Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World. Write Paul an E-mail

African Union troops thwart Shebab attack on Somali conference

AFRICA – Somali security forces shot dead four suspected terrorist insurgents from the Al-Qaeda linked Shebab organisation last week, foiling an attack on a political conference in the town of Adado, officials in the capital Mogadishu said.  More than 400 local politicians, leaders and clan elders were meeting in the town when gunmen tried to storm the building, with one blowing himself up i...

Farnborough International Ltd lands Chinese airshow deal

ASIA – Farnborough International Ltd (FIL), UK organisers of the Farnborough International Airshow in England, have confirmed they will be working with the Sichuan Provincial Government in China to plan and organise a Sichuan International Airshow in September 2017. The announcement was made at the FIL stand at the Paris Airshow. FIL has worked with a number of international governments and ...

Meeting campaign launches for Shanghai and Umbria at Expo Milano

ASIA – Shanghai has launched a new meeting campaign at the 2015 Expo Milano. The Information Office of Shanghai Municipality unveiled the city’s new global promotion campaign, ‘Shanghai. Let’s Meet!’ with the launch phase running through to 18 June as part of the Expo in Citta programme. Zhu Yonglei, director general of Shanghai Information Office, said: “Shanghai has always been open to the...

UK meetings industry valued at £21bn, with venues increasing investment

EUROPE – New research into the UK’s conference and business events sector has valued the sector at an estimated £21.6bn (US$34.36bn) in terms of venue and destination direct spend in 2014. The ‘UK Conference and Meeting Survey 2015’ (UKCAMS) says the new total represents an increase of some £2bn compared with the previous year, due mainly to an increase in event size. The survey, now in its ...

KSL sells Malmaison Hotel du Vin for £363m

EUROPE – More evidence of strong bounce in investment values in the UK hotel sector is illustrated by the £363m (US$507m) acquisition of boutique chain Malmaison Hotel du Vin (MHDV) by Frasers Hospitality UK Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore group Frasers Centrepoint. The deal reflects a decent profit for Denver-based sellers KSL Capital Partners, which paid £180m for the bran...

Chicago on my mind

by Paul Colston, managing editor, CMW Hopefully I’m not alone in remembering former British foreign secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe complaining of having his bat broken before being sent into play by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The metaphor struck me as being how many convention bureaus in the United States must feel when the first impression for foreign delegates arriving for international conf...

Jumeirah appoints Robert Swade new group CEO

MIDDLE EAST – Dubai Holding and luxury hotel company, Jumeirah Group has recruited Robert Swade as group chief operating officer, following the resignation of Nicholas Clayton. Swade joined Jumeirah Group in 2005 as general counsel and has since been a key member of the senior executive team. In 2012 he became group chief development officer, tasked with building a portfolio of future hotel ...

dmg events appoints new VP for Design & Hospitality

WORLD – International events company, dmg events, has appointed Andy Stuart as the new vice-president of the company’s Design and Hospitality Division for the Middle East and Asia. He will take over responsibility from Mike Allsopp following his retirement in September this year. Stuart will oversee expansion of the portfolio’s events into new territories and sectors. For the past four years...

Amsterdam RAI to host and organise World Marinas Conference

EUROPE – Amsterdam RAI is to organise the biennial ICOMIA World Marinas Conference (WMC) for a second consecutive edition. Hosted by HISWA, the Holland Marine Industry Association, the conference will be held on home soil this time, 17-19 November. The event is aimed at marina owners, operators, developers, consultants, service providers, government officials, equipment manufacturers, nautic...

Lobby group urges UK ministers to act on events strategy

EUROPE – The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP), the UK events industry lobbying association, has urged new ministers to implement, without delay, the government’s Events Strategy, launched just prior to the General Election by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). BVEP chairman Michael Hirst told CMW: “The BVEP was quick to write and congratulate both Secretaries of Stat...

Tokyo wins bid to host Asia Pacific Cochlear Implant Symposium

ASIA - The Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau (TCVB) has won its bid to host the 12th Asia Pacific Symposium on Cochlear Implant and Related Sciences (APSCI 2019). The decision was made during the 10th APSCI, held in Beijing, China, earlier this month.

Industry slams Canberra Tax and VISA fee hike as ‘Enormous own goal’

AUSTRALASIA – The Australian tourism industry is “fighting with one hand behind its back” after the federal government announced plans to increase visa fees and taxes, industry professionals have warned. The  revealed it would increase visa application fees from July as part of its 2015-16 federal budget. The move is expected to raise AUS$437.1m (US$350.5m) over four years. Visitors from China are...