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Barcelona, the top-3 ‘MICE’ tourism destination of the world

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Barcelona MICE TOurism

Corporative tourism —also known as ‘MICE’ tourism mobilized around 18,000 million euros in 2016 in Spain. According to the Spanish Convention Bureau, the number of events, conventions and meetings in Spain has increased by 16%, while the MICE sector worldwide will grow by more than 5% in the next years. The country ranks 13th worldwide in a market led by China and the US, but Barcelona and Madrid are in the Top 10 of the favorite European cities to organize congresses and events.

What is MICE tourism?

The acronym MICE stands for meetings, incentives, conferencing & exhibitions. It is a niche area of tourism that is focused around the planning and booking of groups for large events, conferences or seminar. A top class MICE event organised to showcase your products, build new client relationships, host a company event or to reward your employees for their hard work is an investment and usually it’s one to remember.

The players in the MICE field include corporate meeting planners, meetings and convention departments of hotels, conference centers or cruise ships, food and beverage managers, logistics firms, private tour operators and transfer companies, incentive houses, professional trade organizations, tourism boards, tourism trade associations, and travel-selling professionals. Destinations often market themselves as MICE locations and bid for events through their convention and visitor bureaus. They might be able to offer subsidies to attract large events because of the increased revenue the visitors provide through their economic impact on the host location.

Barcelona, ​​the best city in Spain to celebrate events and conferences

The good position of Barcelona as a destination of congresses and meetings is increasingly more evident and, recently, the Catalan capital has been placed in third position in the prestigious world ranking drawn up by the ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) to establish which are the most relevant cities and states in MICE tourism (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), and it is placed ahead of other very important destinations in the sector such as Vienna or London. The Catalan city was hot on the heels of the first two in the ranking —Berlin and Paris — and acts as a pole of attraction to boost the organisation of events all over Catalonia.

The offering to organize events and congresses in the city is wide thanks to the presence of companies such as Eventos Barcelona, an event management agency in Barcelona specializing in artistic and technical production of events for companies, meetings, incentive travels, conventions or gala dinners.

During 2017, Barcelona hosted 2,134 congresses and conventions —10.5% more than in 2016. More than 675,000 delegates participated in these events, and their economic impact in the city is estimated at 1,850€. Throughout 2017, Barcelona obtained the best results since it entered in the MICE tourism industry, increasing its benefits 21% more than the previous year, as reported by the Turisme de Barcelona consortium. The last six months were a little weaker due to the effects of the attack of August 17th and the independence mobilizations of October 1st, but thanks to the entrance of the summer season the city has returned againt to the highest level.

‘Bleisure’and gastronomy, the key to success in MICE tourism

‘Bleisure’ is the buzzword in corporate tourism. Its name mixes the B of business with the word pleasure —that is, combining business trips with pleasure tourism. Therefore, many events are organized in local destinations and non-conventional spaces. The salons and conventional spaces lose importance against of unusual spaces, which are also more profitable because visitors can enjoy a wider leisure offer (such as spas, cursos de coctelería, showcookings) and team building activities, combining both work and fun in an entertaining and relevant way.

Nowadays, congresses and events want to offer a more friendly, funnier face than the pompous and rigid meetings of yesteryear. The idea is to personalize the experience of a congress with the emotional connection of each assistant thanks to the flexible and dynamic spaces. This emotional connection is achieved by taking care of the details, which is valued above all in the younger generations. Interactive and collaborative activities, non-traditional speakers and sessions with a spirit of commitment rather than instructive are the booming formats.

Gastronomy is another distinguishing factor for MICE events’ success. The youngest attendants to these events –mostly workers under 40 appreciate that the culinary proposals of the events include healthy alternatives, fresh food, fruits and foods that provide energy, instead of unnecessary huge meals full of empty calories. Also, mixing the gastronomic experiences and technology is very helpful. Incorporating innovative cuisine techniques and exotic foods with creative, very ‘instagramable’ preparations, are all a synonym of success. Once again, new technologies provide another guideline on how to succeed in these events.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Health

Dental tourism, actually one of the most popular

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dental tourism

Commonly known as dental holidays in Europe, it is actually a subset of medical tourism which is experiencing an important growth in this late times, since people from all around the globe is on a more frequent basis using their vacations to seek dental care outside their local healthcare systems. Today, globalization has created an interdependent market which is developing exponentially, where technologies spread out throughout the world quicker than ever, allowing people to find good dental care services at locations where costs are way lower than those at their places of origin.

But, why is this happening?

This has become an unstoppable phenomenon due to the economical differences existent nowadays amongst countries, especially between those that share borders. Obviously people seeking dental care, travel for a huge variety of reasons but an undeniable fact that affects decisions is driven by money, being able to have access to the necessary solution at a significant lower cost, is a strong element in decision making, even more when the quality of the service is as good as the local one only by passing over to a neighbor country.

For example, people from Austria travel to Albania, Hungary, Ukraine, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania and Bosnia. Citizens from the United States and Canada go to Dental Solutions Algodones Mexico in Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru and Ecuador; patients from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Hungary, Ukraine and Poland; and from Australia to other countries of South-East Asia. Some people travel because the funding of public healthcare at their place of choice turns out to be more convenient, or the general access to healthcare at that specific place fits their personal needs.

Freedom of practice

But not all the reasons for dental tourism are due to economics. In Europe, dental professionals are allowed to move their practice from one country to another and they are required only a minimum set of qualifications approved by the country of destination, giving them a greater freedom of practice. This is intended by the union to standardize dental services all over the areas of its members. Furthermore, dentistry universities of the union have developed programmes to help their students on completing some of their education at foreign facilities. This standardization brings down barriers for patients mobility within the area.

How about quality?

Since the main reason in most cases is related to pricing, low prices come with dentists that offer minimum fixed costs, less government issues and lower expenses including those derived from insurance to patients with a high income. Outside the country of origin, many bureaucratic steps are inexistent, allowing dentists to focus more freely on their task. Procedures such as porcelain veneers or dental implants become affordable for many people that can not pay for them back at home. And right here is where the main questions about this matter are focused. First, does price differentials imply lower quality results?, and second, Is it safe to undergo a large scale dental procedure abroad on a short period of time?.

The answers here are NO and YES, and here is why. As previously mentioned, globalization has a lot to do with this, because the latest technologies, materials and techniques are more accessible today than ever before anywhere in the world. In the first case, a dentist with a proven professional record, will charge the appropriate fees according to the country where they work, and the lower price does not necessarily mean poor quality, it means that the patient comes from a place where income is higher but expenses are higher too. In the second case, it is easy to figure out that the answer is affirmative since, as stated in the previous point, quality has nothing to do with the price in this case, and regardless of whether the procedure is something simple or complex, if the work is well done, there is no reason to expect any further problems.

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Why Gran Canaria is becoming the destination of thousands of tourists every year?

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gran canaria beach sea

Canary Islands. An authentic paradise in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of northeast Africa, that spreads across seven islands and several other islets on a blue, magnificent sea. A place to discover, undoubtedly.

With slightly over 600 square miles, Gran Canaria is the second largest of those islands, just after Tenerife, and the second most populated as well. Its capital city, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, sits on the northeast corner of the island, just by the peninsula La Isleta.

Upon arrival: Gando airport welcomes the tourist

The Gran Canaria airport, also known as Gando Airport, is one of the six highest-ranked air terminals of Spain, and besides receiving local travelers it also conveys traffic from stopover flights between Europe and South America. There’s plenty of airlines that fly carrying thousands of tourists every year from different countries up to Gran Canaria.

Its transportation facilities include several roads from many places in the island. There’s also a special bus that gives service at most towns in Gran Canaria. Taxi services are frequently requested, since distances between the airport and downtown Las Palmas are not too large.

Hotels and lodging

Canary Islands in general, and of course Gran Canaria in particular have developed large touristic infrastructures during the last decades. Each and every one of the seven main islands features highly developed lodging places, with 4- to 5-star hotels and everything the demanding tourists of today request.

Many hotels are located in Las Palmas, some of them just a few blocks away, and others even in front of the sunny beaches of La Cícer, Playa de Las Canteras o Playa Chica.

However, as any tourist says, the finest sands and gorgeous seas can be found only on the south coast of Gran Canaria. Maspalomas is one of the world-renowned touristic resources of the whole island. And there HD Hotels means an excellent lodging option, with plenty of services and only 5 minutes away from Playa del Inglés.

What to do in Gran Canaria

Wonderful landscapes and a perfect weather for any type of tourism, from quiet, relaxed beach sunbathing, to surfing strong riptides, forest hiking or biking to rappel mountaineering.

With an average temperature about 18 C in winter and 26 in the summer and more than 300 sunny days a year, Gran Canaria weather conditions are more than ideal for vacations during any season. Even in the midst of winter, Jan-Feb, the temperature does not go below 15 C during the day.

Besides the traditional sun worshipping and beach activities, these are some other options to enjoy nature in Gran Canaria:

  • Golf: Eight class-A golf courses, four near Las Palmas and the other four in the south coast, not too far from Maspalomas.
  • Rappel: This adventure sport is one of the most demanded by mountaineers, since Gran Canaria features many attractive rocky places.
  • Hiking: A healthy practice that allows the tourist to know those intricate and remote places of the island. Thera are a dozen of hiking routes, called senderos around Gran Canaria.
  • Biking: Lots of places out in the wilderness to go cycling.
  • Horse riding: A different approach to enjoy beautiful landscapes.

Driving around the island

The GC1 is the Gran Canaria’s main highway and runs from the capital city Las Palmas in the northeast, to the cities and tourist places in the South, running parallel to the east coast, and rounding more than half the coastline down to Mogán harbor.

Parallel to the north coast, the GC-2 highway runs from Las Palmas to Agaete on the northwest corner, covering some 25 miles. Actually Gran Canaria is a relatively small territory and every place becomes near, especially if driving a car.

Many car rental agencies offer the service to tourists and local people, like TopCar outside Las Palmas.

Some advice for tourists arriving in Islas Canarias

Any newcomer to the Canary Islands will find these few tips pretty useful:

  1. Sun protection is a must, especially during summer. Light clothes, hats and sunglasses should accompany the tourist anywhere outdoors during the day.
  2. Tap water is not recommended for drinking. Bottled spring water is found at every kiosk and market across the island.
  3. Caution must be taken when entering the sea. It becomes deep within a few meters in and big waves can be frequent. Canary Islands are located in the middle of an oceanic current, not to mention the winds that frequently blow. Usually beaches are signaled with color flags: blue, meaning safe for swimming; yellow, only for skillful swimmers; and red, where entering the sea is banned.
  4. Electric power uses the standard European 220 voltage system. Care must be taken, otherwise ordinary 110V devices could be permanently damaged.

Standard tips in bars and restaurants are around 5% to 10% of the bill.

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Enjoy a VIP Night in World’s Best Cities

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VIP night in London Barcelone MArbella ibiza

Go partying can become a routine if you don’t attend to special and outstanding clubs in world’s best cities recognized for their nightlife. So now we are going to talk about the best clubs where you can book and enjoy VIP areas and tables to avoid the crowds on the dance floors but, at the same time, be able to enjoy the music of the best DJs, the company of your friends and the exclusive drink service without waiting at the bar. Let’s take a look at the best cities to going out and their best nightclubs.

London

The United Kingdom’s capital has a large selection of the best and most exclusive and luxury nightclubs in the world. We are talking about Cirque Le Soir, Tape, Drama, The Box, Libertine, Cuckoo, Toy Room, Scandal, Reign, Charlie, Maddox and Mahiki Kensington. In addition, there is the possibility to book London Vip Tables in these clubs and enjoy the best night of your lives. Prices are around £1000 for 10 guests, and the service includes VIP access, bottle spend included in the minimum, designated hostess service for the duration of the party and a personal concierge, so we encourage you to treat yourselves one night.

Barcelona

What can we say about Barcelona? Without any doubt, one of the best cities in the world, if not the best, to go out at night and people are very cheerful. There are hundreds of clubs, but if we have made an exclusive selection, we choose Opium, Bling Bling, Pacha, Eclipse Hotel W, Otto Zutz, Catwalk, Shoko, CDLC, Café del Mar and Hyde. Of course, all of them have a Barcelona Vip Tables booking service where you can enjoy a special area for you and your friends and make that night something unique. Prices range between €250 and €1200 for 5 guests, depending on whether the table is (first, second or third row). The service include fast track entry, bar spend as per minimum spend included, designated hostess service and a personal concierge, so, it’s worth it!

Marbella

Marbella! The jewel of La Costa del Sol, near Malaga, one of the most beautiful areas in southern Spain. We can only imagine a fantastic night strolling through its beaches, marinas and, of course, dancing in its most exclusive nightclubs where the jet set meets every season of the year, not only in summer. If you are looking for the best clubs in Marbella, here you have them: Olivia Varele, Starlite, Aqwa Mist, Tibu, Mirage, News Cafe, Funky Buddha, Nikki Beach, Opium Beach, Nao, Plaza Beach and Sisu. The Marbella Vip Tables cost about €850 and €2500 for 10 guests depending on the club you choose and the services included, which can vary a lot. This is real luxury!

Ibiza

We leave the jackpot to the end: Ibiza! No matter which club you choose: Pacha, Ushuaïa, Amnesia, Hï Ibiza, Privilege, Ocean Beach, Es Paradis, Lío Ibiza, Destino Ibiza or Blue Marlin. You can book Ibiza Vip Tables from € 250 per person and you will live an unforgettable night in the best party island in the Mediterranean.

Have we convinced you to spend a VIP night in London, Barcelona, Marbella or Ibiza? Think of your birthday party, a bachelor or bachelorette party or a special anniversary and we are sure that the answer will be an emphatic YES!

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