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Mice Asia Net : October 2008
upfront international South AfricA continueS to kick goAlS and the FIFA World Cup hasn’t even arrived in the country yet. One of its most recent wins was the announcement that Durban will play host to the 123rd International Olympic Committee meeting in 2011. CEO of South African Tourism, Moeketsi Mosola said Durban beat Hong Kong to host the event. “South Africa is now firmly entrenched as a destination with big event capabilities and infrastructure,” Mr Mosola said. “The IOC’s decision to bring its congress here is affirmation of our capacity to host the most high-profile and significant of the world’s conferences, meetings and exhibitions. This is a reputation that South Africa has been working hard to build since it successfully hosted the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 and that won it the right to host the FIFA 2010 World Cup.” The 2011 Climate Change Congress, the 2012 World Conservation Union Conference and the 2015 President’s Golf Tournament are among the significant global events that South Africa is presently bidding to host and to build on the success of hosting the FIFA 2010 World Cup. Etihad Airways has become the first airline from the Gulf region to fly to Belarus with the Abu Dhabi-based carrier launching a twice-weekly service to the country’s capital, Minsk. The inaugural Abu Dhabi to Minsk flight on August 5 was met on arrival with a traditional ‘water-arch’ provided by the airport authorities as it taxied to its parking bay. On arrival, passengers were greeted by a VIP welcoming committee, consisting of the Belarusian government’s minister of transport, Vladimir Sosnovsky and vice minister of tourism, Cheslav Shulga. Etihad chief executive, James Hogan, said to make history as the first airline from the Gulf region to fly to Belarus was a great honour for Etihad Airways. The Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau has changed its name to Business Events Sydney (BES) which managing director, Jon Hutchison says better reflects the nature of the work it does in bringing business events to Sydney. “The name Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau does not really describe what we do. We do not deal with visitors, in terms of leisure, and we do not deal exclusively in conventions. Incentives, exhibitions, corporate events and other forms of meetings are an integral 14 miceAsia.net part of our business.” Mr Hutchison said business events was becoming a global term and the name Business Events Sydney describes “exactly what we are all about: securing business events for Sydney.” DRA, (a division of Hotel Representation Australia) is proud to announce the signing of Asia World, one of Thailand’s leading destination management companies. Established over 10 years ago, Asia World has a strong focus on quality travel programs around Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Bhutan, Nepal, Bali and soon Malaysia. Asia World managing director, Stephen McEvoy said the company handled around 45,000 passengers in Thailand alone in 2007, and 2008 was going to be an even better year. “Thailand is booming and with over 100 staff in our Thailand offices plus sales offices worldwide, nothing is too large or small for us to handle,” he said. DRA’s & HRA’s MD Craig Davies said “having Asia World as a partner is a huge boost for HRA allowing us to sell our boutique properties and now destination management services in Asia as well.” Spotme, the wireless communications technology that won the EIBTM WorldWide Technology Watch Award for innovation after its re-launch in 2007, has arrived in the US, with the company opening offices in Chicago and the New York metro area. Spotme combines audience response, Q&A sessions, messaging, lead retrieval, social networking, attendance tracking and electronic feedback forms to create the only all-in-one communication service for events. The centerpiece of the service is a state- of-the-art wireless handheld device that is distributed to each participant - be it 200 or 5000. Visit www.spotme.com to learn more about this product. Australian-based Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics won the Silver Jupiter at the prestigious International Des Feux Loto-Quebec held in La Rhonde, Montréal, Canada recently. Up against the who’s who of the world pyrotechnic wizards, Howard & Sons’ powerful pyromusical titled ‘Evolve’ lit up the Six Flags theme park in a way rarely seen over the last quarter century that the competition has been held in Montréal. At a special grand finale ceremony, the Australian consulate official Peter Evans accepted the award on behalf of Howard & Sons. The Gold Jupiter was won by the USA who produced a very grand pyromusical titled