GCCEC gets the gold

AUSTRALIA Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) has become the first convention centre in the world to achieve the EarthCheck Gold Certification, after five years in the sustainability programme.
Since 2008, GCCEC has been adjusting staff behaviour and operational practices in line with the international standards required by the EarthCheck programme. This was achieved with the help of a dedicated green committee, comprising key staff members who, as a group, continually look at new ways in which the venue can reduce waste, and water and electricity consumption.

EC3 Global CEO Stewart Moore said it was not an easy task to achieve EarthCheck Gold Certification as it required commitment from management, staff and suppliers.
GCCEC general manager Adrienne Readings said that implementing positive sustainable choices and practices, including partnerships with clients and key suppliers, had enabled the centre to roll-out numerous initiatives to become a frontrunner in sustainability.

EarthCheck is the world’s largest and most recognised environmental management programme trusted by 1300 organisations in 70 countries, including 10 convention centres globally.

AIME goes online

AUSTRALIA Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME), the industry tradeshow held annually in Melbourne, has launched a dedicated blog (http://blog.aime.com.au/) to share relevant news and information.
Readers will have access to weekly posts, with contributions from industry leaders such as Info Salons founder and CEO, Jo-Anne Kelleway, and International Congress and Convention Association CEO, Martin Sirk, who will provide insight on topics such as professional development, global trends and industry innovations. Contributors will also address issues facing the business events space and offer opinion on what the industry can do to adapt to changing trends.
AIME exhibition director Jacqui Timmins believes the blog will become a useful tool for industry professionals to continue to engage in topics of interest outside of the annual event, and also provide another avenue for audiences to stay connected to peers and share ideas and knowledge.

Accor on a talent lookout

ASIA PACIFIC Between now and 2016, Accor intends to hire 10,000 new employees per year to cope with industry staff shortages amid extensive expansion plans in the region.
The hotel group is aiming to fill positions in entry level positions in front office, F&B, kitchen and housekeeping departments, and employ experts to join sales, distribution, marketing, finance and HR teams and experienced hoteliers to manage hotels.

Accor currently employs 60,000 staff at 550 hotels in 16 countries across Asia Pacific. With more than 250 hotels in the pipeline until 2016, recruitment drives will be organised in China, Indonesia and India with other positions available in Singapore, Thailand, Japan and Korea.
Accor provides training and career growth opportunities for employees at 17 accredited Academie Accor campuses around the world, with some 250 training modules.

As part of region-wide initiatives to attract and groom future talent, Accor launched a competition that will see 300 students teams participate in real Accor case study challenge. Looking out for creativity and boldness in the concepts, students are expected to reinvent the next generation of Novotel Hotels, in terms of products and services to match guest expectations for the year 2020.

Chefs With Altitude returns to Singapore

SINGAPORE Swissôtel The Stamford’s signature “Chefs With Altitude” epicurean extravaganza is returning to Singapore this November 11-17. Award-winning chefs Xavier Beaudiment and Julien Schillaci and celebrity bartender Tristan Stephenson will light up three of the hotel’s celebrated F&B outlets – JAAN French Restaurant, Equinox Restaurant and City Space cocktail bar. Xavier, chef owner of the one Michelin-starred Le Pré in Durtol, France, will be curating his specialty French menus in three- and five-course set lunches and seven-course degustation set dinners at JAAN. Julien, executive chef of Restaurant A L’etage Parc Des Eaux Vives in Switzerland, will be creating eight-course degustation set dinners at Equinox throughout the week, and will also be lending his skills in creating a lavish feast at the Sunday brunch on November 17. Tristan, owner of Worship Street Whistling Shop in the UK, will be showcasing a collection of his specialty cocktails at City Space.

ITB ASIA launches certification for GBTA

SINGAPORE The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) will reveal key new insights into Asian corporate travel trends at a one-day forum and launch a certification programme for business travel managers during ITB Asia 2013, to be held in Singapore from October 23-25.
The forum will take place October 24 at Suntec Singapore. Apart from live discussions, keynote conversations and announcements of Asian corporate travel findings, GBTA will also present its GBTA Business Travel Outlook (BTO) Report for 2013 – 2017 white paper, sponsored by VISA, as well as a new in-depth study on how China’s business travel market is set to overtake the US as the world’s biggest spender by 2015.

On October 25, GBTA will be launching an internationally-recognised certification programme for business travel managers in Asia, making it the first to recognise and credit corporate travel professionals.

The GTP Certification is made possible through a three-year agreement between GBTA and Diners Club International. Over the next two years, the certification exam will be held at GBTA Conferences throughout Asia Pacific.

Philippine venue gets IACC seal of approval

PHILIPPINES First Pacific Leadership Academy (FPLA) has joined the International Association of Conference Centers’ (IACC) worldwide portfolio of more than 300 approved conference venues.
Located in Antipolo City, some 25 kilometres from Manila, FPLA is the first dedicated corporate university in the Philippines that provides need-specific executive development programmes to help ensure management development and leadership succession.

The 10-hectare academy compound houses 14 function rooms that can accommodate national conferences or events of up to 200. Each function room is equipped with audio-visual presentation equipment, all of which are centrally-controlled through a touch-panel display screen. There is also a 67-room hotel within the premises.

Earlier in March, IACC formed an Australia Asia-Pacific Chapter, which boasts over 20 members in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and now the Philippines.