NEWS: Melbourne to host public health congress in 2017

Melbourne has secured the right to host the 15th World Congress on Public Health (WCPH) in 2017, to be held at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). Minister for tourism and major events, Louise Asher announced the city’s major win earlier this week and said the congress, held every three to four years by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), is expected to attract more than 2000 public health researchers, academics, scientists, educators and policy makers to Melbourne over five days. “The 2017 Congress holds […]

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NEWS: Industry recognises Gold Coast Tourism CEO

Gold Coast Tourism chief executive officer Martin Winter (pictured) has been honoured by the international meetings industry with a prestigious IMEX Academy Award. The distinction is presented annually to high achieving individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the global meetings, incentive, convention and exhibition sector. Mr Winter’s accomplishment received universal acclaim from a vast international audience at the glamorous 12th Annual IMEX gala dinner held at the Sheraton Frankfurt. Recognised for his spirited commitment as a director of ICCA, Mr Winter was humbled by the award. “The […]

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NEWS: Pier One welcomes new GM

Ms Kim Mahaffy has been appointed to the position of general manager at Pier One Sydney Harbour, the inaugural Australian property in Marriot’s Autograph Collection of international luxury hotels. Ms Mahaffy’s vast experience across Australia and South East Asia, most recently in Hong Kong, brings to Pier One Sydney Harbour a solid international foundation of hotel knowledge and global understanding of guest expectations at a luxury level. Known and respected within the Marriott International Group, Ms Mahaffy has a reputation for creating unique guest experiences, inspiring her staff to […]

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NEWS: Zürich opens up for business travellers

Zürich continues to prove itself as an expanding European hub for business and leisure travellers alike. With the newly opened Dorint Airport-Hotel Zürich, the city recently increased its capacity to better cater to short-term, business and transit travellers. With more than half a million travellers going through Zürich airport each week, Switzerland Tourism’s director – Australia & New Zealand, Evelyn Lafone, says it is imperative the needs of those on short stays are met with as much care and attention as those on longer holiday stays. […]

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NEWS: CINZ announces new CEO

Sue Sullivan has been named as the new CEO of Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ), replacing industry stalwart Alan Trotter as he steps down from the top job after a successful 20-year run. Ms Sullivan (pictured) brings to the role a strong understanding of the New Zealand tourism Industry with more than 20 years’ experience.  Her most recent role was with Tourism Holdings Limited as the General Manager Sales.  Ms Sullivan has completed a six year term on the board of the Tourism Industry Association (TIANZ) and four years as a New Zealand Backpacker, Youth and […]

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VENUE UPDATE: White Bay Cruise Terminal

With the exhibition season in full swing at Sydney Exhibition Centre at Glebe Island, nearby venues are upping the ante in the hope of capitalising on the hive of activity at SEC@GI. Among the newest venues in the area, White Bay Cruise Terminal is a versatile event space with immaculate waterfront vistas. Opened in April last year, the 3500 square-metre venue makes the most of its harbour location with an architectural ‘wave’ roof and an enormous outdoor wharf that looks over Glebe Island, Port Jackson, and […]

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NEWS: Playford Adelaide joins Accor’s MGallery

The Playford Adelaide is the latest boutique property to join Accor’s rapidly growing MGallery hotel collection. Weaving together a rich tapestry of local artisans and food producers the centrally located hotel is a true taste of Adelaide offering a warm welcome and a perfect base to explore the city’s cultural precinct. The family-run property joins a number of nationally and internationally revered hotels, including The Reef House Resort & Spa Palm Cove, Hotel Lindrum Melbourne, Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, as well as Hotel St Mortiz […]

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NEWS: Convention centre for Sea World

In 2015 Sea World Resort will open the doors to a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art conference centre capable of catering to 1000 people. The 750 square metre building will be divisible by three, and is a welcome addition to the existing six conference venues currently in operation at the resort. Sea World is operated by Village Roadshow Theme Parks which describes itself as a one stop shop when it comes to conferences and events on the Gold Coast. Options include a breakfast with the Dolphins at […]

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NEWS: Bridgeclimb reaches new heights

Since launching in 1998, BridgeClimb has led almost 3.2 million people from more than 130 countries to scale to the summit of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. The company recently decided to up the ante and began crafting a number of event-themed climbs, in tune with the key festivals taking place in Sydney. This was demonstrated in the 2014 Mardi Gras Disco Climb, where climbers ascended the Bridge waving rainbow hankies in celebration of the festival and, upon reaching the summit under a glittering disco […]

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NEWS: Industry welcomes TA campaign

Close to 700 Australian businesses have so far shared their top food and wine experiences as part of Tourism Australia’s new Restaurant Australia campaign, which launched in Sydney last week. Tourism Australia managing director, John O’Sullivan, said it was pleasing to see its new food and wine campaign receive such a strong backing from industry. “We started this campaign by putting out a rally cry to industry and early signs are they are backing it. There’s already so many great stories coming in bringing to life the people, […]

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NEWS: Tjapukai redevelopment update

Tropical North Queensland’s Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park has unveiled new Indigenous cultural experiences as it undergoes a $12 million transformation into a versatile all-weather venue. Cutting edge theatre technology and an open plan glass design that showcases the park’s surrounding rainforest are among the highlights of the redevelopment, due to open early 2015. Two state of the art theatre spaces, History and Hero’s walk, restaurant and outdoor bar will complement the interactive Cultural Village. In addition to Aboriginal culture, Torres Strait Islander dance can now be experienced at the […]

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NEWS: Five-star hotel for Auckland waterfront

A 200-room signature hotel is set to grace the Auckland waterfront thanks to a newly formed partnership between council organisation, Waterfront Auckland, and Beijing developer, Fu Wah International Group. The new five-star hotel will be built on the western edge of Viaduct Harbour, with construction expected to commence in 2015 and a completion date in 2017. As part of the build, a new section of Auckland’s waterfront alongside Viaduct Harbour will be opened up for public use. The $200 million investment by Fu Wah Group […]

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NEWS: Denarau Convention Centre opens

Final preparations are underway for the inaugural Fijian Tourism Expo, with today’s official opening of the new Denarau Island Convention Centre. The Fijian Tourism Expo (FTE) will be the first event e held in the new facility at the Sheraton Fiji Resort and provides a great opportunity to introduce the centre to both Fijian and international travel trade. “We have more than 150 international travel buyers attending FTE,” Tourism Fiji CEO, Rick Hamilton, said. “The first event to be held at the new Denarau Island Convention […]

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NEWS: Christchurch venue opening a right royal affair

In Christchurch as part of their official visit to New Zealand, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today officially opened the city’s new Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre. Built to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Botanic Gardens, the $16.4 million centre was designed by leading New Zealand architects Patterson Associates and features a multi-purpose function room that seats up to 120 people. The overall design marries white embossed concrete with clean glass panels and plant cell motifs to create a visually striking building that sits at ease […]

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NEWS: Increased accessibility into Texas for Aussie delegates

A delegation of civic and business leaders from Dallas and Fort Worth, including officials from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), toured Australia this week, promoting the Qantas-DFW route and announcing new services that will streamline the customs process for Australians visiting the U.S. From May 2014, DFW’s automated passport control (APC) system, which was previously reserved for U.S. and Canadian citizens, will be expanded to include visa waiver countries like Australia. “At DFW we have been working diligently to streamline the customs and immigration process […]

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NEWS: Chinese incentives on the rise in Oz

Australia is building a reputation as the incentive destination of choice for business events groups from North Asia, with the number of incentive bookings on the rise, particularly for large delegations from China. The latest Tourism 2020 progress report for the business events sector reveals Australia welcomed 893,000 international business event delegates for the year ending September 2013, with a total expenditure of $13 billion. Chinese delegates represented nine per cent of visitation and 11 per cent of expenditure. Tourism Australia managing director, John O’Sullivan, […]

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NEWS: UAE’s largest ever incentive group arrives

The first of 14,500 Chinese delegates from direct selling and marketing company, Nu Skin Enterprises, descended upon Dubai this week as part of the  UAE’s largest ever corporate incentive program. The Dubai Convention and Events Bureau (DCEB), a division of the Department of Commerce and Tourism Marketing (DTCM), won the bid for Dubai to host the Nu Skin incentive mega-group in January 2013, fending off fierce competition from Macau, Seoul in South Korea and Singapore. The sizable Chinese delegation is arriving in seven waves, with one wave averaging […]

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NEWS: Beverley Parker for ICC Sydney

A senior executive with a proven track record in business events, the hotel and hospitality industries, Ms Beverley Parker was this week appointed as director of business development for the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney. Announcing the appointment on Monday April 7, AEG Ogden’s director of convention centres and ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy said Ms Parker brought a wealth of industry experience and business networks to ICC Sydney. “This is a key appointment to the ICC Sydney senior management team and another indicator that […]

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NEWS: Merivale expands into Coogee

The hospitality group is further enhancing its reign over Sydney with the recent addition of Coogee’s Beach Palace Hotel to its ever-expanding portfolio. The purchase of this historic property follows the group’s recent acquisition of the former Trump Tavern on King Street in Sydney’s CBD and the Paddington Arms Hotel on Oxford Street. “This is an amazing opportunity for Merivale,” group CEO, Justin Hemmes, said this week. “There are very few iconic beach-side venues like this in Australia, both in terms of scale and location. […]

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NEWS: SilverNeedle launches healthy MICE program

In keeping with a growing trend towards healthy meetings, SilverNeedle Hospitality recently launched a new health-focused MICE program, ‘Healthy Minds, Healthy Thinking’, to meet the growing demand for healthy options. The program comes after research conducted by the hospitality group  revealed conference organisers are demanding healthier catering and team-building activities. “Our Healthy Minds, Healthy Thinking program originated from a real need in the MICE arena,” SilverNeedle CEO and managing director, Iqbal Jumabhoy, said. “With our innovative take on healthy menus and activities, our program will ensure delegates reap the full benefits of attending […]

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NEWS: Sheraton returns to Melbourne

The Sheraton Melbourne officially opened its doors this week (March 31), signalling a return of the brand to the city after a nine year absence. The property is situated at the ‘Paris end’ of Melbourne’s Little Collins Street in the central business district and features 174 guest rooms, including 11 Terrace Suites. The hotel boasts six meeting rooms of varying sizes, comprising a total of more than 660 square metres on a dedicated, naturally lit conferencing floor.

NEWS: Hunter Valley centre breaks ground

The Hunter Valley’s largest conference and events centre has broken ground and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014. The Hunter Valley Conference & Events Centre is set to be the largest and most comprehensive conference and exhibition facility in the region, with capacity for up to 1000 delegates. Built overlooking garden spaces within Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, the centre will include three conference rooms with a combined 2012 square metres of pre-function, meeting, exhibition and convention space; each with separate access, and […]

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NEWS: Aust Govt urged to loosen visa policies after disappointing year for tourism

Australia’s visa policies are inhibiting tourism potential and seeing it lose out on high-spending Asian visitors, according to a report released today by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). The organisation’s 2014 Annual Economic Impact Report for Australia shows the economic contribution of Australia’s travel a tourism grew by just 1.7 per cent in 2013. WTTC president and CEO, David Scowsill said the Australian Federal Government needs to take action to ensure the sector is sustained in the long term. “The Australian Government can’t […]

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NEWS: Ayers Rock Resort hosts Outback Fest 2014

Ayers Rock Resort is set to host Outback Fest, a celebration of the Aussie outback featuring the Uluru Camel Cup Race Day, from Friday May 2 to Monday May 5 2014. “Outback Fest is an annual event that is part our major events program in 2014,” Voyages executive general manager sales marketing and distribution, Ray Stone, said. “We believe that Outback Fest enhances the already strong guest experience on offer at the spiritual heart of Australia and gives an even better reason for people to […]

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NEWS: Qantas partners with Bangkok Airways

Qantas this week announced a new codeshare agreement with Bangkok Airways, which is set to significantly improve the national carrier’s travel options across South East Asia. From March 30, Qantas customers will be able to book Bangkok Airways services from Bangkok and Singapore to six new destinations in Thailand, including Ko Samui, Chiang Mai and Phuket. Qantas international CEO Simon Hickey said the agreement was another step forward in delivering on the airline’s strategy to offer better options for customers travelling between Australia and Asia. […]

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