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Great Hotels Meeting Forums hold best ever event

Great Hotels Organisation (GHO: http://www.ghorg.com), the London-based hotel sales and marketing alliance representing some of the world’s finest independent hotels has hosted its most successful ever Meeting Forum following the recent implementation of a set of format changes to improve efficiency.

The first Great Hotels Meeting Forum to implement the changes was held at the Gran Hotel Elba Estepona & Thalasso Spa (http://www.ghotw.com/gran-elba-estepona) in Andalucia, Spain, from 16-20 March and partnered with Cititravel DMC and Costa del Sol CVB, making it the most successful Great Hotels Meeting Forum since their introduction in 2003. Previously held over two days in separate destinations, the GH Meeting Forums are now held in pairs running back-to-back in the same hotel, halving the travelling time and expense for exhibitors.

It was extremely well received by meeting and incentive (MICE) buyers from the UK including Nestlé UK, Black Tomato and Zibrant and Benelux markets including VIA Travel Group & Meeting – Norway, Nokia – Belgium and Scanworld Group – Sweden. International hotels in attendance included Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque in Tenerife, Spain, Forte Village in Sardinia, Italy and Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Mayor of Estepona, Mr David Valadez was also in attendance.

Now held over four days, the GH Meeting Forums are highly focused networking events consisting of a series of one-to-one meetings between Great Hotels of the World and Special Hotels of the World members and MICE buyers from specific market segments as well as cocktail receptions, networking dinners and team-building activities.

“It was an excellent three days and well worth leaving the office for”, comments Sandra Jack, director of operations at TBA Global Ltd (buyer), “It was a well structured event and was beautifully run. I would certainly consider further Meeting Forums as the meetings were excellent. I now know about some properties in the Algarve that I would never have previously considered and I have a much better insight into Portugal, Madeira, Marbella and Dubrovnik.”

Mari-Anne Robberstad, Director at VIA Travel Norway (buyer) goes on to say “This is my first experience with Great Hotels Meeting Forums and I’m very impressed by both the length and timings of the meetings and the ability of the suppliers to present their destinations and venues. We will definitely incorporate the events into our schedule in future in addition to EIBTM and IMEX.”

Marilka Tovarac, sales manager at Valamar Lacroma Resort in Dubrovnik, Croatia says “The GH Meeting Forums are so well organised and putting them back-to-back makes them even more cost-effective. I would definitely recommend these events to other member hoteliers."

In response to member demands, GHO is also introducing a new market Meeting Forum focusing on the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe. This Forum will remain on the original two-day format and will introduce member hotels to buyers from emerging markets not previously targeted by the events.

Great Hotels Meeting Forums dates for 2010 are:

German & French/ Italian/Swiss markets - 29-31 August & 31 August – 2 September, Blau Porto Petro Beach Resort, Mallorca, Spain

Middle East/Russia/Eastern Europe - 21-23 November - Moevenpick Istanbul, Turkey

For more information on Great Hotels Meeting Forums or to register as a buyer please visit www.ghorg.com/forum.

-ends-

For press enquiries please contact:

Brooke Jester - Marketing and PR Executive, Great Hotels Organisation

Note to editors:

Great Hotels Organisation (GHO) is part of Big Worldwide, a global, privately owned travel, technology and media company headquartered in London. Great Hotels Organisation’s family of brands include Great Hotels of the World (http://www.ghotw.com), Special Hotels of the World (http://www.shotw.com) and Metro Hotels. GHO provides a range of products, services and innovative technology solutions for over 1,500 hotels worldwide including trade shows, e-marketing, business travel consortia sales, meeting and incentive sales, public relations, Meeting Forums and a private label GDS chain code (GW). evolution is a complete reservation platform that allows hotels to effectively manage multi-channel distribution.

Membership of GHO is by invitation only and hotels must meet strict criteria before being accepted. By acknowledging that each hotel has a different set of marketing requirements, GHO allows its member hotels to choose from a comprehensive collection of sales and marketinginitiatives in order to build their own ‘à la carte’ membership programme tailored to meet their individual objectives. By doing this, members are able to choose and purchase only the services they require, thus ensuring that membership fees are focused on their specific requirements.

Further information on Great Hotels Organisation can be found at http://www.ghorg.com/.

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