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Mice Asia Net : January 2009
upfront international Reed launches ameRicas meetings tRade show Reed Travel Exhibitions recently announced it is launching a new international trade show for the global meetings and incentive industry – the Americas Incentive Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM) to be held in Baltimore, Maryland from June 29 – July 1, 2010. This new event completes the company’s established portfolio of ‘IBTM’ exhibitions specifically serving the global meetings industry marketplace. AIBTM joins EIBTM in Barcelona, GIBTM in Abu Dhabi, and CIBTM in Beijing. The portfolio also includes AIME, Melbourne and the ICCA Congress Exhibition held in a different destination each year. Reed Travel Exhibitions group exhibition director, Paul Kennedy, said following a two-year research and business development plan for AIBTM it was clear there was a real need and demand for an Americas event that delivered domestic and international exhibitors and buyers. “AIBTM will be based on the hugely successful EIBTM model and with our considerable expertise and reputation in the meetings sector in providing best business, best education and best networking – is highly targeted, matching exhibitors with quality hosted buyers and visitors with the power to do business,” he said. “What impressed us most [with the city of Baltimore] was the enthusiasm, desire and ability shown by the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association, the convention centre, DMCs and hotels.” President and CEO of the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association, Tom Noonan, said this was a major coup for the city. “We are delighted to have been chosen as the host city for AIBTM for at least the next five years, and look forward to working with Reed Travel Exhibitions.” The Society of Incentive Travel Executives has selected South Africa as the host country for the SITE International Conference 2010, set for December 4 to 7. The event will bring the leaders of the design and delivery of motivational experiences and travel rewards, a multi-billion dollar global industry, to Cape Town. SITE CEO Brenda Anderson said the choice to go to South Africa fully aligns with SITE’s strategic vision. “As a global leader in our space, what better way to live our mission than to select a destination that exemplifies diversity, growth and an eye for the future,” she said. Still in Cape Town, Cape Town and the Western Cape province of South Africa secured eight major world conferences in late 2008. The events are scheduled to take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre between 2011 and 2014. Between them, over a combined 41 days, the eight conferences will be bringing in R129 million (US$11.8 million) and roughly 9650 delegates. South African Tourism’s annual Meetings Africa exhibition will take place in Johannesburg from February 23 to 27. Last year close to 3000 visitors attended the event, including local corporate buyers and media. This year’s hosted buyer program will include meeting and incentive planners from the UK, US, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, China, Japan, Italy and India. The 14th Australasian Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Conference (ARSPC) was held in Darwin in September and exceeded delegate numbers with more than 340 delegates in attendance from 18 different countries including the US, Indonesia, Japan and India. Dr Renee Bartolo, Conference Convenor, said “The venue was great and we will definitely bring another conference to the Darwin Convention Centre. They were flexible in delivering on our “out of the square” needs. Additionally the Northern Territory Convention Bureau helped us to put together the most comprehensive bid that had ever been put forward for the conference.” A major European meetings industry report presented at EIBTM in Barcelona in December by The Right Solution MD Sally Greenhill revealed the ‘Mood of the Market’ was optimistic and upbeat, yet acknowledges there is a challenging year ahead for the sector. The research, conducted by The Right Solution in conjunction with Reed Travel Exhibitions, surveyed 700 meetings industry professionals, including association and corporate in-house organisers and PCOs, from a range of countries across Europe. The results showed that 64 per cent say the economic climate and pressure to reduce costs are the key factor of influence for next year. However, 25 per cent of respondents were set to organise more international events in 2009, nine per cent to organise more national events, and 35 per cent set to keep events about the same as last year. When it came to budgets, 39 per cent already see a decrease in budgets for 2009. The Philippines tourism sector, including the meetings and incentives market, remains resilient despite the global economic crisis, according to the Secretary of Tourism, Ace Durano. Speaking at the ITB Asia exhibition in Singapore in late 2008, Mr Durano said the Philippines market would be targeting its immediate neighbours in Asia which they see has huge growth potential despite the economic slowdown. Philippines head of the ITB Asia delegation, Rica Bueno, said tourism arrivals to the Philippines from the Asia Pacific accounts for about 18 per cent of all visitors. “We have positioned the Philippines as a destination of choice in Asia with a strong emphasis on leisure and incentive travel,” he said. The Philippines Department of Tourism believes the introduction of specialised products in the incentive and adventure sectors has been responsible for a 12 per cent growth in visitations from Australia in the first quarter of 2008. From January to October 2008 visitations from the ASEAN region grew by 8.64 per cent. miceAsia.net 9