fredag 13 december 2013 | the Congrex crash
Congrex Panama bought by managers
Professional congress organiser Congrex Panama City, a subsidiary of the beleaguered Congrex Group, has been bought by managers. Source British aim magazine, www.meetpie.com/ami/
The six-strong company, led by managing director Javier Montilla, will trade under the Congrex moniker for the near future before deciding whether or not to rename the business.
Managing director Javier Montilla said: "The Panamanian government have assigned a top priority to their interest in the meetings Industry recognising its importance in the development of the country.
"Panama is investing heavily in infrastructure including a new convention centre for approximately 15,000 people for 2015, new roads and a metro system along with other significant public works. Panama has also developed a destination marketing organisation to promote Panama as a destination for events."
Former Group COO and head of Congrex UK Rob Harrison – now CEO of Contendam - was part of the buy-out team and will serve on the board of directors.
The MBO is the latest in a string of internal takeovers at Congrex since the parent company Congrex Holding was put into bankruptcy earlier this year. Congrex UK was bought by managers and is now called Contendam, Congrex Belgium was bought by rival MCI, and Congrex Switzerland AG, along with Congrex Travel AG, were bought by managers last month. Congrex Sweden, the first to be declared bankrupt, is no longer trading. Only Congrex Holland has yet to determine its future.
Pictured: Javier Montilla
torsdag 12 december 2013 | Travel Taxes
A Billion Dollars in New Travel Taxes: Bad For Business Says GBTA
Tuesday night, Rep. Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray released a budget outline that included an increase in the "9/11 Aviation Security Fee" from $2.50 per enplanement to $5.60 per flight next year.
GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick issued the following statement: “Putting aside the rhetoric, a tax by any other name is still a tax. Under the proposed budget, business travelers will share the burden of a billion dollars in new aviation security taxes. To aggravate the damage to business travel and U.S. businesses’ ability to conduct business effectively, the additional revenue will not be used to fund programs that benefit travelers. Enough is enough – business travelers are not bottomless piggy banks. Punishing a key driver of economic growth is the wrong approach. GBTA urges Congress to reject an increase in the aviation security tax.”
tisdag 10 december 2013 | air travel
Airlines Expect 31% Rise in Passenger Demand by 2017
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released the IATA Airline Industry Forecast 2013-2017 showing that airlines expect to see a 31% increase in passenger numbers between 2012 and 2017. By 2017 total passenger numbers are expected to rise to 3.91 billion—an increase of 930 million passengers over the 2.98 billion carried in 2012.
The IATA Airline Industry Forecast 2013-2017 is a consensus outlook for system-wide passenger growth. Demand is expected to expand by an average of 5.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2013 and 2017. By comparison, global passenger growth expanded by 4.3% CAGR between 2008 and 2012, largely reflecting the negative impact of the 2008 global financial crisis and recession. Of the new passengers, approximately 292 million will be carried on international routes and 638 million on domestic routes.
The emerging economies of the Middle East and Asia-Pacific will see the strongest international passenger growth with CAGR of 6.3% and 5.7%, followed by Africa and Latin America with CAGR of 5.3% and 4.5%.
Routes within or connected to China will be the single largest driver of growth, accounting for 24% of new passengers during the forecast period. Of the anticipated 227.4 million additional passengers, 195 million will be domestic and 32.4 million will be international.
The Asia-Pacific region (including China) is expected to add around 300 million additional passengers by the end of the current forecast horizon. Of these, around 225 million or 75% are expected to be domestic passengers.
677.8 million domestic passengers in 2017
With 677.8 million domestic passengers in 2017, the United States will continue to be the largest single market for domestic passengers, although it will add only 70 million passengers over the forecast period (2.2% CAGR). This reflects the market’s maturity. China is firmly established in second place (487.9 million passengers in 2017, 10.2% CAGR.). The US also will reclaim the top spot from Germany for international passengers by the end of the forecast period. Germany will add 27.2 million passengers to the 149.4 million in 2012 (3.4% CAGR.), while the US will add 28.2 million international passengers, rising from 149.3 million in 2012 to 177.5 million (3.5% CAGR) in 2017.
“The fact that the Asia-Pacific region --led by China--and the Middle East will deliver the strongest growth over the forecast period is not surprising. Governments in both areas recognize the value of the connectivity provided by aviation to drive global trade and development. Similar opportunities exist for developing regions in Africa and Latin America. To reap the benefit, governments in those regions will need to change their view of aviation from a luxury cash cow to a utilitarian powerful draft horse to pull the economy forward,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. Globally, aviation supports some 57 million jobs and $2.2 trillion in economic activity.
International Passenger Development
Domestic Passenger Development
Regional Outlook over the 2013-2017 forecast period
tisdag 10 december 2013 | IT&CM China
IT&CM China Advances Corporate Travel Roundtable Initiative
Collaborating with Gloria Hotels & Resorts, IT&CM China will kick-off its third Corporate Roundtable session in Chengdu on 11 December.
Taking place at Chengdu Felton Gloria Grand Hotel, 13 corporate buyers based in Chengdu are expected to attend this exclusive by-invitation discussion that will also feature Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the global leader specialising in business travel management, who will be sharing their experience on the difficulties of corporate travel management and solutions to overcome the problems.
Andy Janz, Corporate Director, Strategic Marketing of Gloria Hotels & Resorts said, “This is a great opportunity to meet with some of the most influential Chinese corporate buyers. Hosting this event also enables us to showcase our latest property to a very important domestic buying segment. It is also rare to have so many industry stakeholders gather and experience one of our new hotels, the Felton Gloria Grand Hotel, first-hand. As a long-term partner of IT&CM China, we are more than happy to be support this initiative.”
The IT&CM China Corporate Travel Roundtable that launched early this year in conjunction with the show, serves as a communication platform for like-minded Corporate professionals who manage business travel procurement and management on a day-to-day basis, to discuss in-depth Corporate Travel issues and share knowledge with their fellow peers. Such interaction and learning opportunities are unavailable in typical work environments.
Aiming to fill knowledge gap
Underscoring the importance of keeping Chinese corporations abreast on managing Corporate Travel costs, Ooi Peng Ee, General Manager of TTG Events noted, “There are aspects of Business Travel Management that Chinese corporations are still lacking awareness in, such as their travel management processes. The IT&CM China Roundtable sessions aim to fill this knowledge gap.”
In a 2009 PhoCusWright report, one of the key findings revealed a disparity between how efficient corporations perceived their travel management processes to be and the actual competence of these systems. To a large extent, Chinese corporations have yet to take advantage of technology to automate processes and cut costs, but continue to rely on manual systems and paper processes.
Ooi continued, “Organising the Corporate Travel Roundtable sessions is part of our commitment to invest in the groove of the industry. These outreach efforts also enable us to establish a closer relationship with our stakeholders and to promote these engagements through our publicity activities.”
The next Roundtable session will be hosted by Shanghai Novotel Atlantis, an Accor property, on 13 December, with 22 Shanghai-based corporate buyers already registered for the event. “Sponsoring the venue for the Corporate Roundtable session provides us with the opportunity to introduce our hotel’s capabilities to these Corporate buyers, and to explore any future collaboration opportunities with them. Corporate buyers will be able to personally experience the Accor hospitality we worked hard and strived for,” said Bobby Ong, Vice President, Sales & Marketing – Greater China of Accor.
IT&CM China 2014 will take place from 15 to 17 April 2014.
fredag 6 december 2013 | Convention Centre
Important Milestone for Sydney International Convention Centre
Development of the AUD$1 billion International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) at Darling Harbour this week moved a step closer following the achievement of another important milestone.
The Australian Stock Exchange has been advised that financial close had been reached with Infrastructure NSW and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority for the Public Private Partnership (PPP) of the NSW Government’s project to revitalise the 20 hectare site.
The PPP is being delivered by the New South Wales Government in conjunction with the Darling Harbour Live Company comprising Lend Lease, HOSTPLUS, Capella Capital, AEG Ogden and Spotless.
ICC Sydney will be operated by AEG Ogden, the leading venue management company in the Asia Pacific region and will feature a convention facility capable of holding four fully separated concurrent events of over 12,000 delegates and total exhibition capacity of 40,000 square metres.
Site preparation works will commence this month followed by demolition works in February 2014. Sydney ICC is due for completion due in December 2016.
AEG Ogden’s Director of Convention Centres, Geoff Donaghy said the new venue, featuring waterfront facilities in a prime CBD location in Australia’s leading city, was destined to become one of the most exciting major convention and exhibition facilities in the world.
“Even at this preliminary stage, it is attracting significant interest and strong demand worldwide.
“Business Events Sydney has confirmed that five international events have been secured for the venue and there are a further 60 expressions of interest from national association events as well as major exhibitions.
“In addition, by utilising AEG Ogden’s international operational and marketing experience and global venue network, we plan on taking business events through this venue to a new level,” he said.
Donaghy, who has also assumed the role as Chief Executive Officer for ICC Sydney said the next step was to establish the pre-opening office and commence recruiting the senior management team in early 2014.
onsdag 4 december 2013 | Congrex
Einar Wanhainen: New Trustee in the Congrex Crash
Einar Wanhainen, from the law firm G Grönbergs Advokatbyrå in Stockholm, is the new trustee in the Congrex crash following the stepping down of Odd Swarting from the Settervalls law firm in Stockholm.
In a letter to the Stockholm District Court, Odd Swarting wrote:
"During the bankruptcy proceedings some creditors called for my disqualification on the grounds of the debtor company having been a client of Settervals. Therefore, I immediately requested the appointment of a co-trustee to manage the parts that could be considered questionable. Meanwhile, the creditors in question also called into question the selling of the Swiss subsidiary that I, in compliance with Chapter 7, Section 10 of the Swedish Bankruptcy Act, questioned them about in their capacity as creditors. As the present circumstances make it difficult for me to act efficiently, I have stepped down to allow a new trustee time to take over and oversee the proceedings.
Lars-Henrik Andersson is an excellent choice. He has lengthy Swedish and international experience and the resources required to become acquainted with all the parts of the proceedings quickly and efficiently. I have the full agreement of the SEB creditors on this. I also understand that Erik Selander was no longer available."
A meeting for the administration of oaths was held in Uppsala last week but the President of Congrex, Donald Hellstedt, and his vice-President daughter, Stephanie Hellstedt, failed to attend. So no administration of oaths took place and nobody could verify the economic circumstances. The meeting will be rearranged and a new summons circulated.
The lawyer representing the Uppsala company that is forecast to lose around SEK 10.5 million due to the bankruptcy proposed that Lawyer Lars-Henrik Andersson take over, which Odd Swarting also mentioned in his letter. But that did not materialise so Stockholm District Court instead appointed Einar Wanhainen.
According to the Grönbergs website, Einar Wanhainen has lengthy experience of business law with litigation and arbitration as his speciality fields.
Einar Wanhainen is listed as a recommended litigation lawyer and arbitrator in Chambers Global, Legal 500, PLC Which Lawyer, Best Lawyers and The Expert Guide to the World's Leading Litigation Lawyers. He is often engaged as an arbitrator in cases dealing with complex technical and economic issues.
Late last night we received an email reply to our questions from Einar Wanhainen:
Could you please update us on the current status of the Swiss subsidiary (previously AKM)?
– The subsidiary has been sold.
Our sources say it was a management buyout. Could you confirm that?
– It was a combination of investors and management buyout. They acquired it through a holding company.
What did they pay?
– The purchase price has not been made public. One should bear in mind that the subsidiary had used up its capital so the share value was insignificant.
When will the deal be signed off?
– It already is, and the shares have been transferred.
When do you expect the bankruptcy proceeding to conclude?
– I have no idea.