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ITB Berlin News 2020 - #4

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I SPECIAL FEATURE I MICE IADVERTORIALThe Moscow International Business CentreSt Basil's Cathedral, MoscowMICE: Moscow hostsmajor eventsMoscow was named the world's leading citydestination in 2019 – winning one of the industry’smost prestigious accolades – the World TravelAwards.In 2019, the number of foreignbusiness representativesvisiting the Russian capitalincreased by 14%, according toofficial figures.Along with outstandinginfrastructure and meetingfacilities, Moscow has oneof the strongest scientificcommunities in the world,represented by researchinstitutions, universities andlocal branches of internationalassociations. Additionally,Moscow is a hub for regionalevents and conferences. To thisend, 41.5% of tourist arrivals toMoscow from countries in theCommonwealth of IndependentStates (CIS) are for businessevents or corporate travelpurposes.More than 3,000 businessevents take place in Moscowevery year, placing the cityon a list of top global meetingdestinations. The city’s MICEcapacity is supported bymore than 150 professionalconference organisers (PCOs)and more than 30 conventionand exhibition venues.Moscow now boasts all thenecessary infrastructure to hostany exhibition or conferenceevent. There are conferencecentres and hotel chains thatcan satisfy the needs of almostany audience, not to mentionbusiness clusters and businessquarters. Their standards andquality meet internationalrequirements. The city’sattractiveness to businessis increasing over the years:organizers choose Moscowas a venue for internationalcalibrebusiness conferencesmeasurably more often.As a vivid example, in 2019Moscow welcomed more than270 ministers, delegates andrepresentatives of the publicand private sectors frommore than 60 countries to itspart of the UNWTO GeneralAssembly Session. The event,which lasted two days, involvedMORE THAN3,000 BUSINESSEVENTS TAKEPLACE INMOSCOWEVERY YEARworking sessions, officialmeetings and cultural events.Although it was the first timethe Russian capital had hostedin the event, delegates sawthat everything was organised“perfectly”.UPCOMINGAfter having won the award in2019, Moscow will be hosting,for the first time, the GrandFinal of the World Travel Awards2020TOP HOTELS& CONVENIENTTRANSPORTGETTING AROUND MOSCOWMoscow has developed a “unified navigationsystem” that includes all types of public transport.Even an inexperienced, non-Russian speakingtraveller can choose a convenient route and plantransfers.A well-developed urban transport system links alldistricts of Moscow. The Metro is the main meansof transport for the city's inhabitants and guests.During the day, it is convenient to travel by bus,tram, and ecological electric bus, and at night - bybus, with some routes operating 24/7.There are around 32,000 car-shares and 528 bikerental stations in Moscow. Furthermore Moscowand Moscow region have 137,000 taxis.HOTELSAccording to a travel metasearch site, Moscowranks seventh among the European capitals andis among the world's top 20 capitals with the mostaffordable 5-star hotels. Five Moscow hotels havealso recently been included in Forbes Travel Guide2020 rating.According to the 2019 TripAdvisor Travellers’Choice awards, ten of Russia’s top 25 hotels canbe found in Moscow. Moscow’s hospitality sectornow includes around 1,800 hotels and top-levelaccommodation facilities, with the average annualoccupancy rate of Moscow hotels running at 78%.There are over 40 hotels operating under brandsof the world’s leading hotel chains, with a totalnumber of rooms exceeding 13,000. Internationalbrands include: Four Seasons, Hilton, Holiday Inn,InterContinental, Kempinski, Marriott, Radisson,Ritz Carlton and Swissôtel20 • ITB BERLIN NEWS • THURSDAY 26 TH MARCH

I SPECIAL FEATURE I GOLF TOURISM IEls Desaru CoastADVERTORIALTourism Malaysiahighlights golf as a major drawfor tourismMalaysia is a must visit for every golf traveller, andthe Malaysia Golf Tourism Association is workinghand in hand with Tourism Malaysia to boostpromotion of the sport on a global scale.With over 200 golf courseswhich nearly all are open andaccessible to visitors, visitorswill never have to travel farto find a wonderful new golfexperience. The country’sdiverse culture, rich history,scenic golf courses, astoundingchoice of food, beautifulnatural attractions, and hometo a melting pot of Asian raceswill surely make for a lastingmemory to bring home.Being a tropical countrywith favourable warmweather for golf all-yearround,Malaysia is also hostto many golf tournamentsevery year. Malaysia has ahost of top-drawer courses,many by notable designersand in locations ranging fromthe tropical resort islandsof Penang and Langkawito the suburbs of KualaLumpur and other cities, notto mention the mountainsof Genting Highlands andrainforests of Sabah andSarawak.The Troon group recentlycompleted not one, but twospectacular new Els ClubMalaysia golf courses on thecountry’s Desaru Coast in thesouthern state of Johor.The Els Club Desaru CoastOcean Course offers 27 holesof championship golf designedby Ernie Els. Situated alongthe Desaru Coast in thesouthern state of Johor, golfersexperience three distinctlydifferent 9-hole courses aptlynamed the Lakes (Par 36),Coast (Par 36), and the Ridge(Par 37). Features a 50,000 sqfoot purpose built clubhousefor meetings & eventsGolf on the African continent– a growing attractionEarly European settlers in Africa,keen on the game of golf, left behinda legacy of beautiful and distinctivecourses.In all, there are 828 courses on the Africancontinent, with a little more than half of those,450, located in South Africa. Egypt, Kenya,Mauritius, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia andZimbabwe are all gaining reputations as gooddestinations for a golf holiday.Kenya, with 40 golf courses, is pushing golftourism as a big plus. The balmy climate ofKenya seems to have been made specifically forthe game, rivalling the Mediterranean as a wintergolf destination. The country counts one PGAcourse and four spectacular coastal courses.Another highlight is the Fairmont Mount KenyaSafari Club, which is right at the equator, so youcan tee off at one hemisphere and drop the ballon the otherDURBANCOUNTRYCLUB– TOWARDSA GLORIOUSCENTENARYIn 2022, the Durban Country Clubcelebrates its centenary, pitchingfor the South African AmateurChampionships, and the SouthAfrican Open.Rated one of the Top 100 courses in theworld, the club caters to golf enthusiasts andprofessionals alike. One of just a number ofexcellent golf facilities in the Durban area, ithas an exceptional history.The course is a “combination of beauty andbrains”, testing the skills of the most talentedplayers. Over the decades, it has played hostto the South African Open an incredible 17times. In the run-up to the country club’scentenary, a think-tank has been put in placewith a mid-term plan for the modernisation ofthe course and its facilities.“The future has to be built around the golfcourse and what golf offers here. It is a uniquetype of gold course. Now we know we have tomove with the times and plan what the coursewill look like in 20 years’ time”, said DonGammon, a full-time consultant to the club.“The first five holes have been talked about bysome Ryder Cup champions as being the bestopening five holes in the world. It’s not thefriendliest welcome difficulty-wise, but it’s likeit was meant to be here”Durban Country ClubITB BERLIN NEWS • THURSDAY 26 TH MARCH 2020 • 21

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