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Reykjavík
named best MICE destination in Europe.

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new member of BestCities.
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The Philippines
will host the 6th UNWTO Conference on Tourism Statistics.
the convention industry
Paris back as number one
in the city rankings for international congresses.
Africa Meetings
Africa Rising
in the ICCA statistic 2016.
business Intelligence
Saudi Arabia to launch into MICE sector
worldwide by exhibiting at IMEX in Frankfurt.
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Redefining meetings
Sarawak goes tribal
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Reykjavík named best MICE destination in Europe

Reykjavík is named the Best MICE Destination in Europe 2017 by Business Destinations Magazine. The Business Destinations Travel Awards, now running for a consecutive six years, rewards businesses in a variety of categories for their exceptional contribution and excellence in services in the world of business and travel. Icelandic service providers have had great success at the awards over the past years. Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center won the award as the Best Meeting and Conference Centre in Europe 2016 and 2015 the Icelandic DutyFree store Fríhöfnin was selected as the Best Airport Tax-free Shopping Service Providers.

„It has been our goal sins 2012 when Meet in Reykjavík was founded to be come one of the leading MICE destinations in Europe, so we are extremely proud of this recognition,“ Says Thorsteinn Örn Gudmundsson managing director of Meet in Reykjavík (Reykjavík Convention Bureau).

Reykjavík has many advantages as an event destination. Iceland‘s capital is famous for interesting people, its closeness with nature and spectacular scenery, not to mention the Aurora Borealis. Conferences, meetings and events in Reykjavík are always likely to attract a big crowd. Reykjavík has a high-tech infrastructure, security, short and frequent access by air from over 80 cities across Europe and North America. All this combined make Reykjavík one of the top destinations for international Conferences worldwide.

“I am very honoured that Reykjavík has been named the best MICE destination in Europe in 2017 by the distinguished company Business Destinations Magazine. Since 2011 one of the pillars in our Tourism Strategy has been to promote Reykjavík as an ideal destination for international conferences, incentives and meetings. Our city is situated in the midway between Europe and North America and known for being a friendly city with strong infrastructure, without the stress that usually follows a cosmopolitan metropolis,” says Áshildur Bragadóttir, director of Visit Reykjavík and chairman of the board of Meet in Reykjavík.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About the awards:

The prestigious Business Destinations Travel Awards are designed to showcase both well established and emerging destinations, as well as companies, which represent the best the business travel industry has to offer and to gather together the leading lights in the corporate travel and MICE sectors - from cities, airports and conference centres to luxury hotels and apartment complexes. These destinations, companies, and institutions offer the best solutions business travelers can get, whether that comes in the form of exceptional location, integrated business facilities, second-to-none customer service or simply unparalleled luxury living.

BCCK Shines at Malaysia Best Employer Brand Awards, World Harvest Festival Culinary Competition 2017

KUCHING. 19 May 2017. The Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) was conferred a Malaysia Best Employer Brand Award by the Employer Branding Institute on 24 April, placing it among the top 50 employer brands in Malaysia in 2017.

In a separate event, three of the convention centre’s chefs medalled two golds and two silvers at the World Harvest Festival Culinary Competition held from 28 to 30 April at the Sarawak Cultural Village.

BCCK chief executive officer Eric van Piggelen commented: “As a company that has set its sight on competing on a global level, BCCK’s mission is to deliver events of world-class standard, be they local or international events. For this to happen, we firmly believe that our people are our greatest asset and are critical to the success of our business. We have dedicated enormous attention and efforts over the years to be an employer of choice – from providing a conducive work environment to skill building/personal development and ensuring the general well-being of our staff. It is an honour for BCCK to be recognised as a best employer brand. The key takeaway from this recognition is that we are on the right track managing our human asset, and we are greatly motivated to further enhance our human resource management practices.”

On the gold and silver medals clinched by the three BCCK chefs, van Piggelen said, “Our chefs’ participation in culinary competitions is reflective of our human capital management practice to nurture promising talent – we create opportunities for our people to develop their confidence and finesse both within internal and external settings. This approach produces a symbiotic relationship between our organisation and employees. We are proud of our chefs’ achievements; they are BCCK’s ambassadors for sound human resource management practice.

“We are focused on creating and reinforcing our talent pool, by ensuring that our people are skilled in their specialities and have avenues to express their passion and creativity, and enabling them to grow and thrive in their jobs – serving the objectives of BCCK and staff’s own personal development needs,” said Veraya Ratnam, BCCK director of human resource.

Commis chef Hafizul bin Fadillah Hamza scored both a gold and silver while chefs de partie Elossa Danette scored a gold and David Kuan a silver at the World Harvest Festival Culinary Competition under the fish/seafood main course and plate appetizer categories. About 80 chefs from all over Sarawak participated in the three-day competition hosted by the Kuching Chefs Association.

The annual Malaysia Best Employer Brand Awards, hosted by the Employer Branding Institute, World HRD Congress and Stars of the Industry Group, recognise Malaysian organizations which are exemplary in human resource (HR) practices, using marketing communications effectively in attracting, retaining and developing talent, and in retention policy. Some of the key criteria which qualify organisations for the awards include: translating and combining vision with action with HR strategy, building line to meet HR strategy with business and cultivating competencies for the future to enable building the organisation to be future-ready.

Note to Editors:

About Borneo Convention Centre Kuching

The Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) is the first purpose-built convention centre in Sarawak serving the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry at local, national, regional and international levels. it commenced full scale operations in October 2009 and since its opening, more than 1,200 events have been hosted and 1.5 million delegates and guests have been welcomed at the Centre.

Awards Received

  • Malaysia Best Employer Brand Award 2017 by Employer Branding Institute
  • Conference Venue of the Year 2016, by Mice Asia Awards, Singapore in conjunction with the annual MICE Asia Exhibition.
  • 2015 rAWr Award Winner of Malaysia Business Events Awards of Excellence (in the category For the Purpose Built Convention & Exhibition Centre Award for Excellence below 15,000 sqm gross saleable space, by the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) and Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers (MACEOS).

About The Raintree Restaurant

The pride of BCCK, the award-winning Raintree Restaurant exudes the essence of fine dining, confidently blending chic and tribal elements in its design. Amidst the intimate ambience, the long expanse of its tall glass wall perfectly frames the panoramic view of the Sarawak River. Dining al fresco on the balcony overlooking the Centre’s verdant landscape is a breath of fresh air to mingle food, company and nature.

The corner bar within provides reasonably private space, for friends and associates to linger over premium Italian coffees and fruit juices, or wind down with select wines and simple cocktails.

Awards Received

  • Malaysia Tatler – One of Malaysia’s Best Restaurants 2016
  • Malaysia Tatler – One of Malaysia’s Best Restaurants 2015
Wi-Fi Fast and Furious for Business Events at BCCK

”It’s fast, it’s furious” This is what best summed up delegates experience of the Wi-Fi services at the International ICT Infrastructure and Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) 2017, held on 3 and 4 April at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).

The first-of-its-kind international ICT conference in Sarawak, IDECS 2017 was Sarawak Chief Minister YAB Datuk Amar Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Opengs launch pad to develop a sustainable digital economy in the state. IDECS 2017 brought forth the state government’s vision to make a strategic shift in the state’s economic transformation by embracing digital economy so as to keep up with the current global digital business trend.

The two-day conference featured 19 established speakers who are the leading experts in the field of digital economy. More than 30 exhibitors, either experts or actively utilising digital technologies in their businesses, participated in IDECS. Attracting more than 1,500 delegates, the attendees included senior civil servants, business leaders, young entrepreneurs, think tanks and university students.

In a survey conducted by BCCK on the quality of its WiFi connectivity, 95 per cent of the survey participants at IDECS 2017 rated it favourably with an overall excellent rating.

Being an ICT-focused business event, IDECS was the ideal event for BCCK to gauge clients and delegates satisfaction with its recently upgraded business WiFi services. Designed for speed, density and powered by gigabit internet connectivity, BCCK’s business WiFi was purpose-built to support 13,000 concurrent devices altogether on levels one and two of the centre. This essentially enables thousands of attendees at any one event to stream multiple devices simultaneously without interruption.

At its peak during IDECS, 1,244 (Day 1) and 1,594 (Day 2) devices connected concurrently utilising BCCK’s business Wifi.

WiFi is no longer considered a perk. A staple in this business era where the environment is highly connected, dependable and easy-to-use WiFi (and not just WiFi availability) is business critical to how well an establishment can pull in the crowd. Its essentialness is unquestionable; in fact it has clearly evolved into an essential utility almost (if not) on the same rank as electricity, water and gas.

In the business events sphere, in particular the convention, congress and conference segment, quality bandwidth is key to successfully hosting such events. A major part of this event segment comprises professional conferences whereby professional associations or bodies convene their meetings of professionals on some recurring basis to engage thousands of their members on organisational matters, and scientific or technical developments in a given profession. Congresses and conferences of such nature demand a high level of event organisation to meet the expectations of the organisers and delegates. ICT facilities are high on the list of the event requirements besides functional meeting spaces and food and beverage service. BCCK’s ICT infrastructure was built to deliver the requirements of professional conferences; the capacity and capability ensures reliable wireless high-speed internet connectivity throughout every congress and conference.

Eric van Piggelen, BCCK chief executive officer, explained, ”As far as the congress and conference business is concerned, delegates expect wireless high-speed connectivity. As a convention venue that employs state-of-the-art technologies and facilities to deliver business events, we weighed this technological requirement seriously and took the decision to make a significant investment to enhance our business WiFi offerings. We have raised the game in the local hospitality arena to better support clients events with our high-speed business WiFi services. These give clients the option to deliver the extra wow factor for a better delegate experience – a seamless connection that is.”

With the ramped up speed of up to one gigabit per second (Gbps), WiFi coverage can now be extended to level one of BCCK - a sheltered car pack cum convertible functional space - to connect 5,000 devices concurrently. Level two, housing purpose-built meeting spaces, can connect up to 8,000 devices simultaneously.  Clients can add coverage whenever or wherever they need it on both levels of the centre – with BCCK’s mobility solution.

The high-speed WiFi was rolled out at the end of 2016 to serve the 55th International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Annual Congress, which Kuching hosted from 13 to 15 November. More than 800 delegates from 59 countries attended the annual congress at the host venue BCCK. At its peak during the four-day congress, more than 1,400 devices were connected to the internet via BCCKs business WiFi.

Apart from business WiFi offered under its stable of products and services, BCCK also offers free WiFi to the visiting public on level two of its premises including The Raintree Restaurant.

Madrid new member of BestCities

Madrid Convention Bureau (MCB) was today (16 MAY) officially confirmed as the twelfth partner of BestCities Global Alliance. The new signing will bring a truly dynamic international congress city and convention bureau to the alliance that now holds 12 members.

With more than three decades of experience, Madrid has played host in the last years to some of the world’s leading events including the World Petroleum Congress, the World Air Traffic Management Congress and The Congress of the International Dental Federation. With more than 14,000 meetings and events per year serving to more than 1 million delegates, MCB is already paving the way for global standards in the sector.

Adding value to MCB’s offering and shaping its future growth, BestCities will work with MCB to support future innovations and refine its legacy development, such as creating impactful city events for its future association meetings.

As the first BestCities destination within the Mediterranean, MCB will help the alliance establish stronger ties and a more pronounced presence within the area. Very much in line with BestCities practice, MCB is committed to constantly evolving and reviewing its standards and undergoes an annual audit associated with ‘Q de Calidad Turistica’ – a quality certification for tourism services in Spain. Since 2012 MCB has passed the audit with flying colours, cementing its dedication to continually improving standards in its workings.

Madrid has been committed to improving its sustainability with various programmes aimed to target this issue including City Hospitality Desks which help to control the wastage of unused city brochures through a dedicated delegates desk at conventions. This has grown massively with 11 meetings serving over 18,000 delegates supported this way in 2016. Ambassador programmes are also a key investment for the MCB with its own platform that identifies individuals within areas including non-for profit, NGO’s and universities that have helped secure meetings in Madrid.

The BestCities partnership will support the MCB in acquiring knowledge in legacy development and position Madrid as innovative leaders in this field, alongside the other BestCities’ partners: Berlin, Bogotá, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo and Vancouver.

The MCB is the first destination to go through BestCities’ revised quality management system (QMS). With admission into the Alliance a guarantee to clients that the vital commitments to excellence such as venue capacity, international accessibility and infrastructure framework are a given, the new QMS further extends BestCities offering beyond the key convention elements a city must possess to host world class events. With a focus on advancing the purpose of meetings through vital areas including sustainability, accessibility and legacy development, it adds a further dimension and unique strength to its partner cities’ offering.

BestCities Board Chair, Jonas Wilstrup from Wonderful Copenhagen commented on the new signing:

“Madrid is a world class destination for conferences and events and we’re ecstatic to be welcoming them onto the BestCities Global Alliance. Madrid’s successful submission truly cements BestCities dedication to setting industry standards which we hope to help build with them over the next few years.

“Our dedication is to providing customers with seamless, worry-free services across a global network of cities. As our twelfth member, Madrid will enable us to continue to build the long-term loyalty by adding value through contributing to the cause of meetings. We’re excited to be able to offer our expertise particularly within this area.”

David Noack, Director of Madrid Convention Bureau said:

“MCB trust that becoming a member of BestCities will enrich our knowledge as a convention bureau by embracing their ethos for commitment to excellence. In short, our aim is to guarantee that each congress held in Madrid will be a unique and successful experience made possible through the close working of our organisations.

The Philippines will host the 6th UNWTO Conference on Tourism Statistics

Policy leaders, statisticians, academicians and private sector will convene in Manila, The Philippines, next June 2017 (21-24), to discuss new methodologies to measure the full impacts of tourism. The 6th edition of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) International Conference on Statistics, an official event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, will address the topic of "Measuring Sustainable Tourism".

Supported by the United Nations Statistics Division, the UNWTO initiative ‘Towards a Statistical Framework for Measuring Sustainable Tourism (MST) underlines the need to measure the full effects of the tourism sector. The UNWTO International Conference to be held in Manila will serve as a platform to discuss the first draft of the MST framework and its future implementation.

The Philippines has become a reference in the region with regard to tourism measurement and a role model in the development of effective inter-institutional collaboration to develop tourism statistics. The commitment of the country, shown in the development of the Tourism Satellite Account framework, explains the decision to host the discussion on the MST initiative.

A Ministerial Roundtable will inaugurate the Conference in order to align efforts to advocate among governments the relevance of integrated and reliable data to manage and promote a more sustainable tourism sector. Afterwards, a Panel of Statistical Institutes will provide the opportunity to share experiences and practices implemented at global, regional and national level.

Other technical sessions will focus on understanding data demands, the link between the economic, the environmental and the social dimensions of sustainable tourism, including job creation, sub-national measurement, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators, and data sources including big data.

Besides policy leaders, statistical experts and private sector, representatives from international organizations such as the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and Eurostat will also contribute to the discussions.

 

Additional information:

Conference website and registration

 

Paris back as number one in the city rankings for international congresses

1,118 congress and 854,000 delegates hosted by Paris in 2016: a new record! Paris once again the leading city in the ICCA 2016 classification which lists international congresses[1]. With 196 congresses recognized by ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association), Paris is ahead of Vienna, Barcelona, Berlin and London. Ranked first in 2014 and second in 2015, Paris reaffirms its position as congress capital.

Beyond this ranking, the congress sector is a strategic segment of the tourism industry in Paris. For the 10th consecutive year, the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau has carried out a survey identifying all of the national and international congresses hosted in 2016 at 343 venues across the Paris region: with 1,118 congresses (+ 11.4 % compared with 2015) and 854,000 congress attendees (+ 12.2 % compared with 2015), the attractiveness of the destination has increased in this sector. In a post-attack period that has proved difficult for tourism in Paris, these results are particularly noteworthy. Over the period 2006-2016, Paris and the Paris region hosted some 11,000 congresses and 7.8 million congress attendees.

In 2016, congress activity generated €1.2 billion in economic benefits and more than 20,000 jobs in events organization (site rental, reception services, catering, etc.) and tourism (transport, hotels, restaurants, excursions, etc.).

Small and very large congresses were up in number in 2016: congresses with less than 500 congress attendees increased by 5% while congresses with more than 5,000 participants increased by 22% compared with 2015. The number of medium-sized congresses, from 500 to 5,000 participants, remained stable.

There was also an increase in congresses that rotate[2] in Europe and locally, up by 4 and 2 points respectively.

In terms of frequency, events taking place annually increased by 14% and thus represented nearly three-quarters of all congresses. Congresses rotating nationally lasted on average 2.2 days and those rotating internationally, 3 days on average.

The Health sector accounted for the majority of congresses (37%) followed by Technology (11%) and Science (8%). Scientific venues hosted 35% of events compared with 20% for congress centres. The latter however accounted for 65 % of congress attendees.

Finally, the months of June, October and November accounted for the biggest number of congresses in 2016. The large majority (95%) were held in Greater Paris (Paris + inner suburbs).

In the next 3 years, Paris will host some major congresses, notably at the future Paris Convention Centre, the largest European congress centre, situated in the Parc des Expositions at Porte de Versailles.

2017: 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science (7,000 congress attendees), 102nd Annual Kiwanis International Convention (5,000 congress attendees), 30th ECNP Congress (European College of Neuropsychopharmacology – 6,000 congress attendees), 7th ECTRIMS Congress (European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis Congress – 8,000 congress attendees)

2018: The International Liver Congress (11,000 congress attendees), 28th International ERS Congress (European Respiratory Society – 20,000 congress attendees)

2019: ESC Congress (European Society of Cardiology – 35,000 congress attendees)