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There's just something about Australia that changes the way you think. At first glance you might think it's the stunning natural settings like Sydney Harbour or its unique meeting locations. But organise an event here and you'll soon discover it's something far deeper. A rich history of cultural freedom and innovation has helped Australians think differently for over 40,000 years. More recently, our fresh and imaginative approach has ensured the success of world-class corporate and association meetings, rewarding incentives and unrivalled global events.So if you're after an event that will inspire new ideas, deliver real business results and return on investment, look no further than Australia. To get your clients thinking differently visit businessevents.australia.com th ast somece uturaver ch hrewvent ideathants thinnts.a jglHarboud you'ry cy foappreetinfter ad retucliSydne ahistk differeaginativociation you're gstment,king visitbunesseveTAKE YOUR THINKINGTO AWHOLE NEW PLACE.

MarchConference+Meetings World www.c-mw.net7NEWSCall for convention centre tobe part of Long Island mixUSA - President of businessand civic association, LongIsland Association (LIA), KevinLaw, says the destination needsa "dynamic" convention centre.Currently the New York stateisland does not have a venuebig enough for large-scaleconventions, says Law, whobelieves it's time the islandstarted "acting like the big guyit is". "We're bigger than not only18 states, but most of themajor cities in the USA," Lawtold radio station, WCBS 880.He says a convention centrecould also accommodateprofessional sports teams aswell as business events. AUSTRALIA - The BusinessEvents Council of Australia(BECA) has called for strongersupport for business events.According to BECA, a flattourism and business eventsmarket is made worse byincreased outward travel, andchronic skills shortage.Key BECA recommendationsinclude the establishment of aFederal Government BusinessEvents Support Fund to helpAustralia win new internationalbusiness and boost internationaldelegate numbers, and theintroduction of a 120 per centtax incentive for training forevents industry employees."Australia has performed wellin this sector," said BECA in areport, "but over the past decadeit has faced increasingaggressive competition. Tocombat this and capture theopportunities, the sector requiresstrong Government support. Themost successful business eventsdestinations in the world arebacked by solid nationalGovernment investment."Government urgedto support Aussieevents fund ISO accreditation for ICC DurbanSOUTH AFRICA - TheInternational ConventionCentre Durban has beenawarded InternationalStandards Organisation9001 and 22000 status, as well as the SANS 10330:HACCP accreditation fromthe South African Bureau ofStandards (SABS). Thecertifications cover qualitymanagement and foodsafety systems. From Columbia toCharlotteUSA - The Director of theColumbia Convention andVisitors Bureau, LorahSteiner, has left to becomeDirector of Tourism atCharlotte County, Florida.Steiner, a former MPIChapter President,postponed her plan toretire in June 2011.New GM for IstanbulTURKEY - IstanbulConvention and VisitorsBureau has appointed ElifBalci Fisunoglu as GeneralManager. She had beenDirector of Sales andMarketing at the bureausince 2001.Craig joins the SATourism team SOUTH AFRICA - SouthAfrican Tourism hasappointed Jermaine Craigto become GlobalCommunications Manager.He was previously involvedin the media relationsmanagement for the 2010FIFA World Cup OrganisingCommittee.Quito Cultural Capital USA - The InternationalBureau of Cultural Capitals(IBOCC) has named Quitoas the 2011 AmericanCapital of Culture.News in brief...Abu Dhabi hotels host19% more visitor nights UAE- Abu Dhabi has reportedan eight per cent rise in hotelvisitors, to 1.81m for 2010.Guest nights broke through thefive million mark and The AbuDhabi Tourism Authority said thenew figure for guest nightsrepresented a 19 per cent rise on 2009.The UK market delivered thebiggest international increase,sending 117,836 hotel visitors,up 22 per cent on 2009.ADTA credits the improvedperformance to an expansion inthe destination's product base.The average visitor length of stayhas increased to 2.83 nights."The introduction of leisureproducts such as Ferrari WorldAbu Dhabi, new golf coursesand the Yas Island ShowWeekends and the launch ofnew MICE events - such as WorldGreen Tourism Abu Dhabi -helped ensure a successful finalquarter and the destination'sbest hotel guest performanceyet," said His ExcellencyMubarak Al Muhairi, DirectorGeneral, ADTA.ADTA stepped up itsdestination marketing in 2010with the roll-out of a majoradvertising campaign,participation in 20 internationaltrade fairs and the opening of a promotional office in Beijing."Our performance has alsobeen aided by more attractiverates," said Al Muhairi.Abu Dhabi's main growthmarkets after the UK were theUSA and France and theemirate's visitor market nowcontributes over 11 per cent ofAbu Dhabi's non-oil GDP. CHINA - Shanghai Jin JiangInternational Hotels' latestdevelopment is set to steal thetitle of the highest hotel in theworld from Park HyattShanghai and the Ritz CarltonHong Kong. Under a newgroup luxury brand, J-Hotel, the 258-room J-Hotel will occupyfloors 84 to 110 of theShanghai Tower and is due toopen in 2014. Conventionspace is set to figure in theplans for the 632-metre hotel. Shanghai to gethighest hotel inthe worldUSA - Chicago's MetropolitanPier and Exposition Authoritywill lease the city's Navy Pierto a new not-for-profitcorporation to manage.Trustees had made the casefor separating thegovernance of Navy Pier fromthat of conference and eventsvenue McCormick Place.Tim Roby, the man whooversaw the venue's overhaulof union work rules, resignedfrom his post late last year.Chicago MPEAto float offNavy Pier