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Current News

December 06, 2018
Colours of Malta Joins Preferred DMCs

Preferred DMCs, the boutique consortium of selected Destination & Event Management Companies from around Europe specializing in bespoke high-end incentive travel and special interest groups, VIP travel, events, meetings and conferences, has another new member: it’s the prestigious Colours of Malta DMC, one of the main references for Malta, Gozo and Comino, since 1997 specializing exclusively in handling conference and incentive markets.

The number of Preferred DMCs’ partners thus raises to 10, and the archipelago of Malta gets to be one of the represented destinations.

The DMCs and their coverage
This is the updated list of the 10 first-class DMC members covering 16 of the most important incentive destinations in Europe:
Italy – Amandaeventz
Spain & Andorra – Ambiance Incentives
Malta – Colours of Malta
Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland & Iceland – Hadler DMC
Monaco & French Riviera – Inspire ME
Poland – Jan-Pol DMC
France – Metropolis DMC
Greece – Metropolitan DMC & Event Management
Ireland & Northern Ireland – Moloney & Kelly
Portugal – Vega DMC

Statements
“At Preferred DMCs we are very proud to welcome among our partners prestigious Colours of Malta,” states Miek Egberts, CIS, CMP, CMM, Director of Preferred DMCs and owner of Inspire ME. “Malta lets people explore 7,000 years of history yet living passionately in the present, spanning the millennia with an astonishing array of things to discover. It’s one of the peaks of the European offer to the incentive market, and with Colours of Malta guests may get it at its very best.”

Davide Cachia, owner and Managing Director of Colours of Malta, comments: “This year 2018 we at Colours of Malta are proudly celebrating our 20th anniversary. It has been a long road and many successful events in which we have seen big changes in the MICE industry both on the positive and challenging sides too. On a very positive note we are proud to join the Preferred DMC’s network and look forward to this new adventure.”

The main features of the members
The DMC partners of Preferred DMCs are fully professional, well-established, certified and/or accredited, well-known in the global MICE industry, and enthusiastic about being part of this very fine group of DMCs that delivers excellent business opportunities to its partners. To be noted that partnership is by invitation only.

Partner members at Preferred DMCs are recognized for consistently delivering excellent destination and event management services, always doing it in an authentic and bespoke style, and within budget. They don’t offer nor accept second-best. The aim is to exceed expectations and go ‘above & beyond’ to create unique experiences for invitees and delegates, always.

Click on the website https://preferred-dmcs.com

Preferred DMCs
c/o Ambiance Incentives
Avda. Rius I Taulet, 29-31
08172 Sant Cugat del Vallés
Barcelona (Spain)
info@preferred-dmcs.com
(+34) 938 29 29 28

Press officer
Stefano Ferri
press@stefanoferri.it
(+39) 349 5506 421

December 05, 2018
W Hotels Zips Into Costa Rica with the Opening of W Costa Rica - Reserva Conchal

Get ready for insider access to adventure, W is heading to the jungle. W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, Inc., today announced the opening of W Costa Rica – Reserva Conchal, the first W hotel in the country. The highly anticipated opening of W Costa Rica brings an exciting new energy to the nation’s tropical hotel scene, offering guests and locals alike the chance to soak in the iconic W lifestyle. In addition to being the second W hotel to open in Central America this year (following W Panama), W Costa Rica is also the newest W Escape, the brand’s unique spin on the traditional resort experience – zip line and all. Get ready, jet set, and let’s go…

W Costa Rica is located within a 2,300-acre nature reserve just minutes from Tamarindo, an internationally-renowned surf spot that has earned a reputation among amateur and professional wave enthusiasts. Surfing not your style? Nearby Playa Flamingo offers horseback riding, ATV and catamaran rides as well as fishing, snorkeling and jungle exploration by foot. In the dry season (December through April), Costa Rica is a must for nature-lovers who can witness majestic humpback whale migration and magical turtle nesting along the nearby beaches. Known as one of the happiest countries in the world, Costa Rica lives by the “pura vida” lifestyle, a carefree, optimistic approach to everyday pleasures.

“The land of ‘pura vida’ is where the playful spirit of the W brand was born to run free,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The people, the culture and the beauty of this country all meet to create a paradise unlike any other, and W Costa Rica will celebrate it all. The hotel is our latest W Escape, W’s platform for hotels that redefine the resort experience for the modern traveler looking for a holiday rooted in unexpected experiences and local sizzle.”

Welcome to Paradise
W Costa Rica brings unexpected style to the serene, tropical paradise of Reserva Conchal. Designed by Mister Important Design alongside the renowned in-house design team at W Hotels and Ronald Zurcher Architects, W Costa Rica embraces its surroundings with interpretations of the natural beauty of nearby beaches and jungle. Elements of this breathtaking landscape as well as the deep historical roots of the region are embedded in every aspect of W Costa Rica as the hotel combines land and sea with culture and treasured history. Upon arrival, guests are ushered through an avenue of 2,000 Bursera Simaruba trees (or “Indios Desnudos”), a living fence traditionally grown by local farmers to pen in livestock. The brand’s signature “W” sign is a negative space among a bright red wall that wraps around the Wheels area (valet). The circular arrival area and signature W sign is inspired by the unmistakable red of bull fighting that can still be found during one of the country’s emblematic cultural activities held at “Plaza de Toros.” Although true to the Pura Vida spirit, bulls in the Costa Rican bullfighting tradition are not killed.

As guests approach the Living Room (the brand’s signature spin on the traditional hotel lobby), floor-to-ceiling stone and wooden panels line the walls of the artistically lit hallway, mimicking one of Costa Rica’s favorite instruments, the marimba. The indoor-outdoor Living Room immerses guests in the Guanacaste Forest with wooden structures towering above the outdoor areas, mirroring the shape of the province’s famous namesake trees.

Guests will be able to shop local without leaving the hotel at W Hotels The Store, which will feature a rotating curated collection of artisan and regionally inspired items. At the far end of the Living Room, a giant curvaceous wooden pillar is engraved to reflect the textures and patterns of the Costa Rican pineapple, the global symbol of hospitality and one of Costa Rica’s most important economic drivers. The structure frames the elevator leading to the hotel’s meeting spaces and restaurant, Latitud 10° Norte.

The WET Deck (the W pool) honors the wheels of Costa Rica’s colorful “Carreta Tipica,” oxcarts that can be found across the country, with a mosaic interpretation of the mandala-like designs inlaid in the hot tub within the hotel’s sparkling pool and throughout the interiors of the curvaceous sunken Wet Bar.

Zona Azul Beach Club is the brand’s first on-site beach club located on one of the country’s rare white sand beaches, Playa Conchal. Can’t wait to hit the beach? Put your feet up, you’re in for a ride. W Costa Rica is giving guests a playfully social thrill – a soon-to-come zip line right from the hilltop Wet Deck to the surf side beach club. Talk about instant gratification. Guests can take the 10-minute stroll down to the shore, or opt in for a one-way ticket down to Zona Azul Beach Club.

Inspired by nearby Nicoya, one of only five places in the world where quality of life and happiness lead to an extraordinary number of centenarians, Zona Azul Beach Club is named for the world-famous “blue zone” that holds the key to longevity. The hotel’s beach club features a stunning infinity pool for guests to soak in the sun and relax in high-design luxury. This vibrant beach club restaurant offers a menu that melds international tastes from each of the five blue zones located in Italy, Japan, Greece, California (U.S.) and of course, Costa Rica.

The party doesn’t stop with decadent dining at Zona Azul Beach Club. Costa Rica’s newest oceanside haunt will feature high-energy entertainment including DJs, late-night cocktails and direct access to Playa Conchal. Zona Azul Beach Club will welcome both W guests and local party-goers, offering a total destination experience year-round.

Room for Adventure
Each of the hotel’s 150 guest rooms honor the adventurous spirit of the island through locally-designed mini surf boards that extend from the walls of each MixBar (mini bar). Inspired by the commonly seen Oropendola birds and their woven basket nests, curvaceous wooden headboards cradle each guest bed, while walls feature abstract floral murals set against natural wood. Spanning the walls of each room’s sleek bathroom and vanity space is a Chorotega-style design, showcasing the artistry of Guaitil handcrafted pottery. In a true W first, every room at W Costa Rica comes outfitted with an in-room draft beer tap filled with local brew. Cold cervezas can be enjoyed outside, as each in-room bar extends onto an outdoor patio, connecting guests to nature. The Tree House Suites at W Costa Rica are nestled into the mangroves, engulfing guests in the stunning natural elements of the destination.

The Extreme WOW Suite (the brand’s take on the traditional Presidential Suite) features a large faceted wood wall, expansive bar, fully-stocked library and entertainment kiosk. The suite’s large, private wrap-around deck boasts amazing views, a private pool and a marble surfboard which serves as a unique dining table. The oversized bed is shaped like a cloud and is positioned to offer guests a view of the suite’s private pool and the sparkling ocean beyond. The Extreme WOW Suite can open completely to the deck, creating an immersive indoor-outdoor space.

Flavors to Savor
W Costa Rica gives guests every opportunity to indulge with six distinct options for decadent cuisine and handcrafted cocktails. The Living Room (the brand’s signature lobby/bar) features an array of international tapas and craft cocktails that take local mixology to the next level. The tree-like structure that serves as the focal point is encrusted with 9,000 recycled glass beer bottles that illuminate and create a stunning, custom light display. The light installation is made of white, blue, green and brown bottles in a pattern inspired by the tails of Costa Rica’s many hummingbirds. Located off the Living Room, Cocina de Mercado offers a mix of local comforts with Latin, American and Mediterranean flair as well as grab-and-go options for those who can’t wait to zip the beach club or stroll to the WET Deck Bar for poolside bites.

Open only for dinner, Latitud 10° Norte, named for the shared latitude between Thailand and Costa Rica, explores new Latin cuisine with a Thai twist. This mix makes for one-of-a-kind dishes like crab brain fried rice and octopus chifrijo. The menu also offers exclusive cocktails, presented tableside.

Play Away
The final spot to see and be seen at W Costa Rica is nestled inside an unexpected place: the hotel’s spa. Guests can detox,retox and get social at AWAY Spa Bar, the first full-service bar located inside an AWAY Spa (the brand’s signature spa concept). The spa experience gets its own makeover at W Costa Rica as guests are offered group and semi-private treatments to mix and mingle while getting pampered, with or without a craft cocktail. Six private treatment rooms are modeled after butterfly cocoons, a design that pays homage to the country’s 1500+ species of butterflies, which make up approximately 18% of the world’s butterfly population.

W Costa Rica also offers more than 950 square meters of flexible event space, where high tech meets high design for business meets pleasure meetings as well as unforgettable weddings and celebrations. Each meeting space features floor-to-ceiling windows, tropical vibes with bold splashes of color and access to The Lawn, an adjacent outdoor space with beautifully manicured grass perfect for cocktails, ceremonies and celebrating.

Rates at W Costa Rica start at $389 per night (plus taxes). For more information visit W Costa Rica online.

About W Hotels Worldwide
Born from the bold attitude and 24/7 culture of New York City, W Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., has disrupted and redefined the hospitality scene for nearly two decades. Trailblazing its way around the globe, with over 50 hotels, W defies expectations and breaks the norms of traditional luxury wherever the iconic W sign lands. With a mission to fuel guests’ lust for life, W ignites an obsessive desire to soak it in, live it up and hit repeat. The brand’s provocative design, iconic Whatever/Whenever service and buzzing Living Rooms create an experience that is often copied but never matched. Innovative, inspiring and infectious, the brand’s super-charged energy celebrates guests’ endless appetite to discover what’s new/next in each destination, to see more, feel more, go longer, stay later. For more information on W Hotels, visit whotels.com/theangle or follow us on Twitter, Instagramand Facebook. W Hotels Worldwide is proud to participate in the company’s award-winning loyalty programs – Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG). The programs, operating under one set of unparalleled benefits, enable members to earn points toward free hotel stays, achieve Elite status faster than ever, and seamlessly book or redeem points for stays throughout our loyalty portfolio of 29 brands and more than 6,700 participating hotels in 129 countries & territories. To enroll for free or for more information about the programs, visit members.marriott.com.

December 04, 2018
IRF Releases Positive Industry Outlook for 2019

The Incentive Research Foundation’s Industry Outlook for 2019: Merchandise, Gift Card, and Event Gifting reports high levels of economic net optimism during the Fall of 2018 and a positive outlook for 2019. The new study provides useful insights and benchmarks on non-cash reward types, average spend, and how incentive programs are being administered.

“The IRF’s Industry Outlook for 2019: Merchandise, Gift Card, and Event Gifting reports strong optimism around non-cash reward and recognition budgets in 2019, with increases in merchandise spend, gift card spend, and the number of participants earning a reward,” said Melissa Van Dyke, IRF President. “The study did reveal some areas of concern for program owners, such as the fact that one half of corporate respondents do not do any reporting or analysis of their non-cash programs.”

The IRF surveyed 500 industry professionals, including corporate, supplier, and third party segments, tracking key metrics over ten years. The study provides trends in economic optimism, budgets, award types, and reporting for incentive programs. Key findings in Industry Outlook for 2019: Merchandise, Gift Card, and Event Gifting include:

  • Economic Net Optimism is High: The Fall 2018 Net Optimism Index for incentive merchandise and gift card programs was 43%, up 21% from Summer 2017. Suppliers were the most optimistic segment.
  • Per-Person Spend is Increasing: The average per-person spend is $824, a considerable increase from prior years. This is largely explained by the increase in respondents spending over $5,000.
  • Average Merchandise Reward Value is $160: Logo’d brand-name merchandise and electronics are the most common rewards with corporate respondents, while sunglasses and electronics are the most popular among third-party providers.
  • Average Branded Gift Card Reward Value is $100: Gift cards for use at coffee houses dominate the branded card landscape, followed by dining and online retailer gift cards.
  • Average Per-Attendee Event Gifting Spend is $210: While suppliers see event gifting across a broad range of meeting types, corporate audiences are most likely to be using gifts for incentive trips, internal meetings, and customer events.
  • High Level of Local Retail Sourcing for Gift Cards: More than two-thirds of corporate respondents use local retailers to purchase gift cards for their programs.
  • Low Rates of Corporate Reporting & Analysis: One half of corporate respondents indicate they do not do any reporting or analysis for their non-cash program. Third-party providers are commonly reviewing earning and redemption reports, participation reports, and behavior-change analysis.
  • Sales Productivity is the Leading Indicator: When analysis is done, sales was reported by both corporate and third party respondents as the lead indicator of the impact of a program.
  • Outlook for 2019 is Positive: Industry stakeholders have very strong expectations for 2019, with 84% reporting they expect their company to have strong financial performance.

The IRF’s Industry Outlook for 2019: Merchandise, Gift Card, and Event Gifting was supported by IRF Research Advocacy Partner, Incentive & Engagement Solution Partners (Incentive Marketing Association SIG).

To view or download a copy of the Industry Outlook for 2019: Merchandise, Gift Card, and Event Gifting please visit http://theirf.org/research/industry-outlook-study-2019-merchandise-gift-card-and-event-gifting/2590/.

For insights into the current state and outlook for incentive travel, view or download a copy of the Incentive Travel Industry Index: http://theirf.org/research/incentive-travel-industry-index-powered-by-site-index-irf-outlook-and-ficp-released/2578/

December 04, 2018
WestJet brings Australia closer

Airline opens bookings to Australia with expansion of Qantas relationship

Calgary/CNW/—WestJet today announced it has expanded its codeshare relationship with Qantas by placing its WS code and flight numbers on Qantas-operated flights between Los Angeles and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

"Canada's favourite airline, WestJet, welcomes this deepened relationship with Qantas," said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President, Network Planning and Alliances. "Expanding our partnership with Qantas provides our guests greater global travel options and aligns with the new premium products and services WestJet is developing as we continue our evolution to a global network airline."

Itineraries connecting the growing WestJet network to these Australian destinations are available today for purchase on all WestJet sales channels for flights starting December 6, 2018.

"The expansion of our codeshare relationship with WestJet will give Canadian travellers more options to visit Australia than ever before," said Stephen Thompson, Senior Executive Vice-President, The Americas, Qantas. "We offer more non-stop flights between North America and Australia than any other airline and have Australia's largest domestic network with connecting services to more than 60 destinations across Australia and New Zealand. Our customers tell us they feel their Australian holiday starts the moment they step onboard a Qantas flight, with our award-winning Australian food and wine selection and the warm Aussie hospitality our crew provide."

WestJet and Qantas have been codeshare partners since 2014 and the airlines have offered Qantas Frequent Flyer and WestJet Rewards members the ability to earn and redeem loyalty rewards since 2017. Travellers will also continue to enjoy one-stop check-in and baggage transfers to their final destination.

WestJet operates flights from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto to Los Angeles. The WS code will be added on Qantas' daily flights between Los Angeles and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and its seasonal service between Vancouver and Sydney.

About WestJet
Together with WestJet's regional airline, WestJet Encore, we offer scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 175 destinations in over 20 countries through our airline partnerships. WestJet Vacations offers affordable, flexible vacations to more than 60 destinations and the choice of more than 800 hotels, resorts, condos and villas.  Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of flights and vacations packages to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods, and have access to Member Exclusive fares offering deals to WestJet destinations throughout our network and those of our partner airlines.

WestJet is proud to be recognized as Best Airline in Canada and Travellers' Choice winner – North America for 2017 and 2018 in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice awards for Airlines. The airline was also named the Travellers' Choice Winner – Economy, North America, 2018. All awards are based on authentic reviews from the travelling public on TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site. We are one of very few airlines globally that does not commercially overbook.

WestJet is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol WJA. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.  

December 04, 2018
Thought Leadership: How diversity strengthens businesses, communities and the world

By Sherrif Karamat, PCMA President and CEO

Diverse teams and companies perform better, are more creative and are better at solving problems. Don't just take my word for it. Consider the McKinsey & Co. study that determined companies with the highest ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their industry’s mean, while companies that led in gender diversity were 15 percent more likely to have financial returns higher than industry mean. Or, consider the Credit Suisse Group global analysis that found organizations with at least one female board member yielded higher return on equity and higher net income growth than those with no women on the board.

Despite those findings, many organizations have yet to make real progress towards inclusion -- perhaps because of flawed strategies rather than reluctance to try.

I believe the business events industry can have a significant role in fostering success in this important area. The business events industry is built on bringing people together, and I believe doing so can influence corporate culture. Simply put, business events can be an ideal platform for diversity and inclusion strategies and discussion. When people meet face-to-face, they better understand each other and can remove potential barriers. Business events are already a medium for open communication regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual preference.

The challenge is moving from awareness to action. Business events can lead the way through education, networking and community engagement.

PCMA has its own role in this call for diversity and inclusion. Earlier this year, we launched Ascent, an initiative to help the business events industry become more inclusive and diverse. We asked our community to sign the Ascent CEO Promise, and more than 100 leaders agreed to:

  • Make our workplaces and events open and trusting settings.
  • Provide education on barriers to inclusivity, including unconscious bias.
  • Share what we know, what we learn and what needs improvement.

Ascent’s “Pass the Mic” is a gallery of diverse speakers, a tool to help planners program more inclusive events. And Ascent Luminaries is a video series highlighting people working toward a more inclusive world.

Convening Leaders, PCMA's signature annual conference, will feature an Ascent Studio during our Jan. 6-9 event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The educational track includes sessions with global diversity expert Anka Wittenberg, author Lindsey Pollak, and "Queer Eye" co-host and culture expert Karamo Brown. Billie Jean King, a champion of diversity and inclusion, will be a Convening Leaders keynote speaker.

Diversity and inclusion make sense for business events, and business in general. It can increase profits and performance, drive innovation and improve adaptability. I am optimistic that the business events industry can be the catalyst for a more inclusive society. Together, we can make everyone everywhere feel valued and welcomed.

For more information on other sessions, visit conveningleaders.org.

For all media enquiries, additional comment please contact:
Andra Miclaus at davies tanner
Tel: +44 (0)1892 619100
PCMA@daviestanner.com

About PCMA
PCMA educates, inspires and listens, creating meaningful experiences where passion, purpose and commerce come together. We are the world’s largest community for Business Events Strategists providing senior education and networking for the business events sector. PCMA crafts and shares knowledge and market intelligence, enabling organizations to make informed business decisions while providing a platform for peer-to-peer exchange. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 40 countries. For more information on the PCMA family of brands, visit pcma.org/about.

November 30, 2018
Palace Resorts Breaks Ground on Luxury All-Inclusive Moon Palace Punta Cana

Expansion of the Moon Palace brand continues with company’s third Moon Palace, the company’s signature resort

Higüey, Dominican Republic—Palace Resorts, the company that sets the standard in luxury all-inclusive resort accommodations has officially broken ground on what is set to be the brand’s third Moon Palace, located in the Macao area of the Dominican Republic’s Eastern region. The groundbreaking ceremony for Moon Palace Punta Cana, took place with the presence of the Dominican Republic’s President Danilo Medina;  Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier García, representatives from the government and legislative branches; along with executives from Palace Resorts and VIPs.

The event began with Palace Resorts President and Managing Director José Chapur offering words of welcome to those present, followed by Executive Vice President Gibrán Chapur sharing details of the project. 

Moon Palace Punta Cana represents an investment that surpasses $600 million and will generate an average of 5,000 local jobs during the construction phase and over 4,000 permanent jobs once occupancy reaches 95 percent.  The resort is projected to bring in an additional 250,000 potential new tourists per year.

Moon Palace Punta Cana is part of the expansion plan in place for Palace Resorts, a company with over 30 years’ experience in the tourism sector with 11 hotels throughout Mexico and Jamaica. The new resort, located 500 meters inland from the coastline, will have 2,149 rooms spread out over 18 floors in a design that will occupy a mere 6 percent of the development’s total terrain.  

Seventy percent of the rooms at Moon Palace Punta Cana will have spectacular ocean views for the enjoyment of its guests. The balance will face a spectacular 18-hole golf course designed by world-renowned Australian golfer, Greg Norman. Designed by famed interior designer and renowned architect, Francois Frossard, the resort will feature culinary offerings including 21 restaurants and seven bars. There will also be sports amenities and swimming pools, a spa, a beach club, and a convention center, all designed for guests to enjoy an elite experience.

This concept will allow for sustainable operation not only from an environmental standpoint but from a logistical one as well. The area’s natural resources will be preserved—including the mangroves—and will form part of the 4.5 million square meters of protected land owned by Palace Resorts. The project’s sustainability also implies the use of renewable energy and water treatment systems that will permit residual use for irrigation purposes. Last but not least, the resort will boost the area’s supply chain regarding food production and fishing, as well as the offer of guest tours in the vicinity, which could extend all the way out to the capital city of Santo Domingo.

The concept of luxury all-inclusive is still new to the Dominican Republic and the Moon Palace Punta Cana project is intended to complement the country’s existing offering and attract tourists who, until now, hadn’t included the destination on their must-visit list. 

“Expanding the Moon Palace brand is part of our company’s long term growth strategy. The brand’s expansion comes after the wildly successful resort, Moon Palace Cancun, the newly opened The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun and Moon Palace Jamaica. The development in the Dominican Republic was a natural fit for the expansion of the brand, given its popularity in the Caribbean”, said Gibran Chapur.   

“The country offers lush, tropical and paradisiacal miles of coastline, magnificent resorts and hotels, and a variety of sports, recreation and entertainment options. From delicious gastronomy to a variety of ecotourism adventures in the country’s national parks, mountain ranges, rivers and beaches, Dominican Republic is a destination like no other. We’re here to add to and contribute to this country’s goal of continually increasing the number of visitors that can generate a better income for its inhabitants” said Chapur.

About Palace Resorts:
With ten oceanfront resorts overlooking sparkling turquoise waters, Palace Resorts sets the highest standards for five-star all-inclusive vacations in Mexico and Jamaica. Offering luxurious and spacious accommodations accentuated by signature in-room double whirlpool tubs, nightly entertainment, the Caribbean & Mexico’s most extravagant spas, a premier Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, Palace Resorts sets the stage for a truly exceptional experience for travelers. The unparalleled level of service and comfort found at each property makes Palace Resorts a leading provider of world-class resort vacations. For more information, visit www.palaceresorts.com.

November 29, 2018
Hilton Prague Old Town Completes Multi-Million Hotel-Wide Renovation

Prague, Czech Republic—The centrally located Hilton Prague Old Town is proud to announce the completion of its multi-million dollar renovation, including 303 refurbished guest rooms and 1,200 square metre conference and meeting floor. The newly renovated spaces include modern amenities whilst the interiors work seamlessly with the hotel’s elegant art deco design, befitting its location in the beautiful Old Town area of Prague.

“The considerable investment made by the hotel’s owners M&L Hospitality, will ensure an elevated guests experience at Hilton Prague Old Town. Working closely with world renowned interior designers, Chada, M&L Hospitality wanted to ensure the guest rooms and meeting spaces were stylish, comfortable and functional.” said Christian Schwenke, General Manager, Hilton Prague Old Town.

“With the elegant Art Deco design elements throughout the hotel including the lobby, Zinc Restaurant, meeting floor and guest rooms, we are bringing an authentic Prague experience into the hotel. Together with our highly personalised approach to caring for our guests, I am sure we are the top choice for leisure and business clientele travelling to Prague.”

The newly renovated guest rooms have a fresh and elegant design with a mix of modern and classic elements and thoughtful amenities. Depending on room type, guest rooms feature either one king size bed or two single beds with custom designed headboards and mattresses exclusively manufactured for Hilton. Rooms also feature a spacious working desk with a built-in USB socket, a 55-inch flat TV, a large elegant wardrobe and a cocktail cabinet-style mini bar with an innovative draw fridge. For extra guest comfort, rooms have also been fitted with new carpet and a cosy relaxation corner with a lounge armchair and standing lamp.

The guest room renovations extended to the bathrooms with Italian marble tiling, a large walk-in shower and wall-sized anti-fog heated mirror.

The new rooms boast a soothing colour palette and thoughtful classic furnishings. The Art Deco look and feel of the lobby is reflected in some of the room elements, such as the bed decorative headboards.

The 1,200 square metre conference and meeting floor with 14 function rooms, including the Dvorak Ballroom for up to 340 delegates has seen a redesign as well. The pre function space enjoys ample natural light and is visually connected with the meeting rooms through a new wool blend carpet from an acclaimed British manufacturer, Brintons. The bespoke design with a dark background and recurring rectangular motives in gold tones brings an even more elegant look and feel to the area. This is underlined by new sandstone colour wallpapers with a Hanami silk pattern, supplied by Baresuqe, Australia’s premier distributor of wallcoverings.

The design concept comes from Chada, recognised as one of the world’s leading interior design studios, specialising in the hotel and leisure industries in Australia and the Pacific Rim.

Hilton Prague Old Town is also part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton's 14 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly have access to instant benefits, including an exclusive member discount, a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, free standard Wi-Fi and the Hilton Honors mobile app.

Hilton Prague Old Town is located at V Celnici, 7 Prague 1, 110 00. For reservations, visit Hilton Prague Old Town at prague-oldtown.hilton.com or call +420 221 822 111.

For more information on Hilton Prague Old Town, visit prague-oldtown.hilton.com. For more news on Hilton Hotels & Resorts, visit newsroom.hilton.com.

About Hilton Prague Old Town
Located 25 minutes from the airport and in the very heart of Prague, the newly renovated Hilton Prague Old Town provides a complement of services and brand amenities, including 303 guest rooms and suites, 1.200 square meters of dedicated meeting space situated on one floor, with flexibility to accommodate groups ranging from 10 to 800 people in 14 meeting rooms and stylish Dvorak Ballroom, Zinc Restaurant offering cosmopolitan cuisine and fine Czech classics with a modern twist, Zinc Lounge & Bar, Executive floors with spacious Executive Lounge and private check-in, LivingWell Health Club & Spa with an indoor pool. In 2018, Hilton Prague Old Town was awarded with TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for eighth consecutive year.

About Hilton Hotels & Resorts
For nearly 100 years, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has set the benchmark for hospitality around the world, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests' evolving needs. With more than 575 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts properties are located in the world’s most sought-after destinations for guests who know that where they stay matters. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits.

Begin your journey at www.hilton.com, and learn more by visiting newsroom.hilton.com/hhr or following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,400 properties with nearly 880,000 rooms, in 106 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube

November 29, 2018
Television star and restaurateur Lisa Vanderpump to open first Las Vegas venue in early 2019 that will be available for buyouts, accommodating meetings and events up to 100

Las Vegas—Lisa Vanderpump and Caesars Palace will partner to open Vanderpump Cocktail Garden , which will be the TV star's first Las Vegas venue set to debut early 2019. Bringing a taste of Los Angeles to Las Vegas, the cocktail garden will take a page from Vanderpump's highly successful restaurants and lounges, including Villa Blanca, SUR, Pump and Tom, and will be available for buyouts for meetings and events of up to 100. The bar will seat 25, while the inside lounge will seat 24 and patio will accommodate up to 52.

"I have always loved Las Vegas -- it has always been a dream of mine to see our brand in lights at the iconic Caesars Palace," said Lisa Vanderpump. "Vanderpump Cocktail Garden will combine the sexy atmosphere of our other establishments injected with the Vegas energy that brings millions of guests who visit year after year."

"Caesars Palace has a long history of working with notable names; from renowned chefs to legendary music icons-we're proud to now partner with Lisa Vanderpump to bring her first venture to Las Vegas," said Caesars Palace regional president, Gary Selesner. "We look forward to Vanderpump bringing Los Angeles flair combined with the extravagance of the Strip."

Marrying natural elements with industrial touches, Vanderpump Cocktail Garden will have an indoor patio welcoming guests upon arrival, transporting them to an al fresco-style garden with towering trees and romantic lighting. Inside, the romantic elements continue, including Lisa's signature touches of pink, with contrasting masculine details. The lounge area will feature booths as well as a full bar that focuses on craft cocktails, Vanderpump branded Sangria and Rosé as well as a carefully selected wine list. Small bites will be available to be shared or perfectly paired with libations.

Vanderpump Cocktail Garden is sure to be a Vegas hotspot, perfect for a casual gathering or for a big night out. Guests may even run into their favorite stars, including Lisa or cast members from her hit reality shows. The design inspiration for the space comes from Lisa, husband Ken Todd and creative director Nick Alain, who collaborated on their newest LA hit, Tom. Vanderpump will be located in between The Colosseum and the entrance to The Forum Shops.

About Lisa Vanderpump
Businesswoman, TV personality, author, and philanthropist, Lisa Vanderpump hails from London, England. Lisa and her husband Ken Todd have been entrenched in the restaurant and nightclub industry since they started their partnership over 30 years ago. Their four very successful restaurants and bars in Los Angeles (SUR, Villa Blanca, PUMP and Tom Restaurant and Bar) are just a peek into their joint ventures; Vanderpump Cocktail Garden will mark their 35th restaurant and bar. Vanderpump has most recently become known for the hit Bravo TV series, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, as well as her spinoff show Vanderpump Rules, of which she is an Executive Producer. Her unique mix of sparkling glamour and down-to-earth style has appealed to thousands of viewers. Additional endeavors include: "Vanderpump Beverly Hills" tabletop collection, the "Vanderpump Estate Jewelry" Collection, a pet accessories line at VanderpumpPets.com and a soon to be released fine jewelry collection. Vanderpump also has her family's signature Vanderpump Vodka, Vanderpump Rosé and LVP Sangria. In 2017, Lisa and Ken launched The Vanderpump Dog Foundation to help end animal abuse on both an international and domestic level, which opened the doors to its first rescue and adoption center last year.

About Meetings and Events at Caesars Entertainment Corporation
The world's most geographically diversified casino-entertainment company, Caesars Entertainment offers meeting and event planners one dedicated team, united nationwide, committed to providing the most successful meeting experiences possible. With one call or email, planners have access to nearly 40 properties in 20 unique destinations, with 2.1 million square feet of meeting space and more than 40,000 guest rooms. Mix and match properties and venues within a destination under a single contract and minimum. Enjoy elite perks, rewards and privileges with our Total Rewards Meeting Diamond Program. For more information, please visit www.CaesarsMeansBusiness.com and www.CAESARSFORUM.com.

About Caesars Palace
World-renowned Las Vegas resort and a Top 10 "Best U.S. Casino" by USA TODAY 10BEST Readers' Choice, Caesars Palace features 3,980 hotel guest rooms and suites, including the all-new Palace Tower featuring 10 new luxury villas, the 182-room Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace and Forbes Star Award-winning The Laurel Collection by Caesars Palace . The 85-acre resort offers diverse dining options from the award-winning Bacchanal Buffet, to celebrity chef-branded restaurants, including the newest additions Gordon Ramsay HELL'S KITCHEN and from Giada De Laurentiis, Pronto by Giada, as well as Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, one of Nobu Matsuhisa's largest Nobu Restaurant and Lounge, Restaurant Guy Savoy and MR CHOW. The resort also features nearly 130,000 square feet of casino space, including a recently renovated race and sports book boasting the largest screen on the Strip at 138 ft., a five-acre Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis, the luxurious Qua Baths & Spa, COLOR Salon by celebrity hairstylist Michael Boychuck, five wedding chapels and gardens, and the new 75,000-square-foot OMNIA Nightclub with the top DJs such as Calvin Harris, Kaskade and Zedd. The 4,300-seat Colosseum, Billboard Magazine's Venue of the Decade, spotlights world-class entertainers including Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, Jerry Seinfeld and Mariah Carey. The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace showcases more than 160 boutiques and restaurants. Caesars Palace is operated by a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR). For more information, please visit caesarspalace.com or the Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas media room. Find Caesars Palace on Facebook and follow on Twitter and Instagram.

November 27, 2018
Canadian Tahira Endean named Head of Events for SITE Global

MICE Veterans Tahira Endean and Jennifer Juergens Join SITE & SITE Foundation Management Team

Chicago, IL, USA—Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) has added two MICE industry veterans to their management team. Tahira Endean, CMP, DES, CED has been named Head of Events starting immediately, and Jennifer Juergens will assume the role of Director Industry & Media Relations on January 1, 2019.

Endean brings 360 degree event management experience to SITE, having worked as a PCO, planner and DMC during a career that has spanned three decades. Most recently she was event producer for the #BCTECH Summit during which time she authored and published her first book, Intentional Event Design: our Professional Opportunity. She is an expert in EventTech, an in-demand speaker and brings a massive social media following to her new role with SITE. Endean is replacing Tina Gaccetta who has accepted a position as vice-president, marketing & incentives for LegalShield.

“I’m honoured and humbled to be appointed head of events at SITE. It truly allows me to channel the experience I’ve accumulated over the years as an event professional,” Endean commented. I look forward to helping SITE create truly transformational, motivational events that bring value and purpose to our members, our industry, the business world and society at large.”

Juergens is well known to incentive travel professionals from her time as senior editor with Meetings & Conventions Magazine and Successful Meetings, and decade long leadership as editor-in-chief at Incentive magazine. More recently she has alternated freelancing for BizBash, Prevue and Meetings Today with her 3-year tenure as manager of convention communications at Visit Orlando. Juergens will be taking over the role currently held by Julie Johnson.

“I’ve been writing about SITE for decades and am privileged to be connected with many SITE members who contribute so generously as thought leaders to the Business Events / MICE industry,” said Juergens. “I am excited to be joining the SITE Marketing & Communications team at this hugely exciting time in the organization’s evolution and look forward to continuing to help expand SITE’s reach and influence around the world.”

Incentive Travel is the fastest growing segment of MICE and this year SITE has reached the highest membership numbers of its 45 year history.

“Having industry professionals like Tahira and Jennifer join our management team is incontrovertible proof of our legacy, reputation and future direction. We are definitely in good hands and this strengthened team will ensure our continued growth and relevance into the future,” commented Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP, CEO SITE & SITE Foundation.  

About SITE:
SITE, the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence is the only global organization dedicated to strengthening and supporting the incentive travel industry. We connect incentive travel to business results. For our members we provide professional development, certification and business connections. SITE members help companies maximize workforce output by creating and delivering incentive travel programs that inspire people to exceed expectations and transcend their goals. Our research proves the ROI for incentive travel, which is a powerful business tool that strengthens employee retention, improves performance and fosters a culture of thoughtful motivation and sustained success. Over the last 45 years, SITE has grown to over 2300 members in 84 countries with 29 local and regional chapters.

We also fund and conduct research through the SITE Foundation whose fundraising initiatives facilitate vital industry research, trend analysis, and educational program support for incentive travel professionals. Our multi-tiered approach builds awareness and strengthens the effectiveness of incentive travel. For more information, please visit SITEglobal.com.

November 27, 2018
Tourism Northern Ontario officially launches new brand: Destination Northern Ontario

Brand launches at Northern Ontario Tourism Summit in Sault Ste. Marie.

Previously known as Tourism Northern Ontario, Regional Tourism Organization 13 is excited to announce the rebranding of their organization as Destination Northern Ontario. Destination Northern Ontario is one of 13 regional tourism organizations and operates in the area north of the French River, west of the Ottawa River to the Manitoba border, and north to the salt water coast.

This re-branding allows visitors to recognize the organization within the national and provincial network of tourism organizations as it reflects the Destination Canada and Destination Ontario brands. The public will continue to see our old name as we use previously produced materials to ensure we are doing business in a cost effective manner

Destination Northern Ontario directly supports tourism businesses and communities to build better quality experiences that resonate with consumers to grow the industry by increasing visitation and yield. Destination Northern Ontario leverages its core budget by more than 50% each year. This results in an additional 3 million dollars invested into tourism programming across the North. Our partnership program is extremely successful each year. An average of 70 tourism businesses and organizations have partnered with us annually to leverage our partnership fund by nearly 500%.

Destination Northern Ontario is an instrumental part of the overall tourism industry in the North, acting as a conduit among local tourism organizations (such as Destination Marketing Organizations) and tourism businesses, and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and its agencies. Tourism as an industry is a key part of the overall economic health of Northern Ontario and the rest of the province. Tourism is a revenue generator and contributes a large portion of Northern tax revenue to Ontario and its GDP.

Destination Northern Ontario is vital to the partnerships created between private and public organizations and individuals in order to make significant investments into the tourism industry in Northern Ontario. In order to continue to grow tourism as an economic driver in the North, Destination Northern Ontario will align its self with the provincial tourism framework, while engaging tourism businesses at the local level to ensure exceptional tourism products are developed and marketed to best-bet markets. Destination Northern Ontario's end goal is to significantly increase visitor spending in Northern Ontario.