The following is a dispatch from Rob Cotter, a frequent One+ contributor, who is attending EIBTM in Barcelona, Spain.
Here are a couple of quick headlines from EIBTM
Edinburgh’s Caledonian Hilton gets an Uplift
The famous landmark hotel in the Scottish capital, fondly known by locals as "Caley," is to receive a US$20 million (£14 million) uplift to bring her into the luxury hotel bracket and lure back the rich and famous who once graced the foyers. Once she’s all cleaned up, Caley will operate as a part of Hilton’s luxury Waldorf Astoria brand as the Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, including the brand’s trademark personal concierge service.
“It will be a shining example of Scottish luxury, history and heritage,” said John Vanderslice, head of Luxury and Lifestyle Brands at Hilton Worldwide.
It will also be a brand first for Scotland, like a meeting of two old dears: the first time in the luxury brand’s 127-year history that it will arrive in the country is to meet the 108 year old Caley. Sounds like a great occasion to share a wee dram of the country’s finest single malt!
Gulf Stream Effects
News of a new convention center for the Arabian Gulf were announced at this year’s EIBTM: Oman is all set to join the growing numbers of Middle East destinations vying for the lucrative meetings market and are planning to unveil their new Oman Convention and Exhibition centre in 2015.
“The center will generate social and economic benefits for the country and will place Oman on the world map by playing host to global and large scale conferences and events,” said Eng. Wael bin Ahmed Al Lawati, CEO of Omran, the government-established developers of the center.
The plans for the new center demonstrate extraordinary levels of environmental responsibility, meeting U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification and locating the center within a natural reserve. The facilities are also pretty special too: a 3,200-seat tiered auditorium, 22,000 square meters of divisible and column-free exhibition space with state-of-the-art acoustics and lighting, 14 meeting rooms, two ballrooms, a VIP Pavilion and a food court.
The precinct that will envelop the center shows plans for a business park, a retail mall, serviced apartments and a range of hotels, ticking all boxes for meeting requirements.
To be managed by the Ogden Group, Oman realizes that even years before it opens the competition will be stiff.
“There are more than 200 convention and exhibition centers competing on the world stage for a slice of the business events pie, but research already undertaken has identified international conventions with the potential to be held in Oman as far ahead as 2024,” said Geoff Donaghy, AEG Ogden group director, convention centers.
When it’s set to be as good as this, there’s always room for one more.