NEWS: Spicers expands luxury collection

Spicers Retreats this week announced the acquisition of Sangoma Retreat, a luxury boutique property situated at the foot of the Blue Mountains. Sangoma, meaning ‘healer’ in Zulu, is set to open under the Spicers brand in January 2015, bringing the group’s portfolio to a total of nine properties. The African-inspired boutique retreat is nestled in the Blue Mountains and features five luxurious suites sprawled amid giant boulders and eucalyptus trees. The retreat also boasts menus featuring locally sourced produce and bistro-style dining, a stunning plunge pool and […]

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NEWS: IHG renews presence in Christchurch 

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a management agreement to develop the 200-room Crowne Plaza Christchurch, signalling a commitment to Christchurch’s economic revival. Located in the central business district and across from the planned new Christchurch Convention Centre due to open in 2017, the upscale hotel will be a conversion of a current commercial building owned by a consortium of local Christchurch investors. The hotel will feature up to five suites and 195 guest rooms and food and beverage options including an all-day dining restaurant, a specialty […]

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NEWS: Pullman Sydney airport hotel to open in 2016

Australia’s largest hotel operator, Accor, today announced it has signed a management agreement with Goodman to brand and operate a five-star Pullman Sydney Airport hotel as part of a new AUD$100 million development project that will encompass extensive office and retail facilities. Due to open in May 2016, the 229-room property will include a restaurant and bar, and conference facilities, and will be the first internationally branded five-star hotel in the international airport precinct. Accor Pacific chief operating officer, Simon McGrath, said the project will be a key development for Sydney. “The […]

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NEWS: Lizard Island re-opens

Lizard Island will re-open in March 2015, after 12 months of extensive refurbishment and rebuilding following the impact of Cyclone Ita. While much of the island resort has been restored to its former glory, there are also a few new additions: A new stand-alone suite, The Villa has been created. Featuring two bedrooms both with en-suites – the master with a luxury bath, a butler’s kitchen, plunge pool and wrap around deck, this 95 square metre villa sits atop a ridge offering uninterrupted views across Sunset Beach […]

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NEWS: MCEC best venue team for AIDS 2014

The venue team that successfully delivered Australia’s largest health and development conference for Melbourne was recognised at the 2014 EEAA Awards for Excellence this month. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) took out Best Venue Team after hosting the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) from July 20-25 with almost 14,000 attendees and involved more than 500 committed employees working around the clock to ensure its success. “We began planning AIDS 2014 three years ago with MCEC representatives attending AIDS 2012 in Washington to factor learnings […]

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NEWS: Canberra prepares for PCO Conference

The National Convention Centre (NCC) will welcome event planners back to the nation’s capital this weekend for the 7th PCO Conference. Running since 2008, the conference hosts the nation’s leading conference organisers to discuss the nature of meeting and event design, delivery, marketing and management. This year’s conference will continue the conversations started at the PCO Conference held in Melbourne in 2013. A forum will be created in which the relationships and strong correlation between Australian and New Zealand venues, transport, delegates, convenors, managers, technologies, governments and […]

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NEWS: Sydney Olympic Stadium redevelopment

Fourteen years on from hosting the Sydney Olympics, ANZ Stadium management today released detailed plans to redevelop the stadium as a cutting-edge sports and entertainment precinct. ANZ Stadium announced that global construction and engineering company Laing O’Rourke has been selected to carry out a proposed $350 million redevelopment of the stadium, in line with the NSW Government’s Stadia Strategy and the Sydney Olympic Park Master Plan Vision released by the NSW Government in July 2013. More than 21 million fans have passed through the ANZ Stadium […]

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NEWS: Business events back in business

Meetings are expected to play a critical role in a return to business fundamentals in 2015, according to the American Express Meetings & Events 2015 Global Meetings Forecast released in October. Following a period of economic recovery for the meetings industry, global meeting budgets in 2015 are likely to show positive movement, either through growth or less of a decline than was seen previously. In Europe, meeting activity predictions from survey respondents generally mirrors the current economic situation of the individual countries. Across Europe, an […]

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NEWS: VIC Govt moves forward with MCEC expansion

Melbourne will retain its position of having the largest convention centre in the country with the Victorian Government making the first formal steps today towards expansion of the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. The proposal expands the South Wharf precinct footprint to include new retail space, additional car parks, hotel accommodation and multi-purpose convention and exhibition facilities. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust chairman, Bob Annells, said the investment supports the ongoing work MCEC conducts with the Melbourne Convention Bureau to attract business events to Victoria. […]

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NEWS: PCOs experience ‘Altogether Perfect’

A group of conference and event organisers from around Australia will tour Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley this weekend as part of a major campaign by Altogether Perfect to showcase the three areas as a comprehensive business events destination. Wineries, gourmet cuisine, a garden party, helicopters, sand dune quad bikes, cruising, paddleboarding and a sunset dinner at historic Fort Scratchley feature on the full, three-day itinerary, which kicked off on Thursday, October 16. The 22-strong VIP group includes event managers from associations, conference and […]

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NEWS: Auckland wins global genetics congress

Auckland will play host to an expected audience of 1300 international delegates after a successful joint bid to host a major global livestock genetics congress in February 2018. The World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (WCGALP) is the premier conference for researchers and professionals involved in genetic improvement of livestock. Delegates from around the world gather every four years to attend the congress, which is expected to make an estimated contribution of more than $3.12 million to Auckland’s regional GDP. Dr Hugh Blair, […]

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NEWS: HKCEC voted Asia’s best

The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) was recently voted “Best Convention & Exhibition Centre” for the sixth time at the 25th TTG Travel Awards 2014. The announcement was made earlier this month at a cocktail reception marking the centre’s 26th anniversary.  The reception was hosted by Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Management Ltd (HML) at the newly launched restaurant, Congress Plus, with 350 clients, business associates, government officials and friends in attendance. HML managing director, Monica Lee-Müller thanked the guests, saying, “We are proud to manage one of […]

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NEWS: Aussies in full force at IMEX 2014

A 25-strong delegation will showcase the very best Australia at IMEX America 2014 in Las Vegas this week. This is the largest Australian contingent to IMEX and the collective effort demonstrates the importance of the international business market to local operators. Industry partners joining Tourism Australia at the three-day show include representatives from nine destinations – Sydney and its surrounds, Melbourne, Brisbane, The Whitsundays, Perth, Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef, Northern Territory, South Australia and the Gold Coast – and national service providers such as Virgin Australia […]

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NEWS: Camel racing in Newcastle on Cup Day

Camels, not horses, will race in Newcastle on Melbourne Cup Day this year, with corporate groups invited to the racecourse at Newcastle Jockey Club for a day of team-building or to simply soak up the atmosphere of a day at the races – albeit with a twist. The irreverent event from 11am-6pm will feature a series of short races by the unpredictable dromedaries, which can gallop at up to 40km/h but can decide at any moment to stop or change direction, guaranteeing a day of laughs. Melbourne […]

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NEWS: Hamilton Gardens win world’s best

Hamilton Gardens recently received the prestigious International Garden of the Year award, announced on October 1 as part of the 2014 Garden Tourism Awards held at the International Conference Gardens Without Limits conference in Metz, France. The annual award is presented to gardens which distinguish themselves in the development and promotion of the garden experience as a tourism attraction. Previous winners have included the Singapore Botanic Garden – which is currently applying for UNESCO World Heritage Status – and the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano, […]

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NEWS: Adelaide bureau delivers

The Adelaide Convention Bureau has released its 2013/14 annual report at its AGM with data confirming its strategy for the year has paid dividends and reinforcing that business events are a key economic driver of the state’s visitor economy. In a highly competitive national and international market, the bureau took a strategic approach with a volumetric tactic to win business for South Australia. The strategy proved successful with $116.5m worth of future business events to be hosted by the state. These events will attract over […]

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NEWS: Major symposium win for Auckland

More than 300 international experts are expected to travel to Auckland in 2016 after a successful joint bid to host the 2016 International Radiation Symposium (IRS). The prestigious symposium is held quadrenially by the International Radiation Commission (IRC), a global network of scientists engaged in research of atmospheric radiation and related disciplines. Buckley-Glavish professor of climate physics, Dr Roger Davies, and the University of Auckland worked with the Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) – part of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – and Tourism […]

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NEWS: STUDIO Sydney Tower launches

Sydney’s highest event space and bar atop Sydney Tower was launched last night by the Trippas White Group, following a million dollar refurbishment and competition to name the new loft-style space. Sydney Lord Mayor, the Right Hon. Clover Moore, unveiled the venue’s new name, STUDIO, and the winner of the “What’s My Name” competition. Rebecca Hamerton (pictured below) received a VIP cocktail party at the venue to the value of $2000 for submitting the winning entry. The re-vamped space, formerly Sky Venue, accommodates all styles of […]

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NEWS: InterCon Fiji is ‘China-ready’

In a pro-active response to industry market trends, InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa has rolled out a ‘China-ready’ program to prep staff in how best to cater for Chinese travellers. The resort aims to promote awareness and important of the Chinese travel market, and best practices of satisfying Chinese guests to deliver a wonderful Fijian holiday. ‘China-ready’ training encompasses an overview of China, Chinese traveller profiles and characteristics, and basic Chinese language classes. “We’re thrilled to launch the ‘China-ready’ program to raise awareness about the importance of […]

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NEWS: W hotel debuts in Brisbane

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide recently announced the debut of its iconic W Hotels brand in Brisbane. Scheduled to open in early 2018 as part of a mixed-use development, W Brisbane will bring a new interpretation of modern luxury to George Street at the western end of the central business district, overlooking the Brisbane River. The 305-room luxury hotel marks the re-entry of the W hotel brand to Australia. “W Brisbane marks a significant milestone for Starwood, bringing the dynamic and innovative W brand back to the Pacific […]

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NEWS: Starwood launches MICE loyalty program

Starwood Hotels and Resorts recently announced it will launch a loyalty scheme for meeting and travel professionals next month, on October 15, 2014. micenet AUSTRALIA was among a select group of international MICE media invited to the official launch of the scheme, known as SPG Pro, at the St Regis Bangkok. The all-new loyalty program is a clear indication the international hotel group, which has a strong presence in the luxury leisure market, is now focusing its sights on meetings and increasing its market share in […]

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NEWS: Biggest-ever ibis hits Brisbane

Brisbane will soon be home to the region’s largest ibis hotel, as announced today by Australian hotel group, Accor, and Middle Eastern hotel owner and developer, Action Hotels plc. Construction of the multi-million dollar hotel development will commence later this year at 40 Elizabeth Street, with a scheduled opening for early 2016. The 368-room ibis will be one of the most centrally located hotels in the CBD, adjoining the Myer Centre and Queen Street Mall. The hotel will build on Accor’s already substantial presence in Brisbane, becoming […]

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NEWS: Jupiters redevelopment kicks off

The long-awaited $345 million transformation of Jupiters Hotel & Casino is now officially underway, with plans for a new six-star hotel tower, contemporary restaurants and bars, and the complete transformation of all existing facilities. Work began in August on a new poolside experience complete with private cabanas and an ultra-modern bar. Two of the property’s seven restaurants, Osteria Vivo and entwine, will be closed this month to make way for new dining concepts. The iconic Gold Coast institution will also take on a new look […]

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NEWS: Pei Modern comes to Sydney

Mark Best will open Pei Modern in Sydney at the Four Seasons Hotel on October 15. The internationally recognised modern bistro first opened in Melbourne in 2012 to critical acclaim, winning The Age Best New Restaurant Award for 2013. Pei Modern is founded on the principles of bistronomie, which demand a commitment to locally sourced, quality seasonal produce and wines that speak of their place and style. Best said he is incredibly excited to now open Pei Modern in his hometown. “Pei Modern Sydney will respond to the local […]

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NEWS: Devices stay switched on with Qantas

Qantas announced this morning that customers can now use their smart phones, tablets and music players during take-off and landing without having to switch off, providing uninterrupted access to work and entertainment. Qantas was approved to revise its personal electronic device policy by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority yesterday following new guidance on the safe use of personal electronic devices inflight. Until yesterday, devices in Australia were required to remain off until the seatbelt sign turned off, meaning passengers were unable to use them while the […]

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NEWS: Auckland’s winning streak

Auckland recently won a bid to host the 4th World Journalism Education Congress in 2016, a win that comes after a successful start to the financial year for business event in Auckland. The congress, which will be held at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), is expected to attract 300 delegates from more than 30 academic organisations worldwide making an estimated contribution to Auckland’s regional GDP of more than $350,000. Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) – part of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – worked with AUT to […]

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