Τρίτη, 31 Δεκεμβρίου 2019
The Conference Centre Chairman and City Councillor for Tourism Emiliano García said this morning that the municipal organisation “has increased its operations over the past year by 34% and grown its international business by 48%.” In his view, “these figures make 2019 one of the best years in the Valencia Conference Centre’s history and endorse Valencia as one of the most cutting-edge destinations in MICE tourism.”
He was speaking alongside the Conference Centre’s Managing Director Sylvia Andrés at the press conference called to present the venue’s annual results. The organisation’s figures show that this 34% increase in operations has generated a total of 99,386 overnight stays in the city. Furthermore, the Centre’s Chairman noted that “61% of delegates come from outside Spain which makes the conference centre a benchmark in MICE tourism at world level.”
As for the organisation’s financial situation, the conference venue ensures its creditworthiness and forecasts profits of €1,630,000 and an EBITDA of €1,875,000 by the end of the year. In August this year, it also paid off all its loans amounting to €2,243,000. Sylvia Andrés commented that “these data are the outcome of the hard work put in by the team which has helped to consolidate the Valencia Conference Centre’s international leadership.”
In 2019, the activity report reveals that the Centre’s team has made over 800 sales visits and submitted 198 event bids. This has boosted the future portfolio which currently has some 70 events confirmed until 2022 that will generate 125,348 overnight stays in the city. Emiliano García praised the work done by the City Council Department, the Visit Valencia Foundation and the Conference Centre to “promote the Valencia brand in the international MICE market” and which he thinks “is reflected in the outstanding results obtained.”
This year the Conference Centre has set aside €345,000 for investment designed to enhance the building’s potential and increase the satisfaction of delegates. 33% of the investment has gone on acquiring state-of-the-art technology in order to keep the venue competitive.
Moreover, 40% of the investment has been sustainable as part of the Centre’s environmental commitment which is central to its strategy. Looking ahead to 2020, the investment plan aims to allocate €2,250,000 to the venue. This will be used mainly to replace the seating and carpeting in Auditoriums 1 and 2 after more than 21 years of use as a result of the high level of activity in the Centre.
SOURCE: VALENCIA CONFERENCE CENTRE
TAGS: SPAIN, THE VALENCIA CONFERENCE CENTRE VALENCIA
On Saturday, a famous snow sculpture park has been opened in China, impressing visitors for the 19th year at a stretch with complicated designed ice attractions.
The park spreads across an area of 60,000 square meters. The fairytale land in the Mudanjiang Snow Castle Park was made using about 22,000 cubic metres of snow.
The park in Heilongjiang Province in northeast China offered visitors a three-dimensional experience with 2019’s themes including “Tom and Jerry” and “Last Night,” as part of the initiation to endorse the integration of culture and tourism.
The snow castle park has become a massive attraction for Mudanjiang City – which is called the “snow city” – since 2001, attracting tourists from home and abroad every year.
The average temperature in Mudanjiang in December is between -8C (17.6F) and -11C (12.2F).
“It is my first time to Mudanjiang.”
“I heard about the ice sculptures so I came for a visit.”
“This is the first time that I’ve seen such a giant and beautiful snow sculpture,” said Jin Lan, a tourist from southwest China’s Guizhou Province.
“The Snow castle park is a lot fun and very beautiful,” said Ward Josh, an American tourist.
JW Marriott strengthenspresence on China’s holiday island with opening of JW Marriott Sanya Haitang Bay
New Year’s message from Neil Walters, Acting Secretary-General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization:
If we were to stop and reflect on this year as it comes to a close, we would most likely describe 2019 as a varied year, which both highlighted the strengths in Caribbean tourism and its inherent weaknesses.
The sector’s strengths were evident in the significant growth rates experienced by most Caribbean countries. Despite contraction in some larger destinations, such as Cuba and the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean experienced an overall 6.1% level of growth in visitor arrivals during the first nine months of the year. It is noteworthy that the growth rates of those countries affected by the 2017 hurricanes were substantial, in some cases up to triple-digit levels.
This level of recovery speaks volumes about the commitment of the Caribbean to this industry which has become the lifeblood of several countries.
During early September, a portion of the northern Bahamas was ravaged by Hurricane Dorian, a super hurricane that broke many records. The devastation caused was a further wake-up call to us in the region that the climatic changes are here and likely irreversible. It is our responsibility to create resilience in not only the tourism sector but all sectors of our economies and by extension all sections of our societies. We continue to commiserate with our brothers and sisters in The Bahamas on the loss of life and property experienced as a result of Dorian.
The cruise sector has also had a strong showing in 2019 with a 5.8% growth rate for the first three quarters. Implicit in this growth of cruise visits is the fact that as occurred in 2018, there has been consistent growth of cruise visits in each quarter of 2019, albeit at rates that are lower than those experienced in 2018.
During the last two months of 2019, we at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) announced that the organization would be going through a process of restructuring. This is currently underway, and it is our intention to emerge from this process with a revised structure which more adequately serves the needs of all our members.
The Caribbean tourism sector is ending 2019 in a position of which all of us can be proud, having seen an overall reversal of the position at the end of 2018. As we look to 2020, we should not rest on our laurels, but continue to work to sustain the growth which was realized this year. At the same time, we must remember that we live in a volatile climatic region which while providing the palate for amazing experiences for our visitors, must always be respected and considered in our planning and development.
In 2020 we continue with the theme of the ‘Year of Festivals’ as we recognized that it was all but impossible for us to fully embrace the rich culture of the Caribbean in one twelve-month span. This year we hope to move even further along the path of integrating our festivals and other cultural events into the tourism product in all our countries. We recognize that not only do these aspects of our individual countries distinguish us from each other, but they also hold significant potential in the quest to attract even more visitors to our shores.
What is also becoming clearer to us is that we have not begun to fully and responsibly harness the power of our culture and heritage in defining who we are, and this is critical as we seek to offer authentic experiences which benefit both the visitor and the communities in which these experiences exist.
Given the results recorded so far in 2019, it is our expectation that 2020 will, all things being equal, be another year of growth, likely at a rate slightly lower for both stayover arrivals and cruise visits. One way that we can arrest the reduction in growth – or even maintain growth at current levels – is to embrace the value of speaking with one voice, ONE CARIBBEAN, to the rest of the world. To this end, it is our expectation that one of the outcomes of the restructuring of the CTO will be a new way of speaking with one voice to the rest of the travelling world, thereby pooling our limited resources to become a stronger force for the maintenance and growth of the market share which the Caribbean, the most tourism-dependent region, values.
On behalf of the CTO Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism, Board of Directors and the staff of the CTO, I want to thank you all for standing with us in 2019 and we look forward to your support in 2020. I wish for a year filled with blessings, growth and prosperity for this region we love.
Kerala is ready to greet the wellness tourists who come to the state to enjoy the magic of Ayurveda. It’s fast turning Kerala into a global medical tourism destination, drawing vacationers along with international celebrities, with packages to experience the centuries-old traditions of preparing ayurvedic medicines and the cultivation of medicinal plants.
The Responsible Tourism Mission under the Tourism Department is working together on the project. It has reached an understanding with about 48 farmers from all over state who are the owners of medicinal plant gardens ranging from 3 to 10 acres and about 180 small scale medicinal farmers. The project explains that the wellness tourists who come to Kerala for ayurvedic massages and undergo other treatments also witness the process of preparing ayurvedic medicines and the traditional maintenance of medicinal plants in the meantime.
According to state RT mission coordinator Rupesh Kumar, handful of the hundreds of ayurvedic treatments in the state own farms though they produce their own medicines. “This project will give them an opportunity to take their guests to the medicinal plant farms and the tourists will be able to come close to the traditional and authentic form of cultivation and preparation of ayurvedic medicines,” he said.
It provides ayurvedic wellness seekers an authentic Ayurveda experience which they can avail from close quarters and will also distinguish Kerala Ayurveda from the countless, sometimes the fake ayurvedic centers in other states. In short, the project would help brand Kerala as the go-to place for authentic Ayurveda across the globe.
In the meantime, once the process of categorizing the Ayurveda centres into three different categories – Ayur diamond, Ayur gold and Ayur silver, keeping in mind the facilities and quality of services offered at each of these centers is completed, Kerala Tourism would open the aforementioned packages for wellness tourists. Currently, the package is ready in two destinations – Vaikom and Kumarakom in Kottayam, in the state as part of the ‘village tour’ project of the department.
At the 2019 Tropical Island International Tourism Food Festival organized in Sanya south in China’s Hainan Province on Dec. 29, 2019, visitors bought crunchy snacks. On Sunday, the festival kicked off and will last till Jan. 1, 2020.
A child closely watches food sculptures at the 2019 Tropical Island (Sanya) International Tourism Food Festival.
In the festival, a total of about 400 booths and five exhibition zones will be featured. Representatives from almost 12 countries and regions worldwide including Russia, South Korea, Australia, and Spain can be seen showcasing their countries’ exotic flavors at the festival, creating an exhilarating food experience for attendees.
The festival has the following five exhibition areas: “time-honored brand” exhibition area, a “poverty alleviation” exhibition area, a domestic food exhibition area, an international food exhibition area, and a branded enterprise exhibition area.
Korea welcomed 3,500 international employees of Shanghai-based multinational retail company WEINA Cosmetics Co. this month for corporate events and travel. The arrivals follow a successful bid to host the global group’s overseas incentive trip by the Korea MICE Bureau (KMB) division of the Korea Tourism Organization.
WEINA Cosmetics Co. is a Shanghai-based cosmetics company established in 2003 currently operating 11 branches throughout China, including Xi’an of Shaanxi Province and Qingdao of Shandong Province. The group’s employees arrived in Korea three groups between the 12th and 19th of this month.
The celebration kicked off with a special Welcome Ceremony at Gangneung Curling Center on December 17th. Participants enjoyed a range of Korean-themed cultural entertainment courtesy of the KMB, including performances by Gukak (Korean traditional music) B-boy group S-Flava and a musical gala show. The group also enjoyed an exclusive K-POP performance at Yongpyong Resort in Pyeongchang, featuring Hallyu star, Min Kyung-hoon.
Staying at a resort-style accommodation in Gangwon Province, employees visited popular attractions in Seoul and Gangwon Province over the 6-day trip, including Jade Garden Natural Arboretum in Chuncheon, Ohjukheon, Gangneung Coffee Street, and Gangneung Curling Center, where the Welcome Ceremony will be held.
KMB has been pushing to recover the Chinese incentive market this past year, promoting new, Hallyu-related contents as part of its program. The efforts have proved successful, with official figures for the number of Chinese incentive travelers to Korea in 2019 as of November estimated at 99,857, indicating an increase of 200% over that time last year.
According to the Director of Corporate & Incentive Team Ik Soo Cheong, there has been very high satisfaction from Chinese incentive participants with performances by Hallyu stars. “We will continue providing various Hallyu contents such as K-POP and K-Drama to attract even more meetings and incentive groups from multinational companies,” he said.
TAGS: INCENTIVE TRIPS, KOREA, SEOUL
In January-February 2020, the summit of Azerbaijani health tourism will be arranged as part of the 24th East Mediterranean International Tourism & Travel Exhibition in Istanbul. Ruslan Guliyev, the Chairman of the Azerbaijani Association for Support of Medical and Thermal Tourism (AHTTSA) remarked at the 24th annual meeting of the Baku club of the international tourism organization “Skal International” organized in Baku on December 26, local media reported. Azerbaijani members of the Skal during the event assessed the annual activities of the club and informed the participants about the projects they will execute next year.
The representatives of the Azerbaijan State Tourism Agency, the Ministry of Culture, the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs, the University of Tourism and Management, the National NGO Forum, as well as travel agencies and hotels took part in the event. Ceyhun Ashurov, president of Skal Baku, explained that the Scal International Association of Tourism Professionals, established in 1934, is the world’s one of the longest-running organizations. He stated that the organization at present has 315 clubs and over 15,000 members in 80 countries and incorporates all aspects of tourism.
The brand new MSC Grandiosa, one of the world’s biggest cruise ships, crashed into a pier in Palermo, Italy, as it attempted to dock on Monday morning.
The luxury liner, which made its maiden voyage only last month, viciously scraped against a wall as it approached the docks on the island of Sicily at around 8:30am.
Video footage showing the enormous vessel trying to dock captured the moment it walloped against the pier. The ship’s horn can he heard blaring in the moments after the crash
The impact caused part of the wall to crumble away, and the impressive vessel – worth $853 million – was left with visible damage to its hull after the encounter.
Despite the unfortunate crash the ship later docked without incident. The MSC Grandiosa is the second largest cruise ship in the world in terms of capacity and, weighing in at 181,541 tonnes, it is the seventh biggest in overall size.
Tags: MSC Grandiosa