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ITB Berlin News - Day 3

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24 SPECIAL FEATURE

24 SPECIAL FEATURE BUSINESS TRAVEL & MICE ADVERTORIAL Shanghai for Business – But So Much More Business travel and “bleisure” on the rise in the Chinese metropolis Shanghai Natural History Museum Ross Hosking President, Meetings.com Meetings.com at ITB Berlin with New Planning Platform Jingan Sculpture Park Ross Hosking, former Executive Vice President of Wyndham Sales Worldwide has just taken on the role of President of Meetings.com, and is at ITB Berlin to explain his company’s new system – custom made to make life easy for meeting planners. Meetings.com is focusing on providing hotel and venue sourcing technology and sales/support services to professional meeting, event and group planners worldwide. It now runs on a cloud-based open system, providing all types of event planners with the ability to run their hotel and event sourcing business through the site. The technology features cutting edge RFP sourcing plus utilizes Instant Offers and e-Contracting to facilitate the booking process. “We are in a really interesting time, because the legacy RFP providers out there have built technology that is really very good for the most complex meetings in the world,” explains Hosking. “The problem is that 98% of the meetings out there are not that complex; so it takes the meeting planner and the hotel a lot of time to fill out an easy RFP. Our new technology removes that problem, as it’s super easy, fast and friendly, and you can get instant availability from hotels literally within minutes.” It took less than two decades to turn Shanghai into one of the top business travel destinations in Asia, next to Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. Shanghai has indeed all the elements of being a premier business destination. The city has been for almost 150 years the international trade centre of China and is today the financial hub in China PRC with its stock exchange and the presence of numerous banks headquarters. The city is home to 490 regional headquarters of multinational companies while attracting 15% of all Foreign Direct Investments. Shanghai is linked to 86 international destinations including 48 cities in Asia, 13 cities in Europe, 11 cities in North America and 7 destinations in the Pacific. In 2014, Shanghai welcomed 276 million visitors, of which 7.91 million were foreigners. Shanghai hosting of the World Expo in 2010 helped project a new image of the metropolis: modern, cosmopolitan, sophisticated, dynamic. Shanghai is now considered as the centre of China fashion and design industry as well as a major art venue with hundreds of galleries, museums supported by festivals and art events. In 2014, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranked Shanghai number 9 in Asia Pacific for the total number of hosted international meetings, conferences and congresses. The metropolis welcomed 73 events that year. The MICE market is likely to be further boosted by the development of Shanghai new CBD around Hongqiao, the city new pilot FreeTrade Zone. Some 28 international companies already announced to move to the area. The opening this year Shanghai Disney Resort and of the National Exhibition and Convention Center will further stimulate both corporate and leisure travel. Some 5,000 hotel rooms are consequently due to be added to the metropolis until the next year. Hall 26C / 310 ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 11 th March 2016 www.itb-berlin-news.com

BUSINESS TRAVEL & MICE SPECIAL FEATURE 25 ADVERTORIAL Viva Las Vegas: Business Travellers Try Their Luck Michael Goldsmith, Vice President of International Marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is in Berlin to promote Las Vegas as the world’s leading destination for leisure and business travel. ITB Berlin News caught up with Goldsmith at the Las Vegas stand to hear the latest on the city’s everexpanding business travel market. Business travel is a huge market for Las Vegas with over a million square metres of meeting and convention space in the city. We are a huge MICE destination and have many incentives trade shows. How do you combine the business and leisure tourism markets? One of the things that makes Vegas so desirable as a business travel destination is that so many of the attractions are open after normal business hours. You can be in a business meeting throughout the day, but can then can go to dinner, go to a show, go shopping. So many things are available at night. Also, with our location in the south west, we’re a helicopter flight from the Grand Canyon or a short drive to the Valley of Fire. What differentiates Las Vegas as a business travel destination? One is the huge range of things to do in Las Vegas. A lot of destinations are known for dining, entertainment, spas, golf, great hotels. Las Vegas has all of those things in one place. That’s the biggest differentiation, having everything available in a very small, compact area. What are your major business events and what do you offer attendees? Las Vegas is the leading trade show destination in North America, we have more trade shows than the next two largest cities combined. Three of the top ten convention centres in the United States are located in Vegas, and we have an expansion in the works for the Las Vegas Convention Centre where the CES consumer electronics show is held. So we can attract and accommodate any type of program from 10 to 130,000 people. Michael Goldsmith Vice President of International Marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Hall 2.1 / Stand 480 COP- Skyline East Atlanta on Rise as Meeting Destination According to The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) 2015 industry census, Atlanta now ranks third in America in total number of exhibitions with 378. “Atlanta is one of the most appealing and dynamic destinations for events,” said William Pate, president and CEO, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Logistically speaking, we’re unrivaled when you couple the fourth-largest convention center in the country ©©2013, Gene Phillips, Courtesy of ACVB _ AtlantaPhotos.com with the world’s busiest airport. Our four compact meeting districts also create attractive packages for event planners.” Atlanta’s meeting infrastructure has developed beyond Centennial Olympic Park. The city is comprised of four compact meeting districts - Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead and the Airport Area - each with hotels at every price point, award-winning dining options, top attractions and flexible venues for meetings of any size. Atlanta scored the No. 1 ranking in two segments for total number of events: discretionary consumer services and education events. These verticals accounted for 47 and 41 events last year, respectively. Discretionary consumer exhibitions included Dragon Con, MomoCon Anime & Gaming Convention and the Bronner Bros. International Hair Shows. Educational exhibitions include the Organization of American Historians annual meeting. Another benchmark, experts at Cvent ranked Atlanta No. 5 on its 2015 list of Top 50 Cities for Meetings and Events. Cvent evaluated more than 5,000 cities, ranking them based on meeting and event booking activity in their Cvent Supplier Network. As this trend continues over the next three years, Atlanta will open another .5 billion in new hospitality development including several hotels, attraction expansions and two new stadiums In another investment, the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) and The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism division unveiled the state’s newest Visitor Information Center (VIC) at Atlanta International Airport Hall 2.1 / Stand 480 ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 11 th March 2016

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