Beyond Asia: Austria; Germany; Dubai, UAE

TTGmice’s weekly round-up of MICE developments outside of Asia-Pacific.

(Clockwise from back) Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau's Sonto Mayise; ICCA's Sina Buente; Congress Centrum Alpbach's Thomas Kahn; Convention Service Innsbruck's Alexandra Einwaller; ICCA's James Rees; and Convention Bureau Tirol's Christina Moser
(Clockwise from back) Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau’s Sonto Mayise; ICCA’s Sina Buente; Congress Centrum Alpbach’s Thomas Kahn; Convention Service Innsbruck’s Alexandra Einwaller; ICCA’s James Rees; and Convention Bureau Tirol’s Christina Moser

ICCA picks Tirol for 2020 Association Meetings Programme
ICCA will be heading to the Tirol region of Austria next year for the fifth edition of the ICCA Association Meetings Programme (AMP).

It will be held from June 29 to July 1, 2020, and will be jointly hosted by the cities of Innsbruck and Alpbach.

An ICCA flagship event, the AMP is designed to bring ICCA members and association executives from all over the world together for open exchange through small-scale networking and interactive knowledge transfer about bidding, designing, organising and promoting international association meetings.

The four hosts of the ICCA AMP 2020 are Convention Bureau Tirol, Convention Service Innsbruck, Congress Messe Innsbruck, and Congress Centrum Alpbach.

Senthil Gopinath, ICCA’s CEO, said in a statement: “ICCA has been organising the AMP in different parts of the world, and I am glad that we are coming to Austria as we bring the event back to Europe. We have done in-depth research into how the AMP will build the knowledge economy in each host city, and next year will offer an exciting programme.”

AMEX GBT deepens German reach with DER Business Travel acquisition
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is set to acquire DER Business Travel (DER), the corporate travel arm of the DER Touristik Group, with the move granting the former a deeper reach into Germany’s small- and mid-sized clients sector.

The acquisition is conditioned on receipt of antitrust approvals and is expected to close in 3Q2019.

A GBT spokesperson told TTGmice that both companies will continue to operate business as usual after the deal closes, and there will be no changes to how clients are serviced. However, both companies stand to gain from each other’s strengths.

“Clients will benefit from the local servicing experience that caters to their needs, while also having access to GBT technology and products. DER clients can also use GBT’s global expertise and experience to expand their travel programmes outside of Germany,” explained the spokesperson.

Elyes Mrad, GBT’s senior vice president and managing director, International, said in a statement that “the acquisition is a great opportunity for everyone involved”.

Also commenting on the move, Mark Tantz, DER managing director, said: “GBT and DER are both people-driven organisations with a passion for providing the best technology and service to clients. With GBT’s scale and proprietary tech stack and our expertise and relationships in Germany, this is a real opportunity to offer a new, collective value proposition to German businesses.”

DER’s corporate travel business is headquartered in Frankfurt and operates in 42 locations across Germany with approximately 600 employees.

When the deal closes, DER employees will join approximately 17,400 GBT employees. DER leadership teams across operations, commercial, process management and online solutions will report into the GBT market lead for those functions, noted the GBT spokesperson.

The organisation within Germany is led by Florian Storp, vice president of Central Europe. – Karen Yue

Dubai tourists to get free SIM cards
Tourists above 18 years can now obtain a free Sim card from telecommunications provider Du when visiting Dubai, thanks to a new initiative by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

The SIM card will be valid for one month, and offers three minutes of talk time and 20MB of free data. Travellers with transit visas visit visas, visas on arrival and GCC citizens arriving at Dubai International Airport are able to take advantage of the complimentary service.

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