Nordic Choice Hotels
wins big in Helsinki.
business intelligence
Tourism Australia
announces multi-million dollar bid fund.
food and meetings
Heston Blumenthal
to open Dubai restaurant in 2019.
business intelligence
Intensifies Partnership At IT&CM China With 100% Pavilion Increase.
business intelligence
The Airbnb for creative meeting spaces
is coming to Sweden.
events creates meetings
CWT Meetings & Events
awarded World Figure Skating Championships 2018.
hotel News
Hilton returns to Copenhagen
with quayside location for new upscale hotel
Best Cities & ICCA
Incredible Impacts Programme
Opens Submissions for 2018 Grants.
meetings means business
Dubai Business Events
wins 212 bids in 2017.
Nordic Choice Hotels wins big in Helsinki

At last night’s Business Travel Awards in Helsinki, Nordic Choice Hotels won two of the most prestigious awards. Clarion Hotel was awarded Best Hotel Chain in the Nordics, and Nordic Choice Hotels won the prize for Best Sales Organization.

Last night, proud Nordic Choice Hotels employees entered the stage to receive awards for Best Hotel Chain in the Nordics and Best Sales Organization. The Business Travel Awards were handed out during the yearly Nordic Business Travel Summit.

"I am bursting with pride. I am proud of what we can offer our guests, and proud of our coworkers. At all times, we strive to take care of our guests and make sure that their stay with us exceeds their high expectations. The awards we received last night are evidence that we are doing something right. This will give us a huge boost that will motivate us to further develop our organization and continue to give our guests experiences that last long after they’ve checked out", says Petter A. Stordalen, founder of Nordic Choice Hotels.

In addition to representatives from the hotels, the sales department at Nordic Choice Hotels was also present in Helsinki.

"This is immensely important for my team and I. During the last few years, we have gone to great measures to bring our sales work closer to our customers and have focused on sustainability as our most important advantage. By all standards, we have amazing hotels that we are very proud of, but in our dialogue with the customer we want to especially highlight the positive work that we are doing on sustainability along with our guests. Every time you stay or go to a meeting at one of our hotels, you are actually contributing to make the world a little bit better. The victory in Helsinki is evidence that our strategy has been right", says Anant Vithlani, Vice President of Sales at Nordic Choice Hotels.

Nordic Business Travel Award is a cooperation between the four business traveller organizations DBTA, FBTA, NBTA and SBTA.

Tourism Australia announces multi-million dollar bid fund

Australia’s multi-billion dollar business events industry has received a huge boost with the creation of a national bid fund, making $12 million available over the next three years to support bids for new, high-value international incentive, association, and exhibition events.

Tourism Australia already supports the Australian business events industry through its marketing communications and distribution development activities, including the Advance Program which supports delegate acquisition activities for existing international business events taking place in Australia.

From 1 July 2018, Tourism Australia will extend its existing support of the Australian business events industry through the Business Events Bid Fund Program (BFP), which provides assistance to secure new international business events for Australia.

The establishment of the new Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund Program was announced by the Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon. Steven Ciobo MP during a keynote address at this year’s Destination Australia Conference in Melbourne.

“The Turnbull Coalition Government is focused on growing the lucrative business events sector,” Minister Ciobo said

“Business events travellers are high yielding, spending on average twice as much as a leisure visitor, often extending their visit to regional parts of Australia and returning for a holiday in the future; making them crucial to the broader Australian economy.”

“In the increasingly competitive global world of business events, we recognise that more needs to be done to ensure that Australia maintains a competitive edge against other international destinations.

“Australia’s natural beauty, safety and stability and friendliness provides the perfect base to build a thriving business events sector.

“I am confident that this new bid fund will help ensure Australia remains top of the pack in terms of consideration for international incentive and association events,” Minister Ciobo said.

John O’Sullivan, Managing Director Tourism Australia said that being able to offer financial incentives to help convert bids of national significance into confirmed business would allow Australia to compete more aggressively with the many destinations that already operated national bid funds.

“More and more destinations across the world are operating national bid funds. Australia risks losing market share to our competitors if our business events industry is not able to compete on a level playing field. That’s why the new Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund Program is a game-changer, allowing us to grow our competitive advantage in this critical and lucrative segment of the visitor economy,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

Managed by Tourism Australia’s business events unit, Business Events Australia, the program is designed to increase conversion of business for Australia by offering financial support at the critical bidding stage of new international business events. Funds will only be provided for qualified international business events once the event is confirmed and contracted for Australia.

Penny Lion, Executive General Manager Events Tourism Australia said, “The Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund provides yet another reason for international business events decision makers to choose Australia. It will deliver increased consideration for our country and provide new opportunities for our industry.”

The new bid fund will support expenditure on goods & services that assist in the delivery of events, for example accommodation or venue hire costs.

A prospectus for the new bid program is available online at and outlines the mandatory eligibility criteria required to make a submission as well as a checklist and full terms and conditions.

Applications for the new Tourism Australia Business Events Bid Fund can be submitted via from 1 May 2018, with access to the funds for successful applications available from 1 July 2018.


Photo: Sydney ICC - home of many meetings in Australia.

Heston Blumenthal to open Dubai restaurant in 2019

World-renowned chef Heston Blumenthal will open a restaurant in the Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in 2019, it was announced on Monday, accordning to Arabian Business Newsletter.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is the first named restaurant to open within the property and will be the third outpost of the culinary concept developed by the Michelin-star chef after London and Melbourne.

The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences will offer 231 luxury apartments comprised of two, three, four and five-bedroom residences including Skycourts, Penthouses and Garden Suites, ranging from 1,400 to 17,000 square feet as well as 795 rooms and suites.

Located on the crescent of The Palm next to the iconic Atlantis, The Palm resort, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will be located in the heart of the resort and will include a dedicated bar, two outside terraces and a private dining room.

The restaurant will offer contemporary dishes inspired by historic gastronomic recipes dating back to the 1300’s.

“I am truly excited about opening in this incredible location. It is not often that an opportunity in such a perfect space comes along. The backdrop is outstanding and the views of the Dubai skyline over the Gulf are quite unique," said Blumenthal.

He said the idea behind Dinner stems from his fascination with history and gastronomy, which was triggered in the late 90s after reading a 15-century manuscript known as The Vivendier.

Dinner, which offers highly modern dishes inspired by a gastronomic insight from Medieval to Victorian, won 2 Michelin stars in 2012.

Serge Zaalof, chief operating officer for Atlantis Resorts & Residences said: “Similar to Atlantis, The Palm, the superb culinary offering at The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences will lie at the property’s heart. This is the first of many exciting culinary introductions and we look forward to wowing our guests and residents with what is sure to be one of the most talked about restaurants in the region.

"We look forward to working with Heston and the team on this exciting launch."¨

Photo: Heston Blumenthal and Ashley Palmer Watts, executive chef of Dinner by Heston.

Argentina Intensifies Partnership At IT&CM China 2018 With 100% Pavilion Increase

Destination Argentina, fronted by the National Institute of Tourism Promotion, Argentina (Inprotur), returns to IT&CM China 2018 for their 2nd consecutive year, determined to anchor their brand onto China’s map. Participating at twice the size plus an Associations Day Destination Presentation, Hosted Networking Dinner on 21 March, and a post-event FAM trip in September, Argentina is one of the destinations to look out for in this year’s exciting exhibitor line-up.

Elaborating on the importance of IT&CM China and the decision to return, Emora Franco, Meeting Industry Coordination, Inprotur, “China has been defined as one of the seventeen prioritised markets by our National Institute of Tourism Promotion. We were extremely well-received and had a very successful participation last year. We met more buyers and decision-makers than expected, prompting our renewed efforts to return with more destinations and companies in tow.”

Argentina will conduct a Destination Presentation on 21 March during the events’ dedicated 2-day Associations programme, showcasing meeting destinations and the subventions available for organisers. Their engagement efforts continue at the hosted buyer networking dinner on 21 March at the brand-new Courtyard Marriott Changfeng Park, and a Spring Fam trip for selected Chinese Mice buyers later in the year.

On taking on these platforms to elevate Brand Argentina at IT&CM China, Franco added, “Private events like our luncheon in 2017 have been a good way to establish meaningful relationships and make new contacts, getting to know what buyers really want while focused on our destination. We also believe that the best way to experience a far-away destination is by seeing it for yourself. Spring in September is a great time to discover the great variety of landscapes, climates and unique venues for events that Argentina has to offer.”

According to ICCA statistics, Argentina ranks as one of the top 20 most popular countries for association meetings with more than 180 international congresses under its belt. Its capital, Buenos Aires, commands the number one spot for a meetings destination in the Americas for eight consecutive years. The country has also been developing its tourism infrastructure exponentially, stimulating investment and massive potential in business and leisure travel.

Culturally diverse, Argentina has six tourism regions that combine Latin American spirit with European legacy, 48 destinations suitable for hosting international events, and over 30 Convention & Visitors Bureaux. It also receives more than 800 international flights weekly from 50 destinations across 5 continents.

Franco reinforced, “Argentina is a destination of excellence coupled with affordability within the Latin America region. For overseas tourists, we waive the 21% VAT usually charged on accommodation, breakfast included, if it is part of the cost of lodging. As of 2016, Chinese tourists are exempted from requiring visas to travel to Argentina if they hold valid visas for Europe or the United States of America, further boosting connectivity and breaking down barriers to entry. All the more reason to make Argentina the next destination of choice.”

This year, the city of Buenos Aires will be represented by the Tourism Board at IT&CM China 2018. Aerolíneas Argentinas, the destinations’ largest airline and national flag carrier, will also be joining the Argentinean entourage on the show floor.

A major commercial, financial & political centre in Latin America, Buenos Aires is an important business meeting point served by unique heritage, affordable yet modern world-class amenities and services, excellent global connections, and experience in hosting major events – seeing that a third of Argentina’s business conventions and exhibitions, fairs, and festivals are held in Buenos Aires. International events such as the G20 Summit, the WTTC Global Summit, the Youth Olympic Games, FDI World Dental Congress, and countless more, are slated to take place in Argentina this year.

IT&CM China 2018 will be held from 20 – 22 March in Shanghai. To explore how you can make the most out of the exhibition, sponsorship, and networking opportunities at IT&CM China, contact us at

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About Argentina - National Institute of Tourism Promotion

Inprotur belongs to the Argentina’s Ministry of Tourism and it is your first point of contact for planning your meeting in Argentina. Our 48 meeting destinations await you with cultural and natural diversity, outstanding landscapes, international flight connections, unique hospitality and professionals prepared to make your event a success.

Find us at


About IT&CMA China 2018

The Leading International MICE Event in China

IT&CM China 2018 will be held from March 20 to 22 at Shanghai Exhibition & Convention Center of International Sourcing. This is the 12th instalment of the international MICE event that seeks to “Promote China to the World and the World to China”. The 2018 event expects an attendance of 3,000 MICE professionals from sectors including DMCs, PCOs, corporate travel and associations, some 400 hosted delegates, over 14,000 business appointments as well as over 75 business, education and networking sessions.





It has the support of Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration (SMTA), Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Industries Association (SCEIA), American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), China Business Event Federation (CBEF), International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO), International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), Korea MICE Association, Philippine Council of Association and Association Executives (PCAAE), Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), and World PCO Alliance.


Co-located with CTW China as China’s Only Doublebill Event In MICE and Corporate Travel, IT&CM China is part of the IT&CM Events series by TTG Events, a business group of TTG Asia Media. This event is co-organised by CITS International M.I.C.E. - a wholly-owned subsidiary of CITS (China International Travel Service), and MP International.


The Airbnb for creative meeting spaces is coming to Sweden

THE Danish marketplace for creative spaces is now launching in Sweden. With its Airbnb-inspired concept, makes it easy to discover and book spaces for meetings and workshops as well as product launches and PR events - all bookable by the hour without any phone calls. It also makes it easy for companies to rent out their free meeting rooms.

With just a few clicks you can now quickly and conveniently book a meeting space without having to ask for quotations or wait in days for replies. The service has existed in Denmark since 2017 where its a huge success with both traditional meeting rooms and more exciting spaces such as a houseboat and an old bridge operators tower.

– Booking a space for an event, seminar, or simply a meeting often requires planning, numerous contacts and time-consuming requests for quotations. allows you to spend your time and energy on creating good and meaningful meetings instead. Weve been very well received in Denmark, so its great to be up and running in several Swedish cities, so far focusing on Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö, says Anders Mogensen, CEO and co-founder of has observed a change in how and where we work. Smaller and bigger companies alike are focusing more on employee efficiency and creativity, and this requires easy access to creative spaces for meetings, workshops, seminars and so forth. Another clear trend is freelancing, where you often need temporary spaces for meeting with customers.

– We at Generator, just like, understands the value of digital efficiency. We live in a world where things are happening here and now, in real time, and the modern client does not have time for long and inefficient correspondence when it comes to bookings. is the answer to these problems. It feels like the future is here already, says Erika Danell, Sales & Meetings Manager at Generator Stockholm. allows you to book meeting spaces which do not necessarily belong to a hotel or conference center, and the service allows companies to rent out their available meeting rooms.


Photo: Creative meeting room at Generator in Stockholm.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------How works

Choose among more than 400 spaces in Sweden or 3,000 spaces in total. You book directly from the host and pays only for the hours that you need. Many hosts also offer coffee and lunch or even experiences like yoga classes. is northern Europes largest online marketspace for listing, discovering and booking unique spaces. provides more than 3,000 meeting space matches in Denmark, Great Britain, Sweden, and Norway annually. The Airbnb-inspired concept makes it easy to rent out, discover, book and pay for meeting spaces by the hour. The service was launched in 2017 by the founders Christian Schwarz Lausten and Anders Mogensen (CEO). It has 15 employees and is based in Aarhus, Denmark.


CWT Meetings & Events awarded World Figure Skating Championships 2018

CWT Meetings and Events, Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s meetings and events division, has been selected by the International Skating Union (ISU) and the Italian Ice Sports Federation (FISG) to run the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018, which takes place at Milan’s Mediolanum Forum di Assago on 21-25 March.

CWT’s M&E Sport, the events specialist dedicated to sporting events, will coordinate the complex logistics of the five-day event, including PR and marketing. M&E’s involvement extends to overseeing the construction of the skating rink at Piazza Gae Aulenti, and the presentation of a Gala Dinner at the breathtaking Palazzo del Ghiaccio.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to combine sporting passion with the values of Made in Italy," said Stefano Abram, GM of the Organizing Committee, “I am pleased to work with an experienced, reliable partner like CWT M&E. Hosting a World Cup in Italy is a dream come true for those who live sport and its values.”

“Working to successfully deliver an International event at the heart of one of the most dedicated sporting communities is a once-in-a-life time opportunity,” said Raffaele Calia, head of Sales and Marketing at CWT Meetings & Events and M&E Sport.

The ISU World Figure Skating Championships is yet another addition to CWT M&E’s fast-growing roster of events in the world of sports. CWT M&E already partners with UEFA, Dorna, and the Italian National Olympic Committee, for whom it just organized ticketing, logistics, and hospitality at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.


Photo: Pavliuchenko/Khodykin (RUS) shine in Junior Pairs Short Program. Gettys Image, ISU.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About CWT Meetings & Events

CWT Meetings & Events delivers 35,000 innovative, high-quality projects for customers every year – across all industry sectors, globally. Our creative know-how helps us deliver awe-inspiring events, and our logistics expertise guarantees professional meeting services, group travel, and compliance. We manage your strategic meetings management programs with one aim in mind – to maximize your return on investment.

CWT Meetings & Events is Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s meeting & events division.