The Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) officially kicked off yesterday, welcoming event professionals and exhibitors from over 20 countries for two days of networking, exhibition and meetings.
Karen Bolinger, chief executive officer, Melbourne Convention Bureau, says the business events industry continues to evolve, and so does Melbourne’s 'renowned cultural delights'.
Wyndham Hotel Group is the official partner hotel for ITB China, set to take place from 16 to 18 May 2018 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Conference Center.
The hotel group will have a strong presence on the show floor of ITB China, the three-day b2b-show, which connects new products and innovative services of tourism with industry experts in one place.
Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, in conjunction with Fiji Airways and Rosie Holidays, is offering an all inclusive conference-flight package in the New Zealand market.
The package is for up to 50 delegates and valid from 9 October 2017 to 27 March 2018 (excludes 25 December 2017 to 7 January 2018).
Priced from NZ$1950 per delegate, it includes return economy flights from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch and a VIP meet and greet with return airport transfers from Nadi International Airport. Three nights’ accommodation in superior Oceanside king room with full breakfast daily, morning coffee break, lunch, afternoon coffee break and full conference venue hire for two days plus a number of other features (two hour welcome cocktail function, themed gala diner, a corporate social responsibility activity) are also part of the package.
Tonga is emerging as a destination for corporate retreats and small group incentives. While the Pacific Kingdom lacks high end luxury accommodation for larger groups, it does have business friendly hotels like the Scenic Hotel Tonga and Tanoa International Dateline, plus smaller boutique properties.
It also has whales and is one of the rare places delegates can swim with the massive creatures.
Scenic Hotels and Air New Zealand, working with other accommodation providers and suppliers, hosted a group of wholesale travel agents to Tonga late last week.
Steve Shearer, of Scenic Hotels, says one big reason for the famil was to show agents how much could be done on Tongatapu, without the expense of flying on to outer islands. Whale watching (along with culture and natural land sites) is one of the ‘easy to dos’ from the main island, he says.
The group got close to a female and calf, then a group of three and two playful large adults – one that raised its head close to the boat and had a look around. Later in the afternoon there was some spectacular breaching.
The group was hosted on and in the water by Whaleswim, Fish and Dive Tours, which has been operating for five years.
Wine and food matching, a destinational update and plenty of prizes to win were all part of the incentive and meetings sector lunch at Maison Vauron in Auckland late last week.
Sally Pepermans, New Zealand representative for New Caledonia Tourism says the big message for business tourism and travel practitioners is that there is still plenty about the destination that both agents and clients are not aware of.
‘We have the product and the properties to suit any incentive, conference or leisure group.’
New Caledonia is only two and half hours flight away and it has the French flair of Noumea, the Melanesian culture (particularly on the east coast), and even ‘French cowboys in the Pacific.’
Novotel Hotels Fiji is offering a free night’s stay or entry into a prize draw for conference bookings this July.
Clients who book a conference at Novotel Suva Lami Bay and Novotel Nadi in July can receive a one-night free stay at either hotel including breakfast for two, and go into a draw to win a two-night stay at Sofitel Resort and Spa including breakfast.
Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa has opened a new venue designed to attract Fiji’s growing conference, meetings and destination wedding markets.
Situated on 2.5km of private beachfront, the new indoor and outdoor venue can cater up to 240 guests in its purpose-built spaces.
It will be known as Vision Meeting Room.
Niue is stepping up to join the meetings and incentives market, with the opening of the Matavai Conference Centre Niue and new, deluxe guest accommodation at the Scenic Matavai Resort last week.
The new conference centre was the focus of huge media attention as it was jointly opened by New Zealand Prime Minister, Bill English, and the Premier of Niue, Sir Toke Talagi.
The Prime Minister, along with New Zealand MPs and business leaders, was visiting Niue as part of a high-level Pacific Mission, which travelled across several Pacific nations last week. He admitted initial scepticism when, as finance minister in 2009, the then Foreign Minister Murray McCully told him Niue needed New Zealand’s help with significant investment in its tourism facilities.
Catapulting tourism numbers for South East Asia over the last few years has sparked the inaugural World Travel Market (WTM) Connect Asia trade show, organised by global company Reed Travel Exhibitions, which was held in Malaysia in May.
South East Asia’s tourism numbers continue to grow with 102 million inbound tourists and 59 million outbound tourists in 2014, with an estimated further growth of 5.9% and 3.8% a year respectively until 2018. The event offered valuable networking experiences with its one-to-one format of pre-scheduled meetings targeting the booming Asian leisure travel market, allowing exhibitors to exclusively meet with elite international hosted buyers. This made it the perfect platform for the Asian travel industry to conduct business and firmly establish itself as the fastest growing and most important region in the global tourism marketplace.
New Zealand owned and operated Scenic Group has announced the first dedicated conference centre on Niue is currently under construction at Scenic Matavai Resort Niue.
Matavai Conference Centre Niue is poised to be an integral part of the island’s entrée into the conference and incentive market, and position Niue as the Pacific’s newest conferencing destination.
A team of onsite meeting planners will be on hand to manage conference and accommodation requirements and assist with offsite setting and activities for team building and active pursuits.
Matavai Conference Centre Niue is scheduled to open in July 2017 and is taking early expressions of interest.
The facility will have capacity for 180 guests banquet style and has been designed with flexibility and functionality in mind to accommodate island conferences, events and meetings.
Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, part of Marriott International, has opened up a previously untapped area of Fiji to event planners with over 1,500 square metres of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space on offer.
Situated on Momi Bay on Viti Levu’s south-west coast, 33 kilometres from Nadi International Airport, Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay is the only property on Fiji’s mainland to offer over-water accommodation. The property has a dedicated events and conference centre set back from the main resort.
With floor-to-ceiling glass windows and an abundance of natural light, the resort’s Grand Salon Ballroom can accommodate large events or conferences of up to 400 people theatre style or split into three rooms for smaller groups.
The events and conference centre features 1,100 metres of outdoor pre-function space set around a garden, with a protective awning in case of wet weather conditions; an Island Boardroom that can accommodate up to 55 people theatre style; and a separate porte cochère with space for a red carpet to help create a sense of exclusivity and grandeur. Designed with flexibility in mind, the multipurpose venues feature the latest technology, access to gourmet catering and expert event planning services.
‘Our dedicated meetings and events venues have put this previously unknown area of Fiji on the map for meetings and event planners and the feedback we’ve received from the industry since opening has been overwhelmingly positive,’ says Silvano Dressino, general manager, Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay.
Meetings and event planners can take advantage of the resort’s beachfront location by extending their functions beyond the events and conference centre to one of three outdoor event spaces. North Point, which is located at the far end of the resort, Fish Bar, the resort’s fine dining restaurant, and Vonu Beach, which can be reserved for the ‘ultimate island experience’, sitting more than 500 people.
The resort features 114 Bure Villas, including 22 over-water Bure Villas with decks from which guests can dive directly into the turquoise waters. A further 136 Deluxe Rooms, which can be interconnected, provide flexibility for groups.