarding incentives. Amazing Planning Tools that make your life easier. An e-Events program that makes booking so easy. A Meetings Peace of Mind Promise to ensure success. All wrapped in white sands, glistening turquoise waters and time-of-their-life fun and excitement your guests will never forget. We make a lot of important decisions as planners. This one’s simple. A planner’s paradise. A guest’s dream come true. Hilton Caribbean really does have it all. u

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the original

do you need power, but you have a different power contact?

Designed & Made in Switzerland

World Travel Adapter I2 & USB charger

Up to two devices can be charged in parallel with an overall current of 1000 mA Compatibility (on the socket side):

Australia, China

USA

UK

World Travel Adapter I2

Connect in over 150 countries Compatibility (on the socket side):

Australia, China

USA

UK

Europe

Europe Max: 1300 W - 220 V, 650 W - 110 V

World Travel Adapter I3 The world‘s first & safest 3-pole adapter

Compatibility (on the socket side):

Italien Italien Italien Italien Europa Europa (Schuko) (Schuko) Europa Schweiz (Schuko) Schweiz Schweiz Europa Schweiz (Schuko) Australien, Australien, Australien, USA Australien, USA USA GBUSA Australien, GB GB GB Italien USAEuropa GB (Schuko) Frankreich, Frankreich, Frankreich, Frankreich, Frankreich, China Deutschland Deutschland Deutschland Deutschland Deutschland

China China China China Australia, USA China

UK

Schweiz

Italy Europe (Schuko) Switzerland France, Germany

Max: 1300 W - 220 V, 650 W - 110 V

We can now offer you the SKROSS World Travel Adapter so you can adapt to the electricity in over 150 countries. The adapter is the elegant, compact and safe way to connect your portable appliances worldwide. The SKROSS World Travel Adapter is engineered in Switzerland. It is sold with a worldwide lifetime warranty. Beware: the adapter does not convert voltage! If you need more information or if you wish to purchase one of our SKROSS World Travel Adapters, please visit our website:

skross.com World Connect Advert 1

30/10/09 19:10:50


Swiss

adaptability

WorldConnect’s extravagant travel accessories proved that Switzerland produces a lot more than just fine chocolate. Since the “frequent traveller” market has demonstrated consistent growth in recent years, WorldConnect has introduced a new high-end brand SKROSS besides the world famous Swiss Travel Products brand in order to capture the ever-growing potential of the travel market.

C

rossing borders, connecting countries, people and cultures – for years this has been the mission of WorldConnect’s clever travel accessories. To meet the needs of frequent traveller’s even better, WorldConnect AG is dedicating the “SKROSS” brand to the premium segment of the traveler market. The brand combines Swiss quality and innovative, futureoriented ideas for open-minded travelers. The World Travel Adapter 3 is the first “high-end” adapter – the keenest thing to make contact on the road – produced in Switzerland. With the adapter in your luggage, every traveller can easily make a connection in over 150 countries and on every continent. Since it is suitable for devices with 2 and 3-pole plugs of protection classes I and II with a maximum output of 2500 Watts, the small Swiss adapter is also like a personal security service when it comes to electrical contact in foreign countries. Despite its very compact size, it is equally suitable for European-style Schuko plugs and sockets. What’s more, the European-style Schuko adapter can also be used independently thanks to the removable attachment. Its sophisticated design integrates six plug variants (UK/Switzerland/Australia/USA/ Europe/Italy) in shatter-proof housing. And it still doesn’t weigh more than 190 grammes. Whether for a laptop, mobile phone or hair-dryer, this reliable Swiss all-rounder gives you unlimited freedom. Attention: The World Travel Adapter 3 travelling companion is not a voltage and frequency converter.

Connected Worldwide The new SKROSS World Travel Adapter 2 guarantees (power) connection in over 150

countries and can also charge mobile phones, MP3 players, etc. thanks to the additional USB adapter. Swiss ideas are simply clever: Just consider the new SKROSS World Travel Adapter 2 which is available with or without a USB charger. With this practical travelling companion, you can connect your devices in Lhasa, charge them in Chandrapur or plug them in at Port Alice. Borders, countries and cultures can be crossed without any connection problems. International connection guaranteed People who travel a lot and work on the road know how much technology is involved. What do you do if the battery of your laptop and other devices are empty and need to be charged? In cases like that, the SKROSS World Travel Adapter 2 is probably the most versatile travelling companion. The adapter, weighing just 101 grammes, easily connects portable devices to the mains in more than 150 countries. It is suitable for use with all devices with 2-pole, non-earthed plugs. With a maximum output of 1300 Watts at 220 Volts or 650 Watts at 110 Volts, the adapter can be used with a broad spectrum of mobile devices. The integrated and replaceable fuse represent a supplementary feature which protects yourself and your devices from unexpected power surges. In addition, the World Travel Adapter 2 has a separate compartment for two replacement fuses (not included in delivery). Attachment for daily use The World Travel Adapter 2 can be used as a USB charger (1000 mA) thanks to SKROSS’s clever, patented compact solution. Just attach the USB attachment to the World Travel Adapter 2 with

the dual charging socket and the elegant travel adapter changes into a USB-based power supply and charger. This allows you to charge and use two devices at the same time. Designed in Switzerland – available for online shopping The SKROSS World Travel Adapter 2 and World Travel Adapter 2 & USB charger are available in white and black in retail packaging or gift boxes (for promotional purposes) from our online shop at www.skross.com. Attention: The World Travel Adapter 2 travelling companion is not a voltage and frequency converter. You must compare the input voltage of the device you want to connect with the local mains voltage. Since 2002, WorldConnect AG has been offering an ever-growing range of innovative and highquality products with its Swiss Travel Products brand, which enable “frequent travellers” to work productively on the road. The new SKROSS ”Adapt to the world” brand combines years of experience, competence and know-how in the development of travel adapters, to satisfy the highest expectations in proven Swiss quality. World Travel Adapters with or without USB adapters are part of the product range. SKROSS is marketed by WorldConnect AG in Steinhausen (Switzerland), and worldwide. The SKROSS quality products are available from the online shop or with selected stores and dealers. You might find these products on board of more than 30 airlines world wide and in duty free stores in over 60 countries!u

For further information go to: www.skross.com

42 | themicereport

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travel accessories 1000 mA

World Travel Adapter 2 & USB charger COMPATABILITY (on the socket side)

AUSTRALIA, CHINA

USA

GB

EUROPE

suitable for

Max. 1300 W - 220 V, 650 W - 110 V

AdaptEr Specifications World Travel World Travel Adapter 3 Adapter 2

World Travel Adapter 2 suitable for

COMPATABILITY (on the socket side)

AUSTRALIA, CHINA

USA

GB

Max. 1300 W - 220 V, 650 W - 110 V

EUROPE

• • • • • •

Max. adapter output: • 2500 Watts - 220 Volts or 1100 Watts - 110 Volts • Colour: White • Weight: 0.190 kg • LxWxH : • Adapter incl. Schuko attachment: 73 x 57 x 65 mm Schuko attachment (separate):58 x 57 x 45 mm Schuko adapter with sockets for: UK/ Switzerland/Australia USA/Europe/Italy China/Japan Country-specific • plugs: UK/Switzerland • Italy/Australia/USA. Lifetime Warranty • • • •

Max. output: 1300 Watts - 220 Volts or 650 Watts 110 Volts Colours: Black/white Weight: 0.101 kg LxWxH: 64 x 55 x 50 mm Lifetime Warranty

World Travel Adapter 2 & USB charger

Adapter: same specification as World Travel Adapter 2. USB top: Detachable USB charger with standard US-plug, enables using as an independent single USB charger Output: 5.0 VDC / 1000 mA max. Power rating: 100 – 240 VAC~ 50-60 Hz / 200 mA Dual USB interface for parallel charging Up to 1000 mA charging current Luminous charging state indicator 2-year warranty

LxWxH : • Charger: 62 x 49 x 37 mm

European-style Schuko adapter

World Travel Adapter 3 COMPATABILITY (on the socket side)

Australien, AUSTRALIA, China CHINA

USA USA

GB GB

Italien ITALY

suitable for

Europa (Schuko) Schweiz EUROPE SWITZERLAND Frankreich, (SCHUKO) Deutschland FRANCE, GERMANY

WorldConnect AG Hinterbergstrasse 47 6312 Steinhausen - Switzerland Phone: +41 41 747 12 00 Fax: +41 41 740 45 71 Email: info@worldconnect.ch Web: www.skross.com themicereport | 43

World Connect DPS V5.indd 3

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EXHILARATING. REACH SPEEDS UP TO 2500KM/H

AUSTRALIA CZECH REPUBLIC FRANCE GERMANY RUSSIAN FEDERATION SOUTH AFRICA SWITZERLAND UNITED KINGDOM UNITED STATES

ARE YOU READY FOR THE THRILL OF YOUR LIFE? MiGFlug puts you in the seat of a fighter jet aircraft. You will reach speeds of up to Mach 2.35 (2500 km/h or 1551 mph), altitudes of over 25 km (82000 ft) and feel gravity from weightlessness up to 9g. While airborne, you‘ll have the ability to control the aircraft yourself. BUSINESS INCENTIVES THAT WORK For groups up to 15 people, custom weightlessness flights can be arranged. Additional services include customized corporate branding of the aircraft interior and flight suits. From cost-effective jet flights to large-scale group events, MiGFlug will customize a package exactly to your needs. If you aim to leave a positive and long-lasting impression on your business partners, employees and clients: Look no further.

Get your free voucher now: www.migflug.com/welcome

MIGFlug Advert.indd 1

30/10/09 19:12:17


jet fighter experience

the sky’s the limit? think again Probably every man fantasized about becoming a jet pilot or an astronaut when he was a kid. What’s more fascinating than controlling a fast-paced jet aircraft at the speed of sound? Making this dream come true is the aim of MiGFlug.com.

T

he Switzerland-based company allows both individuals and businesses to book flights in military jet aircraft. Through an extensive, global fleet of jet fighters and unique links to astronaut training facilities, the company provides private and corporate clients with three different sorts of adventures: individual flights in state-of-the-art fighter jets such as the supersonic MiG-29 or classics like the Hawker Hunter, formation flights and dogfights in two or more L-39 jets as well as zero-gravity flights for up to 15 people. Flights are available from different airfields in nine countries across four continents. Most popular flight locations include the USA, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Russia. The Swiss alps are their prime location: Chasing through picturesque valleys and alongside steep mountains at maximum speed is indeed an unparalleled experience, available only in Switzerland. Even though single flights are possible in all aircraft of MiGFlug.com, the greatest thrill must be an air-combat training between two jets. Such a package for two customers includes a total of six flights: After an informative and fun 30-minutes briefing flight for

each participant, two air-combat runs follow. All flights of MiGFlug have one thing in common: Participants will be given the possibility to take control of the jet while airborne. As they’re assisted by an instructor before and throughout the flight, highest standard of flight safety is guaranteed - even without any flight experience of the clients. Another popular event, especially for groups, is a Zero-Gravity flight in a wide-body aircraft. These aircraft are specially equipped for astronaut trainings and can accommodate groups of up to 15 people. During the 90-minutes flight, participants enjoy a total of ten phases of zero gravity just like in space. To make sure everybody’s comfortable and safe, several professional instructors are there during the experience. Until recently, mostly private customers enjoyed these adrenaline-charged flights. Recently, however, an increasing number of corporate clients started to realize the benefits of offering such unique events to their employees and partners. Responding to the growing demand for custom-tailored team events, MiGFlug added more jets and group events to the programs. Air

combat in two L-39 Albatros jets is available in California, the Czech Republic, in Russia and in the Swiss Alps. Furthermore, Zero-Gravity group flights in Russia and the US are available. Corporate branding and marketing productions are also available. To fully meet the demands of corporate clients, transfer services, on-site catering and video/ photo services are provided at all airfields. Moreover, MiGFlug offers to set off CO₂Emissions exhausted during its flights. To make the MiGFlug experience fully climate neutral the company cooperates with New Zealand-based OffsetTheRest. The company’s website www.migflug.com offers more information as well as customer reviews. It also allows online booking of individual flights, gift vouchers and team events. u

MiGFlug & ADventure GmbH Dorfstrasse 10, 6404 Greppen - Lucerne, Switzerland www.migflug.com/welcome • info@migflug.com

themicereport | 45

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THE

hidden COST OF DOING BUSINESS OUTSIDE YOUR HOME COUNTRY by Stephen Dale, Partner Landwell & Associés, correspondent law firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, vice-president of the International VAT Association.

© Alterfalter | Dreamstime.com

Int VAT Association DPS.indd 2

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vat reclaim

Estimates are difficult but on a very conservative basis it has been estimated that about €5billion of VAT incurred by businesses is not recovered each year for many varied reasons.

S

ince 19801 there has been a possibility for businesses established in one EU Member state to recover VAT incurred in another Member state, where that business is neither established nor supplying any goods or services which are within the scope of the VAT system of the country in which the VAT was incurred. Businesses not established within the EU, nor supplying goods or services in any EU Member state, but who incur VAT in connection with their business activities in a Member state can obtain a refund of VAT from the Member state in which the VAT was paid2.

The procedure to obtain the refund of such VAT is very cumbersome and requires a great deal of time and effort to be expended by businesses to recover individual amounts of VAT which, singly, may not be significant. An example here might be a trip to France by a UK businessman seeking to recover French VAT on the costs he incurred whilst visiting a number of actual or prospective clients in France. If he brought his car to France then he would likely incur VAT on the following types of expenditure: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Car fuel Road tolls Map Hotel Restaurant Client entertainment …

On the face of it the VAT on this type of expenditure – at least from a UK perspective – would not be deductible as such – except perhaps the VAT on the hotel costs. The UK 1

businessman, therefore, may decide not to recover the French VAT at a rate of 5.5% on the hotel room cost – even at €200 this would only generate €11 of recoverable VAT. However, in France, VAT on hotel costs is not deductible (unless incurred for a third party), but VAT is recoverable on car fuel (if it is diesel, but then only 80%), on restaurant costs (now 5.5% since 1 July 2009 – except on alcoholic drinks where the VAT is still 19.6%, but can be reclaimed) and on road tolls and maps, provided that the suppliers’ invoices are made out in the name of the UK business and the claim to recover the VAT is made no later than 30 June following the year in which the VAT became due. Clearly it would be economically beneficial for the UK businessman to recover the French VAT incurred. In theory this is straightforward, but many Member states require that the VAT refund claim forms are completed in their national language and of course if there are any questions regarding the amounts claimed, the correspondence is in most cases in the national language of the country in which the VAT is being reclaimed. As a consequence many businesses are discouraged from making a refund claim and even when the supporting invoices can be located and the originals sent to the tax authorities in the Member state of claim the additional administrative complexities are a very effective deterrent. Even if the refund claim is valid and is accepted, certain Member states have difficulty in processing the refund claims and refunding the money to the non-established claimant3 due to a lack of human or technical resources4.

In addition the current paper based system is highly subject to fraud. The Commission as part of the “VAT Package” (a number of VAT measures adopted in early 20085) has introduced a reform of the existing refund system to EU Member states’ businesses which will take effect on 1 January 2010. This new Directive will modernise and in principle simplify the system for businesses making the VAT refund process easier. In future, ie from 1 January 2010 a business in Member state 1 having incurred VAT in Member state 2 will be able to recover the VAT of Member state 2 by applying through the Government Portal of Member state 1 which will verify the existence of the claimant and forward the claim, electronically, to the tax authorities in Member state 2 – which will as is currently the case – process the claim and refund the business in Member state 1. The systems will not change at present for businesses established outside of the EU. The OECD is also working on this issue6 in trying to develop some guidelines to encourage member states of the OECD to reflect on how to make their VAT/GST systems more competitive. The OECD has launched a major questionnaire to attempt to better evaluate the amount of non-recoverable VAT globally and to gauge businesses reactions to the issues around not being able to recover fully VAT incurred in another country. As a consequence with the whole of the crossborder VAT refund process being simplified within the EU and the increasing pressure from the OECD, this should allow more businesses to reclaim some part of the €5billion (or perhaps far more) of VAT currently being unclaimed.

Directive EC 79/1072 • 2 Directive EC 89/560 • 3 See cases (European Court of Justice ) C-78/99 - Commission v Italy, C-90/05 - Commission v Luxemburg • 4 See Commission Press Release IP/09/1463 of 8 October 2009 re Hungary – relating to refund rules generally • 5 Directive 2008/09 • 6 Article in the Tax Journal 9 March 2009 by Alain Charlet and Stéphane Buydens - VAT and GST Refunds - Towards more business-friendly mechanisms? www.oecd.org/ctp/ct

themicereport | 47

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Turning EXPENSES Into CASH

During these difficult times, isn’t it comforting to know there’s a company out there whose sole desire is to save you money? VATit assists companies of all sizes recover their often unclaimed VAT on travel and supplier invoices. With over 20 offices worldwide, let VATit help your business turn today’s expenses into tomorrow’s bottom line. Contact your nearest branch today for expert advice and to find out more about our premium service or email info@vatit.co.uk

VATit UK Limited | 18-20 Rosemont Road London | NW3 6NE | United Kingdom +44 20 7431 4664

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VATit Advert.indd 1

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vat reclaim

Turning today’s expenses into tomorrow’s bottom line Is your company incurring high costs on overseas expenses? We can help you save money on those pricey global conferences, tradeshows and hotel stays. The VATit Group offers the easiest and most effective way in saving up to 25% of your overseas expenditure by helping you claim back your foreign VAT.

E

very year millions of Euros are needlessly given away in unclaimed foreign VAT with middlesized to smaller businesses being the least likely to reclaim it. It’s a great shame considering that the European VAT Legislation’s purpose was framed to ensure a level playing field for all businesses across Europe. Why are companies losing out on claiming their Foreign VAT? • Enterprises are unaware that they are entitled to reclaim vat incurred on foreign expenses. • Some companies are intimidated by the complex and daunting procedures involved and see it as a distraction from their core activities. • Companies lack the expertise in dealing with foreign VAT authorities and their bureaucracies.

Without the knowledge of each foreign country’s legislation and the necessary experience, businesses’ refunds are often rejected. The cost of doing this process themselves outweighs the benefit.

How can VATit help? With offices in over 20 countries and the most advanced processing centres in the world, VATit assists businesses in reclaiming their VAT from the European Union (EU), Canada, Japan, Australia, South Korea and other jurisdictions that allow similar types of refunds. In these difficult and competitive times, a costcutting measure such us this could give your business the edge over others. And the best part is -- your expenses are assessed on a strictly contingent, no-obligations basis. If we don’t get your refund, we don’t get paid! themicereport | 49

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Claiming your foreign VAT is highly administrative, that’s why we are here to help So how does it work? The greatest advantage in outsourcing your foreign VAT reclaim is that it requires zero input from your finance department’s resources – VATit handles the entire process from beginning to end. VATit provides clients with the following services: • Initial free consultation where one of our business development managers will explain the process to you in detail. • Regular onsite invoice retrievals. A dedicated client service executive (CSE) visits your business regularly to retrieve invoices that are valid for VAT reclaim. They are highly qualified and specialised people who know how to manage this process smoothly and efficiently. Original invoices are always returned and total confidentiality is assured. • VATit provides clients regularly with tailormade reports. • Continuous research of the VAT laws in various countries. • Our efficient processing centres have established relationships with numerous suppliers and with the VAT authorities. This assists us to organise your refund as soon as possible. • VATit can provide onsite training of your staff so that they know exactly what expenses and invoices are claimable. • VATit delivers a professional service and holds confidentiality in the highest regard.

Is my company eligible for foreign VAT reclaim? Any business is eligible provided that: • Your company is registered outside the country from which you are claiming. • You are visiting the country for business purposes. • Your company is not registered for VAT in the country from which you are claiming. • NOTE: If your company is based within the European Union, it must be registered for VAT in the home country. What expenses can my business claim on? Invoices that you wish to claim on will vary from country to country however most allow VAT on the following expenses to be reclaimed: • Car Rental • Conferences • Employee meals • Entertainment • Hotel Accommodation • Intercompany charges from European affiliates, head offices or branches • Management & Consultancy fees • Petrol • Professional fees • Research expenses • Telecommunication costs • Trade Shows or exhibitions • Training courses • Transportation

What the future holds VATit is at the forefront and offers support for the 8th Directive EU system change. This new proposition – which will be adopted in January 2010 -- aims at allowing the electronic submission of claims. VATit holds regular meetings with the various VAT authorities to understand how the new law changes – including the new place of supply rule -- will impact on the submission process. In addition, VATit is a member of the International VAT Association. Through this forum VATit is involved in discussions regarding the new legislation and continues to attend meetings and communicate with the relevant personnel. VATit continues to monitor the situation and our transition team is in place to ensure that all clients experience a smooth and effortless experience moving to the new system. Getting in touch with us To find out more on how your business can significantly reduce its costs, contact your nearest VATit branch where one of our vat specialists will tell you more about our premium service or log onto our website at www.vatit.com for more information. u

info@vatit.co.uk +44 (0) 20 7431 4664 www.vatit.co.uk

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rediscover

CYPRUS

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cyprus

From wine routes to mountains, traditional village squares and Blue Flag beaches, Cyprus has it all. And with so much recent investment you’ll be astonished at the quality of what’s on offer.

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he extraordinary island of Cyprus continues to reinvent itself thanks to the ingenuity, professionalism and hospitality of its dynamic people. If you haven’t been to Cyprus recently, or even if you think you know it, you are likely to be amazed at what it now has to offer the conference market. With five-star de luxe hotels offering gorgeous spas, glistening blue sea and clean sandy beaches, this island also has 10,000 years of history just waiting to be incorporated into any event programme. Whether it is a village fiesta, a treasure hunt in the mountains and back down for a barbecue on the beach within 40 minutes, everything is possible. And you can relax in Cyprus, safe in the knowledge that the professionalism of the hotel staff combined with the creativity of your destination management company and the efficiency of the other event suppliers mean that things really do happen here. Whether you are after a state-of-the-art conference hotel, a boutique-style property, culture, wine and local food or watersports and the great outdoors, you won’t be disappointed. There have been such high levels of investment in the hotels, restaurants and infrastructure (including excellent motorways and a brand new airport) that it can now compete with the best internationally. It really is a Mediterranean island with a European mentality. Things work in Cyprus. English is widely spoken throughout and many of the staff in hotels are multi-lingual. Cypriots pride themselves on their warm hospitality after all. The climate too is hugely attractive. Its long seasons and mild winters mean it is truly a year-

round destination. And if you can book out of the high season, there are some great deals to be had. Cyprus is one of the safest places to live in the European Union with a crime rate just 16 per cent of the average in the EU. Many conference visitors extend their business trips to take an affordable holiday with their families. And then there’s the food and drink. Offering a glorious Mediterranean diet, olive, almond and citrus trees are abundant. Local, fresh food is served everywhere such as meze, souvla, kleftiko, tavas and halloumi. Wines from the local mountain village areas are ideal as an accompaniment. Try the local dessert wine Commandaria before finishing the evening off with a drop of Cyprus Zivania, the local firewater usually kept in the freezer by locals. STEEPED IN HISTORY Cyprus has been playing host to international meetings for thousands of years. With a history dating back to the Neolithic Age, Cyprus flourished during the Bronze Age. Its strategic geographical location has meant that it has always been important and civilisations passing by have each left their mark. Depending on levels of interest in the group, archaeology, culture and history can be incorporated in to any event. And, of course, legend has it that Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, was ‘born’ near Paphos. Cyprus has been part of the Egyptian, Greek, Persian and Roman empires. St Paul performed a number of miracles here while Richard the Lionheart married Princess Berengaria in 1191 in themicereport | 53

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Previous page: Cyprus offers a fantastic beach lifestyle; According to legend, this is the strikingly beautiful spot where Aphrodite rose from the waves and the foaming sea and was then escorted on a shell at the rocks known as ‘Rock of Aphrodite’, or ‘Petra tou Romiou’ in Greek. This page: Diving, sailing, donkey riding, spa and theme nights in a medieval manor is just a small sample from a variety of incentive activities one can do.

what is now Lemesos (Limassol). So your group will be in good company! From sites of antiquity to mythology, the magic of Cyprus is ready to be woven into every event programme. There are pre-historic settlements, ancient Greek temples, Byzantine churches and monasteries with outstanding mosaics and wall paintings. There are also Crusader castles, Gothic churches and Venetian forts – just take your pick. An ideal location Location, location, location – Cyprus has it made. Sitting in the eastern Mediterranean at the crossroads linking the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa, it really is the ideal place to meet. Just over one hour from continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Cyprus is a great base for international and European meetings. It is also a small island so although many places in the world can offer a combination of sea and mountains, few places can offer them in such close proximity. Here you really can downhill ski in the morning and end the day with a swim

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Cyprus is one of the few places in the world during winter where you can downhill ski in the morning and end the day swimming!

in the sea. You can reach the mountains within 30 minutes by car from many gorgeous sandy beaches. And the scenery is truly spectacular. In the heart of the Troodos mountains are forests and mystical waterfalls while the sea is so clear you can see the pebbles in the water from a cliff 30m high. Most of the major cities offer excellent hotels with everything any delegate could want within a five-minute walk. From quality restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, tavernas, bars and nightclubs, most cities offer all the nightlife a group is after. There are also many fabulous resort properties for those looking for privacy and seclusion. Your professional partners Cyprus offers everything for a successful conference or event. With business hotels and fabulous luxury hotels with golf and spa facilities, there is certainly a venue to suit every event. The industry professionals have a wealth of experience and understand the demanding requirements of event organisers. The destination management companies and professional conference organisers on the island are some of the best in the world. Add to this the friendliness of the Cypriots and any event is guaranteed to be a memorable experience for delegates. The Cyprus Incentive and Meetings Association (CIMA) is the association of destination management companies and event professionals in Cyprus. The association has members with more than 30 years of experience in the industry and helps to guarantee high services levels and

a serious commitment to clients. Companies operating in the industry are invited to apply to become members if they fulfil certain criteria. As a consequence, the island’s professionals really understand how to ensure an event runs smoothly to create a fantastic and memorable experience. Many incentive opportunities Event organisers are truly spoilt for choice in Cyprus. With its sunshine and charming hospitality this is an island where it’s easy to relax. Delegates can enjoy one of three worldclass golf courses, pampering treatments in one of the many award-winning luxury spas, skiing in the Troodos mountains or orienteering in the countryside. A tasting of the local wines is popular as is a cookery demonstration of traditional foods. From a themed dinner in a medieval manor house to a helicopter treasure hunt, donkey-riding, hot air ballooning and watersports on the Mediterranean, there is something to suit every taste and budget. Other options include: Performances in an ancient theatre with the sea as a backdrop Shakespearean plays in the spectacular open-air theatre of Kourion Jeep safari Mountain biking Barbecues in the forest Treasure hunt in a traditional village Sailing and fishing Beach games and parties

Participating in various events throughout the year, such as the Cyprus Wine Festival or Cyprus Rally Plenty of purpose-built space High levels of investment in hotels and venues on the island mean most of the major international chains are well represented alongside local properties and, increasingly, smaller more boutique style hotels. Cyprus offers substantial meeting space and currently offers 350 conference rooms with a seating capacity of 30,000. It also offers 30,000 beds in hotels with conference facilities. Lefkosia (Nicosia) The capital of Cyprus and the largest city, Nicosia is a popular conference choice and offers many business-oriented properties, cosmopolitan dining and many conference facilities. It has a rich history and visitors can see its fortress walls and medieval buildings. It is also a good place for shopping and has a range of outlets selling international designer goods as well as local products. It has a bustling nightlife with many cafes, bars, restaurants and cultural options. Lemesos (Limassol) The country’s second city, this is the place that is changing quickest. There are many upgraded luxury hotels, excellent restaurants and lovely sea promenades. Future developments include the Lemesos Marina. The old town, with its café society, is a delight to explore and this is also themicereport | 55

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Location, location, location – Cyprus has it made. Sitting in the eastern Mediterranean at the crossroads linking the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa, it really is the ideal place to meet.

Right: Cyprus has three world-class golf courses, with a fourth, designed by Nick Faldo, opening in 2010. Below from top: Monument of Liberty in Lefkosia; Kourion Theatre in Lemesos; Paphos Castle; Larnaka Palm Tree Promenade

the centre of winemaking. It has a busy nightlife scene yet sits in the foothills of the Troodos mountains. Pafos A popular resort in western Cyprus, with an archaeological legacy that has placed the whole town on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Pafos has a scenic harbour and castle. Historical sites include the stunning mosaics in the House of Dionysos and Theseus and the Tombs of the Kings. Many luxury hotels can be found here and the region offers the possibility to combine the sea and mountains. Larnaka A modern resort including the island’s main airport, a port, large marina and palm-lined seafront., with a choice of lively restaurants and cafes. The mountainous area around Larnaka is dotted with charming villages where small groups have the option to stay in traditional houses and can enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. Ammochostos (Famagusta) region Agia Napa is the liveliest resort. A popular holiday destination, it offers white sand beaches, watersports and a charming harbour. Some of the island’s best snorkelling and diving areas can be found in the secluded coves and rocky outcrops of the eastern peninsula national forest park. Protaras, a lively resort, boasts some of the best golden sandy beaches on the island and is know for its may windmills. Getting there Accessibility to the island has become much easier for groups in recent years with many more flights on offer. Flight times from the UK are around 4.5 hours and quicker from other cities in Europe.

In addition, there are two new airports. The brand new Pafos Airport opened in November and a new airport will open in Larnaka in November 2009, which will confirm its role as a major international hub. Getting around Cyprus is easy with excellent motorway links and good quality roads throughout the island. Transferring groups in to the Troodos mountains or a remote village for an incentive or tour presents no problems and there are many excellent ground handling companies offering quality coach transport. What’s new • The new Lemesos (Limassol) Conference Centre will seat up to 2000 and will be built close to the sea, the old town and the new Lemesos Marina • Work starts in September on the new marina in Lemesos , which will be home to 600 yachts and many restaurants and shops • An upgrade and refurbishment of Lefkosia Conference Centre is underway and will be completed by 2012 in time to host the Cyprus EU Presidency • A state-of-the-art cultural centre, which will host meetings for up to 1400, is currently under construction near the centre of Lefkosia and will be completed by 2012 • A fourth golf course, designed by Nick Faldo, will open early in 2010 u

Contact: Cyprus Tourism Organisation 17 Hanover Street, London W1S 1YP Tel: 020 7 569 8822 www.visitcyprus.com Katia Hadjiantoni | katiahadjiantoni@visitcyprus.com Nicoletta Paphitou | nicolettapaphitou@visitcyprus.com Lillian Panayi | lillianctolon@btconnect.com themicereport | 57

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WWWVISITMALTACOMMICE Malta Advert.indd 1

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malta

& MALTA

GOZO

S

Malta offers a distinctive blend of the cutting-edge modern and authentic antique, merged with one another to create an interesting destination for anyone to experience and discover. The Islands’ picturesque beauty and the advantageous geographical position have attracted various civilizations, from the Phoenicians to the Romans, the Arabs, the Normans, the Knights of the Order of St John, the French and the British.

ituated at the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta is just three hours away from the major European gateways. After joining the European Union, Malta has become more accessible through the adoption of the Euro as its official currency and the implementation of the Schengen agreement for travel. The Maltese Islands boast about the tangible heritage and culture waiting to be explored. Locations such as Mdina, Valletta, and The Three Cities are uniquely fortified towns which bring together history with versatility due to the many possibilities offered for conference and incentive travel. In addition, the sister Island of Gozo offers a more relaxed and calm environment waiting to be discovered. Suggested to be the island of Calypso which Homer referred to in his epic The Odyssey, Gozo is only five kilometres distant from Malta. Gozo offers a rural Mediterranean setting for entertainment and outdoor activities combined with all the right professional trimmings enabling conference delegates and incentive participants to make use of premium facilities. Malta: The Meeting Place The Maltese Islands were established as a meetings venue long before the advent of

technology. The pre-historic temples in Malta and Gozo were utilised for ritualistic meetings by one of the world’s most ancient civilisations. Nevertheless through progress, companies such as Cadbury, Pfizer, Sony and the Commonwealth Heads of Government (including Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth) have also chosen Malta as their meeting hub for the following reasons: All local suppliers are professional and experienced in organising and executing grand events that demand surgical precision. Malta has a total of fourteen 5-star hotels, which can together accommodate more than 5,500 delegates and all of which are well aware of the discerning needs of conference and incentive travellers. These establishments all have in-house meeting facilities and many of them are clustered within walking distance of each other, enabling event organisers to split up large groups into different properties. Moreover, the forty-plus 4-star hotels on the Islands provide for an additional 14,000 beds. Future projects such as a new five-star hotel at the picturesque historic Vittoriosa Waterfront, close to the “Casino di Venezia”, is on its way and should be completed within a three-year timeframe. Local Destination Management Companies (DMCs) ensure that all guests get a taste of Malta’s remarkable historic sites, unique venues themicereport | 59

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malta

Previous page: Malta’s Waterfront; Azure Window in Gozo. This page: Malta’s Fine arts Museum

and places of natural beauty, during their visit. This will set the event apart from any other, presenting a programme that is both entertaining and authentically Maltese. The Malta Tourism Authority recently launched the Quality Assurance scheme to identify and recognise those DMC’s committed to high levels of quality, consistency and professionalism. In line with other international quality schemes, the MTA’s scheme for DMC’s covers areas of importance, such as customer satisfaction and feedback, references and statements, insurance coverage, continuous development, event evaluation as well as other criteria related to the set up and structure of the DMC. This seal gives organisers tangible proof of the professionalism of suppliers on the Islands. Venues available to conference and incentive organisers include charming palazzos and converted traditional farmhouses, in which a variety of events ranging from wine parties, themed events and Maltese evenings can be held. The innovative mobile floating venue launched by the Malta Fairs and Convention Centre has helped differentiate the possibilities of event planning whereby delegates can be entertained in a mobile white tent held up by transparent side walls transported to anywhere, even the Grand Harbour. Malta: So much to Offer The flexibility of the Maltese Islands allows an array of options for activities to reward staff members for their hard work. Local DMCs, entertainment and team-building companies will skilfully devise programmes set to impress. Team building activities are known to aid corporate employee motivation. Activities such as treasure hunts around Malta’s capital city

Valletta, building and competing in races utilising a functioning life-size cardboard ‘boat’ or ‘car’ are examples of such aids which can be incorporated as one of the daily activities. The warm Maltese climate, the sandy beaches and the surrounding Mediterranean Sea set the scene for beach Olympics and water sport competitions, using jet-skis, yachts and speedboats. Alternatively time-travelling quests with medieval games and joust tournaments are another option. Various sports and outdoor activities are challenges which could easily be taken up by delegates. The Islands can be discovered through jeep rallies escorted by local experts. The more intrepid explorers can also experience the thrills of rock climbing or abseiling. Environmentally friendly guests, keen to travel in the carbonfriendly way can adventurously explore the terrain on a bicycle trail. The MTA is very much aware that corporate Social responsibility and carbon footprint issues are becoming increasingly crucial criteria for conference organisers. The Authority is constantly raising awareness about these issues with its local trade partners and introduced an Eco Certification Scheme in 2002, which is awarded to environmentally-minded accommodation establishments. Delegates looking for a relaxing activity to get away from it all can take in the fresh air as they experience a fishing trip on a Luzzu the traditional Maltese fishing boat brightly painted in shades of blue, green, red and yellow guided by the eyes of Osiris which are featured on the bow of the boat. Luxury yacht cruises, sail daily around the Maltese and Gozitan shores offering stunning views of the islands from sea. For all those who have the sea at heart a close diving encounter with the Maltese Sea Life in the underwater caves of Gozo would be worthwhile.

As a Mediterranean country, Malta boasts of its fine cuisine and home grown produce. One can choose from the various typical Maltese dishes influenced by Mediterranean cuisine or alternatively opt for an international menu. Alternatively one can opt to savour the local products such as goat’s cheeselets, sundried tomatoes and olives grown on the indigenous Olive trees around our islands comfortably in a rented Farmhouse with the expertise of a local chef. After all these activities, relaxation and pampering is deemed necessary. Leisure time can be spent at the Spa, or simply walking through the quaint streets of the Maltese villages where one should stop for a café and a typical cheese or pea cake. On the other hand for those who want more action, the Casino’s in Malta are a choice to try one’s luck and leave the island content with a special winning prize. Choosing Malta as the destination for a conference or meeting will remarkably make this event transform into something more than just an overseas business trip. Built on a stable history of hospitality, Malta will bring knowledge, expertise and added creativity to any event. u

Malta Tourism Authority. Tel: 00356 2291 5204/6 Contact: Ms Nadine Brincat Email: nadine.brincat@visitmalta.com www.visitmalta.com/business-travel

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Conrad Cairo advert.indd 1

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sicily

SICILY think of a perfect place for an event...

Sicily’s idyllic climate, coupled with its diversified territory and hospitality, make it a great place to host a business or social event.

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. . . Y L I C I S N I T N E V E R U O Y Water E N I G A IM

Art&Culture

Photos by Pucci Scafidi Photographer

Land

r e n t r a p l u f t s u r t a d n a n ... o i t a m r o f n i d n a a e d i for any

www.siciliaconvention.com .siciliaconvention.com

Sicilia Convention Bureau - Piazza L.Ariosto, 3 - 95127 Catania e-mail:info@siciliaconvention.com

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sicily

SICILY the perfect meeting place

S

icily is particularly suited to the world of events as its natural characteristics encompass all the essential elements for a successful occasion. First and foremost, the “Trinacria” (the antique Greek name for Sicily) is a very diversified territory catering for all tastes. Routes and paths cross the green slopes leading up to the lunar landscape of Etna; the sea and mountains alongside each other offering a morning on the ski slopes and the afternoon out on a boat; the nature reserves, the countryside and the plantations….. all in a dream-world climate, mild all year round, with an average rainfall among the lowest in Europe. But Sicily is not just about nature. Art and culture, inherited from the past fill the atmosphere all over the island. The Greek Temples, the Byzantine, Norman and Roman monuments, the cities of Palermo, Taormina, Catania, and Agrigento are places where the past and present blend into an idyllic ensemble. It’s the morphology of Sicily, together with the various congress, sport and tourist facilities spread across the whole territory that make the island the multifaceted region where any kind of event can be held. Sicilia Convention Bureau, set up by the Unicredit Group to provide an instrument for

Sicilian companies and institutions to increase the enormous potential for tourism and congresses in the region, is active throughout Sicily, selecting top quality congress facilities and operators. But that’s not all: the constant need to keep up with customers’ needs stimulates the company to provide training courses for local operators to foster constant professional development and the improvement of facilities and services. Sicilia Convention Bureau is the reference point for all those looking for a trustworthy partner to organise their events anywhere in Sicily. Top quality services and the experience and competence of all staff members mean concrete answers to precise customers’ requirements. Sicilia Convention Bureau does not organise events, nor does it finance or support individual promotion initiatives. The company aims primarily to foster and commercialise the Sicilian territory in the events sector. The objective is to attract and encourage meetings, events, conventions, congresses and small, medium and large national and international events. Sicilia Convention Bureau’s vocation is to promote all the provinces in the region in the same way, by highlighting their peculiarities and points of excellence. The company looks for synergy with local public institutions and convention bureaus and, wherever there may be a need, seeks to provide the instruments and a valid support to

Thanks to its geographical position, at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily has always been a crossroads for peoples, cultures and traditions. Traces of this mixture can be found in the proverbial Sicilian hospitality, which together with the innate inventiveness and renewed competence and professionalism of congress operators, make the difference between a “normal” meeting and a truly memorable event. themicereport | 65

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Milan

Treviso* Venice

The Waldorf Astoria Collection

Bologna

Hilton Doubletree by Hilton

Florence

Hilton Garden Inn * Next opening

Olbia

Rome Sorrento

Matera

Bari Lecce

Palermo

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sicily

those areas that do not have institutions capable of implementing expensive and frequently complex promotion programmes, such as a continuous presence above all on foreign markets. Sicilia Convention Bureau’s objectives are clear: to increase the number of conventions that are organised each year in Sicily by promoting the area through an appropriate communications campaign based on participation in international trade fairs in this sector and in important national and international events. In order to maintain continuity in this commercialisation policy, Sicilia Convention Bureau believes it is crucial for private companies and operators to join in. In this context, next September will see the start of a membership campaign aimed at those facilities and operators offering minimum quality standards. The web site, presently under construction but almost completed, is an example of the services Sicilia Convention Bureau aims to provide. www.siciliaconvention.com will be a portal through which events operators and the world of potential corporate clients can access the information they need. Sicilia Convention Bureau: your ideal partner for truly memorable events in Sicily! WHAT WE DO Constant mapping enables Sicilia Convention Bureau to identify the characteristics and peculiarities of local resources. Sicilia Convention Bureau coordinates, promotes and commercialises these features to interested purchasers (company planners, communications and purchasing offices, PCO, companies and associations). HOW WE DO IT 1 We prepare and support candidatures for events and conventions to be presented in Italy and abroad 2 We handle clients’ requests by providing complete information on venues, transport and services in loco, in conformity with needs 3 We prepare offers and quotations for clients with a preliminary survey of prices

Previous page: Isolabella Beach, Taormina; Valle dei Templi site, Agrigento. This page top to bottom: Le Saline at sunset; The triskelion symbol which appears on the Sicilian National Flag; The near-perfect climate and a rich mediterranean diet makes a visit to Sicily unforgettable.

4 We select facilities and services based on internationally recognised quality standards 5 We organise training courses specifically for local operators, to stimulate constant professional development and the improvement of facilities and services. In particular, we intend to create discussion groups and working parties to address the specific needs of each category, to discuss the objectives of each group’s specific commercial policy, to examine the market response and to draw the necessary conclusions and adapt resources and quotations. Six themes are covered by the groups: • Congress facilities (other than hotels), historical residences, villas and buildings • Hotels and congress hotels • Agencies, PCO, DMC • Transport services • Catering, banqueting and decoration services • Technological services There will be at least two annual meetings. Should any particular group feel the need for focalised work on a specific topic, more frequent meetings can be planned.

6 We produce and distribute promotional material 7 We organise fam-trips, participate in workshops and trade fairs with a view to fostering the market between national and international demand and local resources 8 We structure research and monitoring of perceived quality by clients by analysing data to obtain information to improve supply. Our objective is to ensure the product presented on the international market is professional and constantly improving 9 We keep the operators in the region regularly informed on economic data and on national and international trends in order to improve communication down the line and stimulate development. ◆

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tenerife

Isla de la Eterna Primavera

TENERIFE Basking in the balmy waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the western coast of Africa, the island paradise of Tenerife has been attracting international traders and expanding businesses since the 15th century.

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nown traditionally as the Isla de la Eterna Primavera – the Island of Eternal Spring – Tenerife was a spellbinding stop-off point for explorers setting off from Europe to make their fortunes in the New World. With enduring cultural and commercial links to Europe, America and Africa, this largest and most charming of the Canary Islands is now luring international business travellers and conferences to its magical shores as never before. For more than four hundred years, the Spanish settlers cultivated the fertile pastures of this volcanic island to refine its reputation as a significant winegrowing locality, and its seasoned vineyards may help to explain why Tenerife excels at its key industry – hospitality. For the international event organiser, Tenerife possesses an abundance of supplementary attractions to ensure that every corporate convention hosted here is rich with experience – both in the boardroom and beyond. Tenerife’s world-famous hospitality extends much further than the touristy bars, clubs, luxuriant

spas and sunbathing beaches of Playa de las Americas in the south. With a free afternoon to spare, the business traveller can discover the warm welcome at the heart of this truly Spanish island in the bustling capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, with its brightly-coloured period buildings, sophisticated bars and cafes, and substantial collection of museums and galleries, including the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Nature and Man – which exhibits the remarkable natural diversity of the island’s flora and fauna. Schedule permitting, conference delegates can also explore the untouched treasures of this tropical Eden: from the vertical precipices of the Acantilados de Los Gigantes (Cliffs of the Giants) rising 500 metres out of the ocean, to the awesome lunar landscape of the third largest volcano in the world, the Pico del Teide, to the vast laurel, myrtle and pine forests that teem with exotic wildlife. But the natural enchantments of this breathtaking isle should not eclipse the real business of conferencing, and to this end Tenerife offers

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tenerife a colossal range of convention facilities and business-class hotels to suit every function. The luxury Gran Bahia Del Duque Resort in Costa Adeje on the western coast of the island is a case in point. Architecturally designed as a classic Spanish village, the Gran Bahia offers 3,000 square metres of conference space distributed between 26 meeting rooms, an impressive 482 hotel rooms, and ten distinctive restaurants serving a wide range of world cuisines. Similarly, the Mare Nostrum Resort in Arona is a first-class venue for a business incentive trip or conference, situated on the white sandy beaches of Playa del Camisón. With a convention auditorium that caters for more than 2,000 delegates and excellent facilities for presentations, meetings and networking activities, the Mare Nostrum – like many of the business-class resorts in Tenerife – is also situated just minutes from some of Spain’s most prestigious golf courses.

© Alterfalter | Dreamstime.com

Accessing the Island of Eternal Spring could not be simpler as Tenerife is the only Canary Island that boasts two international airports: the thoroughly modern Reina Sofia Airport in the south and the Los Roderos Airport in the north – both of which receive frequent intercontinental arrivals. As one of the world’s most accessible tropical destinations and with a remarkable array of delights to offer the business traveller, Tenerife is truly the island paradise for every occasion.

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Clockwise from left: Garachico at night; Teide Hill and Orotava Valley; Stamford Grand Adelaide; Tenerife’s Opera Auditorium ; Bougainvillea grows in abundance in the Canary Islands; Tenerife has an abundance of top class hotels to host MICE events.

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meetings & events meetings & events meetings & events beyond your imagination beyond beyond your your imagination imagination

Abama Golf & Spa Resort provides an ideal

environment and offers optimal facilities for Abama Golf & Spa Resort provides an ideal meetings, conferences andprovides groups. Situated Abama Golf & Spa Resort an ideal environment and offers optimal facilities for on the smooth slopes of the Teide volcano, environment and offers optimal facilities for meetings, conferences and groups. Situated the highest point in Spain, this 160Situated hectare meetings, conferences and groups. on the smooth slopes of the Teide volcano, cliff-top resort is a tropical island paradise on the smooth slopes of the Teide volcano, the highest point in Spain, this 160 hectare withhighest a luxurious selection ofthis special the point in Spain, 160features hectare cliff-top resort is a tropical island paradise for guests seeking the ultimate group or cliff-top resort is a tropical island paradise with a luxurious selection of special features incentive destination. Conference facilities with a luxurious selection of special features for guests seeking the ultimate group or offerguests panoramic views ofultimate the Atlantic Ocean for seeking the group or incentive destination. Conference facilities and access to an outdoor terrace. incentive destination. Conference facilities offer panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean 2 Abama is complete with 1,500m of offer panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and access to an outdoor terrace. versatile rooms for meetings perfectly and access to an outdoor terrace. Abama is complete with 1,500m2 of equipped the latest Abama with is complete withtechnology 1,500m2 of versatile rooms for meetings perfectly and designed to for accommodate all types versatile rooms meetings perfectly equipped with the latest technology of events, from business meetings and equipped with the latest technology and designed to accommodate all types executive conferences of the highest level and designed to accommodate all types of events, from business meetings and to exclusive business incentive programmes of events, from business meetings and executive conferences of the highest level and gala conferences events. A ceiling 4.5 executive of theheight highestoflevel to exclusive business incentive programmes to exclusive business incentive programmes and gala events. A ceiling height of 4.5 and gala events. A ceiling height of 4.5

Abama A4 re-jigged.indd 1

meters throughout the space adds to the

luxurious atmosphere of this state of the meters throughout the space adds to the art facility. Modular spaces canadds be adapted meters throughout the space to the luxurious atmosphere of this state of the to suit the needs and size requirements of luxurious atmosphere of this state of the art facility. Modular spaces can be adapted each client.Modular A total of 10 rooms vary in size art facility. spaces can be adapted to suit the2needs and2 size requirements of from 40m to 100m and these individual to suit the needs and size requirements of each client. A total of 10 rooms vary in size roomsclient. can be joined toinmeet each A total ofor 10separated rooms vary size from 40m2 to 100m2 and these individual 2of each group. 2 the needs from 40m to 100m and these individual rooms can be joined or separated to meet Meetings events will benefit from rooms can beand joined or separated to meet the needs of each group. the needs first-class service and catering offered the of each group. Meetings and events will benefit from by this 5-star resort. From Meetings and events willBasque benefitthree from the first-class service and catering offered Michelin star service chef Martin Berasategui’s the first-class and catering offered by this 5-star resort. From Basque three restaurant; “M.B,” to From the Japanese-style by this 5-star resort. Basque three Michelin star chef Martin Berasategui’s Abama Kabuki theMartin famousBerasategui’s Spanish chef Michelin star by chef restaurant; “M.B,” to the Japanese-style Ricardo Sanz, menus can be tailored to suit restaurant; “M.B,” to the Japanese-style Abama Kabuki by the famous Spanish chef a wide variety of tastes and themed events. Abama Kabuki by the famous Spanish chef Ricardo Sanz, menus can be tailored to suit Outdoor are Ricardo Sanz,facilities menus can benumerous tailored to and suit a wide variety of tastes and themed events. include a Persian Garden with an outdoor a wide variety of tastes and themed events. Outdoor facilities are numerous and poolOutdoor and replica of the are Alhambra fountain, facilities numerous and include a Persian Garden with an outdoor include a Persian Garden with an outdoor pool and replica of the Alhambra fountain, pool and replica of the Alhambra fountain,

El Mirador: a Balinese-style restaurant with

a unique cliff-top location is an optimal El Mirador: a Balinese-style restaurant with place to watch the sunrise and sunset. El Mirador: a Balinese-style restaurant with a unique cliff-top location is an optimal Additional resort facilities include a unique cliff-top location is an optimal7 place to watch the sunrise and sunset. swimming pools,the a beach andand Beach Club, place to watch sunrise sunset. Additional resort facilities include 7 a Dave Thomas-designed 72-par, 18 hole7 Additional resort facilities include swimming pools, a beach and Beach Club, golf course pools, that features waterfalls swimming a beach lakes, and Beach Club, a Dave Thomas-designed 72-par, 18 hole and lush landscaping combined with a Dave Thomas-designed 72-par, 18 view hole golf course that features lakes, waterfalls of the Atlantic a Tennis and a golf course thatOcean, features lakes,Club waterfalls and lush landscaping combined with view world-class spa that combined offers a traditional and lush landscaping with view of the Atlantic Ocean, a Tennis Club and a Roman spa circuit as well as a full range of the Atlantic Ocean, a Tennis Club andof a world-class spa that offers a traditional spa treatments wellness world-class spaand that offers aclasses. traditional Roman spa circuit as well as a full range of Abama a broad and Roman spaoffers circuit as wellrange as a of fullgroup range of spa treatments and wellness classes. individual activities tasting, spa treatments andincluding wellness wine classes. Abama offers a broad range of group and cooking classes, classes, diving Abama offerssalsa a broad rangescuba of group and individual activities including wine tasting, and snorkelling lessons, whale watching individual activities including wine tasting, cooking classes, salsa classes, scuba diving trips and Atlantic Breathing: yoga-style cooking classes, salsa classes, scuba diving and snorkelling lessons, whale watching breathing in an outdoor garden overlooking and snorkelling lessons, whale watching trips and Atlantic Breathing: yoga-style the sea. trips and Atlantic Breathing: yoga-style breathing in an outdoor garden overlooking breathing in an outdoor garden overlooking the sea. the sea.

Abama Golf & Spa Resort · Carretera General TF-47 · km 9 · 38687 Guía de Isora · Tenerife · España T + 34 922 126 000 · F +34 922 126 100 · www.abamahotelresort.com by R-C Spain, S.L., a subsidiary Hotel Co.· Tenerife L.L.C Abama Golf Operated & Spa Resort · Carretera General TF-47 · of kmthe 9 · Ritz-Carlton 38687 Guía de Isora · España Abama Golf & TSpa Resort · Carretera General TF-47 9 · 38687 Guía de Isora · Tenerife · España + 34 922 126 000 · F +34 922 126 100· km · www.abamahotelresort.com T + 34 922 126 Spain, 000 · FS.L., +34a922 126 100of · www.abamahotelresort.com Operated by R-C subsidiary the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. L.L.C Operated by R-C Spain, S.L., a subsidiary of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. L.L.C

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barceló hotels

brilliant barceló Barceló Hotels & Resorts is one of the top 25 hoteliers in the world. An international hotel chain with more than 180 hotels across 17 countries, Barceló hotels can be found in city, town, coastal and countryside locations offering hotels ideal for both business and pleasure.

B

arceló hotels are all unique and reflect the characteristics of the location. Whether it’s through the cuisine, entertainment or range of services and facilities, every hotel retains and excels four & five-star quality and service standards. Barceló Hotels & Resorts has more than 557,000 square feet of meeting space and offers 9 convention centres along Europe, Latin America and the USA. With a wide range of venues available, you’re bound to find a Barceló hotel suitable for your next event.

• Barceló

Hotels & Resorts Convention Centres: Hotels with full independent entrance to the convention centre which can seat from 600 to 2,500 delegates and a professional team exclusively dedicated to your event.

• Hotels

for congresses and conventions: Mainly city hotels, offering conference rooms to seat between 200 and 1500 delegates.

• Hotels for business meetings and training courses: Hotels located in a wide range of easily accessible destinations, which can seat a minimum of 50 delegates in their meeting rooms.

• Hotels

for incentive trips: Hotels situated at charming locations where the natural and cultural attractions add great value to your meetings.

In the UK, Barceló Hotels & Resorts operate 21 hotels (formerly the Paramount Group of Hotels) in inspiring venues across Scotland, England and Wales, from vibrant city and town centres, to spectacular coastal resorts and countryside retreats. The UK hotels

include the prestigious Barceló The Lygon Arms in Broadway, Barceló Edinburgh Carlton Hotel and Barceló Troon Marine Hotel in Scotland, Barceló Walton Hall and Barceló Hinckley Island Hotel in the Midlands, Barceló Harrogate Majestic Hotel in the North and Barceló Torquay Imperial Hotel in the South amongst many others. Whether you’re looking to organise a spectacular conference or need a location for stimulating team building events, Barceló Hotels & Resorts offer an elegant and inspirational backdrop. We offer you a world of unique spaces and customised solutions with the best guarantee of success for your business conventions and meetings. Adapatable to our individual client needs, we create individual atmospheres within our hotels for every one. Everything is at your disposal, from the latest technology to the most exclusive setting designed to your requirements. themicereport | 71

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Choose the best plan for your business! MeetBarceló is the Barceló Hotels & Resorts dedicated meeting and events service. MeetBarceló offers the best hotels and services for the whole chain and guarantees a rapid response to all your enquiries in maximum 24 hours. The MeetBarceló Team will create a unique event to suit your needs and budget, offering more than you can imagine for your corporate events with experience, commitment and flexibility. On the day of your event, “The Meeting Concierge”, a professional with extensive experience in managing events, will be on hand at all times to aid in the smooth running of every single detail of your day. Delegate Packages: 12 & 24 Hours MeetPlan Any plans in mind? MeetBarceló currently offer you two! At last an effective offer of delegate packages to make the most of your meetings and conventions:

Find out more:

• 12 hours MeetPlan from £33 per delegate • 24 hours MeetPlan from £83 per delegate

www.meetbarcelo.com

United Kingdom Tel.: +44 (0) 800 652 8412 Email: meetbarcelo@barcelo-hotels.co.uk Rest of Europe Tel.: +34 91 552 22 51 Email: meetbarcelo@barcelo.com

The formula: our experience and ability in meetings organization, to guarantee the best value for money. u 72 | themicereport

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YOU WILL WANT TO COME BACK... AND COME BACK AGAIN...AND AGAIN..

Everyone will be envious of you

EVENT ROOMS GF Hotels offers 11 rooms with audiovisual equipment required for conferences, work meetings and events. The rooms have different sizes – from 17 to 857 m2 – and there are extensive areas for conference attendees to rest or have cocktail parties, coffee breaks and working lunches. Gala dinners can be held on the large solarium with views over the Atlantic Ocean and Gomera Island. There are a variety of possibilities for activities after meetings. Don’t hesitate to ask.

Avenida de Bruselas 16 · Adeje · Tenerife · España Tlf: 0034 922 716 624 · Fax: 0034 922 716 752 comercial@gfhoteles.com · www.gfhoteles.com

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Macau magical

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owhere in Asia has there been so much investment in large scale venues, accommodation, entertainment and attractions in recent years.

Macau is a winning choice for event organisers, offering:

• An array of world class luxury hotels and resorts

• The largest fully integrated hotel, meeting and exhibition facility in Asia

• Ease of Access – both via Macau International Airport or regular fast ferry from Hong Kong (only one hour away) and only 45 minutes by ferry from Hong Kong International Airport, reaching over one billion people within three hours flying time • Visa free status for many European residents for up to 90 days • Something for every style and pocket Macau seems to be bucking the trend with MICE business increasing for year-end 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 (the total number of events held in 2008 was 1,240, up by 5.35% on 2007). This is largely due to the city’s rapidly growing events capacity, competitive pricing, convenient location within Asia and state of the art facilities. Macau is positioning itself as the new MICE hotspot and entertainment centre in Asia. Macau has been a key meeting venue for travellers and traders since the 16th century, when it became a crossroads for cultures and commerce. The harmony of Portuguese and Chinese heritage is combined with an exciting range of venues. Today, meeting and events planners can choose from a diverse range of options, including fantastic views at the Macau Tower; the lavish Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel (the largest convention hotel in Asia, which boasts 25,000m² of meetings space); the new Grand Hyatt or the iconic Macau Science Centre. There are also a variety of intimate and nostalgic event spaces such as the Macau Military Club or the Pousada De São Tiago.

Discover a fascinating blend of East and West located on China’s south coast. Macau boasts a rich and varied history as the first and the last European colony in China and is Asia’s newest and most exciting destination for meetings and incentives, with a massive investment in new infrastructure developments underway.

Furthermore, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Macau as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China and to further stimulate visitor arrivals to the destination, the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) has introduced a “Strategic MICE Market Stimulation Programme”, designed to assist meeting organisers and event planners. This themicereport | 75

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range of contrasts considering its small size: from the Historic Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to the picturesque islands of Taipa and Coloane and the spectacular new architecture rapidly emerging on its skyline. Macau, whilst very protective of its rich culture and heritage, is also a 21st century 24/7 entertainment destination.

MICE programme is part of a wider €12 million (US$ 17 million equivalent) initiative to promote the development of tourism in Macau, and maintain its momentum and competitive edge. For full details, visit: http://industry.macautourism.gov.mo Macau is perfect for incentive groups, with a wide range of experiences located within a compact 29km². For event planners, this means that nothing is too far away and logistics can be minimised. Macau offers a surprising

The more adventurous incentive groups can skywalk or bungy jump at the Macau Tower, paddle to the beat of drums in a dragon boat race or speed around a Grand Prix circuit in go-karts. Those keen to be immersed into the local culture can partake in a traditional tea ceremony, learn Tai Chi in a Chinese Garden, train to be a Lion Dancer, take in some Chinese opera or be introduced to the herbal remedies of Chinese medicine. There is also a variety of entertainment and leisure options, from designer shopping in luxury hotel resorts, strolling through the cobbled streets of old Macau to find antiques and hidden treasures, indulging in one of Macau’s many luxury spas, brushing up golf skills at the world famous Butch Harmon School of Golf to catching one of the new and spectacular shows on the Cotai

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Macau is positioning itself as the new MICE hotspot and entertainment centre in Asia.

strip. Incentive groups can get a backstage view of Cirque du Soleil’s ‘ZAiA’, or perhaps enjoy the fantastic ‘Dragon’s Treasure’ or ‘Dragone’ (scheduled to start in 2010) at the City of Dreams. Other spectacles include Macau’s famous gaming and entertainment districts. Whether your group requires high speed and action or tranquillity and relaxation, Macau can create an incentive experience like no other. Experience a slice of the Mediterranean in the heart of Asia. Find out more about conference and incentive travel to Macau, and how you can put the ‘Wow’ of Macau into your events schedule! The Macau Business Tourism Centre (MBTC) has been established to assist meeting, event and incentive planners considering Macau as their next business event destination. The MBTC can assist with the selection of local products and services, convention bids and RFPs, site inspections and event planning. u For assistance, contact: mbtc@macautourism.gov.mo or (853) 8396 3090

Previous page: A-Ma Cultural Village. These pages clockwise from left: Guia Fortress; A-Ma Temple; Ruins of St Paul’s; Na Tcha Temple; Mast Climb at the Macau Tower; Grand Prix Museum; The Prosperous City View.

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Germany The number one meetings destination in Europe

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or German and European organisers Germany is number one meeting destination in Europe - far outpacing other EU member states. Asked to quote their favourite meeting destination, 36.7 per cent of organisers named Germany; Spain follows as number two with 11.5 per cent and Austria with 8.1 per cent in third place. This is a key result of the Meeting & Event Barometer 2009 - a survey of the meeting and event market in Germany. For the third time the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC), German National Tourist Board (GNTB) and the GCB German Convention Bureau commissioned the European Institute for the Meetings Industry to highlight the German meetings and events market. Germany’s world-wide image as a MICE destination continues to improve “Germany’s image as a meeting and event destination is constantly improving” - say 82.3 per cent of the experts interviewed for the survey. Compared to the previous year’s results it is obvious that Germany has not only clearly improved its image since 2007 - when this survey first explored the question by statistical means - but also maintained its excellent reputation on a constantly high level. In 2008 83 per cent of the interviewed experts agreed to this statement, up from 71.6 per cent in 2007. 6,330 meeting and event venues and 2.76 million meetings and events Germany has many large and top-equipped congress centers, hotels and event locations in all parts of the country and stands out in particular for its wide variety of meeting locations. Germany boasts 6,330 meeting and event venues, two per cent more than last year. 2.76 million meetings and events took place in 2008 with 318 million delegates: almost four times as many as the German population. Again top marks for accessibility, infrastructure and quality One of the important requirements of a successful business travel destination is the infrastructure, for which experts gave Germany an excellent average grade of 1.68 (1 = excellent, 3 = average, 5 = very poor). And the results for “accessibility” by road, rail and air were even better than last year (2009: 1.51 / 2008: 1.63). Hotels, convention centres and event venues also received top marks for quality (2009: 1.86 / 2008: 1.82). The experts’ rating of themicereport | 79

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the “event-related infrastructure” - i.e. meeting facilities in general, room capacities, conference rooms, exhibition space and catering - was on par with the previous year’s results with an average grade of 1.7. Good to excellent results for “soft factors” like security, tourist attractions, professionalism of the organisers, value for money and friendliness round off these ratings. On balance, as a meeting and event destination, Germany represents security and high standards while being an attractive tourist destination.

Previous page: Berlin’s Brandenburger Tor. These pages clockwise from top: Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre; Wiesbaden Kurhaus; Axica Berlin’s Atrium. Next page: Dusseldorf Media Harbour, Gehry buildings

Viable meetings alternative for associations and companies based in UK And Germany is certainly a viable meetings alternative for associations and companies based in UK given excellent air, rail and motorway access - less than two hours flying time from London. Direct flights from UK to Germany are available from e.g. London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Edinburgh. With 16 international and 14 regional airports seamlessly interlinked with a 40,000 kilometres of railway network and 11,000 kilometres of motorways, Germany offers excellent travel connections throughout. Deutsche Lufthansa’s extensive air network extends to over 330 cities in 90 countries. Lufthansa, a Star Alliance™ member, also offers access to 19 member airlines’ schedules and discounted fares worldwide. Conventions Plus is a Star Alliance™ service that also helps make organising and attending conferences much easier. Meetings destination Germany: excellent value for money, great offerings Meeting planners are keeping a closer eye on where to buy and what service they will get for

their money. In Germany you can not only meet at an affordable price, but the great meeting quality and rather low incidental costs make it an extremely attractive meeting destination in the heart of Europe. Our business environment today is a lot different than it was last year. The realities of today’s economic conditions require us to pay serious attention to the ROI - the Return on Investment for all of clients. The good news is that it still makes economic sense as well as business sense to plan international meetings in Germany. There are some very good reasons - and ones that fit within tight budgets - to meet in Germany. To name three major themes: ONE:

In spite of its reputation as a top destination, Germany is way down the list in terms of cost. TWO: Located in the heart of Europe, Germany is also easily accessible from around the world. THREE: Germany is a world leader in “Green Meetings”. “A review of various international surveys showed that even though we may be the “Mercedes” of event locations, we are way down the list in terms of cost. Our excellent value for money in all areas of business and everyday life are reason enough to opt for Germany,” says Lutz P. Vogt, Managing Director of the GCB German Convention Bureau, which markets Germany both nationally and internationally as a destination for meetings, conventions, events and incentives. Lutz P. Vogt points out: “Experts rate Germany’s accessibility, infrastructure, quality of meeting capacities, security and tourist attractions as

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exemplary. These are important requirements for mastering the current crisis and to emerge from it with new strength. The interviewed experts also saw the positive effects of the crisis: It will readjust the market, and the relationship between providers and organisers will gain a new dimension, with ROI (Return on Investment) rising in importance and creativity as well as quality becoming more coveted assets. Again Germany is in an excellent position in all these fields by international standards.” Constant openings of new hotels and event locations as well as the expansion of convention centres ensure that Germany continues to consolidate its leading international position Lutz P. Vogt points out: “Germany, on the one hand, is increasing in its popularity, particularly in Great Britain, as a conference and meetings’ destination; competitive pressure; on the other hand, it is also increasing in the face of globalisation. Classical USPs such as accessibility, top service and an attractive environment are no longer sufficient to assert one’s position on the market. That’s why capacities have to be continually adjusted and technical facilities kept continually up-to-date.” Constant openings of new hotels, the expansion and optimisation of convention centres along with the ongoing creation of innovative venues ensure that Germany consolidates its leading international position and holds its own in a highly dynamic international environment. Poignant and prime examples of such investments are listed below and may also be gleaned from www.germany-meetings.com where one can also quickly source appropriate venues and reliable service partners according

to event type and number of participants envisaged. New investments at top German business destinations include: Nürburgring The world-renowned Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit, Germany’s largest sports venue, offers an all-year round Full Service Concept for exciting and extraordinary meetings and events. The recently opened ringºwerk indoor leisure & theme park is a mixture of science centre, interactive museum, 4-D cinema, live entertainment and a world of experience revolving around motor car, motor sport and mobility themes. A major attraction, especially for participants’ families, is the fastest funfair ride in the world which runs parallel to the Grand Prix circuit. The Nürburgring also offers a broad range of state-of-the-art meeting and event spaces: from the new welcomeºcenter, the ringºboulevard (featuring leading automobile manufacturers and auto parts specialists), the Warsteiner Event Center, the 2,000 m² indoor ringºarena with seating for 3,100, the TÜV Rheinland business lounge above the main spectator tribune, driver safety training centres, an off-road-park, thirty hospitality lounges, golf and wellness. Increased accommodation capacities are also available in a new 4-star plus Lindner Congress & Motorsport Hotel, the Lindner Holiday Park Nürburgring and the ‘Grüne Hölle’ (Green Hell) Eifel Village’. www. nuerburgring.de Radisson Blu Hotel, Hamburg Airport The new Radisson Blu Hotel, Hamburg Airport, opening October 2009, is the fifth largest Airport hotel in Germany with direct access to Terminals 1 & 2 and over 60 airlines flying

Germany’s image as a meeting and event destination is constantly improving

to more than 125 destinations worldwide. The stunning round building offers 266 guest rooms including five suites and three handicapped accessible rooms featuring individually controlled air-conditioning, free WLAN internet access and LCD TV. Guests can dine at the award-winning Filini Bar & Italian Restaurant, relax or work out in the 5th floor PACE Fitness Club with sauna, steam bath and roof terrace. The hotel offers a variable meeting concept: with 15 multifunctional meeting rooms and a total of 1,000 m² event space - an ideal location indeed for meetings in the Hamburg region. Technical equipment and expertise is supported by KFP - winner of the Business Diamond Award 2009 for best service in the hotel and meeting & event industry. Hamburg city centre, with its many shopping opportunities, cultural attractions and live entertainment, is less than ten kilometres away, with direct tram access opposite the hotel every 10 minutes. www.airport.hamburg.radissonsas.com themicereport | 81

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Leonardo Hotels Berlin The chic Leonardo Hotel Berlin opened for business on 1 August 2009. The 274 room 3-star plus hotel is strategically situated close to Berlin’s prestigious Ku’damm and Wilmersdorferstrasse pedestrian shopping zone, only two U-Bahn (underground) stops from Messe Berlin fairground and ICC Berlin congress centre. The four-star superior Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin opened on 14 August 2009 in Otto-Braun-Strasse 90 near Berlin Alexanderplatz. This is the group’s fourth hotel in the German capital. The listed hotel building stands out with its noble design and pure style. It features a tasteful interior, 346 attractive guest rooms, elegant suites, restaurant, bar/ lounge and 1,100m² Royal Ballroom. It also boasts exclusive ‘Ladies only guest rooms’ which combine harmonious colour-conscious room designs with ‘ladylike’ furnishings and individual appointments. The 7th floor wellness area also offers breathtaking views of the landmark Berlin Television Tower. A second 462-room Leonardo Royal Hotel will open end-2010 in Munich. www.leonardo-hotels.de/Royal_Berlin_Hotel Kameha Grand Bonn The new 5-star Kameha Grand Bonn hotel opens on 15 November 2009. It offers 253 spacious guest rooms. It is ideally situated in the verdant landscape between the scenic Rhine Valley and Bonn Siebengebirge (Seven Hills). The hotel represents a future step in the development of the classic grand hotel

concept. Star designer Marcel Wanders has managed to combine the intimacy of the surrounding Rhineland with the liveliness, hustle and bustle of an international conference hotel. The hotel’s glass cladding is intended to inspire, stimulate and entertain via transparent and airy design: incorporating generous open rooms, warm, friendly and secure spaces. Four ‘Workaholic’ meeting rooms have been designed with tomorrow’s business requirements in mind and feature state-of-the art equipment and high-speed WLAN access throughout. Communication is strengthened by a harmonious approach to body and spirit, with post-meeting relaxation and rest on offer in the Kameha SPA, Powerhouse gym and the heated Infinity outdoor rooftop terrace pool. Fine cuisine is considered an essential aspect of any grand hotel. It is also implicit in Rhineland lifestyle and culture and will be on offer in the Brasserie, Elysion Lounge and Elysion Sushi Lounge and in the hotel’s four bars: www.kamehagrand.com

Your partner for events in Germany The GCB German Convention Bureau is the central office representing the interests and organising the marketing of the congress and event location that is Germany. The GCB gives meeting planners advice and support on planning and organising conventions or events these services are at absolutely no cost to your organisation.

In 1973, the most important suppliers from all segments of the German meetings and convention industry joined forces to form the GCB. Its current 250 members include leading hotels, convention centres and destinations, car hire firms, event agencies and service providers of the German meetings and convention industry. Strategic partners are Lufthansa German Airlines, the German National Tourist Board and German Railways. The GCB website www.germany-meetings. com contains lots of useful information such as conference dates in Germany and a newsletter featuring new conference, congress and meetings locations. The site’s primary attraction is an online search facility which enables planners to research and source suitable hotels, congress centres and meetings suppliers together with suggestions for memorable programmes. u

Further information: GCB German Convention Bureau e.V. Münchener Strasse 48 60329 Frankfurt / Main, Germany Tel. +49-69-2429300 E-mail info@gcb.de Internet: www.germany-meetings.com

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Meetings Incentives Conferences Events

57 hotels in Germany Innovative gastronomy Professional service www.nh-hotels.com

NH Groupdesk | Friedrichstrasse 76 | 10117 Berlin | Germany Tel.: +49 180 3 330 300 | Fax: +49 180 2 220 200 | tagungsservice@nh-hotels.com NH Hotels Advert.indd 1

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Germany MICE Blog with latest news from the German meetings and congress industry

T

he GCB German Convention Bureau is offering something new: from now on you will find the latest news from the German meetings and conventions industry in the GCB blog on http://blog-en.germany-meetings.com. Internet users can also reach the blog directly via a link from the GCB’s homepage www.germany-meetings.com.

The blog is updated regularly with news from German meeting organisers and suppliers. And you can access older news in the archives categorised by event venues - hotels, convention centres and special locations - and sections like “green meetings”, “incentives” and “offers”. In addition, blog readers can search for articles using searchwords (tags) like IMEX, art or special location. A navigation bar indicates the most frequent searchwords and will also help you find news.

© Ajay Bhaskar | Dreamstime.com

Welcome to Germany Your meeting, your celebration, your business – our priority! The Accor Group offers its customers and guests in Germany a close knit hotel network with hotels from the budget to the luxury sector and services. In Germany Accor is the market leader with currently 330 hotels in the brands Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel, Mercure and other brands in the economy and budget hotel sector and over 4,000 hotels worldwide. Book online at www.accorhotel.com/meeting.

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THE DOLCE CONCEPT MEET WITH INSPIRATION

The 4-star-plus hotel Dolce Munich will open in Unterschleißheim in April 2010. Together with the neighbouring conference centre BallhausForum the hotel complex will provide the largest event space in the north of Munich. The Dolce concept: meet with inspiration!

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t first glance, it seems as though this is yet another hotel opening in the soughtafter environs of the Bavarian metropolis. Looking closer, however, this may just be a future favourite venue. Home comforts, individual style and personal service are what make the difference: “Architecture, furnishing and passionate employees, from the concierge to the chef, form the basis of unique meeting experiences”, says Thorsten Kahl, Dolce Director Sales and Marketing. Located 15 minutes away from the airport and 20 kilometres from the city centre, the star-shaped new construction will contain striking stylistic elements, e.g. a lobby bar with open fireplace. A selected number of exclusive materials will act as a central theme throughout the hotel, including iron, bronzed metal, smoothed exposed concrete, loden and cowhides. Elaborate regional details – interpreted in a modern way – will add a bit of spice to the whole concept. Experience an individual alternative to the stiff formality of uniform chain hotels.

255 rooms and suites will provide elegant comfort with flatscreens, high-quality mattresses and toiletries. These will include three presidential suites with terraces - and one with its own sauna. A 255 m² large ballroom, 7 conference and 8 breakout rooms, as well as 2 E-Coffee Lounges (1563 m² in total) will complement the neighbouring multifunctional Dolce BallhausForum event space. In addition the Executive Sky Lounge (85 m²) on the top floor will offer a view up to the mountains when the weather is good. Kahl says, “The whole complex will comprise 4700 square metres in total – the largest event space in the north of Munich. Ergonomic seating, high-speed Internet access and print-on-demand from guests’ own laptops are the kind of standards you should expect to see”. Alongside professional technology, the Dolce group is committed to providing an environmentallyfriendly meeting place, as well as exquisite food and emphasis on well-being. It will house a conference restaurant with winter garden, a fine-dining restaurant and an extensive spa area with pool, sauna, biosauna, steam room and body treatments. ◆

OPENING OFFER Dolce Munich is offering a ‘Complete Meeting Package’ (CMP) for 239 euros per person. The CMP comprises: 1 overnight stay incl. breakfast, lunch and evening meal, round-the-clock snack buffet, drinks in conference room, conference technology incl. projector and W-LAN, as well as a Welcome cocktail. An additional 5% discount will be deducted from the total bill for the event. This rate is valid for all bookings made by 31 December 2009 for events taking place in 2010. Booking contact: Thorsten Kahl T: +49 (0) 8937 42 90 11 • E: thorsten.kahl@dolce.com www.dolcemunich.com themicereport | 85

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Cologne has so much to offer: culture, historical and modern attractions, the media and economy, not to mention the warm-hearted Rhenish mentality of the residents.

Cologne where people meet

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specially for meeting planners Cologne offers best conditions and a variety of options. More than 130 locations offer conference facilities for 20 or 20,000 people together with the 4th largest trade fair ground located directly in the city centre. An excellent infrastructure with 3 airports reachable in max. 1 hour makes travelling to Cologne very easy. Consequently it provides ideal preconditions for major events,

conferences, and international trade fairs of all kinds. Most of the event venues in Cologne can be reached quickly due to their central position — almost 50% are situated within 2 km of the cathedral and the main train station. The old town, the opera, many theatres, the philharmonic orchestra, the Rheinpark, the MediaPark and shopping precincts can all be reached on foot. The cathedral, the River Rhine, the museums and the numerous events all attract around 115

million visitors each year, most of whom rave about the “savoir vivre” attitude to life, which the residents love to flaunt time and time again. People from Cologne love their city and you can sense this. In no other place do the residents have such a connection with their city and celebrate this as much as here. No other city has as many songs and music groups, which sing and celebrate their hometown “anthem” in their Cologne “mother tongue”: themicereport | 87

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CONVENTIONCOLOGNE.DE

Cologne made easy

CONVENTIONCOLOGNE.DE

Cologne made easy

C O LO G N E C E N T R E D M E E T I N G S

C O LO G N E C E N T R E D M E E T I N G S

Cologne is more than just the city of conventions, its famous cathedral and Karneval. The city’s outstanding trade fairs businesses, award-winning hotels and Cologne is moreinfrastructure, than just the international city of conventions, itsand famous cathedral and Karneval. The city’s restaurants, and diverse cultural and leisure activities all make a visit toaward-winning Cologne unforgettable. outstanding infrastructure, international trade fairs and businesses, hotels and From its Roman originscultural to the present, Cologne has transformed into dynamic and vibrant restaurants, and diverse and leisure activities all make itself a visit toaCologne unforgettable. European metropolis in its 2,000-year history. It is a meeting point for people from around From its Roman origins to the present, Cologne has transformed itself into a dynamic and the vibrant world. Find out more with our new meeting planner at www.conventioncologne.de. European metropolis in its 2,000-year history. It is a meeting point for people from around the world. Find out more with our new meeting planner at www.conventioncologne.de.

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“Hey Kölle — do bes e Jeföhl” (Hey Cologne — you are a feeling).. It is no coincidence that Cologne is also the capital of German Carnival. Especially in the “fifth season”, the people of Cologne really live life to the full, differences have no significance – everyone celebrates and drinks together.

Cologne trade fair: 4th largest fair ground worldwide and 2 excellent congress centers offer great opportunities.

For further information please visit www.conventioncologne.de

“Hey Kölle — do bes e Jeföhl” (Hey Cologne — how are you?). It is no coincidence that Cologne is also the capital of German Carnival. Especially in the “fifth season”, the people of Cologne really live life to the full, differences have no significance – everyone celebrates and drinks together. That can best be done in the typical Cologne breweries where the atmosphere of down to earth communication can be experienced first hand. After years of structural change, Cologne is now the most important city in Germany as regards the media. Eleven television broadcasters and as many radio shows transmit from the city, including the market leader, the private TV station RTL, the largest public radio broad-caster, WDR (Westdeutsche Rundfunk), and Deutschlandfunk (radio). Radio and TV made in Cologne. A third of Germany’s national TV productions are made in Cologne. The record labels and recording studios in Cologne set the tone for the rest of the music industry. Festivals such as c/o pop are legendary. As a business location, Cologne is situated in the centre of the most densely populated and well-funded region in Europe. Many international business groups, such as REWE, Kaufhof and Lekkerland, direct their business from the cathedral city. Large DAX companies such as Lufthansa and Bayer, also have offices located here. The chemical industry and vehicle construction form the core of Cologne’s industrial region.

Germany’s largest university and university of applied science are both located here, with around 44,300 and 16,500 students respectively. In addition, there are numerous other universities such as the Academy of Media Arts and the German Sport University Cologne. Public research institutions such as the DLR, Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- Und Raumfahrt e.V. (German Aerospace Centre) add to this broad spectrum of science and research in the region. Cologne has a wide variety of attractive event locations. In addition to classic convention centres and hotels, there are available spaces in some of the city’s historic buildings – like the Alter Wartesaal, the former waiting room of the Main Station, which was the only part of that complex to survive World War II. Functions can be held in museums, villas, film studios, old factories and – as is fitting for the Rhine city – on ships and other locations with a view of the river. Very large groups will find enough space at the convention centres and Rheinpark halls at Koelnmesse. The new Cologne Convention Bureau (CCB) has installed www.conventioncologne.de as a platform to highlight the city’s congress features and assets. An integrated meeting planner enables clients to engage in online searches for exactly the right solution for their event. The CCB is happy to arrange a customised package for you and help you achieve a common objective: the perfect event! u themicereport | 89

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  S

Im Bürgerpark | 28209 Bremen Tel. +49 (0)421 34 08-0 Fax +49 (0)421 34 08-602 relax@park-hotel-bremen.de www.park-hotel-bremen.de

The Park Hotel Bremen sits in a peaceful position at the heart of the famous Bürgerpark in the city of Bremen, Northwest Germany. Even so, the romantic old town of the city is only a few minutes away, as does the central railway station and the airport.

An experienced event venue, the Park Hotel Bremen offers a variety of multipurpose event suites. Eight dedicated rooms ranging from 8m2 to 420m2 in size are designed for meetings, seminars, residential conferences and events for 10 to 800 delegate seating arrangements. With a choice of 175 rooms, two restaurants, a restaurant within a Swiss chalet in the park grounds, the Park Hotel Bar and the 285m2 Kuppenhalle as further flexible event facilities, the Park Hotel Bremen is capable of accommodating up to 800 attendees. We also specialise in outside catering.

www.park-hotel-bremen.de

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More than 170 good arguments in favour of

germany as a conference venue There are many good reasons to choose Germany as a conference venue. On the one hand there is its central location in the centre of Europe with the third largest airport on the continent. There are also its places of interest for a diverse range of supporting programmes. But above all there are the professional and customer oriented event concepts offered by over 170 Accor conference hotels.

© Elku | Dreamstime.com

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ore and more companies are choosing one of the French Accor Group’s hotel brands because they know that here, they can expect to find a well thought out and personalised conference concept – and this at standardised booking terms. Thus, for example, the innovative concept “Meeting@Novotel” is proof of the qualified core competence and the comprehensive capacities of the Novotel brand with its focus on meetings and conferences for up to 50 participants and more. The Mercure brand hotels also excel in conference and business events due to their perfect organisation, pleasant atmosphere and customised solutions with an eye for detail. To date, a total of 40 Mercure hotels have been awarded the “Certified Conference Hotel” certificate and 39 Mercure hotels have been awarded the “VDR-Certified Hotel” certificate. Pullman is the name for first class meetings Pullman, the first class brand in the congress and conference segment, is a new addition

to the French Accor Group’s brand portfolio. Only recently has the network in Germany been complemented by a total of seven locations: Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Dresden, Stuttgart, Erfurt and Aachen. The brand presents a well balanced harmony between wellbeing, hospitality and communication for business customers. Innovative products, such as a well thought out room concept and the Pullman Welcomer and Table d’hôte for promising business discussions redefine the concept of hospitality. The meeting programme, CoMeeting™, also provides an event manager, a solutions manager and renowned experts for the events and ensures perfect organisation right through to creative break concepts. Innovative room concepts with special features such as Pullman beds, in-room fitness, docking systems, internet, tea & coffee facilities and an international TV programme as well as check-in automats and airline check-ins supplement the exclusive service concept of the brand. The Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof is particularly attractive due to its close proximity to the Kurfürstendamm. Its elegant design and themicereport | 91

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furnishings are geared both to the exclusive demands of its guests as well as to functionality and cutting edge communication technologies. The event area for up to 700 people on two floors with 18 daylight filled rooms and cutting edge conference technology offers sufficient flexibility for any conference – with free of charge internet access in the Connectivity Lounge. Or perhaps you would prefer Munich? Those who already know Munich and would like to hold their next conference in a different part of Germany have a wide range of choice. Munich, for example, has many Accor conference hotels such as the Sofitel Munich Bayernpost, the Novotel hotels, München City and München Messe, together with a total of nine Mercure hotels. The current Ibis conference flat rate, SMART MEETING, at an hourly rate of only 19 euros - irrespective of the number of participants - offers a cost effective alternative to all those who maintain a strict control over their budgets and includes a projector, conference equipment, mineral water and seating according to choice. About 80 Ibis hotels in Germany provide this facility including in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Dresden. As little beaurocracy as necessary Regardless of which brand is short listed: from Sofitel to Pullman and Novotel to Ibis, identical booking and cancellation terms exist within each brand. A new innovation, as yet only at Novotel but coming soon at Pullman and Mecure, is the opportunity to book without having to make any down payment. In this way Accor has only recently significantly simplified the formal framework conditions for its

customers. In short: full service at a fixed price, simple and transparent – that is what business customers expect and what they find at Accor. Collect premium points – now from Accor In addition to the many attractive offers, Accor customers can enjoy the advantages of the free of charge AI-Club loyalty programme by collecting flexibly usable premium points for every euro of turnover. In addition, for your next event in any Sofitel, MGallery, Pullman, Novotel or Mercure hotel worldwide, you will be credited with valuable points for awards or air miles via the internet based AIClub meeting planner. One point is credited for every 2 euros of turnover. If a MICE agency is employed as an intermediary, the agency also collects one point for every 2 euros of turnover – up to a maximum of 100,000 points per event. Event participants, who bear their own hotel costs within the framework of an event, will also collect normal AIClub points for their expenditure, which is eligible for a bonus. The offer is valid until 31st December 2009 to all AIClub members. All information in black and white For more information about the Accor conference hotels in Germany, request the brochure, “Facts & Figures” free of charge. Here, all important information and details are summarised on over 60 pages which include details of available seminar rooms, participant capacities, distances to airports and railway stations and to the nearest event location. Simply request by email: verkauf@accor.com – either as an online or printed version. u

Previous page: The Brandenburger Tor, Berlin This page: Sofitel Munich Bayerpost

Accor Deutschland SMARD GmbH Hanns-Schwindt-Strasse 2 D-81829 München www.accorhotels.com

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   

Your loyalty is rewarded: Earn points in Accor hotels worldwide with every event you plan. Join the AI CLUB Meeting Planner program today!

www.a-club.com

Meetings and incentives at Accor. Easier and more transparent than ever. Are you looking for a wide selection of meeting and conference hotels where you don’t have to compare the small print?

Welcome to Accor Germany! We are the first hotel chain to offer standardised packages for each brand in the area of meetings, conferences and incentives as well as standardised cancellation conditions for brands of the Accor Group: Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Mercure, Suitehotel, Ibis and all seasons. The advantage for you: easy and transparent meeting planning with a high degree of reliability and trust.

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You want to have a quick overview? Then order now our new onlinebased and easy to navigate AMC Folder. Send an Email with subject "Accor AMC Folder" to: sales-news.de@accor.com“

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Roomigami ! Plan your event as you want it to be and not as how the circumstances might make it possible. You are looking for variable and combinable space for your meeting or convention – with charisma and an excellent infrastructure. Congress Frankfurt provides just that, a tailor-made offer of rooms on the premises of Messe Frankfurt, 75 congress and conference

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rooms with a capacity for 22,000 people and generous exhibition space are at your disposal, in addition furnishing, technology, personnel and catering services. Everything is individually and professionally tuned to your wishes. When may we host your event? www.congressfrankfurt.de

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germany

FRANKFURT AM MAIN

Frankfurt am Main, the dynamic and international financial and trade fair city with the most imposing skyline in Germany. This is the image that many visitors associate with the Main metropolis. But the city in the heart of Germany and Europe can offer many other facets and contrasting variety

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ear to the skyscrapers you can find at the heart of the bustling city centre historical sights again and again. Frankfurt is not just proud of its most famous son, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The Kaiserdom (Cathedral) and the Paulskirche, the cradle of German democracy, are also to be found here. As the home of Germany’s largest airport, biggest passenger train station and a major overland traffic hub, Frankfurt is easily reached within Germany and further afield. As organizers and participants at international congresses are pleased to confirm, more tourists and business travellers from other countries visit Frankfurt than any other German city. In contrast to the busy inner-city life and its internationally renowned shopping opportunities, the rural-style suburbs with their romantic halftimbered houses offer an idyllic village atmosphere that typifies German Gemütlichkeit, or coziness. After shopping during the day in Frankfurt, an enjoyable evening can be spent in a traditional cider pub in the Sachsenhausen district. Frankfurt is also an ideal base for day trips to the mountainous forest landscapes of the Taunus, Spessart and Odenwald regions and can easily be reached by car, public transportation and even boat. The romantic Rheingau area, with its picturesque castles and vineyards, and famous cities like Heidelberg

and Wiesbaden offers numerous tourist attractions, which serve to acquaint visitors with the natural beauty of this region. Interesting destinations for excursions in and around Frankfurt will turn your stay into a unforgettable experience, which will draw you back to our city for further visits. Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch Frankfurt offers 22 meeting rooms for various meetings and conferences, with state of the art equipment, WLAN, terraces and a park for cocktail receptions, team building events and incentives. All meeting rooms have daylight and some of them direct access to the park. Our spacious park with its old tree population has little idyllic places, a large lawn as well as exhibition areas. It is ideal for professional trainings and open air events for up to 2000 people. One of the most important factors to our success is strictly adhering to the agreements with our customers. We set a high value on personal care for all events by our professional convention & banquet service team. After your business day our spacious wellness- and fitness area is the perfect place for your well-being. Take a break from your stress and daily routine, by coming to the Resort Club for new energy. Whatever you prefer, the Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch Frankfurt, an international renowned luxury hotel with years of experience will take care of you with excellence. ◆

All images ©Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main

Images ©Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main Main Image: © Fcarucci | Dreamstime.com

Graf zu Ysenburg und Büdingen Platz 1 63263 Frankfurt Main / Neu-Isenburg Tel: +49 (0) 69 389 88 0 Email: meetings.gravenbruch@kempinski.com Website: www.kempinski-frankfurt.com

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creative meetings a guide to

and conferences in more than 120 Best Western Hotels in Germany

Explore Germany at an exciting meeting or conference - There are countless reasons for deciding to hold an event in Germany. For example, the extremely good value for money or the excellent transport infrastructure in this country.

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rom a cultural perspective, Goethe and Schiller’s homeland has retained its attractiveness to the present day. Whether you are planning a national or international event Best Western Hotels offers facilities for business meetings, congresses, events or conferences in more than 120 MICEHotels all over the country - each Best Western hotel with the experience and expertise it takes to make a meeting or conference a success. In addition the world’s largest hotel chain offers amazing ideas, surprising events and exciting programs that ensure a remarkable event. Perfection and atmosphere make a decisive contribution to the success of a meeting. That’s why event planners entrust at their events to Best Western hotels since many years. The hotel group has great competence and long-term experience in the MICE segment. Any place in Germany event organizers are looking for, there is a Best Western hotel. They are located in all German key destinations as Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Cologne or Frankfurt as well as in wonderful leisure destinations – from the North Sea to the Alps. For a luxury meeting in a green surrounding event planners cannot find a better hotel partner.

When planning an event, there should be no limits to creativity. Rooms of varying sizes and equipped for different needs as well as stateof-the-art communication and presentation technologies provide the right infrastructure for each event, from a scientific symposium to a gala reception. Furthermore, there is the choice between the most varied of locations, from a futuristic congress centre to a spa hotel with a nostalgic flair. But this is far from all: German Best Western hotels earn points for being firstclass with regards to value-for-money, having excellent transport connections and for being highly service-orientated. In this way it is ensured that dreams become true – and that costs do not become overwhelming. To make the calculating easier Best Western offers various conference flat rates and attractive special packages to choose from. For MICEplanners Best Western holds also early-booking fares of which customers can benefit. In times of tighter budgets it is even more important to make a conference or meeting successful. How this works shows for example the new Best Western Event brochure “Conventions & Meetings – wholeheartedly different.” At 35 pages event organizers will find ideas and suggestions for their event with unique services and creative ideas.

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Best Western Hotels Germany – wholeheartedly different!

More than 120 creative banquet teams, around 180 comfortable hotels in all the major cities and business centres in Germany, about 18,000 perfectly equipped guestrooms… endless ideas for high spirited business travel and conferences! Whether your de-stressing treatment, jogging route recommendations, reading glasses service, convention break powernapping or workshop-bingo – each hotel is unique and offers individual and inspiring ideas. Let us surprise you with our service – wholehearted and truly different!

Best Western Germany Meeting Service: +49 (0) 6196-4724 860 or www.bestwestern.de

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To promote an exchange of ideas and team spirit in an informal environment and to motivate staff, Best Western offers varied activities to complement and accompany an event. Best Western MICE Service - a quick and competent partner Within a day, a custom quote, including all information required to create programs. The Best Western Conferences & Meeting Service will help Event organizers quickly and professionally to all questions. From the selection of a suitable hotel, on the compilation series of seminars for up to the idea of developing a creative evening event: Your personal contact at the conference service has everything under control. And of course, including an offer within a maximum of 24 hours - of course free of charge. The Best Western Conference & Meeting Service: E-mail: tagung@bestwestern.de Phone: +49 (0) 61 96 47 24-860 Fax: +49 (0) 61 96 47 24-40 URL: www.bestwestern.de/tagung

The brochure presents creative ideas for the entire event sequence: From the stunning meeting invitations, tips for getting creative and getting to know about the design of the coffee breaks, correct staging of the meeting, and amazing ideas for programs to surprising ideas for connecting at an event - ideas for all occasions as well as prices and sources. From everything from accompanying activities surrounding the conference through to demanding training sessions – the well-

rounded program is of decisive importance for the success of an event. To promote exchange of ideas and team spirit in an informal environment and to motivate staff, Best Western offers varied activities to complement and to accompany the event. In cooperation with professional partners, Best Western cater for any wishes: from a selective cultural program through to challenging sporting events. This could be action-filled attractions such as river rafting or driving safety training. The possibilities are almost unlimited. u

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holland Size doesn’t matter!

Look at the Netherlands and see how a small country can be great in many things. Holland is offering more possibilities per square kilometre than you can find anywhere else in the world! Cheese, wooden clogs, tulips, canal houses and windmills are just very few of them to say the least. There are many more reasons why Holland is such a fantastic destination for your next event‌

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THE MORE INTENSE THE EXPERIENCE THE MORE PRECIOUS THE MEMORY Where you see it, is how you see it. Here you see everything at its most beautiful, your experience is intense. Whether it’s a gala diner, a party, an exhibition, a presentation, an awards ceremony or a convention, our enormous ballroom with spellbinding LED lighting will make it an unforgettable experience. With our panoramic views and delicious catering, the RAI Elicium also adds unprecedented allure and elegance to all your meetings and trainings. Sustainability comes first! For example our hypermodern renewable energy system stores excess heat and cold in the floors for later use. I’d love to give you a tour at www.rai-elicium.nl

Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre | raimarketing@rai.nl | +31 20 549 17 22 | www.rai.nl

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holland Resourceful, creative and refreshing with a price/quality ratio to endure any economic crisis

HOLLAND is your local option!

In times where many meeting planners are critically examining their budgets, Holland is, more than ever, open for business. Close, easy to reach from all foreign destinations and with a vast and varied amount of options per square kilometre. Capitalising on its historical resourcefulness and creativity, the country proves that a tighter budget should not stand in the way of organising an inspiring meeting with all the trimmings.

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ith a surface area of over 40,000 square kilometres - including water – the Netherlands is not exactly a big destination. However, the offering of convention centres and hotels, inclusive of all the options to mix business with pleasure, is quite large. As a result, there are a greater number of options per square kilometre while travel distances and times remain more than acceptable. Small as it is, the Netherlands is a very accommodating country. It is a hospitable destination for foreigners, with a largely Englishspeaking population. Accessibility is excellent, both by plane, with 100 daily flights from Europe and a similar amount from beyond, but also by train. ICE, Thalys and Eurostar comfortably and expediently take travellers from Germany, France, Belgium and Great Britain to all of the central Dutch railway stations, within a couple of hours. EXCITING CONTRASTS As a MICE destination, Holland is a land of appealing and exciting contrasts. This country became internationally renowned because of its cultural-historic heritage of the Golden Age: beautiful merchant houses, picturesque canals with drawbridges and brilliant works of art by famous Dutch masters. The Dutch are also

known for their traditional craftsmanship, both down to earth and resourceful, that created world famous products such as cheese, clogs, windmills and tulips. Naturally, the Dutch cherish this heritage, which can still be seen to a large degree and is sometimes still being practiced. Some convention venues and/or hotels are even situated directly at these inspiring locations. But besides these typically Dutch icons, Holland also offers many types of modern art, design and architecture. Landmarks such as the famous Erasmus Bridge and the still to be built super modern Market Hall in Rotterdam. Or the completely redeveloped Eastern Harbour area in Amsterdam, with the KNSM island and the eye-catching residential tower Piraeus. And the Maastricht neighbourhood CĂŠramique, with its residential, professional and commercial buildings, the Bonnefantenmuseum and the Derlon Theatre, that has been established in an industrial monument. Artists such as Marlene Dumas, Jacob Kanbier and Herman Brood. Architects such as Rem Koolhaas and Zwarts & Jansma. Designers such as Marcel Wanders and Droog Design. Fashion designers such as Marlies Dekkers and Viktor & Rolf. Need we go on? themicereport | 103

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holland goes green Innovation means investing in green meetings. Again the Netherlands is at the forefront and when it comes to CO2-neutral business meetings, more and more options are being offered.

Previous page: Elicium, Amsterdam RAI. Clockwise from top: Hermitage, Amsterdam; SS Rotterdam; Momo, Amsterdam; Fokker Terminal, The Hague.

for every possible combination and every thinkable group of business people, Holland offers the perfect ingredients for a surprisingly inspiring, refreshing and memorable meeting experience.

Newest venues The Dutch are proud of their past, but at the same time they are contemporary. This is also seen by the amount of investment in the offering of venues. In early 2009, Amsterdam RAI opened a special new building: Elicium. At the heart of Elicium is a multifunctional ballroom, a dividable space, that can host up to 2000 guests, depending on the event. In June 2009, the famous Hermitage Amsterdam was reopened. It features prominent exhibitions of the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, as well as banquet rooms for meetings, receptions, private dinners, parties and other business events. At the end of this year, Novotel Amsterdam City will complete its large scale renovation that will bring the rooms, the convention areas and the building itself in line with modern standards with regard to comfort, functionality and design. Novotel Amsterdam City will then be the only location in the capital that can host a convention of 450 participants including overnight stays. In Rotterdam, the flag ship of the former Holland America Line, the SS Rotterdam, was converted into a convention and event location, including a cruise hotel, and at the end of 2009 in Maastricht, Townhouse Hotel Maastricht will open, a surprising three star hotel concept with a balance between tradition and modern values. Last but certainly not least, there is The Hague Industrials, a collaboration between a number of historical, industrial locations in The Hague, a venue for conventions and other business events: The Ketelhuis of the former Caballero Factory, the hangar and the old aviation school classrooms

of the Fokker Terminal, the former Norkfolk site in the seaside town of Scheveningen, the halls of the historic National Automobile Centre and the characteristic monumental Remise, where meetings can be held surrounded by classic trams and buses. No business without pleasure No matter how high quality and inspiring the convention locations and hotels are, a successful meeting is only possible in combination with creative and relaxing incentives. Holland continues to evolve here as well. Take the internationally orientated restaurants Momo and Umoja in Amsterdam and Spize in The Hague, where the refined flavours and exuberant colours of the entire world are combined with the style and elegance of the West. Sophia (Amsterdam), De Rechtbank (Utrecht) and Beluga Nxt Door (Maastricht), are establishments where design creates the ideal surroundings for high quality and tasteful creations from the kitchen. And we have not even mentioned the many sights and other accommodations in the cities, on the coast and in the forests that are perfectly suited for day trips, tours, and hands-on or relaxing group activities. The list is never-ending. In short: for every possible combination and every thinkable group of business people, Holland offers the perfect ingredients for a surprisingly inspiring, refreshing and memorable meeting experience. It’s with good reason that the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions calls Holland surprisingly refreshing! u

Travel to and from the Netherlands can be as green as the traveller wants. First of all, there is the central location that grants the Netherlands points when it comes to CO2 calculations for corporate meetings. All the available and varied options help as well. A lot of investments are being made into Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, in order to achieve CO2-neutral operations by 2012 and to ensure that 20 percent of the energy used is sustainable. This makes it increasingly easier to travel ‘green’ by plane. Railway, which has always been an environmentally friendly transportation alternative, takes visitors from surrounding countries to centrally located railway locations in the Netherlands within a few hours. And upon reaching their destination, the genuinely green minded visitor travels by bicycle of course! Green meetings and overnight stays Hotels and convention centres in the Netherlands are increasingly investing in the Green Key. Currently, 450 companies in the tourism and recreation industry have earned this international eco-rating. Many convention centres and hotels, including NH hotels all over the country, have even earned the highest achievable Green Key rating: Gold Level. The Green Globe is also on the rise in the Netherlands. Amsterdam RAI is one of the venues that has earned this rating: due to their policy with regard to personnel and socially responsible entrepreneurship and the way in which the organisation processes waste, water and energy. Maximum compensation for CO2 emission Various PCOs, DMCs and venues now use a CO2 calculator to calculate the total CO2 emissions of meetings, so that optimal compensation can be provided. The Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions will introduce such a calculator in autumn 2009. This calculation will also take into account the CO2 emissions that are the result of the production of meeting related brochures and other handouts and giveaways. Business meetings were never this green!

Let Holland refresh your perspective and go to www.holland.com/meetings. Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions Tel: +31 (0)70 370 5705 E-mail: info@holland.com

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Holland, surprisingly refreshing! Holland’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 Holland’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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NOVOTEL AMSTERDAM CITY A TRUE METAMORPHOSIS • • • • •

Congress centre 1.300 m² Maximum capacity of 1.000 delegates 3 restaurants and terrace Live cooking TV Dining

As of December 2009, Novotel Amsterdam City is the only 4-star hotel in the area able to offer a group of 450 delegates accommodation, meeting and dining facilities.

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Novotel Amsterdam City Europaboulevard 10 1083 AD Amsterdam The Netherlands Tel.: +31(0)20 541 11 23 E-mail: h0515@accor.com

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NOVOTEL AMSTERDAM CITY COMPLETELY RENEWED

New meeting rooms for congresses, events and meetings can facilitate up to 1000 delegates. In combination with the 610 rooms, Novotel Amsterdam City has the ability to not only host an event with 450 delegates but also provide bedroom accommodation for all the participants.

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hen you say Amsterdam, how could you NOT say Rembrandt and Van Gogh? Along with its many cultural offerings, Amsterdam is also- and increasingly so- an important international business centre. It boasts one of the world’s most modern and largest international airports, and with the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, World Trade Centre and Fashion Center, offers a full complement of trade exhibition and convention facilities. Novotel Amsterdam City is ideally located next to the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre and directly on Amsterdam’s new ‘Zuidas’ business district just fifteen minutes from the city centre and only 15 kilometres from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The hotel is easy to reach by car or public transport, the railway- and subway station are within walking distance of the hotel. Novotel Amsterdam City is undergoing a metamorphosis. Both the exterior and interior will be given an entirely new look and feel. New function rooms are being added to the hotel for congresses, events and meetings. The reception will be equipped with five checkin counters plus two automatic self-check-in points. All this is due for completion at the end of 2009. Novotel Amsterdam City fulfils the needs of the international business world: the guests can count on hospitable reception and outstanding facilities in the field of conferences, expositions and relation management.

Our new Novation room offers guests maximum comfort and and inviting atmosphere. Key elements are space, modern colours and flexibility. The rooms are characterized by their contemporary design, with an extra long bed (2.10m), a mobile desk with large working space and a comfortable sofa. Whatever type of meeting you are organizing in Novotel Amsterdam City, you can optimise the chances of its success by taking advantage of our years of experience that have let us build great expertise in organizing meetings. Equipment of high technology, being attentive to the needs of clients, Novotel proposes a universe of work where the innovation and technologies are put at the clients disposal. We’ll listen to your personal requirements and our team will work together to guarantee the success of your meeting while introducing you to a world of work where innovation and technology know no bounds. At Novotel, a successful meeting is that one which achieves the clients’ goals. To ensure this success, Novotel with the Meeting@Novotel offer is committed answering all the clients requirements and offers an ideal service. It is for Novotel to propose a relaxation and wellbeing universe, to work and stimulate imagination. The modern restaurant will satisfy all tastes and occasions, ranging from formal to informal dining in small or large groups. Drinks can be enjoyed in the bar, cafe or the outdoor terrace. And after a hard day work you can enjoy the renewed fitness facilities and ultra-luxurious wellness area,

featuring aromatherapy showers and heated reclining chairs. Novotel’s long-term concern for the environment began as part of Accor Group’s Earth Guest programme and is now embraced as an integral part of the hotel chain’s brand. This commitment is based on three main strands of activity: drawing up appropriate construction standards; involving its employees in sustainable development on a daily basis; and involving its customers. In order to affirm this operational commitment. To formalise its commitment Novotel has chosen the Green Globe certification. Green Globe is an international benchmarking and certification programme, tailored to the tourism industry. Our commitment to this programme will see 150 of our hotels certified by December 2009, and the entire group by 2011. Novotel, simple, well-designed, efficient and modern hotels, genuinely committed to every kind of traveller. With about 400 hotels and resorts in 60 countries, 4-star international, upper midscale, located in major international city centres, business districts and tourist destinations, Novotel provides customers with the same high level of comfort, relaxation and well-being throughout the world. ◆

Novotel Amsterdam City , Europaboulevard 10 1083 AD Amsterdam, T +31 (0)20 541 11 23 F +31 (0)20 646 28 23, E h0515@accor.com W novotelamsterdamcity.com W novotel.com themicereport | 107

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

The workshop starts at 2pm sharp – 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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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 | 111

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badrutt’s pAlace hotel Switzerland

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he elegant Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is situated over 1,800 meters above sea level in the heart of the Swiss Alps. It is set amid breathtaking unspoiled scenery, beneath a stunning mountainous backdrop. It overlooks the sparkling St. Moritz Lake, which provides a stage for many highlight events, such as Match Race sailing regatta, St. Moritz Art Masters and various ralleys in summer, or Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow, White Turf horse racing and ice cricket on the frozen lake in winter. This luxury hotel is in a class of its own and an oasis of calm and harmony offering its guests first-class service. Without doubt, the hotel is a perfect place for meetings and incentives in the heart of the Engadine valley. Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is a celebration of style, sports, cuisine and fashion, with excellent and discreet service, high quality cuisine and traditional elegance evoking an atmosphere of pampered luxury for all. Over 110 years old, the hotel was built in 1896. Today it is still privately owned by the Badrutt family who

are renowned in the valley for being pioneers. They are credited with launching the area as a winter destination. The unique Badrutt’s spirit is essential to the allure and operation of the hotel today. The illustrious history, deep rooted tradition and excellent service are what keep the Badrutt’s spirit and passion alive and keeps the guests returning for this unforgettable and luxurious experience. The five-star deluxe hotel boasts 159 individually decorated guest rooms including 38 suites, as well as seven restaurants, four bars and seven meeting rooms. All rooms have breathtaking view of Lake St. Moritz or the Swiss Alps. The hotel offers its own Event Department who takes care of every detail for your event from start to finish. It is possible to take over the entire hotel during specific periods for an event or to arrange smaller meetings or incentive programmes. Conference and banquet rooms provide space for anything from small groups of 10 in the “Bergeller Stübli” up to 380 delegates theatre-style in the “Embassy Ballroom”. Meeting services include in-house florists, decorators and technicians, security guards, tours and site inspections, guest relations

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and a free of charge business centre. Thanks to a rich offer of Alpine summer activities, the hotel is an ideal destination during the summer months. Experienced local guides oversee group activities and sports including bike tours, water sports, hiking, paragliding, canyoning, glacier adventure, ice climbing, heli-fishing, mountain tours, Tyrolienne, canoe tours, mini Olympics and much more in the stunning Alpine scenery surrounding St. Moritz. The ‘living room of St. Moritz’ is what the press calls the majestic lobby Le Grand Hall, which represents the heart of the hotel. It offers a fantastic view from the large window overlooking the lake making it the perfect spot for a welcome cocktail or break-out. The weather plays an important role in St. Moritz. The sun shines for over 300 days a year, and challenging weather in summer provides excellent opportunities for great outdoor activities, whether you are tempted to sail on the lake or take to the greens. Not forgetting the free time between meetings, St. Moritz offers some of the world’s top designer brands in boutiques which line the shortest luxury shopping mile in the world – Via Serlas – right in front of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. St. Moritz not only offers clean pure mountain air, but this experience of pure nature, clear lakes and a pleasant climate make it the perfect counterbalance to hectic daily life. And Badrutt’s Palace Hotel is also making

its own green contribution to protecting the environment and natural beauty of St. Moritz. The hotel’s heating system comprises a heat pump system using water drawn from Lake St. Moritz, which saves approx 670.000 litres of oil per annum and reduces CO2 emissions by over 1,000 tonnes. This project is part of the “Clean Energy” Project in St. Moritz – a collective of energy, climate, weather and nature projects in place “on top of the world” (between 1770m and 3057m high) encompassing renewable energy powered by water, the sun, wind and organic gas. Even the bath amenities add to the natural experience – they are vegetablebased and encourage relaxation. All in all, it is easy to see why this legendary hotel has been awarded several accolades including 15 Gault Millau points for Le Restaurant, the annual Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and Condé Nast Traveller’s Reader’s Award for the fourth best European resort. Hans Wiedemann, Managing Director, has also been awarded Hotelier of the Year by the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association. In addition, it is a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World, Swiss Deluxe Hotels and Swiss Historic Hotels. All in all the elegant Badrutt’s Palace Hotel provides an excellent venue for meeting and incentive organisers. A memorable and special event within the beautiful Swiss Alps is guaranteed.u themicereport | 113

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Geneva in

A Swiss landmark in the heart of Geneva, Le Richemond is the perfect place for all your events.

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he choice of a ballroom and three meeting rooms with natural daylight, air conditioning and the latest audio-visual technology ensures we can accommodate your event and deliver first class service. Whether you are arranging meetings, seminars and conferences or celebrating an extraordinary event such as a wedding, birthday, launching a product or even holding a fashion show, you can absolutely rely on our team to organise something truly unique. The hotel offers three meeting rooms and a ballroom, which can accommodate from 10 to 250 people. With natural daylight and the latest in multimedia and audio technology as well as air conditioning, all our function rooms have been completely redesigned by John Stefanidis, overseen by Rocco Forte Collection Director of Design Mrs Olga Polizzi.

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Dare to be

Different

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It’s a maxim that extends across so many types of business in these days of increasing globalization and where individuals are able to enjoy a spectrum of new experiences themselves. Company managers are acutely aware that remaining in their comfort zone is, in fact, a danger area. And when it comes to incentive travel, alarm bells really should be ringing if they are not planning to surprise their employees, attempting to reach them in new ways. The need to free key workers from their routine and inspire them with fresh ideas and new perspectives is paramount with incentive travel, rewarding goals achieved and building teamwork, loyalty and enthusiasm.

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tep forward Iceland, with its unspoiled natural environment and an unforgettable adventure. But what makes Iceland so special is the fine balance between the awesome, untouched landscape and the latest in modern of conveniences. This is the main reason why Iceland is the chosen destination for a growing number of companies and corporations around the globe, particularly those keen to try something new for meetings, incentives and conferences. Over the last 100 years this North Atlantic island has transformed itself into an energetic, modern society that is quick to respond to international trends. Iceland’s meeting and conference facilities are a prime example. Outstanding facilities, the latest technology and staffing by professionals who are skilled in making every event a success means this small country punches well above it weight. With a population of only 300,000, Iceland is sufficiently compact to ensure ease and comfort in planning, yet cosmopolitan enough to offer expertise in the execution of any meeting or conference. And with the opening of the Icelandic National Concert & Conference Centre in Reykjavik (spring 2011) and the Hof Cultural House in the northern city of Akureyri in August next year, Iceland’s meeting facilities will take another major step forward. To be truthful, Iceland has an unfair advantage over competing destinations. Its extraordinary landscape, geothermal activity, natural spas – including the world-renowned Blue Lagoon – amazing range of activities and unique cuisine

give it a leading position. But its success as an incentive destination also hinges on its outstanding transportation and logistics working together to make the experience unbeatable. A wide network of agents and companies offer the resources and expertise to design the right travel programmes for incentive organisers and their clients. When it comes to incentive tours or team-building activities, it is hard to imagine a place more suitable than Iceland. To such activities as skidooing, white-water rafting, horse riding, hiking, glacier tours and whale-watching, you can add cave exploration, golf under the midnight sun or touring the highlands in Super Jeeps. And with tour operators with years of experience in Icelandic conditions, planners can be confident that every precaution is taken to ensure the safety – and enjoyment – of the participants. But Iceland is not only about nature and natural forces. Visitors to Reykjavik easily experience the pure energy at the heart of Iceland’s capital city whether from the boiling geothermal energy, the natural green energy within the city and around it, or the lively culture and fun-filled nightlife. Think of the qualities of a great city - fun, space, clean air, nature, culture - and Reykjavik has them in spades. It has the features of a modern, forward-looking society, complemented by a close connection to beautiful nature right on the city’s doorstep. With over 2,500 hotel rooms in Reykjavik, ranging from four-star deluxe suites to homely B&Bs, the capital can cater for groups of all shapes and sizes. Every property has its own

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SEATTLE

HELSINKI

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL

STOCKHOLM TORONTO

BOSTON ORLANDO NEW YORK HALIFAX

BERGEN OSLO STAVANGER ICELAND COPENHAGEN BERLIN REYKJAVIK FRANKFURT DUSSELDORF GLASGOW MANCHESTER AMSTERDAM MUNICH LONDON BRUSSEL PARIS MILAN BARCELONA MADRID

JUST ONE OF THE MANY INCENTIVES WHEN MEETING IN ICELAND Iceland's natural beauty combined with its location between Europe and North America make it the ideal location for meetings and incentive trips. Reykjavik is a chic city with a diverse range of accommodations and state-of-the-art meeting places, making for the perfect base. Just a short drive from the city is a natural playground perfect for group activities like glacier walks, horse riding, snowmobiling and quad biking. Icelanders love to roll out the red carpet for guests and your experience begins with your flight on Icelandair. We offer three classes of service and specialise in our own unique brand of Icelandic hospitality. We look forward to welcoming you onboard and to our beautiful home.

+ For more information visit www.icelandair.com.

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Iceland’s extraordinary landscape, geothermal activity, natural spas, amazing range of activities and unique cuisine together with outstanding transportation and logistics, makes it an unbeatable business destination special atmosphere and this is also true with the city’s excellent restaurants that are ready to take diners on an exciting culinary adventure. The characteristic curiosity and openness of Icelanders is crystallized in the nation’s chefs, who have gained a strong reputation for creatively fusing international cuisine with Icelandic ingredients. Seafood drawn fresh from the Atlantic, lamb that has roamed wild and fed on moss and herbs, and locally-grown vegetables are just a sample of Iceland´s core ingredients. When these combine with traditional foods of other countries, something magical happens. Reykjavík, known for its vibrant cultural energy, has become a real ‘Festival City’. On Friday and Saturday nights the city centre teems with revellers unabashedly kicking up their heels. Reykjavík nightlife is guaranteed to give anyone their party fix. With the conveniently compact size of the capital, you can easily navigate around the main hub of nightlife activities until the wee hours of the morning. Other nights are quieter, although Reykjavik’s bars and cafés can never be classified as dull. Most importantly, everyone should be able to find something to fit their own personal preference, from noisy clubs to trendy hipster locales to sophisticated wine bars, and everything in between. For those more interested in the arts, Iceland has wealth of ongoing artistic and cultural activities of every description, year-round. These might include concerts, musicals, theatre, dance, art

exhibitions, film screenings… or any of Iceland’s numerous festivals. Or, if you like to shop, Reykjavík has some fabulous designer boutiques selling creations by both Icelandic and non-Icelandic designers who, like the nation’s chefs, are also gaining an increasing international reputation. In fact, here’s a tip: haute couture and other exclusive clothing and accessories tend to be substantially less expensive in Iceland than in the world’s major cities, due to lower overheads and reduced mark-ups. Add to that the 15 per cent tax-free refund collected when leaving the country, and shopping in Iceland can be very reasonable indeed. This is just one of the surprises awaiting conference and incentive participants. It’s less than

Previous page: Reynisfjara beach. Clockwise from top: Skogarfoss waterfall; Blue Lagoon; Thorsmork National Park.

three hours away from London, with regular flights from the UK and other European cities. Despite its name, Iceland is surprisingly warm in the summer – often comparable to other European countries – and not as cold as might be expected outside of the traditional tourist season. But whenever you visit, the warmth of the welcome is guaranteed and whether it’s action, culture, nature or relaxation on the agenda, Iceland will meet all expectations. u

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Only the Best of Reykjavik Choose between 2 great hotels upon your next visit!

Radisson Blu Saga Hotel Tel: +354 525 9900 sales.saga.reykjavik@radissonblu.com Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel Tel: +354 599 1000 reservations.1919.reykjavik@radissonblu.com

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ICELANDAIR WELCOMES MEETING AND INCENTIVE TRAVELLERS TO ICELAND AND BEYOND

Since the time of the Viking Sagas, Iceland has been a place of great gatherings. It is in this spirit that Icelandair has welcomed meetings and incentive groups to its beautiful island home throughout the airline’s long history. Iceland’s unique location in between mainland Europe and North America, coupled with its state-of-the-art facilities and natural beauty make it an ideal MICE destination. And there is no better way to travel to Iceland than Icelandair, the country’s flag carrier for over 70 years.

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celandair flies from more than 15 major European centres of business including London, Frankfurt, Paris, Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen to Reykjavik, Iceland. There are daily flights from most European gateways, with multiple flights daily from London and Copenhagen. The Icelandair fleet consists of modern Boeing 757-200 aircraft, known for their efficiency and ability to handle large groups. In addition to Iceland, Icelandair flies to

popular MICE destinations in North America including: Boston, Halifax, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Orlando, Seattle and Toronto. A popular option for MICE travellers going to North America is an Iceland stopover at no additional airfare. The possibilities for a unique MICE trip are endless with the Iceland stopover. Passengers can combine meetings in New York City with a day of relaxing in the geothermal waters of The Blue Lagoon. Or cool off snowmobiling on one of Iceland’s majestic glaciers after a conference in Boston.

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iceland THE ICELANDAIR EXPERIENCE The Icelandair experience begins by contacting an Icelandair representative who works with the client to arrange the flights and recommends hotel, facility and activity partners that can help the client create a bespoke itinerary. Groups will enjoy Icelandair’s unique brand of Icelandic hospitality from the moment they check-in. On the way to Iceland they will experience the comfort and modern Nordic look of newly refitted aircraft interiors featuring leather-upholstered seating and interactive in-flight entertainment systems. The system provides each passenger access to a wide selection of films, television programmes, documentaries, music and games. Additionally, they can prepare for their time in Iceland with a programme introducing the Icelandic language and an interactive glossary of useful phrases. Depending on the client’s needs Icelandair offers three types of service: Economy, Economy Comfort and Saga Class. Economy Class features six abreast seating with spacious 32in/81cm legroom. Complimentary soft drinks, juice and water are provided with a selection of tasty food for sale. For clients looking for more room, Economy Comfort Class features four abreast seating with 33in/84cm legroom. Economy Comfort passengers receive a complimentary meal as well as Saga Class check-in and lounge access. For the ultimate in privacy, comfort and flexibility, Saga Class features four abreast seating with 39in/99cm legroom. Saga Class passengers enjoy a complete meal and beverage service, pre-flight drink and guaranteed seat selection.

KEFLAVIK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Passengers arrive in Iceland at Keflavik International Airport, conveniently located only a 45 minute drive from the Reykjavik city centre. With its modern Nordic design, small size and hassle-free environment, Keflavik International Airport is renowned for being one of the most pleasant airports in Europe. Passengers can take advantage of the Icelandic krona’s favourable exchange rate and shop for Icelandic specialties like wool jumpers, Icelandic chocolate, handmade glass decorations and even quality eyewear. While at the airport, Economy Comfort and Saga Class passengers can relax in the Saga Class Lounge where they can enjoy complimentary food and beverages, catch up on news, log on to the Internet or simply relax. The lounge features Icelandic design and is a comfortable place to unwind before or after a flight. ICELAND FLYING HIGH While many meeting, incentive and conference destinations are crowded and seemingly identical to other destinations, Iceland differentiates itself through its unique setting, activities and sense of style. And with the current favourable exchange rate, Iceland is the most affordable it‘s been in years. New MICE offerings are constantly being developed and there is a special attention to detail and warm Nordic hospitality that make a MICE visit to Iceland memorable. The same attention to detail and hospitality that define the Icelandair experience. ◆

To learn more about Icelandair visit www.icelandair.com

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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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WWW.LAMANUFACTURE.NET

Matching Su cces s with Style.

www.hotel-martinez.com 73, La Croisette 路 06400 Cannes 路 France T +33(0)4 92 98 73 75 路 group-mtz@concorde-hotels.com

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F

rance has always been a preferred destination for the Meeting Industry: authenticity, safety and reliability but also an abundance of original ideas make it attractive!. Its rich cultural and historical heritage, regional culture makes France a fabulous destination with the option of combining several themes, atmospheres and eras in one trip. France offers you many possibilities to make your event successful and whatever destination, style or theme you are seeking, you will find it in France.

france

france your next big event!

The French Convention Bureau which main objective is to market and promote France as a destination for meetings, conventions and incentives as the heart of your expectations Professionalism, know-how and market knowledge‌ The French Convention Bureau functions as a liaison between foreign meeting, convention and incentive planners and facilities and services providers in France. It offers free and impartial information and advice, and provides you with support at all stages of your event organization to find the solutions you need. Furthermore, local representatives of the French Convention Bureau have the professionalism, know-how, and market knowledge to help you to find solutions and match with clients’ needs and expectations. The French Convention Bureau offers the combined powers of more than 130 members, each a true specialist in his particular sector of activity, and covers all aspects of business tourism. Destination management companies, conference organizers, convention centres and bureau, local and regional tourist boards as well as transport companies and hotels are widely represented. Making France the preferred destination for conferences and incentives is not just an ambition, but a true vocation, shared on a daily basis by both men and women, bodies and companies, all united in The French Convention Bureau. The French Convention Bureau will advise you, assist you, and provide you with the know-how you need to make your event a success. France has never been closer to your next event !

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22/07/09

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Page 1

Photo : Agence Caméléon

HILTON:Mise en page 1

Travel is more than just A to B. Travel should refresh your spirit. Evian-les-Bains : The new destination on Lake Geneva ! From :

On the French shore of the lake Geneva, close to city centre 45 km from Geneva International Airport, possibility of VIP boat transfer. per night in a double room

173 rooms, including 5 suites, combine contemporary elegance, comfort and high standards.

Relax in our unique worldwide buddha-bar Spa.

7 meeting rooms including a large ballroom for your seminars, with natural daylight. Original insetive programs available. For reservation visit w w w . e v i a n l e s b a i n s . h i l t o n . c o m or call +33 4 50 84 60 00 Quai Paul Léger 74500 Evian-les-Bains • France

®2009 Hilton Hospitality, Inc. Hilton Evian-les-Bains Advert V2 1

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france

Evian, Spa Heaven HILTON EVIAN-LES-BAINS ADDS MODERN

I

deally located within easy reach of Switzerland and Italy, Evian is a beautiful lakeside resort in France just 45 km from Geneva, or Montreux, and sits on Italy’s doorstep. Evian Les-Bains skirts Lake Geneva and is a good centre for the nearby Portes du Soleil ski resorts (Avoriaz, Morzine, Les Gets, Châtel, Abondance). The Hilton hotel offers something for everyone whether it is a unique setting for business gatherings or a short break away from the city. Thoughtfully designed, the main concept for the hotel is water, nature and well-being, and the commissioned interior decorators and designers have created features that reflect the calming atmosphere of the historic town but with a contemporary edge. All guest rooms combine the richness of wood with luxurious dashes of mauve and lilac. Each affords views over Lake Geneva or the French Alps, while balconies are fronted by stainless steel mesh for further light and sparkle.

SPARKLE TO THIS HISTORIC FRENCH TOWN WITH THE WORLD’S FIRST BUDDHA-BAR SPA. These are easily spotted by the flotilla of yachts that ply the lake during the summer season. A contemporary and inventive dining offer is available at both restaurants in the hotel: Cannelle is located next to the Cosmopoitan Bar with a large terrace overlooking the gardens, and Riva, a trendy restaurant located on the shore of the lake. A new type of well-being The Buddha-Bar Spa Nature’s calming essences infuse all parts of the hotel and converge in the Buddha Bar Spa. Here, the age old traditions of Korea, Tibet and Thailand are revitalised with a new eastern concept that transfigures the fitness and wellbeing universe. “This area is a world first,” says Hélène Coulon, the Buddha Bar Spa’s Director and project instigator. “The mood is based on Buddhism.” The ultra-chic Buddha Bar Spa invites all who enter to take on the ‘buddhattitude’ – “to themicereport | 127

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Previous page: VIP suite; Executive suite bathroom. This page clockwise from top: Buddah Bar Spa humid zone, Exterior with pool; Canelle Terrace; Breakfast at the executive lounge terrace; Buddah Bar Spa fitness room; Tumas boardroom in business centre.

let yourself drift, cleanse your energy and quieten your senses” – an invitation found in bold golden letters when you walk into the area. This new spa concept emerged from the avant-garde Buddha Bar restaurant opened by Raymond Visan in Paris ten years ago. The exotic decoration, blissful aromas and atmospheric music play with the five senses and lull guests into a state of wholehearted peace. As no two people are alike, however, a lifestyle questionnaire enables staff to tailor the experience to meet each individual’s needs. Captivating incentives and seminars in nature Hilton Evian-les-Bains is well positioned for the meetings and conference market. The hotel has four meeting rooms, a high tech boardroom and a 336m² modular reception room that can be divided into three separate rooms with a terrace that overlooks the garden and pool. The town is blessed with year-round activities to suit all team building exercises, from Alpine skiing in winter to swimming and boating in summer. A professional incentive supplier is based within the hotel. u

www.evianlesbains.hilton.com info.hiltonevianlesbains@hilton.com Tel : +33 (0)4 50 84 60 00 themicereport | 129

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french riviera

Cte d’Azur CLASS

The impeccably named Côte d’Azur has long held a dreamy fascination for the more refined class of world traveller.

F

rom Queen Victoria and Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the 19th century to Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn in the 20th, the soft caress of Mediterranean breezes and the serene waters of the French Riviera have proved an eternal lure for those who know how to appreciate the sweet life. The 21st century is no exception, as many of the best known names in the worlds of art, sport, film and business flock to the epicentre of this earthly paradise, Saint Tropez, for business and pleasure – and sometimes a blending of the two. And nestling on the Bouillabaisse beach at the entrance to Saint Tropez, is the most soughtafter gem of the region’s hotels: the sumptuous Résidence de la Pinède. Bathed in rich Mediterranean-style décor, the Pinède boasts 39 lavish rooms with luxuriant ochre walls bursting with spring sunshine, and fabrics in deep, luminous colours. Many of the rooms open out onto the terrace and command breath-taking views of the Mediterranean, the Gulf of Saint Tropez, the famous citadel and the picturesque old port. The Pinède owes its name to the enchanting pine grove that enfolds it. At the height of summer, the hotel’s residents enjoy the grove’s fragrant shade

during the day and its pleasant warmth when evening falls. Lunch under the canopy of pines or dinner under the stars are equally seductive in this oasis of peace, tranquillity and indulgent living. This green setting contains a magnificent sapphire: the swimming pool, which reaches out to the sea and appears to merge with the Mediterranean. But the pièce de résistance of the Pinède’s charm is indisputably its private white sand beach: an exclusive playground for the hotel’s residents – a prize that no other fourstar hotel in Saint Tropez can boast. For those who seek adventures beyond the cool shade of golden parasols, a quick word with the beach manager can deliver more lively leisure activities on the Pinède’s private pontoon,

including parascending, jet-skiing and boat trips out to sea. After building up an appetite with all that the Riviera lifestyle has to offer, the hotel’s chef, Arnaud Donckele, is on hand to serve a rich array of mouth-watering dishes to satiate all gastronomic passions. Having trained under Paris’s renowned Jean-Louis Nomicos, the chef at Laserre, it is no surprise that Donckele was hand-picked to captivate diners at the Pinède. For hoteliers Nicole and Jean-Claude Delion have an eye for quality and a golden touch when it comes to chic hospitality on the Côte d’Azur. After acquiring the Pinède in 1985, Nicole and Jean-Claude Delion transfigured the grand old gem of Saint Tropez into the fashionable hotel that

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french riviera

Opposite page, top to bottom: Hotel la Reserve de Beaulieu; Salon Villa Victoria. This page, clockwise from top: Résidence de la Pinède; Breakfast on the terrace, Deluxe bed chamber; Elegant Poolside at Résidence la Pinède

now stands among the ranks of the ‘Leading Hotel of the World’ chain, and one of its most sought-after members. The Delion’s second treasure, La Réserve de Beaulieu, is an equally lavish hotel on the French Riviera, situated further east between the glamour hotspots of Nice and Monaco. Originally a luxury restaurant frequented by the crowned heads of Europe, the hotel now holds 39 rooms and magnificent suites, each decorated in warm colours, delicate frescoes and finished with period furniture. True to its regal heritage, La Réserve de Beaulieu has been enriched by the addition of two sensational private apartments aptly titled Victoria and Mistinguett. With two large bedrooms, a large dressing room and a huge sitting room, Victoria is the perfect haven for a family holiday. Palpably more alluring, Mistinguett – named after the queen of the French stage – is designed for two, and only two. A private bar and expansive saloon give way to a sweeping spiral staircase that leads up to the huge bedroom, overlooking an immense 125 square metre terrace. Elegance is the essence of La Réserve de Beaulieu, and the grace of centuries is visible in every detail. The bar, for example, is a magnificent colossus with flamboyant wood work, bathed in the evenings by sophisticated jazz. The smoking room has a distinctly British feel, sporting a magnificent pool table and decorated with black and white photographs of bygone India. And the Maria Galland spa has all the panache of a transatlantic cruiser from the last century, with varnished wood decoration and copper-framed portholes. Basking in the glory of the most desirable coastline in the world, La Réserve de Beaulieu and Résidence de la Pinède stand out as the jewels of the Côte d’Azur, and a taste of paradise for the more discerning world traveller ◆. themicereport | 131

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The Grimaldi Forum Monaco, located in an environment favored by both climate and geography, and with its 35,000 square meters of ingeniously modular floor space, responds to all the needs of the MICE industry.

A view from the Grimaldi Forum

DARe the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco

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n the center of an attractive and competitive Destination which combines the exceptionally high standard Congress Palace, the quality of the hotel infrastructure, transfers which don’t require hours of bus travel, a safe atmosphere and close proximity to the Nice international airport, the Grimaldi Forum Monaco is the catalyst for a genuine mobilization of energy and talents which knows how to employ its charms—and its rates! The red carpet is rolled out for you with the offer “Monaco Meetings” …. This offer which brings together all the main business tourism parties of the Principality is available at certain times for any event which “occupies in a significant way the Grimaldi Forum Monaco, which uses at least two Principality hotels and which totals a minimum of 1200 overnight stays during a minimum of two days.”

Interior of the Grimaldi Forum

Such is the case with your project, and so, as we say in Monte Carlo, “Jackpot!” The “Destination” offers you pluses which will be minuses in your final budget: a welcome champagne cocktail offered, free bus

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monaco shuttles between the hotels and the place of your gala evening, decoration of the city in the colors of your event etc. And the Grimaldi Forum also contributes by providing Wi-Fi access, coffee breaks for the conventions and congress, supporting promotion and communication of the event, providing the organizers’ offices etc. Competitive rates! Within the framework of the Monaco Meetings offer, for the very specific periods between the months of October and April, you will benefit from special negotiated hotel rates… very competitive ! And the Grimaldi Forum Monaco also adheres to this attractive fare policy. Here are three examples:

Lunch at Le Genois

The Prince Pierre Auditorium (800 people in theater-style) = 4,548 euros exclusive of tax per day. Committee rooms (22 rooms for 20 to 200 people) = from 321 to 1065 euros exclusive of tax per day. Working lunch (first course, main course, dessert, mineral water, coffee, tea): starting at 39 euros exclusive of tax per person. You are still hesitating…? To convince you, the Principality would like to remind you of a few fundamental values.

A conference room

The Salle des Princes Auditorium

• Monaco is a walking destination: 1000 hotel rooms just five minutes from the foot of the Grimaldi Forum • The quality of the infrastructure is irreproachable: the best testimonials are those of the Grimaldi Forum clients and of our 2,600 hotel rooms • The Principality has experience in handling major events, such as the recent Grand Departure of the bicycle race, the Tour de France. • All your interlocutors can be gathered together at the same time to most efficiently study your project. • The Monaco Destination is linked to the whole world thanks to the proximity of the Nice– Côte d’Azur international airport. • Monaco is dedicated to reducing the impact of your event on the environment, with a Grimaldi Forum among the major congress centers in Europe to be certified ISO 14001. • At the crossroads of Europe, Monaco is a cosmopolitan city that has been able to preserve both its international influence and its very appreciated neutrality. themicereport | 133

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poland The preferred business tourism destination

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poland

T

he meetings industry in Poland is one of the country’s fastest growing areas of tourism. For the last 10 years, it has drawn interest from an everincreasing number of business people. Poland has vastly improved on its accommodation and conference facilities to meet the high standards expected by international businessmen and women. The wide range of activities, facilities and great value for money on offer definitely make Poland a country worth considering for your next meeting or incentive trip. Half a million places to stay, thousands of restaurants, hundreds of forms of leisure and entertainment - they’re all waiting for you. The beneficial Euro to zloty exchange rate also makes Poland one of the most financially-friendly countries in Europe. If you have never visited us before, now is the perfect time. In short, Poland reflects the full diversity of the European landscape. We have alpine ranges; a varied coastline ranging from flat coastal strips to high chalk cliffs, sand dunes and exposed headlands; numerous lake districts; pristine forests; a desert and world-class historic monuments. Our main cities of Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław and Gdańsk are proud to open the doors of their most beautiful palaces and historic monuments to tourists, incentive groups and meeting planners. Gdañsk and its surroundings form a major economic, cultural and tourist centre on the Polish coast. Thanks to the original town plans from 1343, Poles have been able to recreate the original hanseatic architecture down to the finest detail following the destruction of World War II. The town centre has three distinct quarters and, once inside the city walls, you will find some of northern Europe’s most charming streets. A real must is the large gothic church of St. Mary’s that dates from 1502 and can hold 25,000 people. Gdańsk is also the birthplace of the new Europe. The winds of change started to blow here following strike action organised by the Lenin shipyard workers. This gave rise to the foundation of the very first free labour movement known as “Solidarity”, led by Lech Walesa. For this reason Gdańsk is also known as the City of Freedom. For years, Gdańsk has been a popular destination for international meetings of policy makers, business people, scientists and artists, and the city has played an important role in many momentous events. The Dominican Fair, dating back to 1260, is a prime example of an annual event that attracts thousands of merchants, artists and visitors from all over Europe. themicereport | 135

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Previous page: Warsaw at night; Clockwise from top: Gdańsk at night, Water Palace, Warsaw, Gdańsk, Vistula River, Warsaw, Zurek soup, a Polish favourite.

Warsaw, the capital of Poland, is a perfect embodiment of the changes that have taken place in the country over the past 20 years. It is a city of many faces – a contrasting blend of past and present with the architectural landscape made up of historical buildings and post-modern skyscrapers. The past is magnificently represented by the reconstruction of the Old Town which was completely destroyed in the Second World War. This effort, unprecedented in Europe, gained the appreciation of UNESCO. In 1980 the organization included the whole city-centre complex on the World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. The Palace of Culture and Science, a long-standing symbol of Communism, is the epitome of the social-realism style. The city’s architectural landscape was shaped by architects like A. Epstein & Sons, Norman Foster and Daniel Libeskind. After your first stroll along our capital’s streets you will see that Warsaw is set to become one of Europe’s most eclectic and interesting cities. At the cultural crossroads between west and east Europe, Warsaw grew to become a platform for a new dialogue that inspired changes and promoted better understanding between different cultures. Warsaw’s cultural mix has encouraged a varied bar, club and music scene that has grown up alongside numerous theatre productions, art exhibitions and film premieres – a scene that is unequalled in Poland. This openness and

willingness to embrace all cultural elements is what distinguishes Warsaw and creates the city’s unique yet modern European style. Whether you come to Warsaw for a business trip, a conference, or as a tourist, you will see that it is a truly forward-thinking European capital. The city enjoys a dynamic and stable business environment, historic and modern meeting facilities, a vibrant cultural life and green space covering a quarter of the city. Warsaw will definitely exceed your expectations and will leave you yearning to return to enjoy the experience once again. Kraków combines Neo-classical, Renaissance, Gothic, Baroque and La Belle Époque architecture in wonderful harmony. It is no surprise that Kraków was one of the very first cities to be admitted on to UNESCO’s list of the world’s most important cultural heritage sites. The main meeting place in Kraków is the Market Square – one of the largest in Europe – surrounded by cafes, pubs, restaurants and historical buildings. Europe’s oldest department store – the Sukiennice – is the centrepiece to the square. A visit here will mean you can buy anything your heart desires to take home as a souvenir from Poland. Kraków is the former capital of the country and the city is home to the old Jewish quarter of Kazimierz. Formally one of the city’s poorest districts, the area is undergoing a resurgence

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with galleries, cafes, beer gardens, restaurants and clubs opening up. The Synagogues have been restored and the Jewish presence is once again being celebrated, marked by events like the Jewish Festival. Kraków offers an extensive choice of conference facilities. It has a network of hotels, restaurants, conference and congress centres all offering top quality equipment and professional, well-trained staff. The city’s unique atmosphere will make your conference an exceptional, unforgettable experience for all involved. In recent years, meeting and incentive planners have circled a new destination on the European map. Wrocław is the fourth-largest Polish metropolis and a strong economic, academic and cultural centre. The demographic make-up of Wrocław has its roots in the city’s history and a long tradition of peaceful coexistence among its various ethnic groups. Modern Wrocław’s multicultural ambience is well manifested in its urban landscape and the Old Town is not only appreciated for its historical value, but also as a bustling social and cultural centre. Due to the several islands in the Odra river that are connected with the city mainland by over 100 bridges and footbridges, Wrocław could well compete for the title of “Venice of the North”. The most stunning of all is the Ostrów Tumski Island with its medieval architecture that enhances the

charming yet mysterious atmosphere of the city. Strategically situated between Prague, Warsaw and Berlin, Wrocław offers a well-developed transport network making it an ideal meeting place on an international, domestic and local level. This easy access to all parts of the region is enjoyed not only by investors, but also by tourists, who are choosing to visit Wrocław and its picturesque surroundings with increasing frequency. Outside its main cities, Poland has almost ten thousand lakes, 23 national parks and 29% of its area is covered by forest, offering an untainted natural paradise for those who seek outdoor activities. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Mazurian Lake District and the Białowieża Primeval Forest have qualified for the semifinals of the Declaration of the New7Wonders of Nature Contest. Allow yourself to be seduced by countless charming castles and palaces where you can spend your time skiing during winter or playing golf in the summer. Popular weekend activities include horse riding and fishing which are often offered by meeting organizers. If you believe that tasting regional specialties is a good way of getting to know the nation’s culture, then eating out in Poland is the best choice you can make. Sample the delicious roast duck with apples, or various kinds of pierogi (dumplings, stuffed with fresh cabbage or sauerkraut, sauerkraut and wild mushrooms, meat, cottage

Outside its main cities, Poland has almost ten thousand lakes, 23 national parks and 29% of its area is covered by forest, offering an untainted natural paradise for those who seek outdoor activities.

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cheese or blueberries) and be tempted by a rich selection of soups. Do not leave without trying the country’s specialties – meads and vodkas ranging from Zubrowka (bison grass vodka) to Krupnik (made with honey and often mulled before serving). Poland offers a wide range of cultural experiences from modern art to music inspired by famous composers. The highlights of Polish artistic season are the world famous Chopin International Piano Competition, Wieniawski International Violin Competition, Warsaw Autumn – the International Festival of Contemporary Music, the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, JVC Jazz Festival, CAMERIMAGE - the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, and numerous art and folklore youth festivals and workshops. Sport fans won’t be disappointed either. The 2009 European Basketball Championship, the Eurobasket, will be hosted in September by seven Polish cities (Warsaw, Gdańsk, Poznań, Wrocław, Lodz, Bydgoszcz and Katowice). This will be the second time (the first was in 1963) that the competition is in Poland. Euro 2012 is also on the horizon and offers Poles the chance to show the country at its very best. Understanding the importance of such a prestigious event, Poland is improving its infrastructure and building new roads, hotels and congress centers. The tournament will allow us to enhance Poland’s position on the meetings industry map . Warsaw, Kraków, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Poznań, Bydgoszcz, Toruń and Katowice and their CVBs are willing to provide their professional assistance in finding appropriate local suppliers. Their efforts are supported by Convention Bureau of Poland, which as a part of the Polish Tourist Organisation, is responsible for promoting Poland as a preferred business tourism destination. u

Top to bottom: Kraków, Malbork Castle, Warsaw Sofitel Victoria Hotel pool, Warsaw Sofitel Victoria Hotel Opera Hall.

Polish Tourist Organisation

Polish Tourist Organisation Convention Bureau of Poland 8 Chałubińskiego Street, Oxford Tower, XIX floor 00-613 Warsaw Poland tel. +48 22 536 70 42/73 fax. + 48 22 536 70 04 e-mail: cbp@pot.gov.pl www.poland-convention.pl 138 | themicereport

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warsaw

Why MICE in

warsaw?

Is there a city located in the centre of Europe, within the EU and Schengen zone, with convenient flight connections to all major European cities from an airport located just 11 km from the city centre? And is there such a city that also offers great tourist infrastructure and many new 4- and 5-star hotels? Yes, there is. It is Warsaw, the capital of Poland.

I

n 2011 Poland will hold the EU Presidency, and in 2013 may well become part of the Euro Zone. The capital is the largest academic and research centre, and though Warsaw has over 600 years of history it has a young and dynamic feel. Completely destroyed during the World War II, Warsaw rose up to become the financial hub of central and eastern Europe, offering visitors great quality hotels and infrastructure with professional staff and dozens of other attractions. The city has a population of nearly 2 million, and an investment boom is visible all around. Warsaw is known for its unique atmosphere which results from a combination of the city’s interesting past, dynamic present and its bright future. The city combines tradition and modernity, and this is visible all around Warsaw. The contrast of old and new can be seen most clearly in its architecture. The variety of styles visible reflect the different phases that Poland went through during the 20th century. The city centre is filled with modern skyscrapers and

glass office buildings. Nearby are the Palace of Culture and the MDM district: blatant reminders of Poland’s 45 years of communist domination. While walking along the Royal Route visitors will enjoy the beautiful, and newly renovated, pedestrianized area of Krakowskie Przedmieście street, which guides them towards the Old Town. The latter was rebuilt in the 1950s from scratch from the ruins of World War II, and is now listed as a UNESCO heritage site. On the other side of the Vistula river is the Praga district – which some call the Polish Montmartre. Buildings in Praga still display holes dating from before the war. Today Warsaw welcomes a large number of visitors both as an important business centre and a tourist destination. It is becoming a modern metropolis, bustling with energy and life. Music festivals, international cultural exhibitions and artistic events frequently take place. Its many restaurants also offer international standards of cuisine with influences from around the globe. As well as its exciting urban life, Warsaw’s inhabitants and tourists can also enjoy the numerous parks themicereport | 141

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warsaw and the Vistula’s unique wild riverbanks - an aspect that gives a greener edge to this budding European capital. MICE With all its attractions Warsaw is an ideal destination for conferences and business trips. The city offers a range of conference venues that are able to host up to 3,500 participants. Event organizers can choose from contemporary facilities such as Expo XXI, or invite their delegates to the stylish and monumental Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera or perhaps organize a meeting in the Palace of Culture and Science. A conference held in such a venue is sure to be a novelty – creating value for the delegates who are frequently bored with the usual congress halls. Warsaw is fresh and has a lot to offer; the city is the epitome of the changes that are taking place in the CEE region. Warsaw remains more affordable than many other European destinations, and Poland is one of the countries least affected by the current economic crisis. It truly offers excellent quality for very competitive prices. Getting to Warsaw is fast and easy: there are around 80 regular and low cost flight connections, and the average flight time from major European cities to Warsaw is about 2 hours. The experienced and wellequipped conference centres are complemented by numerous brand new hotels and many historic and modern venues for post-meeting social events. Examples of the largest events held in Warsaw: • AIDS congress held in 2003 at EXPO XXI - 3,500 pax • European Economic Forum held in 2004 at the Sofitel Victoria Hotel - 1,000 pax, i.e. the meeting of politicians and CEOs from all over Europe that is usually is held in Davos • World Congress of the World Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases held in 2005 in the Palace of Culture and Science - 1,500 pax, organized by Kenes International • Miss World competition held in September 2006 in the Palace of Culture and Science - 3,000 pax • European Film Academy Awards held in 2006 in Expo XXI - 1.600 pax • European Academy of Allergology & Clinical Immunology held in 2009 - 6,000 pax In coming months Warsaw will also hold: • Chopin’s 200th birthday anniversary in 2010 • Special Olympics European Games in 2010 • UEFA Euro 2012

Meetings planners who do not know Warsaw, and are hesitating about whether to prepare their event in Poland, may contact Warsaw Destination Alliance (WDA) - an organization which will help them to organize any event in Warsaw. WDA is a non-profit foundation established by the international hotels in Warsaw, and has as one of its main aims to bring more congress and meetings events to Warsaw. It provides meeting planners

HOTELS Warsaw offers excellent brand-new hotels for holding meetings, with some particularly good facilities in the small- and medium-size categories. Almost all international hotel chains have operations in Warsaw, and in total there are over 12,000 hotel rooms in the city, including over 5,700 rooms in the 4- and 5-star segments. To know more about the special features offered by the hotels please visit www.destinationwarsaw.com and take advantage of the meeting venue search engine:. You’ll find that Warsaw still offers very competitive rates for meeting facilities and accommodation when compared with other European destinations. CULTURE There is a packed timetable of cultural events taking place in Warsaw, and it is notably a city of music. For beginners there is the Chopin Festival, which is held each year in August; the International Chopin Competition; the Beethoven Festival, which is held in April; July’s Mozart Festival;and the city also hosts many jazz events like: Jazz Jamboree, the international jazz festival “Jazz at the Old Town”, Warsaw Summer Jazz Days, and the world famous contemporary music event - Warsaw Autumn. For almost every music trend there is a club that celebrates it regularly. 2010 will be the Year of Chopin. Warsaw will hold a vast number of events dedicated to Chopin’s 200th birthday anniversary. A website providing information about all of these events can be found at www.chopin2010.pl. Other cultural attractions include: International Warsaw Film Festival (October), OFF/ON European Film Festival (August) and Theatre Festival (September), whilst there are many open air movie screenings in summer. Art lovers are also well catered for by Warsaw’s large number of art galleries and museums, such as Zachęta National Gallery of Art or the Centre for Contemporary Art. In the capital’s theatres, meanwhile, comedies, dramas and musicals are performed on a daily basis.

with the most comprehensive, professional and up-to-date information about Warsaw, its hotels, conference facilities etc. WDA’s members include: hotels, airlines, car rental companies, restaurants, galleries, museums and FMCG producers – in all over 90 companies that wish to develop Warsaw as a preferred destination for business and leisure tourism, as well as a perfect location for holding conferences and meetings.

The best place for information about cultural events in the city is the website of MultiFest Warszawa www.multifest.pl, which includes a calendar in presented in English. u

www.destinationwarsaw.com

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competition

WIN!

Š Tom_u | Dreamstime.com

A three night stay at the luxurious Kempinski Hotel Gravenbach in Frankfurt

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he 5 star Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch Frankfurt offers 284 guest rooms, 22 conference rooms and

the largest SPA area in the region. Set in picturesque parklands, you are invited to enjoy first class service in the peaceful and relaxed atmosphere after a stressful day. To enter, simply answer the following question. Where is the largest airport in Germany? a) Berlin b) Hamburg c) Frankfurt

Please email you answer to competitions@raellen.com with your full name and contact details before the closing date of 25th February 2010. This prize is not transferable themicereport | 143

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russia

ith a GDP of more than $2,260 trillion and now the 6th largest global economy, the rebirth of Russia owes much of its economic success to being the world’s leading natural gas exporter. This economic renaissance has been accompanied by an extraordinary building programme of ultramodern complexes to reflect its new status as a centre of world trade. For the international business traveller or conference delegate, this revitalisation is nowhere more evident than in the awe-inspiring new skyline of the Moscow International Business Centre in Russia’s capital. Rising high from the Presnenskaya embankment, this complex hosts the world-famous Naberezhnaya Tower, the high-tech City of Capitals twin towers and the futuristic Tower 2000 - combining corporate activity, exclusive apartments and high-class entertainment within one stylish square kilometer. As befits its reputation as a centre for international conferences, Moscow boasts an immense selection of venues for quality events of all sizes. From the grandiose Presidential Hotel near the Kremlin, built to impress guests of state during the Cold War, to the five-star luxury of more intimate business meetings at the Hotel Savoy Moscow, to the vast exhibition pavilions of the Sokolniki Culture Centre, Moscow offers countless state-of-theart facilities for event organisers seeking to maximise the impact of their message. But perhaps the most thrilling aspect of travelling for business is the opportunity it opens up for sight-seeing – and Moscow excels at that extra touch of magic. The enchantments of exploring this magnificent city, where east truly meets west, frequently exceeds expectation. An after-work wander through the mediaeval streets of the Kremlin may lead into one of the majestic squares of the ancient citadel – such as Sobornaya Square, where the dazzling goldendomed cathedrals of the Assumption, the Annunciation and the Archangel tower into the sky.Leaving behind the fortifications of the Kremlin, a delegate with a free afternoon can discover the State Historical Museum overlooking the splendour of Red Square, or marvel at the fairytale turrets and twisting minarets of St Basil’s Cathedral, built by Ivan the Terrible to mark the 1552 defeat of the Mongol hordes. For those with a penchant for Soviet chic, the elaborate series of skyscrapers known collectively as ‘Stalin’s Seven Sisters’, which

© Henrik Andersen | Dreamstime.com

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe have opened up to international trade, travel and conferencing opportunities on an unprecedented scale. Two decades after the dismantling of the old USSR, the new East has become a fashionable epicentre for cosmopolitan conventions and multinational business events – and this is especially true of the world’s great energy superpower,

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Nicknamed the ‘Venice of the North’, today’s St Petersburg captivates the international event organiser with a scale of quality venues that reflect the city’s synthesis of contemporary elegance and Tsarist splendour. © Sergei Butorin | Dreamstime.com

Nicknamed the ‘Venice of the North’, today’s St Petersburg captivates the international event organiser with a scale of quality venues that reflect the city’s synthesis of contemporary elegance and Tsarist splendour. Having been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1991, the city’s historic centre provides the perfect setting for a grander class of business conference. Overlooking the neoclassical Cathedral of St Isaac’s and the imperial Mariinsky Palace, for example, are two ideal locations for the international convention. Hotel Astoria and Angleterre Hotel offer superior accommodation, conferencing and banqueting facilities complemented with the latest technological amenities.

© Zoom Zoom | Dreamstime.com

blend the Russian Baroque and Gothic styles, are an unqualified architectural delight. One of these period structures, the Hilton Leningradskaya Hotel, offers the opportunity to stay in luxury at one of Moscow’s landmark buildings as well as access to fully-equipped meeting facilities and a ballroom. With a sensational range of designer shops, exclusive cafes and fashionable bars, and a metro system that is world-famous for its speed, ease and the elegant marble-faced subway stations, Moscow is a treat to explore. The business traveller can now enter the city

at one of Moscow’s five airports, including the renovated Domodedovo International, or through one of the nine main railway stations that connect with numerous cities throughout Europe and Asia. However, Moscow has not always been the unrivalled capital of this great Eurasian empire. When Peter the Great founded St Petersburg on the Baltic coast in 1703, he did more than establish a new capital on the edge of Europe – he founded a westward-looking cultural centre that brought progress into the heart of Russia.

Within walking distance of these venues is the celebrated Hermitage Museum, founded by Catherine the Great and housing more than three million treasures and the world’s largest collection of paintings. Further along the embankment stand the Winter Palace and Summer Gardens – each edifice an awe-inspiring delight for the sight-seeing business traveller. St Petersburg is the most accessible Russian city and is served well by the modernised Pulkovo Airport, 17km south of the city, which connects with many European cities. It is also fast becoming a strategic location for every serious event manager with an eye for the impressive. ◆

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The legend of Russian hospitality Opened in 2005 after a glorious renovation the Savoy Hotel offers a favorable level of luxury and comfort. Rich in history and traditions, the 1912 art deco property boasts one of the smartest addresses in the fashionable heart of present-day Moscow.

• 67 comfortable guestrooms and suites; • 24-hours Room Service; • Savoy Restaurant (Russian & European cuisine); • Hermitage Lobby-bar; • Meeting & Event facilities; • Fitness facilities & Swimming pool; • Business center & Travel services; • IP-Telephony; • Wi-Fi Internet; • Laundry & Dry cleaning; • On-site parking.

3/6, b. 1, Rozhdestvenka, Moscow, 109012, Russia tel.: +7 (495) 620-85-00, 620-85-55, fax: +7 (495) 620-86-65; infa-hotel@savoy.ru, www.savoy.ru

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Savoy Moscow the legend of Russian hospitality

In a historic building dating back to the mid-19th century, the 5-star Savoy Hotel first opened as a luxury hotel in 1913 and has since hosted world-famous celebrities such as Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, Patricia Kaas, Richard Gere, Jane Fonda, and Dave Brubeck in its sumptuous rooms. With its ideal location in the heart of Moscow, the Savoy is within walking distance of major attractions such as the Kremlin, Red Square, and the Bolshoi Theatre. After a full renovation in 2005, guests can now enjoy the glory and mystique of an Old Russian mansion outfitted with all of the modern comforts of an upscale boutique hotel.

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he recent revamping resulted in a charming mix of a gracious, intimate atmosphere with a touch of Italian opulence. All the guest rooms and suites convey a sense of peaceful elegance while providing every convenience modern travellers expect. Guest wellbeing is clearly the focus here, and after a full day of meetings or sightseeing, your supremely stylish and comfortable room welcomes you for some much-deserved rest and relaxation. Attention to detail is obvious, as exemplified by the towel warmers in the marble bathrooms. As a result, the Savoy is the first hotel in Russia to become part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World network.

Dining The renowned Savoy Restaurant designed in rococo style is offering a distinctive fine dining with creatively prepared authentic Russian and European culinary delights. A marble fountain with golden fishes, mirrors of intricate form and a painted ceiling create an enchanting atmosphere for both a romantic dinner with candles, and for solemn feasts. A separate banqueting hall with genuine fireplace is an ideal venue for private parties or wedding celebrations. The cosy fireplace is the main feature of the Hermitage Lobby-bar, the perfect spot for refreshments & light meals creating a blend of old and new in a friendly ambience.

Facts There are 67 rooms of different categories at guests’ disposal: 32 Classical Rooms, 15 Deluxe Rooms, 9 Executive Rooms, 6 Junior Suites, 4 Business Suites and the Savoy Grand Suite. Each room is equipped with individual climatecontrol system, Wi-Fi Internet, LCD TV, IPtelephony and provided with minibar, safe, trousers press, and mineral water. Famous Italian designers created interiors of the Hotel’s four living floors in four different colors: vinous, green, blue and gold. All the furniture, lamps, decorative fabrics and bedclothes were tailored in Italy as well.

Recreation In the Savoy Fitness Centre, which is free for guests, you can enjoy the 20-meter indoor swimming pool, with its sumptuous geysers and water cascade, as well as the fully equipped gym, sauna and beauty parlour services. Meeting and event facilities The Savoy Hotel is the perfect solution for a comprehensive range of business activities, from negotiations and banquets to conferences, presentations, and training events. The spacious Winter Garden conference hall can seat from 15

to 150 persons. Groups from 4 up to 15 persons can use the elegantly furnished Alpenrose Room. Modern audio and video equipment is available in both halls. The professional in-house business centre can provide full secretarial and interpretation services, as well as organize a whole range of exciting cultural activities; theatre, concerts, opera, ballet, and private sightseeing tours with fully licensed expert guides and interpreters, plus airline and train ticketing and travel arrangements. Additional 24-hour room service • Dry-cleaning and laundry service • WiFi • On-site parking • 24-hour currency exchange • Business Center Services • All major credit cards accepted u

3/6, b. 1, Rozhdestvenka, Moscow, 109012, Russia Tel: +7 (495) 620-8500, 620-8555 Fax: +7 (495) 620-8665 E-mail: reserv@savoy.ru • www.savoy.ru

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Soviet Splendour Hilton Moscow

Leningradskaya

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uilt in 1954, the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel is located in one of Moscow’s legendary Stalin Towers and is strategically positioned in the centre of Moscow, making it a great option for exploring Moscow’s many sights. It is also just a few steps away from Leningradsky Railway Station, which serves as Moscow’s main gateway to Russia’s second city - St Petersburg. The hotel has preserved many of its historic features and architectural details, such as bronze statues, marble columns and wooden ceilings, and is complemented by modern design as part of a complete refurbishment of all public areas and guest rooms. The hotel’s 273 spacious rooms and suites provide the perfect marriage of grand 1950’s architectural style - complete with high ceilings and large windows – and 21st Century technology. Every last detail, from the warm golden-beige décor

to the luxury bed, has been designed to provide guests with the ultimate in comfort and elegance. The Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel has an impressive selection of eight exceptional venues that have been designed for any occasion and style. The magnificent Ballroom, with its crystal chandeliers and ornate ceilings, is a perfect background to hold high status events for up to 180 people theatre-style or 250 people reception-style. Seven smaller rooms can be ideally set up either for private dinner or press event. The professional events team provides full support to make every function an unforgettable experience in Moscow. The hotel’s restaurant and Lobby Lounge offer the very best in Russian and international cuisine. For those looking to relax and unwind, the Health Club provides a range of facilities including a gym, swimming pool and Spa Salon. u

21/40 Kalanchevskaya Street Moscow 107078 Russian Federation Telephone: +7 (495) 627 5550 e: CB.MoscowLeningradskaya@hilton.com www.moscow.hilton.com themicereport | 151

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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

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ISTANBUL HISTORICALLY DYNAMIC

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ichly steeped in romantic history and imperial world power, it is no overstatement that two of the many titles bestowed on Istanbul over the millennia have been: ‘The Queen of Cities’, arising from the city’s magnitude and wealth in the Middle Ages, and Der-i Saadet – ‘The Door to Happiness’. Dominating a unique position at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Istanbul has been a magnet for intercontinental commerce, culture and diplomacy since ancient Greek and Roman times. Contemporary Istanbul is no exception to this grand heritage, and the dynamic blend of modern facilities and infrastructure with ostentatious history makes this city the indisputable queen of international conventions and world conferences. As Napoleon Bonaparte famously stated: “if the world was a single country, Istanbul would be the capital of it”. Within the past ten years alone, the city has hosted a record number of eminent global

There is only one city in the world that spans two continents, one 21st century metropolis that palpably connects the illustrious civilisations of east and west and has served as a bridge between international cultures for more than 8,000 years:

ISTANBUL

congresses, with high-profile summits ranging from the International Conference of Democracy and Global Security to the International Conference on Space Technologies. Consequently, this majestic city has climbed in significance up the ICCA’s worldwide conference city list; from 40th place in 2000, Istanbul is now ranked by the International Congress and Convention Association at 15th in the world, confirming its status as a highly-prized destination for international events. And as Turkey edges ever closer to full accession into the European Union, Istanbul’s reputation as a world convention centre is destined to soar even higher. Since it replaced Rome as the new capital of the Roman Empire under Constantine I in 330 AD, this legendary megacity has always met the demands of being at the heart of international affairs. Even today, the city’s conference infrastructure and amenities are expanding to meet the increasing needs of the globalised marketplace and multinational congresses. themicereport | 155

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“If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul” Alphonse de Lamartine: French Poet

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turkey The avant-garde Harbiye Congress and Cultural Centre, for example, opened its doors for the first time to the IMF World Bank symposium this October, boasting a vast auditorium for 3,500 delegates, a stunning foyer and an overall exhibition space of 10,000 square metres. The Harbiye Centre is the latest enhancement of Istanbul’s international conference quarter, which is aptly named Congress Valley, and raises the capacity of this cosmopolitan district to 20,000 delegates. Other denizens of Congress Valley include the exceptionally resourced Hilton Convention Centre, and the Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre – the only venue in the city where 3,500 delegates can sit down together for a five-star gala dinner. The palatial Halic (Golden Horn) Convention and Cultural Centre unveiled its impressive facilities in March 2009 for the Fifth World Water Forum and was attended by more than 30,000 delegates. The Halic stands on the shores of the historic Golden Horn estuary – a superb natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of years, and provides a distinguished backdrop for modern international conferences. Spanning the Golden Horn, the Galata Bridge has been immortalised in Ottoman and European art and literature as the gateway between civilizations. Nowadays, this classic structure serves the international conference delegate by connecting the Halic Congress Centre with the Feshane International Exhibition, Congress and Culture Centre. Surrounded by vast ornamental gardens and lush greenery, the Feshane Culture Centre was built in 1839 on the orders of Sultan Abdulmecit as an extravagant textile factory for his army. Extensively restored and refurbished, the Feshane now hosts an assortment of international fairs, conventions and corporate meetings within its 56,000 square meters of luxury halls, boardrooms and VIP lounges. However, the seductions of Istanbul for the international conference delegate are not limited to the state-of-the-art resources at each of these world-class meeting venues. Each year, thousands of business travellers take time out from their busy convention schedules to explore this most unforgettable and fascinating of cities. For, as the French poet Alphonse de Lamartine wrote, “If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul”. International visitors to the Queen of Cities have been increasing by 16-20 percent year on year, reaching more than seven million in 2008 - and many of these will inevitably pay homage to the city’s awe-inspiring monument, the Hagia Sophia. Designated as a World Heritage Site, this Christian

Previous two pages: A view from the old city; Joint European Capital of Culture for 2010; Fast-food shop bicycle in a lonely Istanbul street; Instanbul’s modern business district

basilica was founded in 537 AD by the Emperor Justinian and later converted into a highly-wrought mosque by Mehmet the Conquerer in 1453. Today, the sublime dome and towering minarets of the Hagia Sophia is one of the most exquisite features of the Istanbul skyline, and a must-see for any conference delegate with an afternoon to spare. But whether the excursion is a cruise across the Bosphorus, a tour of the innumerable Ottoman mosques or modern art galleries that bejewel the city, or even a digression into one of the trendy bars and clubs that endow Istanbul with that exotic edge, the international business traveller will always find an abundance of Turkish delight to enchantment and amuse. If the task of coordinating an international conference or business event in this magnificent city seems bewildering, then the Istanbul Convention and Visitors Bureau (ICVB) is on hand to offer specialist assistance. Founded in 1997 under the auspices of the Tourism Development and Education Foundation, the ICVB is an impartial not-for-profit organisation that eases the workload of the most practised convention planner and can help pinpoint the perfect location for the event.

In addition to collecting quotations on a selection of suitable venues, the ICVB can act as an intermediary between organisers and local services, conference centres, Professional Congress Organisers and Destination Management Companies. To ensure the event is professionally executed on every level and runs as smoothly as possible, the ICVB will check the availability of facilities and make tentative bookings of venues and hotel rooms. Working closely with all partners, the ICVB performs preconference site inspections at venues throughout the city and even produce a wide range of promotional materials, including the Istanbul Visitor’s Guide, brochures, films and other promotional materials. With 8,000 years worth of experience as an international hub of trade, travel and diplomacy, and having been the capital of four major empires, it should come as no surprise that Istanbul is entering 2010 as the designated European Capital of Culture. Now the world’s attention is fixed back on this incomparable city, there is surely no better time to appreciate that an event held in the Queen of Cities is the event of a lifetime u

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prague

City of a Hundred Spires Rising majestically from the banks of the wild Vlatva River in the heart of old Europe, the statuesque spires and baroque domes of ancient Prague are as much an enticement for the great movers and shakers of today as they have been throughout the centuries.

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rom Mozart to Einstein, Dvořák to Kafka, the renowned Golden City (Zlaté Město) has nurtured many of the world’s most groundbreaking innovators in the arts, science, commerce and culture. A principal seat of trading for merchants from all over Europe for more than a thousand years, Prague continues to captivate the international conference and business event organiser with its stately incentives. Since it was crowned as the capital of the Holy Roman Empire by Emperor Charles IV in the 14th Century, this City of a Hundred Spires has hosted a myriad of international summits, and in recent years has entertained NATO, the IMF and World Bank, and the International Olympic Committee. The EU and US Summit in April this year brought Prague once again into the spotlight, as Hradčany Square was the scene of President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning speech on a world without nuclear weapons. With this formidable legacy of hosting landmark conventions, it is perhaps inevitable

that Prague should also be blessed with a seemingly endless array of grand hotels and conference centres fit for kings, emperors and contemporary presidents. The Top Hotel Praha, for example, is one of the largest hotels in Europe and contains a main Congress Hall with a capacity for 2,000 delegates, additional conference halls and lounges, and the latest in event technology – including laser-pointers, interpreting cabins and videoconferencing. In the historic centre of this vibrant capital, the luxury five-star Hotel Palace Praha offers a decorous setting for private boardroom meetings, with a selection of conference chambers, independent meeting rooms and a multifunctional banqueting hall. A paradigm of the Viennese Art Nouveau school of architecture, the Hotel Palace Praha opened its ornamental doors in 1909 and is now a welldeserved member of The Leading Hotels of the World group. A short walk south leads to the commercial and cultural core of this celebrated capital, Wenceslas Square – site of the Velvet Revolution that heralded the end

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prague

With so much to offer the corporate traveller, it is no surprise that Prague is now the sixth most-visited European city after London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and Berlin. of the Communist era. Overlooking this grand boulevard stands the five-star Hotel Ambassador Zlata Husa, another art nouveau masterpiece with extensive conferencing facilities and presentation technology. Most impressively of all, the Hotel Ambassador boasts a sensationally renovated art deco Congress Hall that seats 600 delegates and suits the most exclusive of events, whether congresses, press conferences, fashion shows or corporate celebrations. For event organisers with a preference for the contemporary, the ultra-modern towers of the Corinthia Hotel are a first-class venue for executive meetings and events. With a stylish conference suite, refreshment lounge and business centre that commands panoramic views of this spectacular city, the Corinthia stands facing the internationally distinguished Prague Congress Centre. For the corporate traveller who can bear to part with the executive privileges of such venues, Prague offers a wealth of cultural treasures and one of the world’s most immaculate collections of stunning architecture – from Romanesque to Renaissance, baroque to neo-classical, art nouveau to the avant-garde. Rightly earning its place as a World Heritage Site, Prague holds endless fascinations for the international visitor. The picturesque Old Town Square in the heart of the city is steeped in mediaeval history as

the principle marketplace of the Bohemian Kingdom. Overlooking the pavement cafes and fashionable bars of this princely piazza, are the fairytale spires of Tyn Church, and the fanciful 15th century Astronomical Clock Tower that holds sightseers enthralled with its planetarium dial, displaying the current position of the planets, and its hourly mechanical procession of the Twelve Apostles. But no international convention hosted in this grand capital would be complete without a scheduled visit to Prague Castle – the largest castle complex in Europe and seat of the kings of Bohemia. The citadel consists of a dizzying array of museums, palaces, gardens and towers – most notably the gothic masterpiece of St Vitus Cathedral which has dominated the Prague skyline since it was commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV in 1344. With so much to offer the corporate traveller, it is no surprise that Prague is now the sixth most-visited European city after London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and Berlin. Its central location means that it is easily reached by train – connecting directly to more than 20 European cities – and served by Ruzyne Airport, which receives flights from more than 100 worldwide destinations. Accessible, beautifully historical and possessing a profusion of executive incentives, the Golden City is a pre-eminent market leader in the competitive world of international conferencing. ◆

Previous page: The ancient bohemian rooftops of Prague, city of a hundred spires; Sunset of Charles Bridge. This page: Prague castle at night; Detail of the astronomical clock in the Old Town Square. ©Dink101 |© Jarek78 |© Perkmeup |© Jaba | Dreamstime.com

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MEETINGS AND

MORE PACKAGE

PRG_Ad_Meetings_FA2.indd 1 Four Seasons Prague Editorial V2.indd 1

8/13/09 AM 31/10/099:43:44 19:02:25


czech republic

THE BRIGHTEST JEWEL IN THE

HABSBURG CROWN

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t the crossroads of centuries-old trade routes, the “golden city” of Prague is now a major European cultural and economic centre. Alive with vibrant music and a lively social scene, it also offers elegant riverside promenades, breathtaking architecture and café-lined squares. One of the most beautiful and visited cities in Europe, the Czech capital has an incredible mix of gothic, Romanesque, baroque and art nouveau architecture. Meandering majestically through this “city of a hundred spires” is the Vltava River, whose elegant embankments and steep surrounding hills contrast charmingly with the winding cobblestone streets of the historical town centre. Nestled on the east bank of the Vltava River, just a few steps away from the famous Charles Bridge and a couple of minutes walk from all the historical landmarks of the Old Town, Prague’s Four Seasons Hotel encompasses 500 years of architecture, which reflects this city’s rich and dramatic past. This boutique establishment with 161 guest rooms and suites incorporates an authentic historical style, embracing baroque, classical and neorenaissance features, with traditional details such as wood-panelling, moulding, and Bohemian crystal chandeliers. Select rooms and both hotel terraces offer panoramic views of the city’s magnificent hilltop castle and charming Lesser Town. Besides sumptuous accommodation, Four Seasons is also an ideal venue for meetings, conferences and other events. There is definitely something here to suit every taste and style, ranging from gala evenings in a 16th-century baroque ballroom to special Mozartthemed parties. Clients can also avail of 635 m2 of

PRAGUE OFFERS A CAPTIVATING BLEND OF HISTORY AND CULTURE IN THE HEART OF EUROPE...

meeting space, including two function rooms and a private riverside terrace with an exclusive view of Prague Castle. State-of-the-art facilities ensure that Wi-Fi access, projection equipment and LCD color displays are provided as a matter of course. Regardless of whether, you are hosting an international conference or a private function, you can save both time and money by allowing the hotel’s specially designated event manager to look after all the organisational details. Four Seasons staff know the city better than anyone, and they will be glad to suggest itineraries that are tailored to the needs of individual guests. They can also recommend exclusive experiences that can only be found in Prague, such as private walking tours and special shopping trips for antiques or Czech crystal, marionette-making sessions, Bohemian cooking classes and private parties in a local brewery. Another unique selling point of the Four Seasons is its Allegro restaurant, which was the first (and is still the only) Michelin Star eatery in Central and Eastern Europe. Award-winning head chef Andrea Accordi specialises in fresh, modern Italian cuisine with some Asian influences. His distinct brand of culinary expertise is also evident in the catering the hotel lays on for turnkey events, ranging from business lunches to special conference buffets. With its compact capacity, Four Seasons Hotel Prague can offer full occupancy buy-outs at certain times of the year, and it is currently offering a special range of spring packages for the first quarter of 2010. You may choose to visit the Czech capital to experience our unique and exceptional location, but you will stay to enjoy the personal commitment and courteous creativity of Four Seasons staff. ◆

• A compact boutique hotel comprising 141 rooms and 20 suites in four buildings embracing various architectural styles (modern, baroque, renaissance and classical features) • Meeting space includes two ballrooms, four breakout rooms, a boardroom and an exclusive riverside terrace • Within walking distance of all major historical monuments as well as other attractions, such as concert halls, museums, galleries, etc. • Top-class dining and customised Michelin- catering • Fitness facilities available 24 hours a day • 20 minutes away from Prague-Ruzynӗ International Airport

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monkey business

CANNE S FRANKFURT

BEIJING ISTANBUL

MONKEY BUSINESS? IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE… TRAPS, TRICKS AND SURVIVAL TIPS FOR THE CORPORATE TRAVELLER AND MEETING PLANNER

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avigating through the jungle of business travel arrangements and conference schedules shouldn’t drive you bananas, now that the internet has made the task of the international event organiser easier than ever. Globalisation and increased networking have brought international markets closer and distant destinations within hands reach – but they can also leave the unprepared traveller feeling like a chimp when things don’t work out quite right… For many world travellers, one of the chief pitfalls to avoid is jetlag. When Japan’s late Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa famously slurred his words, answered the wrong questions and then dozed off during a key press conference at the G7 meeting in Rome

this year, he later denied rumours that he had been boozing and explained that cough medicine and extreme jetlag had been his downfall. If you don’t want to be dragging your knuckles on the conference carpet the day after arriving, it’s advisable to be prepared. Drinking plenty of water, periodic strolls up and down the aisle during the flight, and – if possible – a couple of scheduled recovery days before the first meeting can leave you feeling ready to swing from the treetops, not fall into a slumber. “I remember dropping off while taking notes,” explains one senior partner at a business psychology firm, who warns against jetlag hallucinations. “And I ended up writing ‘senior managers must look after their pigeon wings’ in my notes...” The laws and customs of many destinations can also leave the ill-equipped conference delegate scratching their head, or mortally

offending their hosts if they haven’t done their etiquette homework. Fervent burping over a meal in China, for example, is a polite sign of gratitude and satisfaction, but is considered outrageously vulgar in Japan – whereas pointing your shoes towards someone from either of these countries is likely to earn you everlasting enmity. A crash course in the basic customs of any unfamiliar culture will cost peanuts and pay dividends in the long run. Finally, familiarising yourself with the meeting venue beforehand can often prove critical if you don’t want to appear to be aping around. “I was once part of a team pitching for new business,” says one PR agent who wishes to remain anonymous. “After the presentation, my colleague managed to lead us all through the wrong door – into a cupboard. We sheepishly removed ourselves from the cupboard, and then the meeting room. We never did win their business.” ◆ © Julien Tromeur | © Oxfordsquare | Dreamstime.com

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Macau Advert FPc [Any].indd 1

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The MICE Report : Spring/Summer 2010  

Meeting and Business Travel Magazine in Association with Mastercard

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