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FCCI at IMEX Politician's Forum

The Future Convention Cities Initiative (FCCI) announced today that it is to play a key role in the IMEX Politician's Forum in Frankfurt. It further reported the successful completion of its First Action Forum in Seoul from March 20th – 22nd. The FCCI also welcomed four new members - Toronto Convention Bureau, San Francisco Travel Association, Abu Dhabi Travel Authority and Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau. They have joined founding members Seoul Tourism Organization, Visit London and Business Events Sydney in this strategic research and development partnership which is co-ordinated and facilitated by Fast Future Research – authors of the Convention 2020 study on the future of the meeting industry.

The FCCI has been asked to deliver a seminar as the opening session of the IMEX Politician's Forum in Frankfurt on Tuesday, May 24th 2011. Rohit Talwar, CEO, Fast Future and Executive Director of FCCI said, "We were honoured when IMEX approached us to share some of the details on the research and practical actions FCCI and its members are undertaking to maximise the long economic impact of meetings beyond visitor spend. We need to work together as an industry to demonstrate that the meetings sector is a critical contributor to the knowledge transfer process in the industries that will drive long-term economic development. We are delighted that IMEX is putting such commitment behind the process of engaging with politicians."

At its First Action Forum in Seoul, FCCI members took part in a programme of partner working sessions, meetings with national and local politicians and delivered seminars on destination development and the future of meetings for over 200 leaders of the meetings industry at the Korean MICE Association’s Annual Global Leadership Forum. This was the third working meeting of FCCI and the first time all seven members had been together.

Samuel Koo, President and CEO of Seoul Tourism Organization and host of the First FCCI Action Forum, Seoul, said, “From the formation of FCCI last summer, we could see we had something of real strategic value to all our members. We at Seoul Tourism Organization offered to host the First Action Forum to dedicate two and half days together to accelerate our agenda. The Forum exceeded even our most ambitious expectations in terms of practical sharing of experience and expertise. We reached rapid agreement on priorities and launched our first two collaborative research projects. The first project is designed to give us competitive advantage as destinations and the second involves pioneering research that will benefit the entire industry.”

Koo added, “Korea’s national and local government and our industry association have big ambitions for the meetings sector. As a result, the FCCI members spent two hours with Mr. Choung Byoung-gug, Korea’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, advising him on very practical aspects of driving forward Korea's meetings industry and addressing inevitable roadblocks. We also spent considerable time with Mr. Oh Se-Hoon, Mayor of Seoul, Dr. Kyung-won Chung, Vice-Mayor of Seoul and Mr Charm Lee, Head of Korea Tourism Organization discussing how to address issues as diverse as brand development, growing accommodation capacity, integration with the design community and building industry capability.”

Talwar, who was the facilitator of the FCCI partner meeting, said, “We are pleased with the speed at which FCCI is evolving. For FCCI, strategic research isn’t about producing blue skies reports that sit on the shelf. The focus is on tackling practical issues which members already have on their agenda and looking at those opportunities and challenges which will rise in importance over the next few years.”