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News8 / ConferenCe & Meetings World / issUe 65JAPAN - Over the coming months, 20 large Japanese companies are flying to Europe to help re-energise post-earthquake trade and investment links. The companies will initially visit the UK courtesy of the joint UK Trade and Investment and British Airways 'Reassure and Rebuild' campaign, which is supported by Hilton Hotels and the Nissan Group. British Ambassador to Japan, David Warren said: "Our message is unified: Japan is back in business. We all share a desire to help rebuild Japan's economy by reassuring people back home that Japanese business has bounced back since March". One hundred and thirty Japanese companies applied for the competition which, said Warren, "demonstrates the demand in Japanese business for greater trade and investment ties with the UK".TOBAGO - The 200-room four-star Magdalena Grand Beach Resort, set to open in November 2011, will become Caribbean island Tobago's premier business resort with a US$25m investment backed by the Government.The hotel, formerly the Tobago Hilton, was given the Magdalena name by new management company Evolving TecKnologies and Enterprise Development Company (eTecK). Owner Vanguard Hotel's oceanfront hotel will feature the island's largest ballroom and 465sqm of meetings space, as well as five dining options, an 18-hole golf course, multiple swimming pools, and the newest spa on the island.Olympia's $31m top out$25m Magdalena refurb in TobagoFor all the latest breaking news, daily updates, visit:www.c-mw.netemail the cmw editorial team with all your industry news: pcolston@mashmedia.netIRELAND - The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) has hosted 300 events in its first year. "It has been an honour to be part of the dedicated team at The CCD over the past 12 months," said CEO Nick Waigh, who added: "With over 170,000 visitor days to date, including the Royal visit, it has been an incredible year."Events hosted at The CCD to date include the 39th European Dialysis and Transplant Nurses Association Conference and the European Union of Geriatric Medicine Society Conference.Happy Birthday to Ireland's CCDJapan reassures and rebuildsUK - Capital and Counties may be planning to demolish its Earls Court Exhibition Halls in London, after the 2012 Olympics, to make way for a lucrative housing development, but the property group is investing £20m ($31m) in a new venue on LIBYA - Organiser Montgomery is returning to the Libyan market with two new conferences and exhibitions in early 2012. ReBuild Libya is to take place in Tripoli and Oil and Gas Libya 2012 will move forward from its October slot.Montgomery said the conference programme will play a major role in helping the National Transitional Council manage the country's reconstruction.Montgomery takes conferences to Libyaits nearby Olympia site.The redevelopment includes upgrading West Hall into a 8,361sqm convention facility, along with connecting links into the Grand and Olympia 2 Halls.Earls Court & Olympia MD Nigel Nathan described the redevelopment as "the next chapter in Olympia's history" at a topping out ceremony on 9 September. "This enhancement respects the building's history while making the internal environment easier for organisers to access and use," Nathan added, saying it would bring in new business, create jobs and deliver continual benefits for West London.Local Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh told CMW he welcomed Olympia's redevelopment and fresh investment into supporting events in West London. At the same time, he admonished Transport for London's plans to cancel weekday District Line tube services to Kensington Olympia.Greenhalgh also reiterated the importance of West London to the successful future of events in the UK.The ground floor of the new Olympia West Hall will get its first use in December 2011 for the London International Horse Show. Both floors are then expected to be open at the venue from March 2012.

NewsISSUE 65 / ConfErEnCE & MEEtIngS World / 9ICCA qualified meetings held last year in London by UK-based associationsicca report for confex group22KENYA - The Kenyan Government is looking at building a 5,000 capacity convention centre in Mombasa and a more modest conference facility in Kisumu, with the working title of Lake Victoria Conference Centre. The country is keen to expand conference tourism to supplement its wildlife safari and beach tourism business. Tourism Minister Najib Balala has instructed the Tourism Development Corp to proceed to the design stage in Mombasa. "I am hoping that by end of next year we will have the facility up and running," he said. Business tourism made up 14 per cent of tourists to Kenya between January and June 2011.Kenya to build new centre in MombasaUK - London is the most popular city for international meetings organised by UK-based associations. Amsterdam is a fast closing second choice, with 21 qualifying events against London's 22. The new figures emerge from an extrapolation of ICCA 2010 data paid for by the Confex Group.For country preference among the same group, the UK leads with 76 meetings, followed by Germany on 55 and Spain and USA tying for third on 40. Other data in the special report include venues used, favourite months for meetings, subjects and frequency."Associations are key visitors to Confex and it was important that we better understood their event cycle, format and importance to the destinations that exhibit at Confex," Confex Portfolio Director Jonny Sullens told CMW.Confex puts UK spin on ICCA statsIn briefInspiring Denmark winDENMARK - National convention bureau Inspiring Denmark has won its bid to host 600 robotic experts for the European Robotics Forum 2012. To be held in Odense in March, the event claims to be the largest robotic conference in Europe. Inspiring Denmark helped the Centre for Robotic Technology at the Danish Technological Institute in Odense pitch against Madrid and Paris for the event. Cedar Rapids breaks groundUSA - The new convention centre complex for Iowa town Cedar Rapids has broken ground, three years after a flood ruined most the city's downtown area. The new US$75.6m Cedar Rapids Convention Complex will have 6,700sqm of events space, a 1,200sqm ballroom and 460sqm of meeting space.An existing US Cellular Center Arena and former Crowne Plaza Five Seasons Hotel sit adjacent to the complex and a new hotel will offer an additional 1,800sqm of meeting space.The centre has already secured the 2015 Iowa League of Cities Annual Conference; and the 2013 and 2014 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships.Helsinki centre expansionFINLAND - The Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre has unveiled its new 15,000sqm multi-functional hall, part of a US$41m expansion plan launched in February 2010. The addition of the new Hall 7 on its eastern side increases overall floor space by 30 per cent.PATA names Craigs as CEOWORLD - The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has appointed Martin Craigs as its new CEO. He holds the post of President of pan-Asian non-profit advocacy group Aerospace Forum Asia (AFA) and is Managing Partner at Hillcrest International Advisory. PATA held its first conference in April 2011 in Beijing since cancelling its annual conference in 2007 due to "high hosting costs and a low turnout of paying delegates". One thousand delegates attended the 2011 conference.ITALY - The official opening of the new Rimini Conference Centre (Palacongressi) is set to take place 15 October, over a year later than scheduled and following two false starts. The ?117m venue's inauguration ceremony will be followed by an open day for the town on 16 October. The space-age design centre was originally due to open in May 2010, but The Fiera group, manager of the Palacongressi project, claimed "technical" difficulties with the construction were to blame for the first delay. Later, problems linked to permits for opening the facilities prevented a second inauguration ceremony from going ahead as scheduled on 25 September Third time lucky for Palacongressi2010. Venue Chairman Lorenzo Cagnoni said: "We all know how many obstacles have been faced and overcome to reach this point, but satisfaction and pride have now won."RankCity200920101London26222Amsterdam15213Berlin1720Paris10205Istanbul1215Lisbon10157Dublin914Vienna20149Barcelona2713Prague141311Copenhagen131212Beijing81113Singapore610Athens810Brussels1010Madrid1110Vancouver81018Edinburgh109No. of meetings