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Japan Tourism launches new website for MICE planners
The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and its convention division, the Japan Convention Bureau (JCB), have launched a new website for international MICE planners.

The site, is a handy tool for those planning conferences, corporate meetings and incentive trips. The website provides information on what Japan can offer for international events; testimonials & case studies; a list of unique venues and activities that are only available in Japan; a useful search function that allows event planners to find cities and venues that best suit their events’ needs and much more.

The comprehensive toolkits available for download, give planners access to images, videos and destination guides. Planners can also submit event enquiries and proposals via the website. Visit: www.japanmeetings.org/

World PCO Alliance shows exceptional growth and takes the lead in market developments
The World PCO Alliance has seen a total growth of 15% in 2013 compared to 2012. The Alliance members, consisting of 20 Professional Congress Organisers worldwide has handled over 500 congresses with over 450,000 delegates in 2013.

Per Ankaer, from ICS – International Conference Services in Denmark, the President of the Alliance says: ”The constant development of sharing knowledge internationally among our members as well as using best practices has meant that more Associations and Organisations have put trust in WPCOA members in 2013 making the local PCOs stronger in their home markets and taking the lead in the development of new concepts within the meeting industry.”

The orgnizations Japanese PCO member, Congress Corporation has opened their own - Knowledge Capital - Congrès Convention Center (CCC) – in a strategic facility in the newly redeveloped area north of Osaka Station, transversed by 2.5 million people daily. CCC is the first new convention center in Japan to be built, managed and operated by a PCO, and accommodates more than 3,000 delegates.

A WPCOA study shows that the lead time is getting shorter and shorter, also the trend is toward larger events, and the flexibility and organisation of the congress organisers needs to be able to adapt quickly to constant change. AOS Conventions & Events (AOSCE) in Malaysia and ICS – International Conference Services have experienced the growing trend of shorter lead time for business contracting in the last 12 months. In February 2014, AOSCE secured 3 large events and all 3 events are held this year. In 2013 ICS secured a large event of 8,000 delegates with only 3 weeks lead time. Shorter lead times do leave less time for conference teams to prepare, but it emphasizes the need for efficiency.

Over 8,000 Biologists Gather in Barcelona for the 24th ECCMID Congress

This year the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB) will host fourteen of the top European and international medical congresses. The largest of these is the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), which will gather together over 8,000 delegates from 10 to 13 May.

This European event was previously held at the CCIB in 2008. Barcelona is the only city to have hosted the ECCMID on more than one occasion in the past 10 years.

Last year, medical conferences represented 23.8% of all association events and 71.4% of the CCIB’s total revenue in this international segment for holding medical meetings.

Other international conferences that will be hosted by the CCIB this year include: the annual event organised by the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM), which will bring together 6,000 delegates in September; the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health, expected to welcome over 2,000 delegates in late October; the fifth congress of the European Academy of Paediatric Societies (EAPS) in October, bringing together 1,500 professionals; and ISUOG 2014, the World Congress on Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, which expects to attract over 2,500 gynaecologists worldwide to the city in mid-September. As regards national events, the CCIB will be the venue for the 56th Congress of the Spanish Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology.

Kevin Spacey to be Featured Speaker at 2014 GBTA Convention
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry—today announced Academy Award winner, Kevin Spacey, will be a featured speaker at the GBTA Convention 2014 being held July 26-30, 2014 in Los Angeles, CA. Spacey will be speaking at Convention Arena on Monday, July 28. His appearance is made possible by Sabre Travel Network.

“Kevin Spacey has led a career of exceptional projects extending into various roles within the arts in front of the camera, on-stage and behind the scenes, continuing to entertain audiences while also working hard to defend the value and integrity of the arts,” said Michael W. McCormick executive director and COO of GBTA. “We are thrilled to announce Kevin as a speaker for the 2014 Convention. His achievements and versatility are examples of the importance of adaptability and strong will to be successful in all walks of life.”

Spacey currently serves as executive producer and stars as Francis Underwood, the beguiling, charismatic and ruthless House Majority Whip, in the Netflix original series “House of Cards.” For this work he won a Webby Award and was nominated for both an Emmy Award and a Critics Choice Award. The series was also nominated for 9 Emmy Awards in its first season; winning 3 of those awards including Best Director. Spacey’s “House of Cards” Netflix debut turned the traditional television business model on its head, transforming the industry.

A lifelong artist, Spacey began his acting career at a young age and later attended the Juilliard School of Drama and began his professional career on the New York stage, which eventually propelled his career into film.

Spacey has won Academy Awards® for his performances in “The Usual Suspects” and “American Beauty,” which also garnered him a BAFTA Award. Additionally, he has been nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards®, most recently for his role in “Casino Jack.” Spacey’s illustrious film credits include “Swimming with Sharks,” “Se7en,” “LA Confidential,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “The Negotiator,” “K-Pax,” “The Shipping News,” “Superman Returns,” “Beyond the Sea,” “Shrink,” “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” “Horrible Bosses,” and “Margin Call.”

Spacey’s production company Trigger Street Productions, which he runs with his producing partner Dana Brunetti, has produced multiple award-winning movies including the recently released “Captain Phillips”, starring Tom Hanks and “The Social Network,” which won a Golden Globe® for Best Picture and received multiple Academy Award® nominations.

Since 2004 Spacey has served as the Artistic Director of The Old Vic Theatre Company in London. He most recently toured all over the world with the Sam Mendes production of “Richard III”, which was filmed and turned into a documentary called “Now”.

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About GBTA Convention

The GBTA Convention, with nearly 7,000 attendees, is the largest, most comprehensive annual gathering of business travel and meetings managers, meeting planners, procurement professionals and suppliers anywhere in the world. The Business Travel Event of the Year ® features: more than 70 industry-leading education sessions organized into 20+ specialized tracks geared to specific levels of experience and a variety of disciplines; a 400+ company Exposition showcasing market choices not available at other industry gatherings; sessions featuring world-renowned speakers and industry leaders; a wide selection of professional development opportunities; and, much more. For more information on the GBTA Convention, visit gbta.org/convention.

 

About the Global Business Travel Association

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings organization. Collectively, GBTA’s 6,000-plus members manage over $340 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its network of 21,000 business and government travel and meetings managers, as well as travel service providers, with networking events, news, education & professional development, research, and advocacy. For more information, visit gbta.org

Dubai welcomes 14,500 delegates as UAE’s largest ever corporate incentive group arrives
The Dubai Convention and Events Bureau (DCEB), a division of the Department of Commerce and Tourism Marketing (DTCM), is welcoming the first of 14,500 incentive delegates arriving from Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. in China.

DCEB won the bid for Dubai to host the Nu Skin incentive mega-group in January 2013, fending off fierce competition from Macau, Seoul in South Korea and Singapore.

The delegation, which represents the largest corporate incentive group in UAE history, are arriving in seven waves, with one wave averaging around 2,000 people arriving every day between Sunday, April 6, and Saturday, April 12. The last wave will depart the UAE on April 17, and each wave will be in the UAE for five days.

Nu Skin chose to visit Dubai because of its premier incentive offer, which includes iconic landmarks, world-class accommodation and transport infrastructure and a robust offering of leisure events and activities.

All the groups will experience an almost identical tour programme which will take them to see the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Al Bastakiya, Dubai Creek and the Palm Jumeirah along with other locations in addition to select areas of interest around Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

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About Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM)

With the ultimate vision of positioning Dubai as the world’s leading tourism destination and commercial hub, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing’s (DTCM) mission is to increase the awareness of Dubai to global audiences and to attract tourists and inward investment into the Emirate.

DTCM is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai’s tourism sector; markets and promotes the Emirate’s commerce sector; and is responsible for the licensing and classification of all tourism services, including hotels, tour operators and travel agents. Brands and departments within the DTCM portfolio include Dubai Convention and Events Bureau, Dubai Calendar, and Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (formerly known as Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment). In addition to its headquarters in Dubai, DTCM operates 20 offices worldwide. For more information about DTCM visit www.dubaitourism.ae.

About the Dubai Convention and Events Bureau (DCEB)

The Dubai Convention and Events Bureau’s aim is to further develop and increase Dubai's share of the international business events markets, whilst maximizing the economic prospects of Dubai. The DCEB’s main goal, as a division of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), is to establish the Emirate as a premier incentive and business event destination by helping to plan, organize and manage every aspect of an event. The DCEB's service standards are accredited by Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance LRQA as part of the BestCities Global alliance of convention and visitor bureaus that aim to deliver the world's best service experience for the meeting industry. For more information about DCEB visit www.dceb.gov.ae.

Miss Klara Hotel opens today in Stockholm

Design Hotels announces the rebirth of one of Stockholm’s most treasured Art Nouveau buildings. Built in 1910, the former Ateneum school for girls has been transformed by the ever-enterprising Nobis Group into a sleek Scandinavian bolthole among the tech start-ups and creative types of the evolving City district. Taking its name from Clara Strömberg, the beloved first headmistress of the one-time girl’s school, Miss Clara is an old soul with a contemporary heart. www.designhotels.com/hotels/sweden/stockholm/miss-clara

High ceilings, expansive windows and an original spiral staircase hark back to the building’s Art Nouveau past while a gentle restoration has eased the iconic schoolhouse and its 92 rooms, two suites and two etage suites, into the modern day. Swedish architect Gert Wingårdh paid special attention to the original traits of the building, following a unique concept of an outward facing property, where the windows are treated as ‘center stage’. Located at one of the most up and coming addresses in Stockholm, gracefully arched windows overlook the buzzing Sveavägen Boulevard, while the easy and uncomplicated nature of the rooms absorbs the bustle below.

At street level, a vibrant restaurant and bar thrive on the cosmopolitan pulse of the Stockholm City district, welcoming visitors and savvy locals alike. Master Chef Daniel Guest from Nobis’ flagship dining room Operakällaren oversees the 80-seat restaurant, with updated takes on international and Swedish classics. Seamlessly connected to the lounge and lobby, the Miss Clara bar offers guests an intimate atmosphere – with stone floors and the use of Swedish limestone and leather contrasting the soft organic lines of the space. With versatility in mind, all three areas can be shaped to suit any need: informal gatherings, business meetings, simple relaxation or private dining in the Chambre Separee. Conversely, the gym, sauna and relaxation lounge on the lower floor of the property, take care of any restorative need, providing a calming oasis within the City’s buzz.

With a rich history of craftsmanship and a wealth of raw materials, Gert Wingårdh looked no further than Sweden’s own borders for inspiration and enlisted the help of longtime Swedish manufactures known for expert artisanal skills. Favoring both form and function equally, many elements of the well-designed rooms offer guests flexibility. Each room features a bespoke oak storage unit, stretching the length of the window wall, incorporating pull-out work desks and luggage storage, and serving additionally as a perch for street-gazing. Custom mounted additions to the beds provide a sitting option and the glass-enclosed marble and tile bathrooms can be left visible, or screened-off if desired.

Set against a crisp backdrop of white, headboards of traditional bentwood from Swedish manufacturer Gemla crown luxury beds by Stockholm-based Bed Factory, giving the streamlined and smoothly functioning rooms a nod to the Art Nouveau past. Further odes to traditional Swedish crafts are found throughout the hotel, from leather work by Tärnsjö – one of the few tanneries in Europe dyeing skins with environmentally gentle tree extracts instead of the typical chrome – to the fine details of intricately woven woodwork. With traces of the building’s roots remaining intact, the new hotel instills a subtle sense of déjà vu – like it always looked this way.

Running through the heart of Stockholm, from north to south, Sveavägen is the capital’s most cosmopolitan boulevard. Located just north of where Sveavägen intersects with Kungsgatan Avenue, the hotel is based in the center of one of the most expansive focal points in the evolution of a new and more charismatic Stockholm City district. This bustling locale serves business travelers well – conveniently located for both Stockholm Central and Ostra train stations – while leisure travelers are well-placed for the Royal Palace, Storkyrkan Cathedral and the Nobel Museum.