NEWS: Fine Food returns to Sydney

Australia’s largest annual food industry trade expo, Fine Food Australia, will return to Sydney in 2015, after celebrating its 30th anniversary in Melbourne last year. Set to take place at the Sydney Showground,  Sydney Olympic Park from September 20, the four-day event promises the best of the food service industry with a line-up of new features and interactive sessions. Event director, Minnie Constan, says: “We can’t wait to get to Sydney to showcase the evolution of Fine Food Australia. We have some great new stage presentations, […]

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VENUE UPDATE: Mantra expands in Tassie

The Mantra Group is set to expand its presence in Tasmania with the acquisition of two properties – the Hotel Collins in Hobart and the Hotel Charles in Launceston. Mantra Group negotiated an off-market opportunity to secure the leaseholds from Tasmanian businessman Lyndon Jago, who currently markets the hotels under the Stay Tasmania brand. Mantra Group will now operate the hotels under a lease agreement with owners Sultan Holdings Pty Ltd in Hobart and Joseph Chromy in Launceston. Mantra Group CEO Bob East said the new […]

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NEWS: $6 million boost for Sydney events

NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant has pledged an additional $6 million in funding to assist Business Events Sydney secure more business events for the harbour city and the new International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney). The announcement comes off the back of last month’s NSW Government commitment to provide an additional $123.35 million, a 25 per cent boost, to the sector. Mr Grant said the boost was part of the NSW Government’s election commitment to secure the state’s reputation as the home of Australia’s major events. “BESydney has been […]

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NEWS: P&O launches meetings division

P&O Cruises this week announced a major push into the meetings market, creating a new P&O Conferences division to spearhead an increase in corporate bookings. Officially launched at AIME, the cruise line’s conference drive comes as it prepares to expand its fleet from three to five ships, with the addition of Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden in November this year. P&O Cruises director of sales, Ryan Taibel, said the fleet expansion would open the door to host more on-board meetings, with the boutique size and meeting […]

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NEWS: Adelaide for Dreamtime 2015

Tourism Australia this week announced Adelaide as the host city for Dreamtime, its bi-annual meeting and incentive event and showcase. Taking place on December 6-12, Dreamtime 2015 will bring more than 100 of the world’s top level travel and incentive buyers from key destinations such as Greater China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom to the South Australian capital. The five-day program features two day of touring the host city and meeting with local tourism and business event operators in […]

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EVENT: AIME 2015 countdown begins

The annual Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) kicks off next week, with a revamped program that features new networking opportunities, a gala dinner, and a redesigned show floor. Taking place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) on February 24 and 25, this year’s show is being touted by event organiser, Reed Travel Exhibitions, as ‘the most inspiring and interactive event yet’. Exhibition director, Jacqui Timmins, said the new initiatives will reinvent the traditional format of exhibitions. “After 23 years, it was time […]

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NEWS: Whitehaven named best beach

The Whitsundays’ Whitehaven Beach has again taken out the top gong as the South Pacific’s Best Beach in the 2015 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards. This marks the third consecutive year Whitehaven Beach was voted Australia’s Best Beach and this year also ranked among the Top 10 in the world, coming in at ninth place. Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited (WMDL) executive director, Jeff Aquilina, is delighted the region’s iconic beach remains a favourite. “On behalf of the Whitsundays tourism industry, we are absolutely thrilled that Whitehaven Beach […]

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NEWS: Byron at Byron celebrates 10 years

It’s been 10 years since Gerry Harvey and Katie Page opened the Byron at Byron Resort, with Katie Page saying it wouldn’t be the success it has been without managers John and Lyn Parche at the helm. There’s an old fashioned feel to the Byron at Byron Resort and Spa that has nothing to do with the accommodation or the styling or the food or anything else to do with the physical makeup of the property. It’s to do with the service. Come out of […]

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VENUE UPDATE: Accor’s Sebel brand expands

The Sebel hotel network across Australia is set to expand with the Accor group this week announcing two new properties in Victoria and Queensland – The Sebel South Brisbane and upcoming $35 million waterfront project, The Sebel Yarrawonga (pictured). Accor officially welcomed its first property on the Southside of the Brisbane River this week with addition of The Sebel South Brisbane at 50 Water Street. In close proximity to the commercial and entertainment hub of South Bank and the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the 63-room hotel […]

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VENUE UPDATE: Mantra’s Melbourne game-changer

Mantra Group has added its largest-ever hotel to its expanding portfolio, with the rebranding of the 844-room Bell City in Preston, Melbourne. The group now manages the dual hotel towers, now known as Mantra Bell City (383 rooms) and BreakFree Bell City (461 rooms), which form part of a large-scale mixed-used development. Recognised as the leading hotel and events precinct in Melbourne’s north, Bell City is located just nine kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD. As well as a range of accommodation options, the property features extensive food and […]

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NEWS: Hotelier calls for greater govt support

Hotel developer Dr Jerry Schwartz is calling on NSW Premier Mike Baird to improve road and air access to Sydney’s Hunter region to boost the region’s visitor economy and tourism sector. Speaking at the launch of the Hunter Valley Conference & Events Centre in February, Dr Schwartz told the  NSW that major infrastructure support to upgrade Cessnock airport and improve road access from Sydney is required if Hunter Valley tourism is to be transformed from a “cocoon to a butterfly”. “The Hunter Valley has rich history and pedigree, high […]

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EVENTS: Coober Pedy celebrates centenary

The opal capital of the world, Coober Pedy, is gearing up to celebrate 100 years of history and heritage. Celebrations to mark the centenary kicked off this month, with a line-up of special events running until May 2015. South Australian Tourism Minister, Leon Bignell, said visitors will be treated to genuine outback hospitality when they make the trek to the South Australian outback. “This event is a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore a unique destination where half the population lives in underground dugouts and […]

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DESTINATION: Meet in Macau

Macau, Asia’s luxurious but affordable entertainment and resort destination, offers unique attractions alongside its centuries old, historic and cultural city. This blend of old and new provides the perfect setting for meetings, special events and incentive travel. The Macau Incentive Travel Stimulation Program is now available to meeting and event planners considering Macau for groups of 50 or more and with a minimum stay of 2-3 consecutive nights. To be eligible for assistance, incentive events must be booked before December 31, 2015. Visit the team from […]

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NEWS: RACV Royal Pines appoints AVPartners

AVPartners has been awarded the audiovisual contract for RACV Royal Pines Resort, following a rigorous tender process. The partnership will see AVPartners stage business events at the Gold Coast venue, provide audio-visual support and coordinate technical assistance for event delegates. The AVPartners designated partner at RACV Royal Pines Resort, Jarum Rolfe, said: “RACV Royal Pines Resort is well-known for delivering exceptional event experiences and we are looking forward to delivering creative, outside-of-the-box audiovisual and event staging solutions.” Resort general manager, John Morris, said: “AVPartners employs a unique […]

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NEWS: Langham introduces new hotel brand

Langham Hospitality Group has announced a new upscale global hotel brand, Cordis Hotels and Resorts. A new generation of hotels devoted to wellbeing, the Cordis portfolio will be developed through a combination of new-build and conversion projects in key cities in Asia and North America, with the brand set to debut in Hong Kong in May 2015. Introducing the brand, Langham Hospitality Group chief executive officer Robert Warman said: “Building on the successes of Langham Hotels and Resorts, we saw the need to create a collection of international […]

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NEWS: Funding boost for NSW events

The NSW Government has announced a 25 per cent increase in its tourism budget over the next four years to make Sydney the number one destination for major events. Just over $73 million will be spent on major events including $22 million to secure more events in western Sydney. Tourism Accommodation Australia acting CEO, Carol Giuseppi, said: “It has taken a long time for governments to understand the substantial impact that events, conferences and exhibitions can deliver to the economy.” “The impact of the recent Asian Football […]

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NEWS: Luxperience team expands

The team behind luxury travel tradeshow, Luxperience, recently announced two new appointments help the show reach new limits in 2015. David Paterson joins the team as the senior sales and sponsorships manager, while Rachelle Del Rosario will take on the business development manager role. Mr Paterson recently moved to Sydney from London, where he gained over 10 years of experience in the exhibition and event industry including four years project managing the ILTM portfolio. Mr Paterson will be responsible for securing the ideal exhibitors from across the globe, with a […]

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VENUE UPDATE: Elizabeth Quay opens up for events

The massive $2.6 billion redevelopment of Perth’s waterfront at Elizabeth Quay will soon be open for business, with the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) calling for expressions of interest from event organisers looking to host events at the site from early 2016. The 10-hectre Elizabeth Quay project will reconnect the Swan River with Perth’s CBD with a contemporary riverfront that incorporates residential and retail space, cultural attractions, a 204-room Ritz Carlton hotel, and seven (five permanent and two temporary sites) outdoor event spaces. “We are welcoming expressions of interest from event […]

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VENUE UPDATE: Jupiters launches outdoor space

Jupiters Hotel & Casino officially opened the doors to its first-ever outdoor dining venue, Cucina Vivo, a 240-seat restaurant with an outdoor terrace that overlooks the casino’s newly-renovated pool. Jupiters Hotel & Casino managing director, Geoff Hogg, said Cucina Vivo has already been hugely successful since opening the indoor restaurant component in December, with popularity expected to pique with the newly opened outdoor balcony. “Cucina Vivo draws on traditional Italian food culture which is all about celebrating good company, great food and beautiful surrounds. “The […]

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NEWS: NZ out in full force at AIME

With major infrastructure projects planned across the country, including four new convention centres in Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand will be out in full force at the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) in Melbourne later this month. Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) and Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) are set to lead a sizable contingent of key business events operators, with CINZ chief executive, Sue Sullivan, saying she is keen to update Australian buyers. “New Zealand is moving to the next level as it works to become […]

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NEWS: FTE returns in 2015

After the success of its inaugural year in 2014, Fiji Tourism Expo (FTE), returns in 2015 with more than 150 international buyers expected to attend. The event will be held from June 16-18 at the Denarau Island Convention Centre, Fiji and is set to attract more than 250 exhibitors as well as buyers from key international markets including Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, China, South Korea and India. FTE is scheduled to take place immediately prior to the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) in […]

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NEWS: ibtm arabia delivers new format

A revamped GIBTM, now known as ibtm arabia, kicked off this week in Abu Dhabi as meeting planners and PCOs from 36 countries descended on the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort for the show’s opening. ibtm arabia is built around a new three-day format (February 10-12) that features two days of closed door one-to-one meetings, nine networking and social events and a ‘discovery day’ for buyers to explore Abu Dhabi and attend the show’s ‘knowledge forum’. With twice as many exhibitors as GIBTM 2014, this year’s event will include […]

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VENUE UPDATE: GC’s newest event space

The Gold Coast’s newest event space, The Gold Coast Event Centre, located on the southern lawn at Gold Coast Turf Club, opened last month. Minister Jann Stuckey officially opened the 2500 square-metre centre three days prior to its debut on at the Jeep Magic Millions Race Day on January 10, 2015. The directors of Gold Coast Turf Club stated they very excited about the new space and expect it will contribute to the ongoing improvement and growth of the club. Bookings have already been taken in the […]

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NEWS: Carlson Rezidor recognises high-achievers

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group recently celebrated the achievements of its 2014 top-performing employees and hotels in the Asia Pacific region at a gala awards dinner as part of the group’s annual Asia Pacific Business Conference, held at Radisson Blu Plaza Chongqing. Carlson Rezidor president Asia Pacific, Thorsten Kirschke, congratulated all the 2014 award-winners, with top gongs like ‘general manager of the year’ and ‘hotel of the year’. “Our people are the backbone of our business. They bring our brands to life, shape the guest experience […]

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NEWS: Adelaide’s bumper year of business events  

Figures released by the Adelaide Convention Bureau highlight a bumper year for business events as the state secured $211m worth of conventions and conferences in 2014. A total 191 events were held in the South Australian capital last year, creating 1790 jobs and injecting more than $4m weekly to the state’s visitor economy. Adelaide Convention Bureau CEO, Damien Kitto, said the success of 2014 is reflective of the bureau’s new marketing strategy. “The $211m economic benefit for Adelaide and South Australia over the year affords […]

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NEWS: Record entries for MEA awards

Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) today announced it has received a record number of entries for its 2014 state and national awards. Entries for the 2014 awards closed yesterday and numbers have increased significantly from the previous year. MEA’s national and state awards recognise the achievements of companies and individuals in the events industry. MEA chief executive, Linda Gaunt, said the record numbers highlight the industry’s desire to be noticed. “This is proving that businesses and individuals are looking to showcase their talents and be noticed in the […]

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