Monthly Archives: May 2014

Double the Perks at the Claremont Hotel

Double the Perks

Perks now and perks again in the future!

Give your group twice the enjoyment when you choose the Claremont
Hotel! Book your group meeting in the month of July with perks and receive a special offer for your holiday party. Choose two incentives for each of your events:

GROUP PERKS:

• Complimentary group parking
• Complimentary afternoon group break
• 3% Rebate off master total
• 5 VIP upgrades for every 25 room nights

HOLIDAY PARTY INCENTIVES:

• Welcome Champagne toast
• One complimentary suite on night of event
• Discounted room rental
• One tier upgrade on Bar

Does not apply to previously booked groups. Must contract
minimum 25 rooms per night. Group meetings must be held by
July 31, 2014. Holiday parties must contract 50 people or more
to qualify and must be consumed by January 31, 2015.
Restrictions on F&B offerings and dates apply.

New Partnership Brings Noted Personal Trainer Billy Beck III To Fort Lauderdale’s aLaya Spa at Bonaventure Resort & Spa

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 2014 … Internationally acclaimed personal trainer Billy Beck III raises the health and fitness bar to new levels, thanks to a unique partnership between the aLaya Spa at Bonaventure Resort & Spa, a Benchmark Resort®, and his health and fitness organization, BB3. The aLaya Spa’s Fitness Center is now a BB3 Training Center and part of an elite network of South Florida gym and fitness centers. Clients of the luxury spa can combine its revitalizing organic spa treatments with cutting-edge fitness training, nutritional counseling, motivational workshops and individual coaching under the direction of Beck and his elite team of BB3 Personal Training Professionals.

Billy Beck III is recognized globally as a top personal trainer to Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes, including Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, Miami Dolphin greats Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor, and Heavyweight Boxing Champion Michael Moorer, but he works with people from all walks of life. His holistic philosophy and practical, scientific methods are outlined in his book, Lean and Mean – Fat Burning Secrets of the World’s Best Personal Trainer. His clients attest to his effectiveness! Beck is an inspiring motivational speaker and many of his fitness seminars are available on You Tube.

BB3 Training Centers offer personal training, nutrition, supplements, weight loss, fat burning strategies, strength and cardio training and workouts for men and women serious about getting results. As part of the new partnership, the spa’s fitness center is now outfitted with BB3’s top-of-the-line fitness equipment. Plans are underway to add a new dining room serving fresh, healthful and organic food. The spa’s clients can take advantage of the comprehensive new fitness facilities and personal training while BB3’s clients will have access to a range of rejuvenating spa treatments. Beck’s line of nutritional supplements is also available. Additionally, in support to Bonaventure Resort’s meeting and incentive guests, BB3’s team is developing customized indoor and outdoor energy booster refreshment breaks and “pump up” exercise sessions.

“It’s rare to have these exceptional training facilities and deluxe spa services, under one roof,” says aLaya Spa Manager Christina Russillo. “Billy Beck’s expertise and proven, holistic approach brings a new dimension to the spa that is very much in keeping with our mission,” Russillo notes. “The word aLaya means to ascend, to achieve a heightened sense of consciousness. Our organic, restorative treatments combined with BB3’s services and proven methods, will combine to create one of the nation’s most comprehensive and luxurious spa facilities.”

Guests can also enjoy the luxurious accommodations, fine dining and resort facilities at Bonaventure. Consequently, the new partnership plays to the growing trend of wellness vacations, especially popular with Baby Boomers. “Our guests are very savvy consumers, notes Christina Russillo. “They demand a truly authentic, holistic experience that brings genuine balance, revitalization and results.”

And, balance is the cornerstone of Billy Beck’s philosophy. “All human beings possess an inner knowledge of the need for balance, to maintain equilibrium,” Beck says. His training methods rely on the Three Pillars of Power – Mental Conditioning, Physical Training and Effective Eating – to create that essential mind/body balance.

The aLaya Spa at The Bonaventure Resort is set on the edge of the Florida Everglades, the world’s largest tropical wetlands. Its singular treatments are based on ingredients found only in this area – such as the essential oils of Cypress Trees and the calming elements from the Water Lily. The spa uses OSEA products, a 100% certified organic, marine based, skin care line; OSEA, embodying Ocean, Sun, Earth, and Atmosphere. Bonaventure Resort & Spa is a refuge of calm and serenity, a pampering paradise designed to renew the spirit and refresh the mind. Spa service is available for both men and women and includes massage, body scrubs and wraps, facials, nail, hair and makeup services. As well, the spa’s salon has also just entered into a formal relationship with Paul Mitchell hair care products for both women and men.

Associated Luxury Hotels International Expands Portfolio With The Addition Of The New Loews Chicago Hotel

. . . 400-Room Hotel To Open In Early 2015

WASHINGTON, DC (May 2014) – Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has expanded its worldwide portfolio with the addition of the new Loews Chicago Hotel, slated to open in early 2015. ALHI now provides Global Sales Organization (GSO) support, expertise, and sales services for the spectacular new Chicago hotel to meeting professionals, association executives, incentive/recognition specialists, and business executives in North America interested in conducting meetings and/or programs at the hotel.

Located in the heart of Chicago, in a highly visible 52-story tower located just one block north of the Chicago River and two blocks east of North Michigan Avenue, Loews Chicago Hotel will offer 400 guest rooms and suites, which will provide stunning views of the city’s skyline and Lake Michigan. The hotel will offer 25,717 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space and outdoor function venues, including 10 meeting rooms, a boardroom with video conferencing capabilities, an 8,591-square-foot ballroom, and a 4,740-square-foot junior ballroom. On-site leisure options will include a 75-foot indoor lap pool, a 24-hour fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment and spa treatment rooms, a new signature restaurant, retail shop, and a rooftop lounge with sweeping views of Chicago. The hotel, which will be owned and operated by Loews Hotels & Resorts, will be within walking distance of great shopping and entertainment, and will be 25 minutes from Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and 30 minutes from Chicago Midway International Airport.

“The brand new Loews Chicago Hotel will be a very welcomed addition to the amazing city of Chicago,” said ALHI CEO David Gabri. “Chicago continues to be one of the most highly sought-after destinations, and this will be an outstanding new hotel for meetings and programs. It complements our other exceptional Chicago hotel Members and provides needed new space in the marketplace.”

Loews Chicago Hotel becomes ALHI’s sixth Member in Chicago, joining: the exquisite The Peninsula Chicago, recently voted the #1 Large City Hotel in the U.S. and Canada by Travel + Leisure; the new The Langham, Chicago, which offers impressive views overlooking the Chicago River and is just steps from the renowned shopping on the Magnificent Mile; the AAA Four-Diamond Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, which recently completed a dramatic $60 million transformation; the elegant InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, a historic landmark offering 792 guest rooms and 42,000 square feet of meeting space; and the stylish 415-room Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, providing stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.

Loews Chicago Hotel also becomes the newest Member of the “ALHI City Solutions Collection,” consisting of 61 ALHI Four- and Five-Diamond quality Member hotels in the most distinctive metropolitan areas around the world.

ALHI’s 160+ Member hotels and resorts include exceptional Four- and Five-Diamond quality meeting, convention, and incentive resorts on land and sea, incomparable city hotels, exclusive smaller hotels, golf resorts, historic & landmark properties, island destinations, resorts with spas, properties in international destinations, and hotels with world-class gaming and entertainment.
With a worldwide portfolio of over 115,000 rooms and suites and nearly 10 million square feet of meeting space, ALHI provides planners and their organizations experienced Global Sales services with diverse options among its outstanding worldwide member hotels and resorts which specialize in meetings and incentive programs. ALHI provides reliable one-call professional sales assistance and access to their distinctive hotels, resorts, and venues for programs ranging from 10 to more than 6,500. There is no cost to planners’ organizations to utilize the ALHI GSO services, expertise, and account advocacy, as its Members’ dues fund the Global Sales Organization to best serve planners with local professionals.

For a list of ALHI’s portfolio, visit www.alhi.com, and preview details of ALHI’s Membership, including useful information on the 12 defined “specialty segments” within the portfolio, which are designed to make it easy for planners to identify properties, destinations, venues, and/or ships that will best suit their programs’ objectives, unique desires and specific needs.

On the ALHI website, planners can quickly see details of the properties’ meeting, accommodation, recreational and dining offerings, as well as destination information and “Luxury on Sale” value opportunities. A photo gallery, meeting floor plans and specs, and a location map for each property are also easily available.

ALHI has 20 professionally-staffed Global Sales Offices to serve, with locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Richmond, Savannah, Southern California (3), Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Washington (state). Go to www.alhi.com to identify the “ALHI Team” sales professionals in your state/area.

For more information about ALHI, to inquire about any of the ALHI member properties, and/or to acquire a free copy of ALHI’s “2014 Global Sales Guide To Meeting Facilities” or the new ALHI app, contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales Office, or call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit www.alhi.com.

Berlin in high demand as global meeting destination

Number of association meetings rises / Berlin among top 5 destinations in ICCA statistics

Professional associations are increasingly opting to hold their gatherings in Berlin: According to the latest statistics from the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), the German capital was the site for 178 conventions and meetings of international associations last year. This represents six more gatherings than in 2012. This figure places Berlin in fifth place in the global ICCA statistics.

“Berlin has been successfully positioning itself among the leading global event destinations for ten years now and the number of associations opting to hold their meetings has climbed continuously”, says Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin. “With new venues such as CityCube Berlin, we are providing even more reasons for meeting planners to choose Berlin. We expect that 2014 will post even higher numbers.”

Heike Mahmoud, Conventions Director of the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office added: “The ICCA results are a great compliment for the city and our ability to attract meetings. In June, the executives of ICCA will meet in Berlin for the first time. This is an important opportunity to present ourselves to international associations and convention bureaus.”

Since 2004, Berlin has ranked among the top 5 destinations for meetings of international associations. Just ahead of Berlin with its 178 events are Barcelona (179), Vienna (182) and Madrid (186). It is noteworthy that the differences among the top meeting destinations are very small: There is only a difference of eight events between positions 2 and 5. With 204 association meetings in the past year, Paris ranks first.

The ICCA statistics exclusively count international gatherings of associations. These must be attended by at least 50 participants, take place regularly and switch among at least three different countries. The statistics are an internationally respected tool of comparison. Destinations in the top 10 of the ICCA are perceived by event planners worldwide as the leading meeting destinations.

For more statistics about Berlin as a meeting destination, go to convention.visitberlin.com.

Powerful start for IMEX in Frankfurt – Biggest show ever for 2014

Frankfurt IMEX in Frankfurt opened yesterday in Messe Frankfurt’s Hall 8 with the announcement that the leading trade show for the international meetings, events and incentive travel industry has grown again in 2014. New stands, stand increases from existing exhibitors, the biggest education programme ever and the scale and diversity of the hosted buyer programme are the defining features of this year’s exhibition.

64 new stands join the line up of 3500 exhibiting companies on the show floor while over a third of previous exhibitors have increased the size of their stands on 2013. Growth from various regions of the world testifies to the meetings and events industry’s growing appetite for the appointment-driven trade show, with an 11% increase in space taken by Asia Pacific exhibitors, 5% increase from Latin America, an 8% increase from the USA and 3% from Europe. Strategic partners, the GCB German Convention Bureau, are hosting over 230 exhibitors on the show’s single largest stand, F100.

Rising numbers, growing sectors
Continuing a trend seen over the past few years, the cruise sector has grown this year with three new stands joining the line-up of cruise companies keen to maximize their share of the meetings, events and incentive travel market. Similarly the continuing growth of technology advisors, suppliers and product innovators is demonstrated in a 20%+ rise in technology exhibitors. Other sectors with a larger number of exhibitors at this year’s show include airlines, car rental companies, catering services, entertainment services, conference venues and hotel resorts specialising in golf, gaming or skiing.

New hosted buyer groups
20 new hosted buyer groups, the majority of which represent long-haul markets, add to the number of hosted buyers expected at the show this week. New services have also been introduced to help buyers make best use of their exhibitor appointments and business meetings at the show. A spacious new lounge for hosted buyers has been constructed to take account of rising numbers. It has double the seating capacity of previous years and features a new concierge desk, information counters, diary and boarding pass printing, mobile phone recharging plus an interactive floor plan and new food outlet. changes have been introduced to accommodate more buyers in the halls and also to allow the many thousands attending to use their time more efficiently and in more comfort.

Hallmark preshow events swell buying power

Among the hosted buyers taking part in important preshow events, and staying on at the show over the next few days, are over 300 association meeting planners from yesterday’s annual IMEX Association Day. In addition more than 80 senior executives and meetings buyers from the corporate sector also took part in the show’s latest niche education and networking event, Exclusively Corporate @IMEX. The corporate buyers represent 20 industry sectors and 21 countries. Together this powerful group brings a joint annual meetings and events buying power of $180 million to the show.

The IMEX professional education programme has also increased in scope and size in order to service the industry’s appetite for professional development while meeting the needs of rising numbers attending the show. This year’s programme is 25% bigger, with over 200 workshops, seminars and campfires being delivered by 132 speakers and industry experts. The GCB’s German language Seminartage programme will again offer German language education every day, including morning keynotes by high profile speakers. The programme is also delivered in the same eight-track format as the show’s English sessions.

Other German education includes a ‘Future Trends Clinic’, which is run by Veranstaltungsplaner, a leading association of German event planners, plus guided ‘IMEX Tours’, organised by MICE Club. The tours start by giving small groups of German visitors a short education session based on a theme from the recent GCB ‘Megatrends Report’ and continue with a guided tour of exhibitors and IMEX stands on the same theme.

Leisure travel leaders in cross industry dialogue
The presence of two leaders from the world’s leading leisure travel bodies, Mr Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the United Nations Specialised Agency for tourism and Mr David Scowsill, President & Chief Executive Officer of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), signals further strengthening in the authority of IMEX and its Politicians Forum. Their attendance at the Forum, and at the show today, represents a significant milestone for the IMEX Group, which has consistently pushed for greater and more open dialogue between the leisure and meetings, events and incentive travel sectors since it launched 12 years ago.

ACC Liverpool Confirms International Congress for 2018

ACC Liverpool will host thousands of international delegates at the UNI Global Union Congress in 2018.

The fifth UNI Global Union World Congress will bring 3,000 delegates from more than 40 countries to the waterfront venue in June. The organisation represents more than 20 million workers from over 900 trade unions worldwide.

Members of the organisation’s board, which includes general secretaries from UK-based unions, campaigned to bring the event to the UK and served as ambassadors for Liverpool.

Philip Jennings, general secretary of UNI Global Union, said: “We are delighted to be coming to the great city of Liverpool in 2018 for our world congress. Liverpool is a proud working city and a traditional centre of the union movement.

“I know that together UNI and Liverpool will deliver a spectacular event which will both highlight the plight of workers and offer solutions.”

ACC Liverpool has hosted a number of unions since opening in 2008 including Prospect, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), Unite and Unison. In September 2011 it hosted the Labour Party conference which will return in 2016 and 2018. The venue will welcome back UNITE Policy Conference next month and the Trade Union Congress in September.
Kerrin MacPhie, director of sales at ACC Liverpool, currently home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena and, from next summer, Exhibition Centre Liverpool, said: “UNI Global Union Congress is a unique event, the likes of which has never been hosted in Liverpool before. The fact that the board served as ambassadors speaks volumes about members’ confidence in us delivering an event of this scale.

“The congress will provide the opportunity for us to showcase our city and venue to thousands of visitors from all over the world.”

Sectors represented include cleaning and security; commerce; finance; gaming; graphical and packaging; hair and beauty; communications; technology and services industry (ICTS); media; entertainment and arts; post and logistics; social insurance; sport; temp and agency workers and tourism industries. It also represents professionals and managers, women and youth.
UNI Global Union’s fourth world congress takes place in December this year in Cape Town under the theme ‘Including You.’

DMA Board Appoints Benton & Berzan to Interim CEO and President Roles

Appointments Continue DMA’s Momentum In Meeting the Needs of Modern Marketing

New York City — The Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today appointed Thomas Benton as Interim CEO/COO and Jane Berzan as Interim President. Benton and Berzan have both been intimately involved in leading the implementation of DMA’s strategic plan as well as current initiatives and ongoing operations. Benton currently serves as chief operating officer and Berzan serves as senior vice president of programs, marketing and events. This transition follows Linda A. Woolley’s announcement to resign her role as President & CEO.

“It is rare that we have two such strong executives to lead an organization through a transition, and so it is with great confidence that the Board appoints Tom and Jane to these interim positions,” said DMA Chairman of the Board JoAnne Monfradi Dunn, CEO of Alliant. “We thank Linda for her significant contributions in support of our mission and in particular, her success in building our first-in-class advocacy program and recruiting senior leaders who are equipped to guide DMA to reach new goals.”

“I am proud of our many accomplishments in one of the most difficult regulatory environments of the past decade, as well as the many initiatives to better prepare responsible marketers in building consumer trust,” Woolley said.

Benton and Berzan have complimentary talents and experiences to bring to the helm of DMA, Dunn said. “DMA operates at the convergence of the industry’s proven experience and its next generation of integrated marketing which is making response-based marketing bigger, faster and much more personal,” said Dunn. “In this time of industry change and innovation, DMA is well-positioned with the powerful combination of Tom’s deep industry knowledge and business acumen and Jane’s proven success with revitalizing trade shows and creating member services that enhance member success in the marketplace.”

In the last three years, DMA has expanded its focus to bring expertise and leadership to its members and the industry across a growing and rich range of direct marketing channels while continuing to deliver powerful advocacy for the industry. Key milestones that signal this advancement include the creation of a strategic plan to guide DMA’s focus on advancing members’ interests, the celebration of the industry through the Value of Data study from our Data Driven Marketing Institute and the continued modernization of our Business Ethical Guidelines. These Guidelines for responsible marketing help members grow businesses, strengthen the industry and protect consumers’ interests.

About Tom Benton:
With an impressive career across a variety of direct response marketing environments, including as senior vice president of marketing analysis for America Online, Benton is steeped in industry knowledge. Since joining DMA, he has led the development of the Association’s strategic plan and as COO, established financial and membership analytics and reporting that are more informative and transparent. Benton has fortified important financial performance indicators and systems, and created a more nimble and variable staffing model to strengthen DMA and better serve our members.

“Members ask a lot of their trade association,” Benton said, “And DMA is delivering on those expectations through a new membership model that lets members take advantage of all the advocacy, ethical marketing, events and professional development services that they need to grow their business. There are a lot of things DMA does uniquely to serve and protect our industry, and we will highlight and expand on those winning aspects.”

About Jane Berzan:
Berzan brings a wealth of experience from senior leadership positions at major trade associations where she had proven success revitalizing tradeshows and education programs, forming and growing strategic alliances, and developing member service initiatives that create new association revenue streams. Since joining DMA, Berzan has been focused on strengthening the member value proposition through the delivery of stronger, more relevant events and educational programs. An immediate priority has been to reposition DMA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition to better reflect the needs and interests of modern, data-driven marketers and to increase exhibit sales. Additionally, she has begun assessing all of DMA’s events and educational programs to better align them with the evolving industry and to ensure DMA excels as a dynamic and vibrant association.

“The more dynamic an industry is, the more it needs a strong trade association,” she said. “My background working with strong, mature trade associations as well as running a strategic marketing and communications consulting business provide me with the experience to lead DMA’s programs and events and take them to the next level. We are listening to the members and providing new opportunities for greater engagement and alignment of their interests with what we offer. I’m looking forward to working closely with DMA’s members to learn more from them about what they need from DMA. ”

About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

The Direct Marketing Association (www.thedma.org) is the world’s largest trade association dedicated to advancing and protecting responsible data-driven marketing. Founded in 1917, DMA represents thousands of companies and nonprofit organizations that use and support data-driven marketing practices and techniques. DMA provides the voice to shape policy and public opinion, the connections to grow members’ businesses and the tools to ensure full compliance with ethical and best practices as well as professional development.

In 2012, the Data-Driven Marketing Economy (DDME) added $156 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy and fueled more than 675,000 jobs. The real value of data is in its exchange across the DDME: 70 percent of the value of the DDME – $110 billion in revenue and 478,000 jobs – depends on the ability of firms to exchange data across the DDME.

Construction Projects for 2014 at Snowbird Resort, Utah

Plans for development at Snowbird:

Hidden Peak – opening Christmas 2015

Sitting atop Hidden Peak enjoying a meal as impressive as the 360-degree views of the Wasatch Mountains will become a reality when Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort opens its new mountaintop facility which will be accessible via Snowbird’s iconic Aerial Tram.

The Hidden Peak facility will also offer cafeteria and dining space for special events (including weddings), a coffee shop, retail space, Ski Patrol headquarters and restrooms.

Construction will take place over two summers – with a scheduled opening in late 2015. Skiers and snowboarders exiting from the Tram will have the option of going directly onto snow or walking into the new Hidden Peak building to prepare for their day on the mountain.

The New Primrose Room at the Cliff Lodge

The Primrose Room will offer 4000 sq. feet of additional space (plus a wooded outdoor amphitheatre just outside) on Level C of the Cliff Lodge. This new atrium-like atmosphere will have stunning mountain views with 15 foot floor-to-ceiling windows and a fireplace. The room will divide in two sections to accommodate smaller groups and will have blackout blinds for audio visual presentations. An ideal setting for meetings, social events, exhibits and catered meals and receptions.

The New Gad Valley Mountain Bike Trail

The length of the trail is 7 miles, and a estimated average grade of 7%. The new mountain bike trail starts at the top of the Snowbird Tram and descends seven miles through Gad Valley. Alpine Trails, the Utah-based trail building company that will put the finishing touches on the trail in the summer of 2014, It traverses much of the Gad Valley area going through beautiful wooded glades, open awe-inspiring meadows and challenging rocky terrain.

Study Suggests New Full-Service Lodging Property, Increased Signage and New Markets Could Increase Madison County Tourism

(Huntsville, AL) – Tourism Skills Group, a research firm focused on the travel and tourism industry, presented their findings on the state of the Huntsville/Madison County travel industry at a presentation today at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. The Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) hired Tourism Skills Group in 2013 to conduct research to assess how to best reach potential leisure travelers and meeting planners to maximize the economic impact of the meeting and travel industry.

“It’s crucial that we are continuously listening to what current and potential visitors need from us to first get them here to experience our community, and second to keep them coming back,” President/CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County CVB Judy Ryals said. “We were impressed with Tourism Skills Group’s industry knowledge and long history of work, and we will use their findings to enhance our strategic marketing and sales efforts.”

The Findings

Tourism Skills Group found travelers surveyed were impressed with the offerings of Huntsville/Madison County and viewed Huntsville as the “regional hub” for dining, shopping, events and meetings. Study results confirmed 2013 was a particularly challenging year for the government meeting market due to sequestration and national budget concerns, and recommended diversifying meeting markets with special attention on the leisure and sports markets.

Results indicated the Huntsville/Madison County market can support additional full-service lodging properties (generally defined as hotels with a restaurant, meeting space and room service) and one key disappointment of visitors was the lack of more upscale, full-service properties.

Tourism Skills Group also recommended increased signage both along frequented interstates and highways as well as directional signage in downtown Huntsville, increased advertising on travel apps as well as an increased advertising focus on international visitors, the retired population and military families.

A more detailed analysis of these research results can be found in the attached Executive Summary, and a full copy of Tourism Skills Group’s research report is available via e-mail upon request.

What kind of studies were conducted?

Tourism Skills Group conducted face to face Visitor Intercept Studies to determine the demographics of Madison County’s visitors and their overall thoughts about the area, an online Visitor Research Survey of potential visitors and a Lodging Product Assessment and Survey to analyze the types and age of lodging properties in Madison County and the capacity for market growth.

According to a 2013 report from the Alabama Tourism Department, the travel industry pumped $997 million into Madison County’s economy in 2013 and is responsible for 14,255 local jobs.

“At the Huntsville/Madison County CVB, we are working diligently to increase the economic impact of travel to our community,” Ryals explained. “The better we understand our traveler, the better we can convince them that the Rocket City is the perfect spot for their next vacation or meeting.”

For more information, please contact Jessica Carlton at jessica@huntsville.org or 256.551.2294.

About Huntsville/Madison County CVB

The Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization which was developed in 1970 to create economic growth for Huntsville/Madison County by marketing the city as a top-of-mind convention and visitor destination. As the official city/county agency which promotes the area as a tourist destination and convention site, the CVB partners with an array of hospitality industry partners to market our destination to visitors of all types.

Prague Convention Bureau Awards Its Ambassadors for their Contribution to Congress Tourism

Prague, 18th – At the fifth annual Ambassador Awards Evening organized by the Prague Convention Bureau, which was held last night, the 17th April, 2014 in the Zofin Palace, the Czech Minister of Regional Development, Mrs. Vera Jourova, the Mayor of Prague, Mr Tomas Hudecek, and the President of the Prague Convention Bureau, Mr Sanjiv Suri, made awards to six different ‘Ambasadors’, each of whom were deemed to have made a significant contribution to positioning the City of Prague as a world-class congress destination through their own individual activities. As is now a tradition, the Gala Evening culminated in the presentation of the “Award for the Long-Term Contribution to Congress Tourism”, to Prof. MUDr. Richard ?eška, CSc., FACP, FEFIM.

Prof. MUDr. ?eška has been the Ambassador of a number of scientific Congresses and Conferences, including the 75th EAS Congress – European Society for Atherosclerosis in 2005, the 12th European Congress of Internal Medicine (EFIM) in 2013, and this year’s “Prague European Days of Internal Medicine” (PEDIM). He has also been the head of several institutions, both locally and internationally, and is currently President of the Czech Society for Internal Medicine and the Head of the Centre of Preventive Cardiology at General University Hospital Prague.

The evening hosted more than 140 eminent doctors, scientists and experts along with representatives of the member agencies of the Prague Convention Bureau and the Prague Congress Centre, as well as several well-known business and tourism personalities, and followed an ‘Oscar awards ceremony’ theme followed by a buffet dinner.

Additional prize-winners were awarded in five main categories. The award for the “Corporate Event of the Year, 2013” was given to Mrs. Karen Mikelsons for the HP Software Sales Summit 2013, which was held in the Prague Congress Centre in March, 2013 and was attended by 1,100 delegates. The second award, in the category “Candidature of the Year, 2013” was given to Prof. RNDr. Ivan Raška, DrSc., who is the Ambassador of the 12th International Congress of Cell Biology (ICCB 2016), which will be held in Prague on 21st – 25th June, 2016. It is expected that this Congress will be attended by up to 4,000 delegates, and will be aimed at creating a discussion forum on various aspects of cell biology for students, PhD students, post-doctoral students and research staff from all around the world.

The award in the category “Congress of the Year, 2013“ went to Doc. MUDr. Bohumil Seifert, Ph.D. for the 20th World Conference of General Practitioners/family physicians – the “WONCA 2013”, which was organized by the Society of General Practitioners and took place in the Prague Congress Centre in June 2013, and attracted 3,628 doctors from 106 different countries.

The special “Award of the Prague Congress Centre” was given to Prof. MUDr. Vladimír Tesa?, MBA, director of the Department of Nephrology at the 1st Medical Faculty of the Charles University and the Military Hospital in Prague, for the 48th Congress of the European Renal Association and the European Association for Dialysis and Transplantation („ERA-EDTA“). The Congress was held in June, 2011, and was attended by 10,000 delegates. Its extent and importance made it a „City-wide“ meeting and it was one of the biggest events to be held in the Prague Congress Centre over recent years.

Finally, a special award for 2013 was given to Miroslav Pelta from the Czech Republic Football Association for the UEFA SUPER CUP 2013, which was held on 30th August, 2013 at the Eden Arena, and was attended by 17,686 visitors.

During the programme, several of the speakers made reference to the fact that successful bids, and the subsequent hosting of international congresses, not only bring enormous prestige for Prague and significant visibility abroad, but they also contribute significantly to the economic development of the city.

The Ambassador Awards Evening, which is part of the Ambassadors Programme of the Prague Convention Bureau, is a way of saying thank you to those individuals that pay such an important part in bringing high level congresses to the city, and the event is planned to be held and developed on an annual basis.

The main partners of the event were the Ministry of Regional Development, the City of Prague, CzechTourism, the Czech Convention Bureau, Prague City Tourism , Prague Airport, Czech Airlines, C-IN, Guarant International and the Academy of Science. The technology partner was AV Media.