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Mice Net : June 2009
global issues At the industry exhibition International Confex held in the United Kingdom earlier this year a presentation by MCI Group’s Roger Tondeur put the cat amongst the pigeons when he claimed that in-house meeting planners will be a thing of the past in the not-too-distant future. Mr Tondeur said he believed the activity of in-house planners would be outsourced to external companies... not surprisingly like the one he works for. The difficulties the meetings industry is facing in the U.S. were highlighted in a press conference by President Barack Obama on April 20 who was commenting on the government’s efforts to cut spending. “Many of the agencies have already taken some extraordinary steps to consolidate, streamline, and improve their practices… Veterans Affairs has cancelled or delayed 26 conferences, saving nearly $17.8 million, and they’re using less expensive alternatives like videoconferencing.” These kinds of comments are among the reasons why the U.S. Travel Association launched the Meetings Mean Business initiative (www.meetingsmeanbusiness.com). But obviously it doesn’t appear to be working. Hong Kong-based futurist, Mike Walsh, in Sydney to give a presentation entitled Tales From Near The Future, courtesy of O2 Speakers (www. o2speakers.com), told guests how the New York Tourism Centre recently teamed up with Google to create Google Maps-powered interactive tables where visitors can create their own itineraries. These can then be printed or even downloaded to mobile phones. dubai bouncing back Despite some negative publicity about Dubai of late, director of business development and marketing for the Burj Al Arab, Marie-Laure Akdag says business remains strong in the emirate. In Sydney and Melbourne recently Ms Akdag said like everywhere else in the world Dubai had suffered as a result of the global financial crisis. Many proposed developments have been shelved for the time being, with those that had commenced continuing. In terms of hotel occupancies, the destination was bouncing back strongly. She said the Jumeirah group recorded 70 per cent occupancies in February, 90 per cent in March, and April was fully booked. Attention Canberra Based Conference Planners! Visit conference venues and services in the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Newcastle/ Hunter and Wollongong all in one afternoon, without leaving Canberra! What: Sydney Surrounds showcase – bringing together the key venues and services from the regions surrounding Sydney in one convenient location at one time. When: Wednesday 8th July 2009 2–6 pm Where: Centenary Ballroom Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Commonwealth Avenue Canberra, ACT 2600 Who: Blue Mountains Central Coast Newcastle/ Hunter Wollongong If you are based in Canberra and organise conferences, meetings or events and would like to find out more about any or all of these destinations, then the showcase is a must. Register Now by phoning 02 4974 2998, or email email@example.com. www.btp.net.au/promotions/sydneysurrounds & Convention Bureau 16 mice.net The Upper Lobby of Burj Al Arab