Prevue May-June 2014 - (Page 18)
Cruise Shipping Miami
Meetings at sea get enthusiastic support at the industry's annual trade show
Crystal Serenity in Santorini, Greece
super-sized charter, new venues and inspiring cultural
connections to exotic locales-the cruise industry and its
partners continue to offer intriguing choices for meetings
and incentive experiences. At the 30th edition of the industry
trade show Cruise Shipping MIami, Prevue checked in with some
of the key players and found enthusiasm for meetings that hit the
high seas. Highlights:
CRUISE LINES TO GROUPS: WELCOME ABOARD
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has taken to meetings in a big
way since buying Sixthman, the cruise-charter company that
specializes in creating music festivals at sea.
"Norwegian Pearl has been almost exclusively booked by
charters," NCL President and CEO Kevin Sheehan said at "State
of the Industry," the cruise CEO roundtable that kicked off the
four-day event in March.
And people were still talking about "the Bud Light Hotel,"
possibly the world's biggest charter. Anheuser-Busch InBev
took the entire Norwegian Getaway for three days around the
2014 Super Bowl and turned it into a ﬂoating hotel and branding
device for Bud Light.
Crystal Cruises has also been onboard with meetings
at sea for some time. "Group meetings have surged at Crystal
Cruises," said Eric Graves, vice president of ﬁeld sales. He said
inclusive pricing is one of the attractions for meeting planners;
groups pay one price, with no added costs. It's one of many
factors that demonstrate "the tremendous value inherent to a
luxury product like Crystal's," he said.
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MEETINGS WITH A (STUPENDOUS) VIEW
Hong Kong's new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal is an important
meeting venue in its own right, not just a way station for people
A dramatic departure and entry point on Hong Kong's
harbor, it has capacity for 6,000 cruise pax, 2,000 crew-and an
additional 3,000 pax in each of its four ﬂexible meeting spaces.
A ﬁfth space, an outdoor apron, also offers the harbor as a
spectacular natural backdrop for group events. The terminal is
scheduled to open its second berth in July.
Finding pax for all that capacity is the job of the Asia Cruise
Fund, a ﬁrst-ever alliance between Hong Kong and Singapore
tourism ofﬁcials. They announced the fund at Cruise Shipping.
Not that they seemed worried about getting people to sail
through their ports. They cited a report by the United Nations
Development Program that foresees about two-thirds of the
world's middle class residing in Asia by 2030. They plan to be
there with plenty of ideas for spending all that new income.
In the past year, Hong Kong has seen a number of new hotels
of interest to meeting and incentive groups, said Bill Flora, U.S.
director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Business groups
can take a class in business tourism at Tai O Heritage Hotel.
Crowne Plaza Kowloon East has one of Hong Kong's largest
ballrooms. Does your group want to stay within walking distance
of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre? Book at
Mira Moon Hotel or Hotel Indigo, both in the Wan Chai district.
Singapore will be making a splash with art lovers in 2015,
when the prestigious private museum Pinacothèque de Paris
opens its ﬁrst location outside Europe. Situated at Fort Canning
Park, it will include meeting and event space for groups seeking
a creative atmospehere in which to do business.
History and culture have always been major draws for
Istanbul, Turkey's largest city. "Incentive and corporate groups
are booming," said Elif Balci Fisunoglu, general manager of the
Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau.
With seven convention centers and 90,000 hotel rooms-
including new ones from the Hilton and Four Seasons brands-
the city has been one of the top 10 convention destinations
for the last three years, she said. Istanbul's many academic,
business and scientiﬁc institutions help to support the market for
association meetings. "Istanbul is doing very well in meetings and
incentives, especially in associations," she said.-Kate McClare
ncl.com; crystalcruises.com; kaitakcruiseterminal.com.hk;
discoverhongkong.com; stb.gov.sg; icvb.org
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue May-June 2014
Planner’s Pick: Tucson
Fresh Meets: Trump Hotel Collection
Bureau Buzz: Meet Puerto Rico
Good Business: InterContinental Hotels
Sea Shores: Cruise Shipping Miami
The Changing Face of Luxury
SPECIAL SECTION: EUROPE
On Location: Toronto
On Location: Jamaica
On Location: Cancun Marriotts
On Location: Santa Barbara Curaçao
Checkout: SLS at Beverly Hills
Prevue May-June 2014