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Mice Asia Net : July 2008
business events australia visitors an insight into the rich cultural heritage of Russia. After lunch the group participated in a “make your own vodka” exercise with plenty of fun had by all! A visit to Moscow is not complete without travelling to the world-famous and beautifully decorated underground metro stations, sometimes known as the Underground Palace. Warning: All underground signs are in Russian and it can be rather tricky to find your way around! Arm yourself with a metro map and if you require help, just point to the station you need to get to! Dinner that evening was facilitated at the Hodinka Ice Stadium, with a special surprise personal performance by Russia’s best figure skaters. The next morning Moscow highlights were shared via a guided boat tour on the Moscow River. After the tour the group was taken to GUM, a large department store stretching 242 metres along the eastern side of Red Square. The group was escorted to the Champions Village outside Luzhniki Stadium where they enjoyed dinner before entering the stadium for the highlight of the trip: The UEFA Champions League final – Manchester United vs Chelsea. A packed stadium with a nerve-wracking final determined by penalty shootouts was a perfect way to end a perfect incentive! SPECIAL TOUCHES: * Transferring the guests from Peterhoff to the Hermitage via hydrofoil * Helicopter flip over St Petersburg * Themed and in traditional costume, Peter the Great meets the group and delivers gifts * Transferring guests to the Russian vodka-making experience in black Volga automobiles * Taking the Grand Express overnight train from St Petersburg to Moscow * Make your own Vodka activity CHALLENGES: Da! (Yes) - It was the language barrier! OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGE: American Express Travel Services employed the services of a Russian and English speaking guide who played a vital role in the success of the program. The guide was not only proficient in English and Russian, but was also a wealth of knowledge and great fun to have as an accompaniment to the group. CLIENT’S COMMENTS: “… the most amazing trip I ever had in my career …” “… in a few days I feel I have discovered the beauty, richness and heritage of St Petersburg and Moscow and at the same time watched the most important football match of the year…” “… The itinerary was fantastic and challenging due to all the different activities but so rewarding for me as for the whole team using all the transport options you can think about; from plane to helicopter, from metro to bus and from train to boat…” “… I truly enjoyed myself and thank you for such a cosmopolitan experience…” Column by Joyce DiMascio Head of business events australia tourism australia you’re invited We Warmly invite you to australia for your next incentive, meeting or conference. O ver the past 12 months, Tourism Australia has put the spotlight on business events through an invigorated trade marketing programme targeting key markets across Asia. Growth from China, India and Korea has achieved record results as more companies gather their teams for important meetings. We are delighted to be servicing these markets and especially to be receiving repeat business. Australia’s natural environment continues to be a major drawcard. In addition, our quality soft and hard infrastructure has given Australia an enviable reputation for exceeding on our clients’ expectations. Our venues, hotels, attractions, transport and logistics companies and our creative services have a reputation for success in event delivery whether it be the small high-end glamour incentive event for 200 to larger gatherings like the Amway meeting for 7000 held in Melbourne in April 2008 (see article page ??). But the competition only continues to grow and Australia will meet this challenge by working with even greater passion and creativity. Over the next 12 months, airline capacity to Australia will be significantly boosted as operators take delivery of their new fleet of A380s. This will present some exciting times for Australia. At the time of writing, the cost of fuel has reached record levels putting pressure on airlines to review their operations. Despite the pressures on airline travel, companies still continue to meet to do business – by incentivising, rewarding, planning, launching and celebrating together. The Australian industry is investing a further AU$3.8 billion in business events infrastructure – from new and ‘green’ convention centres in Darwin and Melbourne to luxury accommodation and unique incentive programmes. Business Events Australia will continue to focus on promoting Australia’s expertise as a world class destination. I encourage you to find our more at businessevents.australia.com. miceAsia.net 17