Catering to the travel trend for creative event facilities in inspiring destinations, Belmond is updating business amenities and offering special group rates across its curated collection of luxury hotels and travel experiences. Highlights include a new event …
Nigel Meyer, HRG’s Group Technology and Data Services Director, said: “We have spent the last 18 months listening to clients using HRG Insight in order to find out exactly what their requirements are. By responding to their changing needs and …
Tourism Ireland – together with 11 Irish tourism enterprises – recently attended The Meetings Show, which took place at the Olympia in London as part of its efforts to increase conference and business tourism from Britain and elsewhere around the …
GainingEdge CEO Gary Grimmer was honoured by Destination Marketing Association International – DMAI – as one of the first six inductees into its newly established Hall of Fame today. Launched in 2014, on the occasion of DMAI’s centennial …
At a recent gathering of top executives, working on the agenda for the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) – Africa’s top event for hotel investors, research was undertaken by the Forum’s organiser, Bench Events, to find out what the essential …
Catering to the travel trend for creative event facilities in inspiring destinations, Belmond is updating business amenities and offering special group rates across its curated collection of luxury hotels and travel experiences.
Highlights include a new event conservatory at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire and a Highland Games experience on board luxury sleeper train, Belmond Royal Scotsman.
The traditional conference room meeting is now a thing of the past, with companies increasingly seeking inspiring venues where employees can enjoy luxury services. Located in some of the world’s most celebrated locations, Belmond’s collection offers outstanding venues and unrivalled expertise for every gathering, from grand conferences to intimate retreats.
Belmond is committed to helping guests discover their chosen destination. In line with this philosophy, each hotel and train offers a range of authentic experiences that can easily be worked into a business trip itinerary, from team cookery classes to helicopter rides over spectacular landscapes.
Below is a selection of Belmond’s updated event facilities and latest group offers:
New Event Conservatory at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
Created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc OBE, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons has held two Michelin stars since 1985 and is one of the country’s most intimate and original hotels, with 32 individually designed guest rooms. Situated in the picturesque Oxfordshire village of Great Milton, the 15th-century manor house boasts a range of event spaces and an acclaimed cookery school, making it the ultimate venue for an innovative corporate function.
Event hire at the hotel includes use of the Provençal-style reception room, secluded walled garden, dining room and brand new La Belle Époque Conservatory. Raymond Blanc was involved in the design of this bright, open space overlooking the walled garden – a great spot for a game of croquet. Hosting 15 to 50 guests, the conservatory is ideal for aperitifs and post-dinner drinks with its own private entrance, a bar and glass doors opening onto the lawn and terrace.
A dedicated events team can assist with bespoke furniture hire, music, lighting and entertainment, while Raymond and his Michelin starred chefs have created seasonal dishes, many using fresh produce from the hotel’s vegetable gardens. Complimentary canapés, coffee and petits fours are provided and guests can select Champagne and wine from the extensive cellar with the Chief Sommelier.
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is offering groups a special rate in November 2014 from £495 per room, per night including breakfast. Offer is subject to availability and valid for bookings of 10 rooms only.
Restored Ballroom at Hotel du Palais, A Belmond Associate Hotel
Positioned on a headland between two pristine beaches, Hotel du Palais, A Belmond Associate Hotel in Biarritz, France was originally built as the private residence of Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie. The hotel’s timeless blend of glamour and Basque Country warmth makes it a popular choice for corporate events.
Formerly Napoleon III’s ballroom, the magnificent Salon Impérial was recently restored to its original appearance as part of a six-month, €3.3 million refurbishment. Works include the re-creation of a glass roof to flood the main room with light, a redesigned adjoining space for break-out groups and cocktails, and a beautiful winter garden.
The private 300m2 space holds up to 230 people and is ideal for banquets, conferences and corporate events. State-of-the-art amenities such as an audio system, built-in screen and air-conditioning are complemented by intricate wall paintings, period mouldings and Hungarian point pattern parquet flooring. Smaller meetings can be held in the hotel’s intimate Salon Windsor.
Hotel du Palais, A Belmond Associate Hotel is offering groups a special rate in September 2014 from €335 (approx. £268) per room, per night including taxes and breakfast. Offer is subject to availability and valid for 10 – 100 rooms.
Brand New Corporate ‘Club Level’ at Belmond Miraflores Park
Belmond Miraflores Park in Lima, Peru recently reopened following an extensive four-month refurbishment. The renovations include the creation of a dedicated Club Suite level with Executive Lounge, remodelling of the hotel’s seven conference rooms and the launch of a stylish new restaurant and bar.
Spanning the 8th – 10th floors of the hotel, the Club Suite level is designed with corporate guests in mind. Offering superior sound technology, motorised curtains and television, computer and music connectivity to the same device, Club Suites enjoy complimentary access to a new, 24-hour Executive Lounge with modern conference facilities and a terrace, as well as sleek new meeting rooms and state-of-the-art business technology. Guests also receive complimentary breakfast, evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, plus non-alcoholic beverages throughout the day.
The hotel’s seven conference rooms have also been remodelled with updated décor and equipment. Offering the latest communication technology, many have spectacular ocean views and are ideal for large functions, meetings, banquets and receptions for 45 – 400 guests.
Guests booking three nights at Belmond Miraflores Park can enjoy a complimentary night at a sister hotel in Peru, choosing from Belmond Hotel Monasterio and Belmond Palacio Nazarenas in Cusco; Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado in the Sacred Valley; and Belmond Sanctuary Lodge at Machu Picchu. ‘Discover Peru with Belmond’ is subject to availability and valid on stays until 30th September 2014.
Traditional Highland Games aboard Belmond Royal Scotsman
For those looking for a venue with a difference, the elegant Edwardian style carriages of Belmond Royal Scotsman may be just the ticket. The UK’s only luxury sleeper train accommodates just 36 guests and journeys across the Highlands of Scotland, offering two- to seven-night itineraries between March and November.
Onboard, guests are treated to culinary delights using local ingredients, traditional Scottish entertainment and sleep in comfortable cabins with en-suite bathrooms. Each itinerary includes visits to distilleries, family-run estates and castles, while visits to some of Scotland’s famous golf courses can also be arranged.
Inspired by the Commonwealth Games taking place in Scotland this summer, a Highland Games experience can be arranged for groups or entire charter at a private estate nestled amongst a pine forest, or on the white sands of the Western coast. Typical games include tossing the caber and Scottish hammer, welly-throwing and a sack race to keep competitive spirits high.
Belmond Royal Scotsman is offering a special group rate for two- or four-night itineraries departing Edinburgh on selected departures throughout April and May 2015. Prices start from £1,140 per person, with two guests sharing a twin cabin. Prices are based on 10 or more cabins booked on each journey and on an all-inclusive basis.
Nigel Meyer, HRG’s Group Technology and Data Services Director, said: “We have spent the last 18 months listening to clients using HRG Insight in order to find out exactly what their requirements are. By responding to their changing needs and focusing our attention on upgrading existing HRG Insight features we have added a level of maturity to what was originally a fresh new product.
“Data is becoming increasingly important to decision makers across businesses and therefore it is essential that our clients have an intelligent, flexible and useable tool in order to get the most out of their travel related data. Whether it is monitoring compliance levels, analysing supplier relations or tracking the safety and security of travellers, HRG Insight has been enhanced to meet the needs of our clients head on.”
HRG’s dedicated team of specialists have been working closely with clients over the past 18 months to implement and manage HRG Insight. Exceptional user experiences of the innovative tool have resulted in additions to the following features:
These features add a level of maturity to HRG Insight by adapting to clients’ individual travel data management requirements. This flexibility allows users to interrogate their pre, during and post travel data to a greater depth than ever before.
Tourism Ireland – together with 11 Irish tourism enterprises – recently attended The Meetings Show, which took place at the Olympia in London as part of its efforts to increase conference and business tourism from Britain and elsewhere around the world, In its second year now, The Meetings Show draws more than 3,600 conference and meeting professionals and event planners, from around Britain and Mainland Europe.
The three-day event provided the Irish tourism companies with an opportunity to conduct business face-to-face with the influential decision-makers in attendance, through a series of pre-scheduled appointments and networking opportunities.
Tourism Ireland’s deputy head of Great Britain, David Boyce, said: “Business tourism is the most lucrative form of tourism, offering significant economic benefits, and Tourism Ireland has an extensive programme of promotions under way to highlight the island of Ireland as a premier business tourism destination.”
This year, Tourism Ireland in Britain is targeting the corporate meetings and conference sector.
The organisation will have a presence at 11 key events, including The Meetings Show. Ads and advertorials are running in business publications, in-flight magazines and newspapers supplements; e-newsletters are targeting more than 10,000 key MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) contacts; and ‘Meet in Ireland’ advertisements will be appearing on relevant websites during the year.
Launched in 2014, on the occasion of DMAI’s centennial celebrations, the Hall of Fame Award was created to recognize individuals who have changed the future of Destination Marketing for the better, made significant contributions to the advancement of the industry and shaped travel marketing and is regarded as the highest honor that DMAI can bestow.
Milton Carmichael, Peggy Flower, George D.Kirkland, Rossi Ralenkotter, Leonard Rolston and Grimmer are the inaugural inductees into the DMAI Hall of Fame. More information about the Award and its Inductees can be found here:about
Grimmer’s colleagues, clients and friends from Asia were quick to offer their congratulations to him. Ms Etsuko Kawasaki, Director of Japan Convention Bureau said: “Gary is always professional and helpful to all those who need of his advice. I believe his knowledge and thoughtful expertise to convention bureaus contribute to the development of the Asian meeting business.” Echoing her thoughts was Zulkefli Sharif CEO Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau: “This award truly recognizes his pursuit for excellence and contribution to the business events industry. Gary’s passion in the industry has driven us closer towards our vision to be Asia’s role model bureau.”
Tony Xu, Vice President of China National Convention Center in Beijing, and co-author of the upcoming “A Panorama of the Meeting Industry” were among others who sent their congratulatory messages immediately after the announcement: “Gary is definitely deserving of this honour.” Jason Yeh, CEO of GIS Group in Taipei and Chair of ICCA Asia Pacific Chapter added: “As my mentor, Gary has broadened my horizons, rendering tremendous insight and wisdom over many years of our friendship. He is always willing to share and help. He is also the respectable person you should consult and trust when you need to connect with certain key people.”
Rod Kamleshwaran, COO of GainingEdge had this to say: “We are very proud of Gary’s achievements and contributions to this industry. Especially his exemplary efforts in helping far and emerging markets. He never stops generating new thoughts and ideas. Gary is so humble that we often forget how privileged we are to have regular access to his amazing talent and wisdom.”
Source:- ICCA World
At a recent gathering of top executives, working on the agenda for the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) – Africa’s top event for hotel investors, research was undertaken by the Forum’s organiser, Bench Events, to find out what the essential principles are for doing business successfully in Africa.
The main findings were that African markets are progressively being seen as open for business and regardless of perceptions of eminent risk, the continent is not considerably different from others. Yet the continent’s complexity and rich diversity point to the need for flexibility when it comes to business strategy. Three main factors considered most likely to distinguish success from failure when doing business in Africa are: 1) Appreciation that every country in Africa is unique, 2) The importance of receiving support from local experts and 3) placing a high value on relationships.
To the first point, several executives agreed that it is vital to remember that every country in Africa is unique, and in order to do business successfully, every single country needs to be understood in its entirety. Kofi Adomakoh, Head of Project Finance and Export Development, African Export Import Bank, recently said: “The time has come for everyone doing business in Africa to take time to understand all of Africa and not just view it as one block”. Michael Cooper, Vice President Development Sub Saharan Africa, Hilton Worldwide agreed and commented that investors should “remember that Africa is not one country.” On the major issues, it is necessary for the industry as a whole to talk to each government. “Collectively we must continue to put pressure on all African governments for open skies and visa free travel,” he added.
To the second point, there was a strong consensus that appreciating local players, receiving support from local experts and building strong local partnerships are critical for business success in Africa. Kevin Underwood, Global Leader of Leisure and Culture, Aecom, stated: “Any development project must have a local sequence and one must understand the culture of the African countries. There are no shortcuts.” Filippo Sona, Director, Head of Hotels (MENA Region), Colliers International, agreed and advised “Contact local companies and get local expertise to develop in Africa. Use local resources.” Al-Karim Hamir, Chairman & Managing Director, Prime Assets also concurred: “You definitely have to have a local partner to learn and climb the ladder.” To be successful, it is also necessary to identify, nurture and retain talented and committed local staff. Andrew McLachlan, Vice President, Business Development, Africa & Indian Ocean Islands, The Rezidor Hotel Group, commented: “Having local feet on the ground is essential and creating teams of excellence is important – the stronger your professional team is the better. Like a strong football team – you need to pick the best in every role”.
The third major theme that emerged from the research was the importance of collaborating with various organisations: co-operate with all levels of government, join forces with the investment world and build strong relationships with all of them – perhaps more than in any other continent. Lourie Kruger, VP M&A and Treasury, Kingdom Hotel Investments, stated: “The only way to grow your business effectively is to have really strong relationships. When you don’t have the infrastructure like you do in other markets, those relationships make everything much more efficient.” Klaus Lengefeld, Sector Leader Tourism, GIZ, agreed and said: “Sit together. Many organisations are investing a lot into sustainable development but do not work together with the hotel investment world”.
Other general success factors that emerged from the study included: invest in people, focus on positives, be patient and persistent, have realistic expectations and be prepared for any hidden costs or surprises. Also, experienced foreign investors repeatedly note that nowhere else is there such a direct correlation between careful planning (and flexibility about plans once formed) and a successful outcome.