magazine the

Europe | middle east | africa | asia-pacific
caribbean | Mexico | Latin America
november/december 2007
Page 3
Page 4
Association &
Trade Show News
Page 8
Regional Roundup
Page 16
Dominican Republic:
Beaches to Big City
Page 18
Los Cabos: Where Desert
Beauty Meets Ocean Vistas
Page 22
Sensational Singapore
Has It All
Page 28
Czech Republic Offers
the Best Of Europe
Golf Incentives Reign in Spain
By Nancy Mann Jackson
ore than 200 new golf
courses have opened
in Spain since 1990,
and another 300 courses are on
the drawing board for the next
decade. As a result, Spain has
become one of Europe’s fastest
growing golf destinations,
according to Gordon Dalgleish,
President and Co-Founder of
PerryGolf (,
a full-service, international golf
tour operating company. Along
with its bounty of well-designed
courses, Spain offers natural
beauty, unique cultural attractions and plenty of top-notch
accommodations, making it an
ideal choice for golf-based incentive programs.
“A growing number of the
nation’s top resorts offer a way
to sample the rich culture of
Spain along with the country’s
bountiful golf,” Dalgleish says.
“The culture, delectable dining,
continued on page 10
Meetings and Events: How to ‘Get Green’
By Nancy Wilson, CMP, and Amy Spatrisano, CMP
"Greening” an event encompasses
all aspects of the planning process.
By making choices at every planning level – from site selection to
transportation to food & beverage
decisions – the environmental
impact of an event can be significantly reduced. Going green means
taking steps to minimize waste
through recycling, composting
and avoiding disposable items,
to decrease energy consumption
and to use products with post-consumer recycled content and food
that is organic, local or fair trade.
Green meetings also incorporate
social aspects such as charitable
donations and projects that give
back to the community.
Why It’s Important
The environmental impact of a
small meeting or incentive group
may not seem important – after
all, what difference do a few
dozen cups and napkins make?
But think about what happens
on a large scale: During a typical
five-day event, 2,500 attendees
will use 62,500 plates, 87,500
continued on page 13
A Bright Future for
a Major League Industry
By Frank J. Katusak
staggering $77.1 billion. That’s
the total market size of the incentive travel, motivational meetings
and special events industry. Companies
using incentive travel spent $13.4 billion
last year. The market for motivational
meetings was $25.9 billion, with another
$37.8 billion spent on special events.
When compared to the general travel
and tourism industry – one of America’s
largest service exports, with $93 billion
spent by international visitors in the
United States and $89 billion spent outside the U.S. by domestic travelers – it’s
even more apparent that the market for
incentive travel, motivational meetings
and special events is huge. And widespread: 66% of companies say they used
these proven and important tools last
year to improve their businesses.
These statistics were revealed in the
2007 Industry Profile Study: The Market
for Incentive Travel, Motivational
Meetings and Special Events in the
United States, commissioned by The
Incentive Research Foundation and conducted by GfK, an international market
research company. Some other key stats:
• Last year, the average corporate
budget for incentive travel was
$164,300; the typical budget for motivational meetings was $68,300; and
for special events it was $78,000.
• On average, large companies (with
$100 million or more in revenues)
sponsored 3.6 incentive travel trips
last year, with the average number
of participants being 157. “Motivate
to sell more,” “maintain high morale”
and “motivate productivity,” are the
three most frequently cited objectives of incentive travel in terms of
• The number of motivational meetings
per company in 2006 was 4.7, with
an average 197 participants at each.
Companies sponsored 91.3 special
events last year, with business meetings being the most common type of
special event.
Ripe With Opportunity
According to the study, 50% of end-users
seek the help of a provider in planning
incentive travel events, while the rest
plan them on their own. This is an area
ripe with opportunity for incentive travel
providers. Many companies don’t realize
all that goes into pulling off an effective
program. It must have proper design,
promotion, communications, administration and superior award delivery.
Often, do-it-yourselfers take the planning of such an event for granted, and
after doing so they usually turn to professionals for future programs. The high
proportion of do-it-yourselfers points to
the need for incentive travel providers
to do a better job educating the market
on the value of services offered by the
industry. The statistics also suggest that
the industry should consider creating
an education campaign that explains all
that goes into putting on a successful
Incentive travel, motivational meet-
I&MI Media
Incentives & Meetings International
Tel: +33 4 9811 3666
Fax: +33 4 9811 3667
BP 23, 20 Rue des Arapedes
83380 Les Issambres, France
ings and special events take on added
importance given the current state of
the U.S. economy. During tough economic times and in the face of corporate downsizing, these business tools
become even more important to ensure
that employees are working to their
full potential.
One thing’s for sure: The $77 billion
that was spent last year certainly has a
wide-reaching ripple effect that benefits
many industries.
Take the typical budget for a motivational meeting, for example. It includes
meals, speaker fees, site rental costs,
communication costs and transportation.
Some even include awards, promotional
materials, entertainment and lodging in
the budget.
Plus, spending on these important
tools isn’t predicted to decline any time
soon. More than half believe spending
for incentive travel will increase over the
next two years, and 87% believe special
events budgets will remain the same or
increase over the next two years.
The future is certainly bright.
Frank J. Katusak is President of the
Incentive Research Foundation, headquartered in New York, which funds and
promotes research to advance the science,
enhance the awareness and appropriate
application of motivation and incentives
in business and industry globally. GfK
is based in Germany and is the fourth
largest marketing research organization
in the world. I&MI
Bill LaViolette
Advertising Sales
Anne LaViolette
Managing Director
[email protected]
[email protected]
Regional Director of Sales
Greater China, Philippines, Taiwan
Anne LaViolette
Jamie MacDonald
[email protected]
+852 6083 3511
[email protected]
Associate Publisher
UK & Select European Markets
Barbara Shapiro
Richard Kern
[email protected]
+44 20 8870 1839
Associate Publisher
Mexico, Latin America, Caribbean
[email protected]
Chris Michaelides
[email protected]
+1 703 443 0717
Dennis Coronel
Associate Publisher
Editorial Director
Art Director
CMY&K Advertising, Inc.
[email protected]
+66 2 261 2160
Dina Chan
Visit us at
Member of: SITE, MPI, ICCA
association & trade show news
FITUR Congresos
Expands Space
Incentives & Meetings International is
introducing a new service to showcase
select international destinations to
qualified buyers of MICE programs.
I&MI Media
are designed to
give buyers a first-hand experience to visit
selected countries where unique and
unusual opportunities for meetings and
incentive groups have been discovered. In
each country quality suppliers have been
sought out, relationships established and
their professional ability to handle
meetings and incentive groups certified.
These inspections are organized at a low
cost so that buyers can contribute to their
own education. In some cases the cost of
the inspection is refunded when a
program is booked.
of California
(WIN) will be
responsible for creating and
managing the educational site inspections
for I&MI readers. WIN has been designing
and conducting small group inspections
for almost ten years to Latin America.
Inspections planned for the near future
Acapulco Argentina
Aruba Brazil
Costa Rica Vera Cruz
Dominican Republic
Los Cabos Panama
Go to the I&MI web site for details and to
submit the registration qualification form:
The 28th edition of FITUR will incorporate two new halls at Feria de Madrid,
Halls 12 and 14. The exhibition will be
distributed throughout all 12 halls at the
center, representing a gross exhibition
area measuring some 200,000 sqm/2.15
million sqft. The two new halls at Feria
de Madrid boost the exhibition center’s
functional appeal, helping to consolidate
Madrid’s leading role in Europe within
this field.
Hall 12, which measures 14,400 sqm/
155,000 sqft, is a space with enormous
possibilities for staging all kinds of
events in addition to fairs, including
sports competitions. At the same time,
the trade registration and access procedures will be speeded up, with the whole
of Hall 2 being set aside exclusively for
visitor registration, a procedure that can
also be carried out in the new halls and
at the North Gate.
The products and services offered by
tourism companies will now move to
Halls 4, 12 and 14 on the ground floor.
The rest of the even-numbered halls – 6,
8 and 10 – will house the international
section. Asia, the Pacific, Africa, international hotel chains and global companies
will reside in Hall 6; the Americas are
located in Hall 8; Europe, North Africa
and the Near East will be in Hall 10. As
far as the national section of the fair is
concerned, the Official Spanish Bodies
and Organizations will be distributed
throughout Halls 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9.
The 28th edition of FITUR will
take place between 30 January and 3
February 2008, at Feria de Madrid. For
more information, go to
New Exhibitors
Broaden AIME
A greater diversity of products and
services for the meetings and incentive
industry is expected to be on display
at next year’s Asia-Pacific Incentives
& Meetings Expo (AIME), following a
strong response from companies wishing
to participate for the first time.
“There has been an increase in demand
from companies in the leisure tourism
sector who have not previously exhibited at AIME but are now recognizing
the value of the lucrative incentive and
pre- and post-conferencing market,” says
AIME Sales Manager Stephen Ricardo,
adding that the strong mix of new
exhibitors, combined with AIME’s highly
regarded exhibitor base of hotels, venues,
convention & tourism bureaus, airlines
and service providers, will add a new
dimension to the event in 2008. “Visitors
and buyers to AIME 2008 will see an
exciting variety of new products and serC
vices on display. There will be everything
for the high-end buyer to the individual
planner or person from the corporateY
world simply looking for some great new
ideas for their next event,” notes Ricardo.
Held annually at the Melbourne
Exhibition Centre in Australia, AIME
attracts a large local audience of more
than 2,000 trade buyers and a strong
global attendance through its hosted
buyer program. A series of new initiatives will make doing business at AIME
2008 even easier for hosted buyers.
Exhibitors will be asked to provide more
detailed profiles in order to assist hosted
buyers to better choose who they would
most like to see. New, improved search
facilities on the AIME website will also
assist exhibitors and hosted buyers to
find the information they require. Hosted
buyers commit to 22 appointments with
continued on page 6
Perched on the stunning Telegraph Bay on Hong Kong’s south side, Le Méridien Cyberport
is a stylish haven with ultra-chic vibes pulsing from its fluid design and urban cool colors.
Fitted with cutting-edge technology and upscale amenities, our 170 fashionable guest rooms
offer the ideal sanctuary to rest and relax, whilst facing the panoramic views of the South China Sea.
Dine in über-chic restaurants or chill-out at our hip bars as the sun sets over one of the world’s
busiest shipping lanes.
Within minutes of central and on the doorstep to Cyberport’s revolutionary conference and
entertainment venues, you can browse high-end retailers or unwind amidst the foliage of the
oceanfront at your leisure.
‘Best Hi-tech Hotel’- 2007 Travel Weekly Asia Industry Awards.
Le Méridien Cyberport
100 Cyberport Road, Hong Kong
+ 852 2980 7788
Fax + 852 2980 7888
Email + [email protected]
association & trade show news
continued from page 4
exhibitors. Appointment preferences
are selected electronically by hosted
buyers and exhibitors and then computer
matched. Appointments can be viewed
using AIME’s Online Diary.
AIME 2008 will be held at the
Melbourne Exhibition Centre February
19-20. For further information, visit the
AIME website at
Trends Revealed
in IMEX Poll
Expectations for the MICE sector remain
extremely positive, according to the
results of the latest Meetings Industry
Outlook research by IMEX. The findings
represent the views of approximately
100 buyers and agents in 12 European
and Scandinavian countries, and point
to considerable optimism for the next
two years. Some highlights:
• Asked to rank those factors that
influence venue selection, participants put “good value for the money/
fitting within the agreed budget”
at the top of the list, followed by a
“venue with ideal facilities.” A “safe
and secure location” is also increasingly important.
• The most frequently mentioned trends
affecting planning include demand
for airport venues to reduce traveling
times; an increasing recognition that
motivational programs are important
to staff retention; the surging demand
to find unspoiled and unvisited destinations; a move towards shorter, more
focused, better value meetings; the use
of e-meetings technology to make the
educational program more inspiring,
notably through video-conferencing;
and more rigid government rules
affecting the pharmaceutical sector
and more bureaucracy generally.
• There is increasing acknowledgement of the real costs of an event
(i.e. allowing for travel time, salaries, planning resources); last year’s
figure of around 20% has nearly
doubled (38%). One highlighted consideration that makes such real ROI
appraisal more difficult is that different corporate budgets are involved
– i.e., both local and central, and
sourced from both administration
and marketing departments.
• Despite widespread media coverage
for the wider concerns of the environment and corporate social responsibility, fewer than half of buyers admit
their full engagement with these
topics. Supporters stress that they
pre-check destinations and venues for
their sustainability initiatives; aim to
recycle; undertake carbon offsetting;
try to reduce international travel;
and work alongside local charities. In
contrast are opinions which argue that
it’s more of a public issue, not that of
the meetings industry, and that it’s up
to governments to tackle, not specific
sectors or individual businesses.
MPI Steering
Committee in India
Meeting Professionals International
(MPI) announced the formation of a
steering committee that will lead to the
creation of a MPI India Chapter. Scheduled to officially begin its activities
in 2008, the new chapter is further
evidence of MPI’s commitment to its
new vision and global strategy. The
announcement was made during a
function held at Hyderabad International Convention Center (HICC) by
Mr. Didier Scaillet, MPI Vice President
of Global Development. “The development of this chapter fits in with India’s
vision to develop a vibrant ecosystem of
world-class meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions and international
organizations, which play an instrumental role in the professional development of the India meetings industry,”
said Scaillet. “A strong presence in India
will provide a community platform that
will support our members who have
an interest or desire to expand their
business into or from this region of the
This year’s winner is Shockfish SA’s new
SPOTME, a wireless communication
system for meetings, conferences and
events. The judging committee scored
this product highly in all three judging
criteria: innovation, completeness of concept and value to users at events. The
centerpiece of the service is a purpose-
built wireless handheld device that provides event information and communication tools to participants. Shockfish SA
will be displaying the new SPOTME at
On Wednesday, November 28, the
booth 0513/0514 in the MPI Technology
winner of the 2007 WorldWide
Village at this year’s EIBTM. Runners
Technology Watch Award will be honup, who have also demonstrated very
ored at EIBTM – the Global Meetings
Uhr Seite
are: 1
& Incentives Exhibition – in Barcelona.
eTouches, Jambo Networks, Jot Event
Technology Watch
Award Winner
yo u r r e c e p t i o n .
yo u r c o n f e r e n c e ro o m .
Messaging Systems and nTAG.
Scholarship Recipient
The International SITE Foundation
(ISITE) has named Aniko Takacs of Budapest, Hungary as the first recipient of
the David Riddell Memorial Scholarship.
Takacs, an incentive coordinator for Aktiv
Tours Budapest, included a white paper
with her scholarship submission entitled
Incentive Travel as a Motivational Tool –
How Businesses and Individuals Benefit.
The David Riddell Memorial Scholarship
honors one of SITE’s most active members
and past president David Riddell. The
scholar receives full registration, transportation and accommodations for the SITE
International Conference in Monterey,
California, USA, December 6-9, 2007. The
scholarship is made possible by a generous
donation from Marriott Corporation, as
well as gifts from the SITE membership. Additional donations are still being
accepted for the David Riddell Memorial
Scholarship. For more information, visit
yo u r s e rv i c e .
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i n p a l a i s n i e d e rö s t e r r e i c h .
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business center and a 1,000 sqm/10,764 sqft
The new Congress
Willow Stream Spa offering fitness facilities
Center Hamburg
and a swimming pool.
(CCH) was inaugurated
Anantara Resorts is set to open a
in an official ceremony
luxurious boutique property on a prime
on October 8. CCH now features a modern
beachfront location in the chic resort area
conference area, a spacious exhibition hall
of Seminyak, Bali. Anantara Resort
and a roof garden featuring 40,000 plants
Seminyak, with a total of just 59 luxurious
in its 8,000 sqm/86,111 sqft space. The
suites, is scheduled to open on December
expansion work just completed increases
15th this year. The property features a
      
the capacity of CCH to 16,000 seats and
rooftop bar with settees and oversized
      
12,000 sqm/129,167 sqft of exhibition space.
cushions for guests to soak in the Balinese
        
The new Mövenpick Hotel Stuttgart
sunset. Other features include an infinity
      
Airport, a 4-star superior business hotel
edge pool, a first-class fitness facility and
      
with 326 rooms and suites in the immediate
Bali’s first Anantara Spa.
        
      
vicinity of the new exhibition center, opened
        
its doors on October 4. The new property
    
includes 16 multifunctional conference and
Starwood Hotels &
seminar rooms with a maximum capacity of
Resorts has announced
500 delegates.
that it will develop
Hilton Garden Inn announced it will
hotel and residences
open the Hilton Garden Inn Rzeszów
complex in South America. St. Regis
in Rzeszów Poland at the end of 2008.
Hotel & Residences, Buenos Aires will
The newly built 102-room hotel will
open in 2010, featuring 160 guest rooms
form part of the Millennium Hall retail, 
meetings, and the grand ballroom
and suites with views of the city’s bustling
entertainment and business complex,
handle large events of up to 700 people.
waterfront on the Rio de la Plata. The
comprised of 180 shops and restaurants,
Regent Hotels & Resorts has announced
newly constructed St. Regis property will
an extensive congress/concert center,
plans to expand its portfolio of luxury hotels
include more than 1,486 sqm/16,000 sqft
multi-screen cinema complex and leisure
with the Regent Emirates Pearl in Abu
of meeting space, two restaurants, a wine
and fitness facilities, as well as conference
Dhabi. Scheduled to open in 2010, the
room, lounge, fitness center, swimming
and meeting facilities supported by a
hotel will offer 365 rooms and 70 furnished
pool, business center and spa.
24-hour business center.
apartments housed in a 47-story glass
Grupo Posadas has announced the
tower. The Regent Emirates Pearl will offer
opening of its newest property, the
private beach access, indoor and outdoor
Sun International Resorts pools, a health club and a luxury spa. The
Fiesta Americana Grand Guadalajara
and Hotels announces the
Country Club. The elegant 208-room
hotel will also feature a multi-purpose
mid-November opening
hotel opened on August 28 of this year,
ballroom, an on-site business center, six
of its new Port Ghalib
offering guests a state-of-the-art meeting
boardrooms and two conference rooms.
Resort on Egypt’s Red Sea coast. A manfacility that can accommodate events
made saltwater swimming lagoon covers
for up to 420 people. In addition, the
Langham Hotels
13.67 sqkm/5.28 square miles and forms
hotel features a spa, a fitness center, a
International announces
the central feature of the resort complex,
boutique and a kids’ club, as well as other
the launch of its first
around which the 5-star Palace at Port
luxury services.
Langham Place Eco
Ghalib and the 5-star Sahara Sun Sands
The Sheraton Cable Beach Resort
Resort + Spa. Located on Lanta Yai
and Sahara Sun Oasis hotels are located.
in the Bahamas has moved up the
Island in southern Thailand, the Langham
The property offers extensive marine,
completion date of its new meeting
Place Eco Resort + Spa is a five-star resort
sports and leisure facilities, a health
facilities to December 2007 – two months
featuring 185 rooms and villas that extend
spa and a state-of-the-art International
ahead of schedule. The resort’s meeting
directly from the beach up the hillside
Convention Centre.
facilities will consist of 2,322 sqm/25,000
overlooking Klong Tob Bay. The Resort
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
sqft of indoor and outdoor function space,
+ Spa is also designed to host meetings,
recently opened the Four Seasons Hotel
which can accommodate meetings or
incentive trips and special events.
Alexandria in the heart of the Egyptian
events of up to 1,200 attendees. The
Reignwood Group and Fairmont Hotels
city’s San Stefano district. The 118-room
largest facility – a 1,161 sqm/12,500 sqft
hotel stands on the historic site of the fabled & Resorts recently announced that the new
ballroom – will be complemented by four
Fairmont Beijing is scheduled to open in
San Stefano Hotel, with each guestroom
additional breakout rooms for meetings
the summer of 2008. The 25-story hotel will
and suite offering private balconies with
and banquets, as well as pre-function
feature 235 guestrooms, restaurants, bars,
views of the sea and the city. The hotel
areas for group registration, cocktail
function space, a multi-purpose theatre,
is also designed to host conferences and
receptions and meeting breaks.  I&MI
Golf Incentives Spain
continued from cover
overflowing nightlife, classical architecture and inviting climate make Spain a
perfect destination.”
Andalusia Attractions
Several of Spain’s most popular golf
resort towns are located along the Costa
del Sol in Spain’s Andalusia region. This
part of the country is ideal for an incentive trip for a number of reasons. “First of
all, the climate is excellent practically all
year round,” says Thomas MacFarlane,
with Event Planner Spain (www.event “There are over 110
golf courses in Andalusia, a number that
increases every year.” The Costa del
Sol and the Atlantic Coast have a large
number of excellent four- and five-star
hotels, most of which have golf desks
and a complete range of complimentary
“Andalusian cuisine is also justly
famous, with a broad range of dishes,
including shellfish and fish from the
Mediterranean and the Atlantic, local
market garden produce, game, cheeses,
succulent Pata Negra ham and, of course,
exquisite olive oil and literally hundreds of tapas,” MacFarlane continues.
“Andalusia also produces sherry and
other wines, and the region has a fascinating history and all kinds of different
landscapes, from the high mountains
of Sierra Nevada in Granada, arable
land, olive groves and pastures, to the
dune-lined Atlantic coast and the Desert
of Tabernas, the only one of its kind in
With the wide selection of golf courses
and resorts along the Costa del Sol, the
most difficult decision is choosing which
course is right for your group. One of the
most famous is Valderrama, which was
the site of the 1997 Ryder Cup. In addi-
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Paseo de la Sierra, 38-20, 29018 Malaga (Spain)
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[email protected]
tion to Valderrama, PerryGolf’s Dalgleish
also recommends Sotogrande Old and the
Old Course at San Roque. Some of the
other top courses in the area for incentive groups are the Real Club de Golf
Sotogrande, Marbella Resort and Finca
Cortesin, according to Seamus Whooley
of Golf Experience (www.golfexperience.
net), another golf tour operator specializing in the Costa del Sol. Along with
these recommendations, MacFarlane says
Event Planner Spain features numerous
member golf courses that offer incentive
Just as important as locating the right
golf course is finding the right accommodations where your guests can get
pampered and rested. In the coastal
resort town of Marbella, which features 25.7 km/16 miles of sun-bathed
beaches, Dalgleish recommends the
Marbella Club, which he says offers
“a fine design accented by views of
Gibraltar, the Mediterranean and the
African coastline,” or the Hotel Villa
Padierna, “a Tuscan-themed resort run
by the Ritz-Carlton,” where a Romanstyle amphitheater located just outside
the spa overlooks part of the golf course.
Whooley and MacFarlane also recommend Puerto Banus, Sotogrande, San
Pedro de Alcantara and Estepona, all
resorts located on the Costa del Sol. To
aid planners in their search for the right
property, MacFarlane’s company, Event
Planner Spain, offers a list of five-star
hotels on the Costa del Sol on its website.
When your group is finished golfing,
the Andalusia region offers numerous
other attractions and activities worth
exploring. “There are many interesting
cities and towns, the great majority of
which are near enough for daytrips, with
splendid monuments and museums,”
MacFarlane says. For those who are
a little more energetic, there’s skiing
and winter sports in Granada; adventure and high-risk sports and hiking
throughout the region; horse trekking
and riding classes; bullfighting and
tours of bull farms and horse studs; wine
tours and tastings (especially in Jerez
de la Frontera); windsurfing and kiteboarding in Tarifa and Bolonia; and all
kinds of water sports and fishing on the
Mediterranean and Atlantic Coast.
The region of Andalusia also has three
casinos and a number of cultural attractions, including flamenco shows and fes-
tivals, organized boat trips on yachts or
sailboats, whale and dolphin spotting and
boat trips down the Guadalquivir River
with dinner included. For celebrations
and meetings, the region offers a number
of venues, including castles, monasteries,
stately homes, haciendas, mansions,
country estates, botanical gardens, bullrings, palaces, charming hotels and traditional congress and convention centers.
Whooley notes that the Costa del Sol
offers an established tourism infrastructure with Europe’s best all year round
golf. “There is ease of access from all over
the world, as Malaga Airport is one of
Europe’s biggest and best served. There’s
a variety of visitor-friendly courses,
there’s no linguistic barrier, despite the
perception of one, and the climate is perfect – 300 days of sunshine per annum,”
he says.
Catalonia Captivates
The most sought-after golf destination on the Mediterranean Coast is
Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city
and the capital of the Catalonia region.
“Barcelona is one of the world’s leading
venues for corporate events and exhibitions, and it looks set to grow with
its continuous expansion,” says Ian
Denham, Director of BCN Golf (www., a Barcelona-based
golf travel company. “Barcelona offers
everything from an exciting nightlife
to some of the world’s finest restaurants and a cultural history second
to none. It is also ideally situated for
visiting the golf courses on the Costa
Brava and the Costa Dorada. The area
is rich in culture; some of the names
that attract one’s attention include
Gaudi and Picasso. And then there are
the 1992 Olympic Games, which put
Barcelona on the world map.”
Some of the most sought-after
courses in the area are the PGA de
Catalunya and the Real Club de Golf
El Prat. The PGA de Catalunya, listed
as one of the 10 best courses in Europe
by Golf World magazine, is a stunning course with the Pyrenees as a
continued on page 12
Golf Incentives Spain
continued from page 11
backdrop. Designed by Neil Coles and
Angel Gallardo, the PGA de Catalunya
opened in 1998, hosting the Sarazen
World Open in 1999 and
the Spanish Open in
2000. Located near the
small town of Caldes de
Malavella near Girona,
the course is “set on
undulating land with
evergreens, oak trees and
heather lining its perfect
fairways,” says Denham.
The Real Club de Golf El Prat first
opened in 1954 and has now been
moved to its new home in Terrassa on
the outskirts of Barcelona. Designed
by Greg Norman, the course includes
Understanding creates Networking. Networking creates
Experience. Experience creates Knowledge. Knowledge
creates Technology. Technology creates Convenience.
Convenience creates Well-being. Well-being creates
Feeling. Feeling creates Motivation. Motivation creates
Participation. Participation creates Meetings!
45 holes and is set in beautiful rolling
countryside. “With its modern facilities
and spectacular design, the Real Club
de Golf El Prat, without a doubt, will
be holding competitions both national
and international in the very near
future,” predicts Denham.
Near Barcelona, the Costa Brava
was voted the world’s best emerging
golf destination by IAGT in 2000. The
Costa Brava is “one of the most beautiful and picturesque parts of Spain,”
says Denham, adding that it offers an
array of superb hotels with facilities
for meetings and conventions.
Along with excellent golf courses and
top-notch hotels and resorts, Barcelona
and the entire Catalonia region offer
plenty of options for groups. “Catalonia
isn’t just the home of some beautiful and testing golf courses; it’s
also famous for its culture, food and
wine, the exciting day and nightlife
of Barcelona, beautiful beaches and
crystal waters and most of all the
warmth and friendliness of its people,”
Denham notes.
Incentive groups visiting the area
may be interested in a trip to the
Penedes wine-producing region of
Catalonia, which is well known around
the world for both its wine and its
caves. Visiting groups can sample
wines and enjoy lunch at a typical
Catalan Masia restaurant. Also in
Catalonia, the Mountain of Montserrat
is a popular attraction for groups.
Its peaks rise over 4,000 feet and it
is home to a Benedictine monastery
founded in the 11th century. The
Montserrat Abbey has become world
famous for its boys’ choir, Excolania,
and school of music, which is considered to be the choir of oldest European
tradition. “A trip to the top of the
mountain offers some breathtaking
views of the surrounding countryside,”
Denham adds. I&MI
How to
‘Get Green’
continued from cover
napkins, 75,000 cups or glasses and
90,000 cans or bottles. Plus there are all
the greenhouse emissions from people
traveling to and from the conference and
paper and plastic waste from conference
Now multiply that by the thousands of
meetings produced each year worldwide,
and the environmental impact is staggering. That’s why it’s important to make
changes whenever possible, because
every meeting can make a difference
and reduce its environmental and social
Food and Beverage Decisions
The choices event planners make about
food and beverages are critical to the
well-being of the guests, the budget and
the planet. These choices have become
increasingly complicated as guests have
come to expect food that fits their daily
way of life, whether it’s low-carb, organic
or one of many other options. This not
only involves choices about the food and
beverages served, but also about how
they’re served. Here are a few ideas to
make those decisions easier:
communities and offers fresher seasonal
and regional choices without the transportation impact. It’s also a great way to
celebrate the local flavor of the region.
Local and organic is the optimal preference, if available.
Choose seafood from sustainable
fisheries. Increased consumer demand
for seafood is depleting fish stocks around
the world and harming the health of the
oceans. Today, nearly 70% of the world’s
fisheries are fully fished or over-fished.
Simply choosing seafood from the guides
below will take the guess work out of
menu selection:
• The Monterey Bay Aquarium publishes
Seafood Watch, a guide for
consumers. They provide a
free pocket guide you can
download and carry.
• Blue Ocean Institute
also publishes a
Mini-Guide to Ocean
Friendly Seafood in a
pocket guide format.
It is available for free at:
Choose food based on the history of attendees’ preferences and
attrition. Planners need to know a
group’s preferences – whether a hearty
salad is plenty or a full warm meal is
their favorite – and then order accordingly. In addition, guarantee meals based
on their history. Are they early risers
who all show up for breakfast, or do they
arrive just before the general session,
rushing in at the last minute and grabbing a cup of coffee? Do they skip the
conference lunch to have smaller business meetings at local restaurants? If this
history isn’t available, ask attendees to
sign up for meals in advance, saving both
money and food.
Choose not to serve individual
water bottles. Serving water from large
pitchers or containers saves a tremendous amount of money (an average of $5
per bottle, depending on the venue). Do
the math. One client realized $25,000 in
savings over the course of the conference.
It also saves all those plastic bottles from
getting into the planet’s waste stream.
Location, Location, Location
Does the location of the meeting really
make a difference? Absolutely!
Choosing a destination that’s
conducive to the event’s
purpose and takes into
account the location of
attendees is the first
step in producing a
successful conference
or meeting. It’s also the first step in
producing an earth-friendly event.
With this in mind, take a look at the
attendees’ geographic locations to determine possible sites requiring minimal
travel for all participants. Understand
why it matters economically, environmencontinued on page 14
Choose food in season. From
economic, health, and environmental
standpoints, choosing food in season in
the local area has great benefits. Buying
locally grown products helps support local
          
How to
‘Get Green’
continued from page 13
tally and for the greater satisfaction of
your guests. And then, as always, begin
asking questions…
Is the city served by a number of
airlines that allow for direct flights
or a minimum of stops? No one really
enjoys layovers, changing planes and
extra time to get to a destination, not
to mention the environmental considerations.
Is the city’s mass transit system
adequate? Can attendees go directly
from the airport to their hotels or
the convention center? The ability
to jump off a plane and right onto mass
transit to arrive at the hotel saves time,
money and the planet.
Does the Convention and Visitors’
Bureau have a list of venues, properties, and suppliers that have
environmental practices in place?
Where can attendees go for a local or
organic meal? Which hotels are environ-
mentally-friendly? Can they have tours
or off-site events in natural attractions
using alternative fuel vehicles? Has this
research already been done by a CVB
that’s interested in minimizing the environmental “footprint” a meeting or conference will have on their area? When
sending out RFPs for city-wide events,
include environmental criteria. Specify
the importance of environmental criteria in the site-selection process. Cities
that understand the importance of ecofriendly meetings and have prepared
a green list will be a more effective
partner in other aspects of planning.
How do these environmental
considerations also increase the
attendee satisfaction? Think like an
attendee: Wouldn’t it be a luxury to ride
convenient and inexpensive transportation to the hotel and then walk to a
local restaurant serving fresh, healthy
food for dinner? While it’s unrealistic
to believe that all destination decisions will be made on environmental
considerations alone, these factors can
be important when choosing between
comparable cities. The more cities and
venues understand and embrace environmentally-responsible practices, the
easier it will be.
These green meeting tips are just a
starting place, but the impact of even
these few changes can be dramatic.
It has been our experience that most
hotels and meeting facilities are willing
to work with planners. After all, they
benefit as well.
    
    
   
  
          
       
Some Basic Tips
Start your “greening” effort by proposing a few common-sense policies
that won’t sacrifice the attendee experience. If done right, it will probably
enhance their experience. Attendees
can feel good about participating and
knowing what is being done on their
behalf. Here are some basics:
• All catering plates, cups and glasses
should be china or glass (non-disposable). If using disposables, they must
be biodegradable or compostable. NO
Styrofoam under any circumstances.
• Condiments should be served in bulk
containers, not individual servings, to
save packaging. This includes sugar,
creamer, butter, cream cheese, etc.
• All napkins should be cloth whenever
possible. Use recycled cardboard
coasters instead of cocktail napkins.
• Have separate recycling bins for
attendees to use at all catered functions, registration, and especially on
the exhibit floor.
• Make sure that all handouts are
printed on two sides using post-consumer recycled paper.
• Ask about recycled-content promotional products when deciding on
pens, bags, shirts and caps. There
are also beautiful awards made of
recycled glass.
• Ask the hotels not to change the
sheets and towels daily unless
requested by the guest.
• Don’t replace hotel amenities daily
unless they’re gone. Use of soap
and shampoo dispensers would be
• Instruct the hotels’ housekeeping
staff to shut blinds and turn down
the heat/air conditioning in rooms
during the day while attendees are
• Ask for information about the facilities’ recycling program for all areas.
• All leftover food should be donated to
a local food bank.
• Reduce the amount of handouts by
making them available on the event
web site.
• Cut down the size of the registration
brochure and make the rest of the
information available online.
Carbon Offsets – The Basics
The “official” definition of a carbon
offset (courtesy of Climate Trust) is,
“the process of reducing a ton of carbon
dioxide emissions in another location for
the emissions you cause in either your
home, office, commute, travel or other
activities that use energy and cause
Carbon offsets enable anyone to
reduce their environmental footprint
by supporting projects, typically energy
efficiency, renewable energy, sequestration, biomass, etc. that reduce carbon
dioxide emissions to offset one’s own
climate footprint. Many companies and
organizations have become concerned
with climate change issues especially
related to carbon emissions. Carbon
offsets are a way to mitigate the carbon
emissions that occur when attendees
travel to meetings, and they offer a
great value-added component for your
attendees and some good PR for your
The term “carbon neutral” implies
that if enough carbon offsets are collected to mitigate the meeting’s carbon
emissions, the event is considered to
have had no negative environmental
impact. However, most carbon neutral
claims don’t include all the aspects of
carbon emissions that are necessary
to produce an event or conference. For
example, the emissions necessary to provide the food and beverage served at the
event are usually not factored in. The
emissions caused with exhibitor freight
and products provided for a trade show
are also usually not included. Therefore,
it would be better to use the phrase
“working towards a carbon neutral
event” in any publicity for your meeting
or event.
There are a variety of carbon offset
options. There are organizations that
plant trees. There are others that
invest in renewable energy projects.
And still others that accept offsets that
are “retired” or donated from corporations. To learn more about carbon offset
options, go to
To calculate the amount of carbon
offsets needed to offset an event,
make sure the carbon offset provider you select is able to estimate
the total carbon emissions expected
by calculating the demographics of
your attendees (in other words where
attendees will be coming from, whether
they’re within driving distance or are
flying, etc), the convention and/or hotel
space you’re using over a specific period
of time, what forms of transportation
you’re using during the event and other
related details. There are also calculators available for you to do your own
calculations. However, if you’re planning
a large event and offsetting energy use
as well, you should probably use a provider that can calculate them for you.
As far as who pays for carbon offsets,
there are generally four options:
• Your organization pays for the offsets
• You offer the opportunity on the registration form for attendees to pay
for their own emissions (prices range
from $6-$25 per attendee)
• You get the offsets sponsored
• You use a combination of the above.
Bottom line: Carbon offsets are the
newest, seemingly easiest way for
organizations to mitigate some of their
environmental footprint. Just remember
that not all carbon offsets are alike.
©2006 by Meeting Strategies Worldwide.
Used with permission. For more information, go to: www.meetingstrategies I&MI
DESTINATION: dominican republic
Views of the Caribbean Abound
Dominican Republic: From
Beaches to Big City Amenities
nitially you might be drawn to the
Dominican Republic for its 870-mile
coastline of pristine beaches and
exotic flora and fauna. But there’s
so much more to this island country.
Impressive mountain ranges, architectural gems from its Colonial past and
numerous top-notch golf courses make
this paradise a powerhouse meetings
and incentive destination. Described as
a “colorful tapestry of Spanish, French,
Haitian, and African influences woven
by a rich and storied history” by the
Fast Facts
Language: Spanish is the official language,
though many people who service the tourism
industry speak English.
Currency: Legal tender is the Dominican
Peso. Foreign currency can be converted at
the BanReservas exchange booths found in
airports, major hotels, commercial banks and
authorized exchange houses.
Transportation: Las Americas International
Airport is the country’s principal port of entry. It
is located 20 minutes east of Santo Domingo’s
colonial district.
Entry Requirements: U.S. and Canadian
citizens are required to have a valid passport
or an original birth certificate, along with a
photo-bearing official document. Citizens of
other countries should contact their closest
Dominican consulate for travel documentation
Dominican Republic Board of Tourism,
this Caribbean hot spot practically
throbs with excitement.
Planning Parameters
To really make your meeting or incentive
trip sizzle, consider scheduling it during
one of the country’s music festivals. The
week-long Santo Domingo Merengue
Festival is held during the last week
of July or the first week of August
every year. Or there’s the Puerto Plata
Merengue Festival, a week-long celebration of Merengue acts during the third
week in October.
There are also spectacular natural
wonders you can plan around. Visit
during the country’s annual humpback
whale migration for a rare glimpse of
this endangered species. Eighty-five
percent of the northwest Atlantic’s
humpback whales are born in Dominican
waters, where they return each year to
breed and give birth.
A Capital Idea
For an excellent base from which to
take excursions, book your group in
the oldest city in the New World, Santo
Domingo, with its quaint cobbled streets
and stonework houses. This capital city
features the Alcázar de Colon, the historic 22-room palace home of Don Diego
• AltaBella Hotel’s Sanctuary Cap Cana Golf
& Spa is the flagship hotel property to open at
Cap Cana. A cliff-side view of the Caribbean
perfects the luxury of this new resort, which
features suites, spa, meeting rooms/business
center, casino, restaurants/bars and a private
Columbus. Built in 1510 and restored in
1955, this is a must-include stop on tour
itineraries. Ten museums, with exhibits
ranging from semiprecious gems to prehistoric art from Spain and Portugal,
are spread throughout the city and well
worth a visit as well.
This metropolis of one million people
is equipped to handle all your meeting
needs. Santo Domingo hotels can accommodate anything from small gatherings
to large groups of up 2,000. Locations
to consider include the Hilton Santo
Domingo, Dominican Fiesta and Jaragua
Renaissance. There are also numerous
special event venues with capacities of
For more information on these
suppliers, visit
•Dominican Republic Dept. of Tourism
•Hilton Santo Domingo
•Renaissance Jaragua Hotel & Casino
•Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort
Los Cabos: Where Desert
Beauty Meets Ocean Vistas
os Cabos, at the southernmost tip
of the Baja peninsula in Mexico, is
often described as the place where
“the desert meets the ocean.” But sand-
Fast Facts
The Los Cabos area is served by the Los
Cabos International Airport at San Jose del
Cabo (SJD). The airport has direct connections to more than 20 different cities in the U.S,
during peak season – November through April
– and is served by American, Continental, and
Delta, among other airlines. It’s currently undergoing necessary renovations to add a second
runway and a taxi area to relieve congestion
during peak flying times. These renovations
should be complete by early 2008. The airport
is also in the process of adding a third terminal.
Other facts about Los Cabos to keep in mind:
• English is spoken widely, and virtually all
hotel/resort employees will be bilingual in
Spanish and English.
• Meeting planners who will be shipping materials into Los Cabos for their meetings or
events should remember to use a Mexican
• The beaches are beautiful but the waters
can sometimes be hazardous for swimmers.
Visitors are discouraged from swimming at
unguarded beaches.
• Rain is rare in Los Cabos, except in the late
summer and early fall. Daytime temperatures
in the peak season are in the 70’s, but it can
get chilly at night.
• Mexican currency is based on the peso, but
the U.S. dollar is also accepted at many Los
Cabos locations.
wiched between those two extremes in
Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo and
the corridor between them you’ll also find
one of the newest and most attractive
meeting and incentive destinations in
the world with luxury hotels and resorts,
exclusive golf courses, marinas, spas and
shops. In fact, one of the key attractions
of Los Cabos – comprised of a pair of
fishing villages made over into a worldclass destination – is that everything is
so new, according to Adam Lawhorne,
President of Meeting Incentive Experts
Inc. in Chicago and destination management company MEI Los Cabos.
“The average age of most of the hotels
is four years,” says Lawhorne, “so we’re
talking high-tech – Wi-Fi in the rooms, in
the meeting rooms, at the pool. We’re also
talking upscale food and beverage, worldclass fishing, the best golf in Mexico, the
mountains, the desert and the Sea of
Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. It’s something that people haven’t experienced
before. If people know their incentive program is going to be in Los Cabos, participants will work harder to get there just
because it’s so new and people know it’s a
very upscale destination.”
Staying in Style
Many of the hotels in Los Cabos are built
as complexes and include golf courses,
swimming pools, spas, restaurants, shops
Hilton Los Cabos
and meeting facilities all under one
(beach) umbrella.
The Fiesta Americana Grand Los
Cabos, for instance, is located in the corridor between San José del Cabo and
Cabo San Lucas and offers 250 rooms and
suites, a beach club, three restaurants,
five swimming pools, lighted tennis courts,
spa and meeting rooms. It boasts that all
of its rooms and suites have incredible
views of the Sea of Cortez, and the hotel
offers preferential access to the two golf
courses at the Cabo del Sol Resort development, including the 18-hole Ocean Golf
Course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
The Marquis Los Cabos, also located
on the Los Cabos corridor, has 210
suites and 28 casitas with private pools.
Amenities include hydromassage tubs,
Bulgari toiletries, Frette bed linens, complimentary breakfasts and more. Extra
touches include a 5 Diamond Award
restaurant and one of the largest spas in
Latin America. For the meeting-minded,
the hotel also offers a conference center,
including a master ballroom that easily
handles up to 1,000 guests. The ballroom
can be converted into four meeting rooms,
and there are four additional breakout
Among other top hotels/resorts are the
Esperanza, Sheraton Hacienda del Mar
Resort, Las Ventanas al Paraiso and the
Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos.
continued on page 20
Bring a fresh perspective to the table.
Let our ideas inspire your ideas. Book your next
meeting at one of The Westin Resorts and Spas
in Mexico where fresh thinking transcends
the everyday.
For more information or to make a reservation,
please call 800-westin1
This is how it should feel SM
Los Cabos
Puerto Vallarta
© 2007 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All rights reserved. Westin is the registered trademark of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. or its affiliates.
Los Cabos
continued from page 18
Enjoying the Scenery
Los Cabos’ unique location makes it a
perfect place for outdoor activities and
events. “Los Cabos has fantastic fishing,”
says Lawhorne, “and we’ve put together
team-building events and fishing tournaments for corporations that are looking to
do something like that.”
Another special event offered by a lot
of DMCs is the Desert Party. “We take
everyone to a location in the desert a mile
off the highway with the gorgeous rock
formations of Los Cabos as a backdrop,”
Lawhorne says. “We can set up a band,
a backlit screen, food stations and everything else necessary to create a fantastic
event.” To keep the ocean more prominently in the picture, consider a Pirate
Party. “Pirates are a big thing nowadays,
and at one time they really did use Los
Cabos as a stopping-off point,” Lawhorne
notes. “We can bring a replica pirate ship
and moor it off the beach near your hotel,
do a dinner on the beach, give everyone
pirate patches, bandanas, hats and
swords, do a pirate show and top it off
with fireworks display.”
Groups can also get out on the water
on a 200-passenger trimaran that’s new
to the waters off Los Cabos. It’s perfect
for anything from snorkeling to sunset
cruises, and watching a sunset from the
ocean or through El Arco, the great natural stone arch at the tip of Los Cabos, is
one thing no group should miss.
Another team-building possibility is
something Lawhorne’s group calls the
Baja Challenge. “It’s an activity that puts
teams together to learn a little about the
history and culture of the destination,”
he says. “It’s a bit of a scavenger hunt,
jeep rally and city tour. We put people
together in teams, with a team color and
team song, and we have them go to different stops all over Los Cabos to get a
feel for different areas, different time
periods and maybe even learning a bit of
the language.”
Other possibilities for activities
include scuba diving, nature tours, whale
watching and exploring the desert terrain
on ATVs.
The Eco-Friendly Guest
If El Arco and the rest of the striking
natural scenery around the capes isn’t
enough, just two hours north of Los
Cabos is the Sierra de la Laguna dry
forest. This stretch of forest, reaching
from the desert floor up to 6,000-foot
jagged peaks features floral and desert
plants, organ and cardón cacti, and an
abundance of other indigenous species
that have been living in relative isolation
for centuries.
Despite its growing popularity as a
luxury destination, Los Cabos is also
working to maintain its distinction
as an eco-friendly locale. According to
Lawhorne, there is always extensive
clean up after desert parties and other
events, and there is an ongoing effort by
the hotels to keep the beaches clean. At
most resorts, hotel staff – from the general manager to hotel maids – will spend
part of every day cleaning the beach.
“Respecting and protecting the natural
elements of the destination is a big part
of our job here,” Lawhorne explains.
And there’s a lot to protect and preserve – mountains, desert landscapes,
beautiful beaches and striking natural
rock formations. “There are more species
in Baja California than in any other part
of Mexico,” says Lawhorne proudly, “and
there is no more eco-friendly state in
Mexico than Baja California Sur.” I&MI
the must attend event for event organisers
achieve more
aime higher for networking
AIME is the premier event in the Asia Pacific
region for meetings, conventions, special
events, incentives and business travel.
• Welcome reception for 1800 people
• Networking hour each day at Globe
With over 850 exhibitors from 50 countries
plus Australian exhibitors from all States and
Territories, you’ll achieve more in two days
than you ever thought possible.
aime higher for the best in education
• New Master Classes for practical advice
• Business Events Forum with world leaders
in event management.
92% of visitors surveyed said that
aime helped them meet their
business objectives.
aime higher for business
• Apply now to be a VIP Hosted Buyer
• Register online now and discover the
AIME business advantage
AIME 2008 - meet face to
face and achieve more.
Visit today.
16th asia-pacific incentives & meetings expo || 19-20 february 08 melbourne australia
november/december 2007
19/10/07 1:45:39 PM
Oh Yeah!”
Sure, Bermuda has more than 110,000 square feet of meeting space with
views of the ocean, not to mention comprehensive tech support and
professional personnel services, all just under two hours from the East Coast.
But don’t forget Bermuda has more golf courses per capita than any other
destination in the world. Plus, it offers countless opportunities to enjoy miles
of pink sand beaches and beautiful turquoise waters. Who knew you could get
such a great return on your investment and have attendees saying, “Oh yeah!”
For more information on planning your next event, call 1-800-BERMUDA
or visit
DESTINATION: singapore
Bay Theatre from the Esplanade
Sensational Singapore Has It All
or a taste of the exotic, consider
booking your next event or incentive group in the island-nation
of Singapore, a place that’s described
as “brimming with unbridled energy”
and embodying the finest of both East
and West. Singapore is made up of 64
separate islands – a main island of 682
sqkm/263 sqmi and 63 surrounding
islets. However, its compact size belies
its economic clout. In just 150 years,
Singapore has grown into a thriving
centre of commerce and industry with a
Fast Facts
Language: Malay is considered the national
language. However, official languages are
Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English.
Currency: Singapore dollars come in denominations of SGD 2, SGD 5, SGD 10, SGD 20,
SGD 50, SGD 100, SGD 500, SGD 1,000 and
SGD 10,000.
Transportation: Singapore Changi Airport
includes 80 airlines serving more than 180
cities in over 50 countries. It is a major hub in
Southeast Asia.
Entry Requirements: Foreigners who do
not require visas for entry and are visiting
Singapore as tourists may be given up to
30-day social visit passes upon their arrival
in Singapore. To view a list of countries from
which foreigners will be required to obtain a
visa to travel into Singapore, go to http://app.
rich cultural history.
The earliest known mention of
Singapore was a 3rd century Chinese
account which described Singapore as
Pu-luo-chung (“island at the end of a
peninsula”). During the 11th century,
this small but strategically-placed
island had earned a new name - Singa
Pura (“Lion City”). By the 14th century,
Singapore had become part of the mighty
Sri Vijayan empire and was known as
Temasek (“Sea Town”). The British provided the next notable chapter in the
Singapore story. During the 18th century,
they saw the need for a strategic port to
refit, feed and protect the fleet of their
growing empire, as well as to forestall
any advances by the Dutch in the region.
It was against this political backdrop
that Sir Stamford Raffles established
Singapore as a trading station. The policy
of free trade attracted merchants from
all over Asia and from as far afield as the
U.S. and the Middle East. By 1824, just
five years after the founding of modern
Singapore, the population had grown
from a mere 150 to 10,000. Today its
population is nearly 4 million.
Getting Your Bearings
A good central location in the city of
Singapore is the bustling Orchard Road,
a tourism hub that brims with retail,
entertainment and hotels. The five-star
• Work on the $33 million Pit Building for the
Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix officially
began last summer. The development of the F1
complex complements other tourism projects
underway in Singapore, namely the Singapore
Flyer (a giant observation wheel resembling
the London Eye) and the two mega Integrated
Resorts at Marina Bay and Sentosa scheduled to open in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
Measuring some 350 meters long, the Pit
Building is a key piece of infrastructure for the
F1 Singapore Grand Prix, which will debut on
28 September 2008.
• Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal 3 will
open for operations in early January 2008.
This addition will include more than 100 retail
shops, over 30 food/beverage vendors and 20
service concessions. The 1.75 billion USD/1.23
billion Euro project boosts Changi Airport’s
handling capacity by 22 million passengers,
bringing total annual capacity to 70 million.
• A more exciting local hotel scene is unfolding
with a new cast of players, additional brands
and creative product concepts. International
hotel management companies such as
Accor, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and
the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)
are growing their presence in Singapore by
bringing in other brands from their portfolios.
Ranging from boutique to mid-tier to luxury
establishments, many of these new hotel
developments are being established in nontraditional hotel locations such as Tanjong
Pagar, One-North, Labrador Park and Novena.
A new 320-room Crowne Plaza, a brand from
the IHG family, is scheduled to open at the
Singapore Changi Airport next year.
continued on page 24
the marina bay sands
With its world-class meeting and
convention facilities, five-star luxury
MICE destination of tomorrow which is redefining
Southeast Asia’s MICE industry landscape today.
entertainment options, The Marina Bay
Sands™ will bring unmatched business
The convention and exhibition facilities at The Marina
and leisure experiences to global MICE
Bay Sands™ consist of:
delegates. As Southeast Asia’s first
• A 40,000 m2 (440,000 ft2) exhibition hall
luxury integrated resort, The Marina
• A 9,200 m2 (99,000 ft2) column-free grand ballroom
Bay Sands™ is set to become the top
• A 48,000 m2 (500,000 ft2) highly flexible meeting
MICE destination in the region, offering
100,000 square metres of state-ofthe-art facilities suitable for all events.
room complex
• State-of-the-art facilities catering to the needs of the
technology, logistics, medical and biotechnology
After a rewarding day of meetings,
• Ability to accommodate more than 2,500 booths for
delegates can choose to indulge in the
exhibitions and 50,000 delegates for conventions and
star chef restaurants, watch criticallyacclaimed
The Marina Bay Sands™ opens in 2009.
spectacular light and water shows, shop
to their hearts’ content at a premium
mall, be inspired at the ArtScience
Museum, or invigorate their senses at
an exclusive spa atop the soaring hotel
towers boasting panoramic views of the
Singapore cityscape.
Hannibal scene from Phantom - The Las Vegas
Spectacular. Photographer: Joan Marcus
© Marina Bay Sands Pte. Ltd. 2006. All rights reserved. No part of this ad may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or
transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Marina Bay Sands.
For more information, please contact:
Marina Bay Sands
Conventions & Exhibitions Team
9 Raffles Place #45-01
Singapore 048619
Tel: + 65 6305 6900
Email: [email protected]
Clark Quay
continued from page 22
Shangri-La Hotel Singapore sits among
60,702 sqm/15 acres of luxurious tropical
gardens – an oasis within the metropolis.
With 750 luxury guestrooms and suites,
as well as an extensive conference center,
you’ll find facilities to support your
events from large to small.
The Grand Hyatt Hotel Singapore
also presents a range of meeting options.
Considered a leading conference venue
in Singapore, the Grand Hyatt offers 25
versatile meeting rooms located on three
floors. This includes an elegant Grand
Ballroom, as well as an Exhibition and
Conference Centre housing 11 more function rooms that can be combined into a
single large exhibition area.
Another option – particularly for incentive programs – is the historic Raffles
Hotel, first built in 1887 and extensively
renovated in 1991. Since that time it has
become the place to stay for those “in the
know,” winning the 2007 Daily Telegraph
Ultra Travel Award for Best Hotel in
Asia. Ten venues within the hotel allow
you to plan gatherings from conferences
to cocktail receptions for as many as 390
persons, depending on the format of your
event. The opulent 103-suite hotel also
offers the exclusive Amrita Spa, allowing
for numerous incentive options to tempt
your program participants.
Out and About
There’s much more to this paradise than
opulent hotels, however. Singapore is
home to one of the world’s most spectacular zoos – acclaimed for its “open”
zoo concept, using natural barriers to
create a habitat-appropriate experience
for its 3,600 animals, including numerous
endangered species. Sixteen percent of
the zoo’s species are threatened in the
wild. Plan a corporate event within the
compound by booking the zoo’s modern
Forest Lodge, equipped to host 220 persons for a banquet or as many as 400 for
a standing-room function. There are also
special cocktail venues available, such as
a promenade along the Elephants of Asia
exhibit or the Tiger Trek.
You can also appeal to your program
participants by scheduling your visit
For more information on these
suppliers, visit
•Marina Bay Sands Singapore
•Marina Mandarin Singapore
•The Oriental, Singapore
•Singapore Marriott Hotel
during one of Singapore’s major festivals. Together with Chinese New Year
and Christmas celebrations during the
winter months of December through
January, ethnic festivities such as
the Mid-Autumn Festival, Deepavali
and Hari Raya Aidilfitri (held from
September through November) have
grown over the years to become signature events with strong appeal, expected
to attract 17 million visitors and $30
billion in tourism receipts by 2015.
The draw is fed by colorful art, cuisine,
music, parades and ceremonies.
If your trip is scheduled during the
months of June and July, look for happenings surrounding the Singapore Food
Festival. This annual event attracts
thousands of visitors to a packed roster
of free-admission events. The island-wide
month-long festival highlights many
favorite Singapore dishes such as Chili
Crab, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Satay and
Curry Fish Head.
If relaxation trumps your desire for festivities, consider Sentosa, which means
tranquillity in Malay. This popular island
resort pampers with its long stretches
of sheltered beaches along the southern
coast. Fodor’s travel guide calls the
continued on page 26
continued from page 24
Sentosa Resort & Spa “ideal for business
seminars and leisure visitors who want
to escape.” Perched atop a cliff, the resort
offers spectacular views of the ocean and
surrounding acres of landscaped gardens.
Its two-story conference center provides
over 1,300 sqm/13,993 sqft of dedicated
meeting space to accommodate groups
from 20 to 400.
Such settings, not unusual to this
island-nation of hospitality, provide you
and your event participants with an
exotic environment in which to relax,
reward and rehabilitate.
Info for MICE Planners
Singapore is now ranked among the
world’s top three cities for meetings,
based on the Union of International
Associations’ (UIA) latest rankings.
In the UIA’s International Meetings
Statistics 2006 report, Singapore moved
up one place from 2005 to third position
in the Top International Meeting City
category, placing it among the top three
for the first time and alongside wellestablished European cities like Paris
(ranked first) and Vienna (second) that
attract international meetings.
At the same
time, Singapore
topped the rankings as Asia’s
top country and
city for meetings.
Singapore surged
from fourth to
first position in
the competition
for Asia’s Top
Country for Meetings, while maintaining
its standing as Asia’s Top City for
Meetings, a position it has held for the
past 23 years.
Singapore’s sterling results over the
past five years, particularly in 2006,
comes at a time when the Singapore
Exhibition and Convention Bureau
(SECB), a subsidiary of the Singapore
Tourism Board, has ramped up its
efforts to capture a bigger slice of the
MICE market. As part of its efforts to
spur growth in this sector, the SECB
launched the “BE in Singapore” or
“Business Events in Singapore” incentive program in August 2006. The initiative, developed in consultation with
the industry, enables the local MICE
industry to competitively bid for and
attract a critical mass of business events
to sustain its business pipeline.
“This robust performance and the
dynamic MICE landscape in Singapore
is a resounding testament to the strong
cooperation and close partnership
between the public and private sector,
including government agencies and the
MICE industry players, and I’m confident that the buoyant outlook of the
industry will continue, especially with
the vibrant calendar of business events
in the pipeline, and many exciting
tourism developments in the coming
years,” says Aloysius Arlando, Assistant
Chief Executive (Business Travel and
MICE Group), STB. I&MI
DESTINATION: czecH republic
Prague Castle
Czech Republic Offers
the Best of Europe
he Great Veltrusy Royal Fair, arguably the first trade fair in the world,
was held in 1754 in what is now the
Czech Republic, and the country is still
a draw for meeting and incentive groups
today. Its Central European location,
abundant natural, historical and cultural
attractions, and a great selection of hotels,
conference centers and other venues that
can serve corporate groups continue to
make the Czech Republic a top destination.
According to Eva Campbell of
CzechTourism USA, “The Czech Republic
combines what’s best about Europe – its
culture, architecture and history, which
are felt at every step – with a dynamism,
For more information on these
suppliers, visit
•Czech Tourism
•Clarion Congress Hotel Prague
•Corinthia Towers Hotel
•Crowne Plaza Prague
•Dorint Novotel Praha Don Giovanni
•Hilton Prague
•Hilton Prague Old Town
•Holiday Inn Prague Congress Centre
•Hotel Paris – Prague
•Mövenpick Hotel Prague
•Prague Congress Centre
•Prague Marriott Hotel
•Radisson SAS Alcron Hotel
energy and élan that are unique to this
part of the continent. It’s also very safe
and American-friendly, with English
spoken widely, especially in Prague.”
The Czech Republic boasts 235
hotels equipped with facilities for large
conferences, as well as more than 2,500
others that can handle smaller groups and
meetings. The Prague Congress Centre is
the largest of several large, multifunctional
congress centers throughout the country,
and there are even a number of castles and
chateaux that can handle gatherings of up
to 500 people. Perhaps this is one reason
that the International Congress and
Convention Association (ICCA) estimates
that Prague will rank sixth in the world
for meetings and conventions between
2007 and 2013.
“Our DMCs are creative and
responsive,” adds Campbell, “and can
arrange a lot of different activities, from
visits to glass factories and breweries
to spas and musical events to shopping,
art appreciation, sports, golf and any
number of themed events, but particularly
historical ones.”
Perusing Prague
Prague is a veritable textbook of architectural styles and one of Europe’s most
beautiful cities. It also has a very lively
Fast Facts
• While the Czech Republic is an EU member
as of May 2004, it will not adopt the Euro
until 2008; Czech crowns (CZK) are easily
obtained from any Czech ATM machine via
an ATM card, or from non-stop exchange
offices at all Czech airports and most major
train stations.
• U.S. citizens do not need a visa to stay in
the Czech Republic for up to 90 days; however, their passport needs to be valid for at
least 6 months from the date of entry. 
• In Prague and larger cities, it is customary
to tip approx. 10% of the bill. Either round
up the amount verbally or leave change with
your bill, American-style. In the countryside,
tips tend to be somewhat smaller (and
prices lower).
• For information about bringing a group
to Prague or to the Czech Republic,
visit the Czech Tourism website at or contact
CzechTourism USA at 212 288 0830 or [email protected]
cultural scene, especially when it comes to
music, boasting three opera houses and a
half-dozen orchestras. It’s also becoming a
notable clubbing and dining destination.
For serious meeting planners, however,
the Prague Congress Centre (which has
hosted meetings of NATO and the IMF) is
the largest congress center in the country
and also one of the largest in Europe. Its
ultramodern facilities include 20 halls, 50
meeting rooms and 13,000 sqm/139,940
sqft of exhibition space. It can handle up
to 9,000 people for congresses, workshops,
exhibitions and other types of events.
Another popular meeting and congress
choice is the Vystaviste (“Exhibition
Grounds”), a complex of Art Nouveau
trade fair buildings with a multi-functional
theater, just north of the city center.
Prague has also nearly doubled its
number of five-star hotel properties in
the last few years. These now include
stalwarts like the InterContinental and
major hotel names like Four Seasons
(which opened its Prague property as
its first in the region), Marriott and
Renaissance. There are also smaller
boutique hotels such as Le Palais,
and high-concept properties like the
brand-new, music-themed Aria.
A number of ultra-sleek, modern
properties have also opened in the last
couple of years. These include the Andel’s
Hotel Prague in the up-and-coming Andel
area southwest of the historical center and
the Josef, a Design hotel located in the Old
Town (and favored, according to Campbell,
by Hollywood professionals).
Other Areas of Note
Prague gets the lion’s share of business,
but Brno, the second largest city in the
Czech Republic, has long been a major
trade fair center. It houses a landmark
Modernist exhibition center from the 1930s
– updated with the latest technology. The
Brno Exhibition Centre offers congress
rooms for up to 700 attendees, a variety
of smaller meeting and breakout rooms,
reception areas and over 100,000 sqm/1.07
million sqft of exhibition space.
The Centrum Babylon Liberec Congress
Center in Liberec, in Northern Bohemia, is
one of the largest congress centers outside
of Prague. It offers some 5,000 sqm/53,820
sqft of meeting space, with congress
halls, meeting rooms and breakout rooms
that can handle up to 2,000 attendees.
In addition, the Aldis Congress Centre
in Eastern Bohemia offers meeting and
congress facilities and more than 5,000
sqm/53,820 sqft of exhibition space.
The spa towns of Karlovy Vary
(Carlsbad) and Marianske Lazne
(Marienbad) have also been developing a
meeting and conference business. And the
UNESCO-listed town of Cesky Krumlov is
hosting more and more conferences each
If Castles Are Your Thing
The Czech Republic also has more than
The award winning Hilton Prague is
renovating, modernizing and expanding.
Guestroom renovation, already 75% complete, is expected to be finished in March
2008. With the addition of the new meeting
rooms, the hotel will have a total of 38 event
rooms, including the Congress Hall and the
Hilton Grand Ballroom. A 1,500 sqm/16,146
sqft conference center, with ballroom and
adjacent breakout rooms accommodating
conferences of up to 4,400 delegates, is also
in the plans, with a scheduled opening in
2009….. The Mandarin Oriental – Prague,
just beneath Prague Castle, is a recently
restored monastery with roots dating back to
the 14th Century. This luxury hotel offers 99
guest rooms and suites. Facilities include a
holistic spa housed in a former Renaissance
chapel, an intimate restaurant with vaulted
ceilings and the Monastery Lounge, a stunning backdrop for afternoon tea. Finally, the
hotel’s Baroque Grand Ballroom is a splendid
venue for special occasions and meetings.
2,000 preserved castles and chateaux
– more per square mile than any other
country in the world. Most are open to the
public, and many are available for meetings and as venues for other group events
continued on page 30
Both our Prague hotels have inspirational settings with
incomparable views of the city. For up to 1800 people,
with a total area of over 2600 m2, our flexible facilities
will match your every need. State-of-the-art equipment
and technology are complemented by the highest quality
dining and leisure amenities. Upgrade your meetings to
the height of success.
You will love our views.
Stress free - success full
IM View 187x121 10-07.indd 1
Regional Sales Office . Tel (+420) 261 191 303-259 . e-mail [email protected] .
11.10.2007 10:52:25
Czech Republic
continued from page 29
including meetings, musical performances
and private receptions.
In fact, says Campbell, “the number of
historical landmarks in central Prague
that can be used by MICE companies is
unequaled by any city in Europe. Even the
Prague Castle, the largest inhabited castle
in the world, the seat of Czech kings and
now the residence of the Czech Republic’s
President, is among the venues, with
its splendid historical salons, halls and
Many medieval castles still stand
in the territories of Bohemia, Moravia
and Silesia, and the “Castle Road” from
Mannheim in Germany to Prague is a
romantic cavalcade of castles offering a
cross section of more than 1,000 years of
architecture. Many of these also house
valuable art collections, lavish interiors
and splendid glass, china and armor
Major cultural institutions include
the National Gallery in Prague (it has
several different venues featuring art from
different periods), the Jewish Museum
(which houses one of the best collections of
Jewish art and artifacts in the world), the
National Theater, the Prague State Opera,
the Czech Philharmonic and the Museum
of Applied Arts (with its wonderful design
collections), among many others.
A Golfer’s Paradise
Golf has been a part of the Czech sports
scene since the first course opened in
1904, but it’s only with the political
changes in 1989 and the subsequent
influx of foreign investment that it
has taken off and become a leisure
and tourism attraction. In 2007, the
Czech Republic was named winner of
the “Undiscovered Golf Destination of
the Year” Award by the International
Association of Golf Tour Operaters
Currently, the country has 73 top
quality courses that offer a unique
combination of natural beauty and
the occasional castle view. Some are
also designed by top course architects,
including Gary Player (the Cihelny
course near Karlovy Vary), Miguel A.
Jimenez (the eladná course), Les Furber
and Jim Eremko (the Karlštejn course),
John Burns (the Konopišt course) and
Keith Preston (the Zbraslav and the
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