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April 15, 2016

The Biggest MICE Industry Stories of the Week

It's been another busy week for the MICE industry, with new developments in the European Union's possible move to restrict visa-free travel from the U.S. and Canada drawing attention. Here's the latest. 

Photo by Freeimages.com/Vince Varga

European Commission Proposes Suspending Visa-Free Travel From U.S., Canada

This week saw the passing of a deadline regarding visa-free travel rules between the European Union and the U.S. and Canada. Right now the U.S. requires a visa for citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania, while Canada applies a visa requirement for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania. EU visa policy requires reciprocity between visa-free travel, and as of April 12 a 24-month deadline had passed for the U.S. and Canada to correct the situation. 

The European Commission released a statement outlining the political, economic and administrative consequences of suspending the EU's visa waiver with the U.S. and Canada, concluding that it is "highly unlikely" that EU members would be able to process the increased number of via applications within 90 days, and that a visa waiver suspension could decrease the number of travelers from the U.S. and Canada. The Commission has set a July 12 deadline for the European Parliament and the EU member governments to offer advice on next steps. The Commission could start imposing visa requirements on U.S. and Canadian citizens after that deadline. 

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Pam Payano
Pam Payano

Two New Sales Contacts at Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

In industry news, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) added two new members to its sales team this week: Sales Manager Pam Payano and Director of Travel Industry Sales for Latin America and the Caribbean Joe Docal.

Payano hails from TURKEL Brands, where she was marketing manager and worked with the GMCVB's Convention Sales Department. Docal was most recently with Global Marketing & Sales, a private organization specializing in destination representation. 

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GBTA: Uncertainty Slowing Business Travel Growth

The GBTA Foundnation offered a closer look at the state of U.S. business travel this week with the release of the GBTA BTI Outlook – United States 2016 Q1.

Key takeaways? While the latest GBTA business travel forecast found that 2016 will look very similar to previous years with anemic but steady growth, there is cause for optimism about 2017 as the health of the global economy becomes clearer and a number of factors, including the U.S. presidential election and the possible “Brexit” of the United Kingdom from the EU, become resolved later this year.

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kimpton seafire

Inside Kimpton's First Caribbean Hotel

In the Caribbean this week International Meetings Review got a chance to tour the construction site of the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa project on Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, and it looks as though the hotel will be completed on time for its scheduled November opening. 

The new property will be the first for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants outside of North America, as well as the first new development on Grand Cayman's famous Seven Mile Beach in about 10 years. For meeting planners, there will be three meeting rooms and a 7,200 square foot ballroom. 

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corinthia hotel budapest

Corinthia Hotel Budapest Launches Lounge for MICE Organizers

In Europe, the Corithina Hotel Budapest opened the new Royal Lounge, which the hotel said is Hungary's first lounge dedicated to organizers of MICE events. 

Designed by Martin Goddard, who also designed the hotel's newly revamped One-Bedroom Executive Suites, the Royal Lounge offers meeting planners offices, boardrooms and rest sections, including private meeting rooms equipped with built-in smart screens, wireless printers and mobile chargers. The lounge is located close to the hotel's Events Team, allowing for easy contact with the hotel's staff. 

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Keep visiting www.internationalmeetingsreview.com for the latest MICE industry news, trends and updates. 

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About the Author: Adam Leposa





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