Arabian Adventures MIE Covid-19 Update

First and foremost, our hearts and thoughts are with all those affected by COVID-19, as well as their families, friends and loved ones. Like you, we have been moved by its vast and growing impact across the world.

With the news dominated by Coronavirus, we wanted to get in touch and let you know that, the Emirates Group and the UAE are vigilantly implementing enhanced protocols to ensure the safety & security of our customers, suppliers, partners and workforce. We wanted to take this opportunity to share some of these positive insights with you for the future ahead.

Our Team in Dubai

Over the last month, our Team has been working closely with all of our clients who are thankfully mainly postponing events for later in 2020, or early 2021.  Our strong relationships with our suppliers is paramount at times like this, and they have been incredibly flexible wherever possible to work with us to try and maintain as much business as possible and show flexibility wherever possible.

All of our team members are now safely working from home as Dubai starts its full lock down over the coming weeks.  Daily catch ups on Microsoft Teams is a highlight, and the team is creative in different ways to ensure we maintain high spirits and a strong sense of humour during this unique and very challenging time.

We are maximising this time to work on creative new products for you and would love to share these ideas through our latest working tool, virtual calls. Along with many other projects which will further strengthen our services for you, we now have the time to start, which would not have been possible to do until summer.

The team are also taking the opportunity to do a range of online courses that are available through our Emirates Linked In Learning platform, such as showcasing tips on time management whilst working from home.

Our Overseas Representation Offices

We have an incredibly strong network of Overseas Offices in over 20 countries who are being very proactive in working around not being able to perform sales calls and attend events in their respective markets.   From virtual sales calls to destination training our team is there to assist you for anything you may require.  Please visit our web site for all contact information at the bottom of Meet the Team – Our Representatives.  Click Here

Emirates Group and Arabian Adventures, MIE – Looking Ahead

We will continue to be in regular contact with our clients, suppliers and partners and we are closely monitoring travel and health advisory bodies and our key objective will be to keep everyone updated with clear and concise information as we are receiving it.

How the UAE Government is ensuring a quicker recovery from other destinations – Leading the way!

We are proud to share the UAE government are taking incredible steps to ensure the ongoing support for the future of the economy, guaranteeing the UAE will be able to recover quicker as a destination.

The government have launched a Dh 1.5 billion economic stimulus package for the next three months to support companies and the business sector in Dubai. It seeks to enhance liquidity and reduce the impact of the current global economic situation. The package developed by the Dubai Government includes 15 initiatives focused on the commercial sector including travel and tourism

If you have any questions or concerns, please do reach out to our team – we are all here and we look forward to welcoming you back to the UAE very soon and will be ready and waiting!

Take care, be well and stay safe.


NOLA’s Four Seasons

While traditional foods go hand-in-hand with our four seasons, they are available year round and can give your guests that “taste” of NOLA they expect in your next event. To learn more from a local, click here to read what advice Gabby Schick, our Regional Sales Manager, shares on planning your next food experience in New Orleans.

Spring – Crawfish Season!
It’s not Spring without crawfish! Resembling a small lobster, but coming from the fresh waters of Louisiana, your mouth will melt while eating this delicious seafood – served boiled, sauteed, baked or fried. How to Eat: “Pinch, peel, grab the tail, and devour!”
Summer – Snoball Season!
It’s not summer in NOLA without a sno-ball! Sweet tooth lovers will salivate over the super fine fluffy ice saturated with a selection of a sweet syrup. There’s always more sweetness available to add on top, like a condensed milk drizzle or stuffing the inside with ice cream.
Fall – Football Season!
The only thing more New Orleans than a cast iron pot of gumbo simmering on the stove is tailgating during football season! This delicious staple item is sure to be found at every tailgate party as we watch our beloved Saints.
Winter – Mardi Gras!
Shortly after the holidays end, Mardi Gras kicks off and king cakes are synonymous with the start of Carnival Season! Hidden inside the cake is a small plastic baby. Whoever gets a slice with the baby must bring the next cake or throw a party, thus sparking an unending round of food and fun!


Arabian Adventures MICE wins highest honour in incentive travel industry for second time

Dubai, 27 January 2020

For the second time in three years, Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives & Events (MICE) has won the prestigious SITE Crystal Award for Excellence in Incentive Travel, Africa and the Middle East. The UAE-based destination management company (DMC) has been recognized for designing and delivering exceptional experiences for the top-performing advisors of a U.S. finance company during its multiple-day event in Dubai. Presented by The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), the SITE Crystal award is considered the highest honour in the incentive travel industry.

Arabian Adventures’ winning event saw 270 guests travel from the United States to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a series of multi-venue experiences. Over three days, the guests received a vivid and varied experience of the UAE that included an Arabic cooking class with one the country’s top chefs, a camel polo tournament, a memorable evening event with traditional music and dance show by the dunes in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR), as well as three exclusive gala dinners, each designed to highlight the diversity of Dubai. On the first day, Arabian Adventures team proved its outstanding ability to quickly and efficiently handle unexpected situations by successfully reorganizing and relocating one of the activities within 24 hours due to adverse weather.

The three-day event culminated with a spectacular party at the foot of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The event received an overall score of 9.5 out of 10 from the guests, the highest score ever received by the customer’s incentives, with perfect 10s awarded for the organizer team’s performance, availability and professionalism.

Justine Thomas, Head of Meetings, Incentives and Events for Arabian Adventures, said: “We are proud to have received this prestigious award for the second time in three years. The whole team is thrilled to be recognised for their efforts not only by our valued customer, but also by the industry. From the moment they arrived in Dubai, we wanted to make our guests feel like rock stars, and are delighted that they had such an unforgettable time and got to experience the legendary Arabian hospitality the UAE is renowned for.”

This year’s SITE Crystal Awards, held in Vancouver, has seen some of the fiercest competition so far, with travel, events and destination management companies from across the globe competing to take home the coveted trophy.





Prince’s Foundation to help restore Australian ecosystems

Story courtesy of:

Amid Australia’s ecological emergency, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation will be lending its support to projects and organisations that help restore ecosystems in the fire ravaged country. The foundation says it is working with the Embassy of Monaco, Honorary Consuls in Australia and Board Member Professor Tim Flannery to select the projects.

In an official statement sent from the Prince’s Palace on Monday 6th January, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco expressed his support to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a time when giant fires have been consuming the country for several months, causing considerable loss of biodiversity and endangering local communities.

“I have sadly seen that entire towns have been engulfed in flames, that residents across several states have lost their homes, especially in New South Wales, and that wildlife and the environment have undergone extensive damages; a situation exacerbated by persistent heat and drought,” said Prince Albert.

The Australian government is set to revise the total amount of land burnt to 17 million hectares given the late addition of figures from the Northern Territory. Scientists estimate that close to one billion animals have perished, 29 people have died and 6,000 buildings have been destroyed.

Victoria’s state capital Melbourne, Australia’s second-biggest city and a major tourist drawcard, was classified as having the “worst air quality in the world” this week as cooler temperatures brought particles in the air close to the ground.

As nightmare scenes continue, climate scientists are warning that Australia’s fires are a harbinger of what is to come for the rest of the world as the planet warms due to human activity. It is a sentiment echoed by Prof. Tim Flannery, eminent Australian biologist and palaeontologist, Director of the Department of Zoology of the Australian Museum of Sydney and climate specialist, and member of the Board of Directors of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

In a statement this week, Tim Flannery points out that Australia’s unprecedented bushfire season has occurred during the hottest, driest year ever recorded in Australia.

“Natural factors would result in a year as hot as 2019 once every 350 years,” says Professor Flannery. “But human caused greenhouse gases increase the odds to one year in eight. The greenhouse gases we all emit today are stoking the bushfires of tomorrow. It is critically important that all nations increase the ambition of their greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.”

In light of the ecological emergency, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation announced this week that it will work with local entities, in the framework of its missions to preserve biodiversity and combat climate change. In order to ensure that its assistance is as effective as possible, the Foundation is collaborating with Prof. Tim Flannery, the Embassy of Monaco and the network of Honorary Consuls in Australia, in order to identify the organisations and projects to support to help restore the ecosystems.


GUEST POST: India – A Handsome Perspective on the Traditional


To other countries, I may go as a tourist, but to India, I come as a pilgrim. Martin Luther King, Jr.

After four years away, I was fortunate enough to make a second passage to India. On our first trip we ticked off the big ticket items (Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb, streets of Delhi, Lake Palace in Udaipur) so this time we were free to scale things back a bit and drill down into some real life India. Step into the common, brave the backcountry. We flew into Delhi, had one day there then headed to Rajasthan, taking a train to Jaipur then a short trip to historical Amer followed by Samode before flying back out of Delhi.

Each of our lodgings was a unique and special experience. The Imperial Hotel (New Delhi) was (as the name implies) regal and elegant, an artefact left behind to display the most recent of India’s departed partners, exuding local flavour and imported toff in equal measure. The Spice Route (The Imperial Hotels flagship restaurant) was exhilarating! The design and implementation of the room and its decor alone is something that I could lose countless hours learning about. I feel as though they should include a guided tour of the dining room before you are even allowed to look at a menu! When I was finally able to close my gaping jaw long enough to masticate some food, I was treated to a true culinary journey. At that point, the Spice Route had fulfilled its promise.

The train to Jaipur was thoroughly enjoyable with an ever evolving palette of people constantly changing before us as we made stops en route to Jaipur. This train also employed the hardest working mop pilot anywhere across the subcontinent! Every time food was served or a member of staff moseyed on by, our man was there to swab away the evidence.

From the moment we entered Samode Haveli I felt as if we had been invited into the house of a very dear friend (albeit if that friend happened to be part of a local noble family). Our room was spacious and inviting, the staff there were attentive and professional. An early highlight was partaking in an evening drink on the rooftop bar. I believe this is a fairly recent offering at Samode Haveli but its inclusion allowed us access to view an otherwise secret world…the city wide flying of kites! I was filled with joyous wonderment at the simple beauty of an entire city lost in the rapture of pitting kite against gravity. 

The Haveli offered an early morning walk and on the day we were to check out, we accepted. This provided us with an insight into the morning rituals of the city, a chance to feel like a part of the community. Starting in the back alleys, we were taken through milk markets, flower markets and vegie markets. We were able to be a part of the morning service at the Hindu Temple near City Palace, joining in with the chanting and movement, becoming part of the ever widening circle of sound designed to wake up a beloved deity. In this case, Krishna. This proved to be one of the most life affirming experiences I have had. Truly beautiful!

Special mention must go to our guide, a young gentleman named Sanjeet from Samode Haveli. He was wise, funny, educational and inspirational. Imparting a wealth of knowledge in a style that was truly his own.

Next stop was Dera Amer. This is the kind of experience that satisfies on every conceivable level. It is a sanctuary, a province for preservation and protection not just of the local animal and plant life, but for intrepid travellers as well. Set on 180 acres of natural wild beauty Dera Amer invites its guests to live among Animalia. On arrival you are greeted by elephants. Elephants! Seriously! Currently home to three graceful ladies (Dera Amer has gifted a new life to these girls, taking them out of former hard times) whose gentleness simply cannot be overstated or ignored. Visitors can enjoy a meal, stage an event or stay in the onsite Glamping tents, which we wisely did. Dig if you will, the kind of majestic canvas pavilion inside which Mughal Emperor Man Singh may have rested in. Now remove the obvious harem and this is the magnificent style of accommodation that is offered. Add dinner under the stars and breakfast beside the peacocks and you have a stay that transcends Instagram and will forever inhabit your memory bank.

The genius team behind Dera Amer deserve the immense success that I feel is coming their way. Their hearts are absolutely as pure as their intentions. Our stay was as thrilling as it was romantic, as invigorating as it was grounding.

Our final destination (this time around) was Samode Palace. Not just a lofty title, this property began life as an actual palace over 475 years ago and was converted to a modern hotel style property in the 1980’s. Since then it has hosted Royals, celebrities, the adventurous and the weary. It has been the backdrop to Hindi films, American TV and international photo shoots and even if you are not from the former backgrounds or attached to the later productions, the staff are incredibly willing to to make you feel as though you were. We were treated to not one but two completely unique and singular night time dining experiences, a personalised tour of the Samode village, private entrance to the house and studio of a local miniatures artist and one on one audiences with local iron and jewel smiths.

We were taken to all of these experiences by a Distant Frontiers staff member named Pawan who acted as driver/guide/guru/companion. He is a gifted automobilist (very much required in India), an informative guide, fascinating storyteller and a genuine human as well. 

The colour and chaos of India will continue to spark joy in my times of dutiful doldrums now that I have returned to daily life and the glimmer of returning once more will provide buoyancy across the river of the regular.

Time spent in India has an extraordinary effect on one. It acts as a barrier that makes the rest of the world seem unreal. Tahir Shah

Editor: Mik Easterman travelled to India as an invited guest of PillowMINT. This blog was his payment in lieu of the originally negotiated bag carrying duties.


Why Auckland? Let Ninety Nine Reasons show you!


Click here to see Ninety Nine Reasons to consider Auckland for your next event!


Dubai Arena prepares for launch!

Dubai’s new Coca Cola Arena – the largest multi-purpose, air-conditioned event space in the Middle East is now complete and due to open its doors in June.

Located in the City Walk leisure area of the city and spanning an incredible half a million square feet, the arena can comfortably seat up to 17,000 guests beneath a futuristic roof that weighs an incredible 4000 tons – equal to seven, fully loaded A380’s.

Designed to host everything from concerts to major sporting matches, as well as large corporate events and experiences, the Coca Cola Arena offers hospitality suites with private balconies and a fully modular interior that can be adapted to practically any group, theme or challenge.

First up for the venue will be a concert by Maroon 5 and a performance by Emmy award-winning comedy superstar Russell Peters. For more details on hosting an event at the Arena, speak to one of the AA MICE team or PillowMINT.


Shindagha Museum – Phase One Open


Groups have a new museum to add to their itinerary, where they are able to learn about the rich heritage of the UAE, set in one of the Emirates oldest and most historic neighbourhoods, the ambitious Shindagha Museum has now opened phase one – The Story of the Creek and the Perfume House.

Built across a series of traditional houses and pavilions centred on the former home of visionary leader, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, the museum offers an insight into Emirati culture and allows visitors to experience the heritage, innovations and skills that shaped the region.

The multimedia Story of the Creek, explores the Emirates beginning beside the clear blue waters of the Khor, the Emirati word for waterway – a world of artisans, merchants and the pioneering traders and navigators who first linked the region to the world, alongside deeply personal stories that bring the surrounding neighbourhood to life.

The Perfume House meanwhile, is an aromatic journey through the centuries old art of Emirati perfume making, including the traditional techniques used in its precious essential oils and reveals some of its more unusual ingredients.

Once completed, the complex will be the largest open museum in the city containing seventeen pavilions, including one just for children, and more than fifty priceless collections of historic and cultural artefacts.


Jumeirah Beach Hotel Refurbishment 


Following its 20th birthday earlier this year, the iconic, wave-shaped Jumeirah Beach Hotel has been undergoing a top-to-bottom refurbishment and the results have finally been revealed.

Inspired by sea, sand and nature, the famous lobby atrium has been made lighter and airier to make the most of the wonderful views of the Burj al Arab, and now features a wave-affect wall and hanging art installations designed to capture the feel of sunlight on the water.

The venue’s famous restaurants, meanwhile, have also received a full refresh, including La Parilla, Uptown Bar and the award-winning gastropub, The Dhow and Anchor, whilst Kitchen Connection (formerly Latitude) has received a sleek marble finish throughout. Some things, however, are guaranteed to remain the same, including the sensational level of service and the lush green JBH Arena event space with its uninterrupted views of the Arabian Gulf.

Why not consider Dubai for your next group program! Contact us today to learn more about this incredible destination.


Hyperloop Abu Dhabi Begins Testing

Hyperloop 3

In another pioneering achievement for the UAE, the world’s first commercial hyperloop capsule – a vacuum-tube transport system that will reach speeds of more than 1,000 kilometres per hour – has left its assembly plant in Spain ready for final testing in France.

Designed and built at a cost of $384 million, this supersonic, engineering marvel will carry an estimated 10,000 people per hour in its levitating cabins and is set to make its first journey in 2020.  Back in Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, the first phase of installation is ready to get underway, with the construction of a ten-kilometre-long stretch of track – a project that will eventually connect the city safely and sustainably to Dubai – a journey of 150 kilometres that will take just nine minutes.
The team at Arabian Adventures will keep us posted as construction continues.

Thinking about your next group to Abu Dhabi, contact PillowMINT today to discover what’s possible.


Ireland: Some great new ideas for Belfast Groups


Tracey your local Tour Guide for Northern Ireland Food Tours has an in depth knowledge of where to find great local Producers, where you will hear their story and taste their produce. You will sample foods as varied as single estate whiskey to artisan dulse wheaten bread and everything in between! We will stop for a bite to eat at a local award winning Restaurant where the emphasis is on very fresh and very local.

Our coach will take you along the stunning Strangford Lough coastline and Tracey will keep you entertained on your Food journey!


Castlescreen Farm is a family run farm on the East Coast of County Down. Damian and Jackie and their family specialise in raising Dexter cattle. A breed of cattle originating in Ireland, Dexter cattle are one of the smallest breeds, being about half the size of a traditional Hereford.

You will be invited to take a stroll through the fields with Damian. You’ll learn about the history of the farm and the Dexter breed. You’ll meet our prize winning Dexter cattle and once you have worked up an appetite after the farm visit, Jackie will have some delicious BBQ prepared for you to taste.


Patrice, the Oyster Farmer is based in the picturesque village of Killough within view of Coney Island. The group meet Patrice at the shore and from there we travel in style by tractor and trailer down to the oyster and mussel beds! Your guests see first-hand how the oysters are farmed from seedlings to fully formed large oysters. Patrice will have prepared a feast of shellfish – crab claws, mussels cooked with garlic cream and shallots, oysters in a saffron butter winkles etc that everyone will be able to sample. All of this will be washed down with either Guinness or white wine.

For this and other great new ideas, talk to us about how Ireland is the perfect destination for your next program



Once home to fishermen, pearl divers and weavers, Dubai’s historic Al Seef area has now been transformed into a bustling waterside destination, perfect for groups to explore.

Set beside the Dubai Creek, which threads its way through the heart of the city to the Persian Gulf, Al Seef is filled with traditional pedestrian alleyways known as Sikkas, waterside boardwalks, marinas, boutique shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels – the perfect place to kick back on a picturesque terrace or a creek-side table and watch traditional dhow boats by the water.

Then after lunch why not jump on one yourself and watch the city slowly pass you by.

Click here to learn more


AlliedPRA to Acquire Destination Nashville

Nashville Business Events Market Leader to Join AlliedPRA in its Next Chapter of Growth
AlliedPRA, Inc. the leading destination management company (DMC) in the business events industry, has agreed to terms to acquire Destination Nashville, the DMC leader in the Nashville market.
This acquisition will provide AlliedPRA with an important presence in the Nashville market, which in 2017 enjoyed a record-setting 14.5 million visitors, representing a year-over-year increase of 4.6 percent. Nashville is among the most sought-after locations for business events in North America.
To discuss Nashville as a destination for your next program, contact us on +61 449 753 976


SITE Crystal Award Winners – Arabian Adventures

We are proud and excited to announce that SITE – The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence has awarded Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives and Events the prestigious Crystal Award for Excellence in Incentive Travel for the Middle East and Africa 2017 – the highest honour in the Incentive travel industry!

Created to recognise companies that have set a new standard by providing a truly exceptional experience for guests, this award was presented to Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives and Events for their work on the Forever Living Global Rally 2017.

Forever Living, the world’s largest grower, manufacturer and distributor of Aloe Vera products originally asked Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives and Events for ‘an event like no other,’ one that would offer its guests a unique and unforgettable insight into Emirati culture – both ancient and modern.

With 12,500 guests from 150 countries attending, this ambitious series of multi venue experiences was one of the largest events ever held in the UAE, and saw more than 3,000 people on the move across Dubai at any one time.

Amongst the factors that secured the award for Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives and Events was a never before attempted rearrangement of Dubai’s road traffic network, including priority routes and closed streets, along with specially trained staff that successfully seated and embarked in excess of 1,000 people every thirty minutes for seven consecutive days – including a record time of 23 minutes, 15 seconds.

To create a truly authentic experience, they created a Bedouin village in the spectacular landscape of the Dubai Desert Conservation area, complete with a bustling souk and shisha lounge. The entire event culminated with the annual Chairman’s party at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel events arena, where special permission was secured to project the company’s logo onto the front of the iconic Burj Al Arab.

Justine Thomas-Butler, Head of Meetings, Incentives and Events for Arabian Adventures said of the event, “From the very beginning we were determined, the Forever Living Global Rally would never feel like an exercise in sheer numbers, but rather a series of intimate, unforgettable experiences that would give guests an enduring memory of Dubai’s legendary culture of authentic Arabian hospitality. We are incredibly proud to have been presented an award like this and the team are incredibly humbled.”

12,500 guests enjoyed a unique insight into the culture and atmosphere of the UAE.

The popularity of the location saw all events booked out in just 48 hours.

250 coaches and off-road vehicles were required to transport the group.

93% of all attendee feedback was classed as extremely positive, with the remaining 7% very positive.

The event’s daily reach on social media saw an average of 2,800 viewers online at any given time and a peak daily reach of 744,703.

Since the event, the number of people who have joined Forever Living has increased by 130%, with the Global Rally given as one the main contributing factors.


“Each and every person I have spoken to has raved about the wonderful memories they have from such a unique and inspiring event and place. A huge thanks go out to the Arabian Adventures team for helping cultivate such an adventure.” Rex Maughan, CEO and Founder

“My experience with Arabian Adventures MICE has been fantastic. They’re a great destination management company and really helped us realise our vision. They really care and their attention to details is phenomenal.” Nick Woodward Shaw, Vice President of Global Events

On behalf of PillowMINT we’d like to congratulate the entire team at Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives and Events on this wonderful and well deserved achievement.

Contact PillowMINT to discuss your next award winning program!


UAE: Sustainable Tourism Award 2017


The UAE’s deserts are pristine pieces of breathtaking natural beauty, which is why we’re proud to announce that Arabian Adventures has won the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Award 2017 for best adventure camps. Created as part of Dubai’s aim to become the most sustainable city in the world, the award recognises commitment to preserving the country’s unique landscape and culture across five key areas of environmental practice – water energy and carbon sustainability, continuous improvement, waste and environmental protection, responsible practices and training and awareness.

Dubai Sustainable Tourism Awards are held to recognise those companies within the tourism sector that have demonstrated good practices when it comes to reducing the company’s carbon footprint, in efforts to promote sustainability of the tourism industry.

Congratulations to the entire team! We are proud to represent you in Australia and New Zealand!


The Planet’s Safest City

Following on from being named the second-best city in the world to live, work and do business, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, has achieved a new milestone after being named the safest city in the world by Numbeo. The yearly award takes into account traffic, crime, pollution and cost of living, and with safety now a major factor for event organisers when choosing an MICE location, it can only boost the cities already exciting reputation


Distant Frontiers Awarded Best Travel Agency India at 28th Annual TTG Travel Awards 2017

TTG Travel Awards honours the best of the best in the Asia-Pacic travel trade annually. This prestigious travel industry event marks a time for the industry to recognise the exemplary organisations that raise the bar of excellence.

This year at the 28th Annual TTG Travel Awards 2017 the Company received the Best Travel Agency India Award.

The Company was voted as the Best Travel Agency – India by the readers of TTG Asia, TTG China, TTG India, TTGmice, TTG-BTmice China, TTGassociations and TTG Asia Luxury this year.

The award was received by Mr. Dipak Deva, Managing Director, Distant Frontiers at a function held in Bangkok on September 28, 2017.

It is a week of awards for us and I am delighted that the Company is being acknowledged at an Asia Pacic platform with the TTG Travel Awards. Our focused marketing initiatives, unique and creative products and a team that is aligned behind an overall objective to retain our position as the No.1 DMC in India is the reason for this recognition, said Dipak Deva, Managing Director, Distant Frontiers.

Press Release


Iceland is not a destination – It’s an adventure set in stunning scenery

The DMC Incentive Travel team is passionate about our destinations and rises to the challenge of creating an array of fantastic programs for our guests. The team‘s goal is quality in every step, to ensure that both you and your group can focus on enjoying your experience to the fullest.



  • Iceland’s dynamic, original cultural scene is inspired by it’s unique nature.
  • Perfect for outdoor adventures, all year round.
  • In the past few years Iceland has emerged as one of Europe´s most dynamic gastronomic destinations.
  • The spa is a modern day invention, but enjoying the various health benefits of bathing in thermal baths is an Icelandic tradition dating back to the settlement.

When the first Viking settlers arrived in Iceland in the late 9th century A.D., they found an uninhabited island. Today Iceland is thoroughly modern country – but evidence of past times and our rich cultural heritage is still visible everywhere you look.

We can’t wait to discuss the merits of Iceland with you!


The J Team Co announces partnership with PillowMINT

The J Team, Japan’s first specialist DMC, has announced that it will be joining forces with Australian sales and representation company, MICE and group travel experts PillowMINT, as of 1st July 2017.  This venture is expected to strengthen The J Team’s hold on the Japanese incentive market with clients from both Australia and New Zealand.

Sales Manager in charge of Australia and New Zealand at The J Team, Loic Mention, stated that he is “thrilled to be part of this joint venture that is sure to open doors for both organisations and provide more guests with the adventure of a lifetime”.

The J Team is considered by most to be Japan’s original Destination & Event Management Company.  They are winners of multiple industry awards and, in addition to providing superior knowhow and content, they are renowned for their ability to deliver original ideas for events and activities that no other DMC’s provide.  Their major destinations include Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and beyond.

The J Team, along with PillowMINT, is excited to have the opportunity to introduce professionals from Australia and New Zealand to Japan; home to a vibrant, youth-driven culture where visitors can experience some of the greatest yet-to-be-discovered places on our planet, and take in two of the world’s most important sporting festivals- Rugby World Cup 2019 and Olympics & Paralympics 2020.

PillowMINT are incredibly proud to be representing The J Team and look forward to a long and successful partnership delivering exceptional programs for our clients in this exotic destination.


Goods and Services Tax – India

June 20, 2017

The Government of India has undertaken a major tax reform to replace various state and federal taxes with a common Goods and Services Tax (GST) across the country. The parliament has adopted this new bill after various deliberations and the same will be applicable from the 01st July 2017.

The GST council has announced the applicable rates for various industries. While we are still awaiting a series of clarifications from the tax authorities and our tax consultants, as per our current understanding and interpretation, the tourism and hospitality sector will be taxed as follows:


Hotels in 5 Star category and any other hotel charging Rs. 7500 per room per night have been kept under the highest bracket of 28% tax (we find this extremely high and unreasonable but it seems the government thinks hotel stays in 5 star is an ultra-luxury!!)

The other rate bands are:
Rs.2500-7499 18%
Rs.1000-2499 12%
Rs. 1-999 No tax
Food will be charged at 18% in all categories. TAX RATES PRIOR TO GST

Prior to GST, the average tax was between 15-18% depending on the itinerary and category of hotels used. The rate structure was very complex and was driven by state taxes and union taxes. In some cases the state taxes differed by season, rack rate, with / without meals etc. As we got rates inclusive of taxes in many cases, it is very hard for us to identify the base rate for a large number of hotels. As such a direct correlation between the old and the new rates cannot be made.


These are basically beach or city hotels where we are not using any other ground service. The tax rates for the same will need to be calculated by us, once we have received firm contracts from the hotels. This is being delayed by most hotels as they too don’t seem to have clarity on the way forward i.e. is the rate based on meal plan or room only, does the rack rate have any influence on the tax slab etc.


Prior to GST, guides were exempt from service tax as they fell below the threshold limit. With GST their services will be subject to 18% GST. The impact of this increase is factored into the impact analysis below.


In the case of monuments, the government has exempted entrance charges for monuments managed by Archaeological Survey of India. We are now getting clarity on all other monuments that could be privately owned or fall under other categories.


The rate for the ground transportation which was earlier 6% has been revised to 5%.


The rate for train fare will remain unchanged.


The GST rate for the economy class will be 5% and 12% on other than economy. The earlier tax was 6% on Economy class and 9% on other than economy class.


All services other than the ones mentioned above are liable to 18% GST.


The GST on a tour packages / services by DMC’s will be charged at 5% of the total invoice. Prior to GST we were charging you a service tax which was 4.5%.


Based on the various studies done by our consultants E&Y as well as the information being received from various government and trade bodies involved with GST, our estimate is that the expected net impact of these tax changes would be:

For an itinerary using 5 star hotels and / or hotels above Rs. 7500: 6-8% over the current cost price quoted by us to you.

For packages using 4 star and below with hotel rates less than Rs. 7500: 3-5% over the current cost price quoted by us to you.


This is the most important tax reform move by the government in years and as such required unprecedented resources and technology for implementation. There will be a period of about three months which will be required to let things settle.

The key problem today is that the hotels are unable to come up quickly and efficiently with a rate structure. It seems they are either not clear on the implementation or are going to use this opportunity to increase their rates. Either way, we will be keeping a close watch on the same and shall protect your interest in India.

We would also request you to please bear with us for the next few days as we need to ensure we contract right with the hotels and get the maximum benefit for you. We know some of you have been rather concerned about the delay in rates but this is an unprecedented year with this huge tax change and as such our recommendation is to wait till 15th July to get firm rates from us. If however, you insist on firm rates before this date, we can give you an estimate based on the knowledge we have so far and then send you the revised rates once they have been firmed up with the hotels. Please appreciate that the GST rate that we have to charge is clear, it’s the hotels that are causing this delay.

The advantage with this implementation would be that you will not receive tax increases mid-year for different states and services. Our understanding is that the rate can only be changed, once a year during the budget.

My team and I are working to ensure that we send you accurate information and keep a close eye on the rates to ensure you retain your commercial advantage in India.

Please feel free to contact a member of my team or me on this subject of GST and we would be happy to answer your questions.

Best Regards,

Dipak Deva Managing Director


Australian Viewers Vote New Orleans as Main Broadcast for Sunrise

NEW ORLEANS (April 11, 2017) – Last week, New Orleans was selected as a main broadcast location for Australia’s popular weekday morning news program Sunrise, as part of the show’s first ever “Mystery Tour.” New Orleans was selected to be part of the “Southern States” segment and competed against Nashville and Atlanta for the main broadcast. This broadcast was the direct result of an opportunity that the CVB began cultivating months ago with the destination marketing agency, Brand USA.

The final stages of our work began on Monday, April 3rd, when Sunrise set out on an epic, five-day American “Mystery Tour,” allowing their viewers to vote for the destinations they wanted to send their Sunrise anchors David Koch and Samantha Armytage. In just five days, the Sunrise crew hit Hawaii, California, Nevada, Texas and the ‘Southern States.’ Australian viewers had 24 hours in between each morning show to vote for the next destination. Fifteen locations across the U.S. were chosen overall and the location with the most votes each day received a main broadcast.

The ‘Southern States’ was the final stop on the Sunrise “Mystery Tour,” with New Orleans, Nashville and Atlanta on the list. New Orleans won the majority of votes from viewers back home in Australia, making the Crescent City the backdrop for the live morning broadcast on the April 7th show.

The live broadcast was staged at Washington Artillery Park amid the first day of French Quarter Fest with the iconic St. Louis Cathedral as the backdrop on the afternoon of Thursday, April 6th, Friday morning in Sydney, Australia. New Orleans pulled out all the stops for the Sunrise broadcast with an impressive lineup of talent including the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Mardi Gras Indians, Audubon Nature Institute alligators, a Brennan’s bananas Foster demo, Café Du Monde beignets and a tarot card reading. The morning show wrapped on a high note with a New Orleans second line led by Dancing Man 504 and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

“… The city looked terrific and we expect this exposure to drive visits from down under to New Orleans,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.

With thanks to the NOCVB for the press release.

Let us know if you are ready to get your party started in the Big Easy and the team from AlliedPRA New Orleans will work up a great program full of soul!


A Sense of Security

 Planning for the What If During Your Events

(with thanks to Jane Scalleta – AlliedPRA)


There was a time when we never worried about terror attacks, bombings or shootings at places people gather, whether for tourism or business-related events. Now planners have to make security during an event a top concern. While no one can plan for every contingency at a meeting, a careful analysis of your event will help determine the priority for security and risk management during a program.

As we have witnessed just this past week with the terror attack in the UK and earlier this year with the airport shooting in Florida, an emergency can happen anywhere, anytime. Our destinations and lives can change in an instant. Because of the nature of the DMC business – we move and “touch” thousands of people every year. The recent events have shown there is an increased importance for meeting planners to expect the unexpected when it comes to risk mitigation and emergency preparedness. Disasters, whether they be natural, accidental or intentional, can be traumatic for all involved and as best we try, we may never be completely prepared for what may occur.

Recently, a group of AlliedPRA team members participated in an AlliedPRA-sponsored local security workshop to dive deep into the world
of risk management and review our current processes and procedures. The team studied our emergency contingency plans of incident management, communications, crowd control, and situational awareness. From bomb threats to workplace violence including active shooters, the team was given tools and resources to develop the best plan to ensure attendees are cared for and kept informed during an incident. Through role-playing and tabletop exercises, the team was well-versed on how to handle these type of situations. A similar security training event took place this week with the Association of Destination Management Executives International as several AlliedPRA team members discovered new ways to keep guests safe at events.

In an emergency, savvy local partners are a planner’s best resource when a program is underway. As destination experts have shown, time and again, the connections that local suppliers bring to the table are invaluable. When emergencies happen during a program, the best partner a meeting planner has is the team of dedicated suppliers managing the event.

When it comes to rallying unexpected support from local suppliers such as hotels, restaurants, transportation companies, caterers, and smaller entertainment venues, a destination management company is a vital part in the meeting planner’s resources. Running a program with AlliedPRA is like buying the additional insurance on a new appliance. It’s a guarantee that every aspect of the program will have the right level of experience, emergency preparedness plans will be in place, external factors that may influence the program will be managed and informed and frequent communication will occur throughout the program.

Below are important steps we take to ensure we are prepared when an emergency occurs:

Preparedness – Before a crisis happens, the best tool is preparedness.

Each AlliedPRA offices has an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP) in place to address any level of disaster or service interruption that may arise prior to or during program operation. This plan is designed specifically to ensure the highest level of safety, comfort and care of our clients, their guests, our supplier partners and our employees.

Emergency Occurs Before the Program

We alert team members if an emergency occurs. We need to quickly make the decisions on what action is taken due to an emergency; evaluate the criteria; identify communication methods; contact city agencies to get an assessment of the damage and impact.

Next, we work closely with our clients to communicate information and make decisions regarding the impact to their programs.

Emergency During Program

Management– The response to the unexpected sets the tone for the group and the situation. We immediately assign a point person and key members of the emergency management team to spearhead leadership and decision making authority. We also set up a command center, whether onsite at the hotel where program is operating or another designated space to act as the central point of command.

Communicate– While we may not have answers or solutions to every question or issue during the initial moment of the event, AlliedPRA commits to regular updates to our client, their attendees and other stakeholders to reassure everyone that we are managing the situation and working quickly on solutions. Immediate and constant communication during such an event is one of the most crucial elements of a successful plan.

Compassion– People may be hurt, hopes and expectations shattered, livelihoods threatened, lives and property lost. But at the end of the day, we’re a business about people. During an emergency, it is the people that matter the most.

Next steps– Working with our clients, we make decisions on what action is taken due to the emergency situation. Evaluate the following and determine communication methods:
• Safety – is it safe to begin/continue the meeting?
• Communication modes available
• Status of all program facilities
• Transportation available
• Evacuation of area
• Determine course of action and communicate

Ongoing communication. We communicate major decisions to all staff, attendees and suppliers. We also keep an open line of communication for ongoing decision making. Depending on the severity of the emergency, we arrange for other assistive services or counseling.

After an Emergency

Follow-up. It is AlliedPRA’s job to ensure all people impacted – clients, guests, employees, etc. – are in a safe and stable situation. Determine if ongoing support or assistance for any of them is needed. Thoroughly document the emergency, what happened, the people impacted, the response and outcome.

Communication. Just as communication is key during an emergency, follow-up communication is equally important. How has the issue been resolved? What lessons have been learned to prevent a recurrence or to respond even better? If anyone affected has outstanding issues, who should they contact?

We have years of experience operated an award-winning destination management company. With that, AlliedPRA has come across our fair share of emergency situations that require advanced expertise and prepared skill sets.

From blizzards and ice-storms that have crippled cities during program operations, to volcanic eruptions in Iceland which temporarily halted travel, to terrorist attacks at home and abroad, we’ve dealt with these emergency situations on a very personal level—it has always been our main concern that those affected are comforted with AlliedPRA by their side.

AlliedPRA’s multitude of processes – from response plans, to staff and guide training, to checklists, to our local contacts – allow us to be well-prepared to handle emergency situations. By its very nature, an emergency is unexpected; but with AlliedPRA, our years of experience have prepared us for even the worst emergencies.

It is important to have a trusted partner who is well-equipped to handle these types of incidents. To learn more about AlliedPRA, or reach out to any of our destinations. We’re here to help.


What’s Trending in 2017 to Inspire You?

In our industry, trends remain as the backbone of innovation. Each year feels like a new personality, one that is influenced by the latest technologies, the hottest fashion, and the social trends of the time. AlliedPRA follows these trends closely, ensuring that our clients and their guests always remain excited, engaged, and inspired with the moments we create.

Selfie Drone

In 2016, we saw a huge push toward creative uses for new technologies, and that trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon! From selfie-taking drones to promotional items delivered in a digital “swag bag”, guests are looking to technology as a foundational part of their program. In 2017, expect to see even more use of drones, while also a near-ubiquitous incorporation of social media. Personalized hashtags, live video streaming, and a collage of Instagram-worthy shots could make your next event not just memorable, but unforgettable.


Looking beyond the small screen, one can also expect to see exciting twists on local favorites. Small plates, amuse-bouches, and finger foods will give guests the chance to experience all the flavors of our 20 destinations while still sticking to their latest New Year’s diet. Localvore has been the word of the hour lately, with guests really wanting to experience a city not just through their eyes, but with their appetites, too!


greenery 3

And while 2016 was all about spa-toned Rose Quartz and Serenity, Pantone says that Greenery will be big in 2017. While we may be partial to this verdant choice, we think your guests will be energized with the beauty of lush green accents. Paired with some mixed metals and your event will be au courant without having to reinvent the wheel.

Trends come and go, but memories last forever. Start making new ones with AlliedPRA. What do you see trending in the industry? We’d love to hear from you! Contact PillowMINT today to see what new trends we can create.

Special thanks to Melissa Moten (nee Frownfelter) for this great article originally published on



AlliedPRA Serves as First Destination Management Company (DMC) on Meetings Mean Business Coalition Board of Directors


SAN DIEGO, Calif., January 3, 2017 – AlliedPRA, Inc., a global leader in the destination management company (DMC) sector, is pleased to announce Tony Lorenz, Chief Executive Officer, AlliedPRA, will serve on the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) Board of Directors for 2017. Lorenz joins other industry leaders in support of MMBC, including co-Chairs Paul Van Deventer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Meetings Professional International, and Richard Harper, Executive Vice President, HelmsBriscoe. AlliedPRA is the first DMC to join the MMBC board of directors.

MMBC is an industry-wide coalition which underscores the undeniable value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions deliver to people, businesses and communities. Through advocacy, research and engagement, MMBC brings the industry together to emphasize its importance to businesses, economies and communities. Comprised of more than 50 members, MMBC unites the meetings industry with one strong and powerful voice.

“AlliedPRA is pleased to initiate the DMC sector’s engagement and work with MMBC to drive collaboration across the industry,” shared Lorenz. “MMBC is the industry’s megaphone and vehicle for advocacy. As we inevitably encounter more tenuous climates over time, MMBC will increasingly deliver the industry’s value message to the public and private sector. We strongly encourage our DMC colleagues to engage with MMBC as well.” 

“AlliedPRA leadership is making a statement that collaboration across our industry is vital. We appreciate the company’s support and once again welcome Tony as a partner in advocating for the industry and communicating how it fosters personal connections, drives positive outcomes and supports strong communities,” added Harper. 

In 2017 MMBC will continue to shine a light on the industry’s value around the world by working with partners to host the second annual Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID). The coalition will also work to continue building awareness and driving engagement with key stakeholders including business leaders, policymakers and the media. In addition, MMBC will work with its newly formed Meeting Planners Task Force to engage this critical segment of professionals and use their powerful voices as advocates for the industry.

About Meetings Mean Business 

Meetings Mean Business is an industry-wide coalition to showcase the undeniable value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences and conventions bring to people, businesses and communities. By rallying industry advocates, working with stakeholders, conducting original research, engaging with outside voices and more, the coalition brings the industry together to emphasize its importance. Comprised of more than 50 members, the coalition unites the meetings industry with one strong and powerful voice. For more information, visit and download our app on iTunes and Google Play.


India – E-Visa services extended for business, conference and medical travellers

The e-tourist visa has been revised to include travellers visiting India for business, conference, tourism and medical reasons.

The e-visa will now be valid for 60 days, as opposed to the earlier duration of 30 days.

Travellers will also be able to apply for the e-visa four months in advance and will be granted a double-entry for tourism and business, three entries for medical purposes.

The e-visa scheme is likely to be extended to eight more countries, taking the total number of nations that can avail the facility to 158.

For more details please visit


What’s New with KeyCall France!


France is lucky, because gifted with the best Chefs, world-famous wines, approximately 85 Michelin-starred restaurants, and a myriad of incredible pastry shops…
In June of this year, the French Chef, Pierre Hermé, won the award of “The World’s Best Pastry Chef 2016!” Pierre Hermé is to the French “macaron” what Louis Vuitton is to the handbag.

In 1997, he played a key role in turning France’s Ladurée pastry business into a global brand, and more importantly for us, a global delight. Ladurée became “the” pastry shop for the famous “macarons”. With pastry shops in Tokyo and Paris, this 54-year-old Chef also finds time to oversee two restaurants within Paris’s Le Royal Monceau hotel.


Paris’ newest Museum! The Grand Musée du Parfum – The Big perfume Museum –
Housed in Paris, the capital of fragrance, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré… in Christian Lacroix’s former fashion house, a distinctive 18th century mansion, the museum guarantees an exclusive tour combining tradition and new technology!
Official opening of the Museum on December 16.
KeyCall France will visit it for you on December 15, as at KeyCall France we are constantly searching, awaiting, looking for new activities or new venues for you…More to come after our visit!

►Theater: part of French culture and our Art de vivre

The Paris Convention Bureau just released the following statement:
“Culture is back on track!” So here it flows!:
Exhibitions, trade fairs, concerts, shows, sports and dance. The Paris cultural calendar features a wide choice of events throughout the year – along with a brilliant, new concept: Language is no longer your barrier to theater in Paris.
You can now experience the real Parisian nightlife and theater – with Parisians.
French theater performances with English subtitles!

►Touring with KeyCall France

Touring in France and/or in Paris can be easy for everyone.
But to find tours and activities that would exceed your guests’ expectations with the best guides, the best transportation suppliers, and superb special attention to detail and to you – you have found us!

We design innovative tours on a regular basis. As an example, our newest tour is our “Monuments Men” tour, inspired by the famous movie of the same title, which leads us through “The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History” – what happened to the art masterpieces during World War II in Paris. Truly captivating!

We compose special tours according to your ideas and tastes, all while bringing a French touch to each tour such as the simple enjoyment of a coffee or wine moment. So as to attain optimum personalized service and enjoyment, we suggest that you organize your groups into small groups.

We look forward to working with you to find the best creations and solutions to WOW your guests!


The Ritz Hotel, located in one of the most beautiful and elite Squares of Paris, the famous Place Vendôme, just reopened in June, after four years of renovation!
This 5-star Palace hotel is in keeping with its original Parisian style of “ritzy,” splendid elegance – with its spa, swimming pool, shopping gallery, terraces, peaceful gardens, gastronomic restaurant, great bar area…

At the same time, The Ritz can also now boast a true Renaissance – a dazzling renovation with an abundance of daylight streaming in with a touch of modernism in all the rooms, suites, and meeting rooms!

Talk to PillowMINT today about your next program to France with their trusted partner who excels in personalised service, Key Call France.


Emergency Preparedness: Are YOU Prepared?

Our event world is not the same today as it was yesterday and continues to change. Security and risk management are certainly topics on the forefront of many clients’ minds opposed to five years ago as they select a destination and their DMC partner. Neither can be taken lightly. When it comes to the role of risk management and security and choosing your DMC partner, it is important to understand your partner’s level of experience through real life situations.

Client concerns about security must be addressed up front and the level of expertise of the DMC’s approach to risk management regardless of the size of the event is critical. Having an action plan to address what might happen given today’s environment is vital to the safety of guests and the reason we have an Emergency Preparedness Plan in place at AlliedPRA. With more than 30 years in the New Orleans hospitality industry, my approach to security at events stems comes from what I learned when I was on the management team of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans during major sporting events such as Super Bowls, NCAA Final Fours, and a hotel filled with over 1,000 guests and employees during Hurricane Katrina. Sharing these experiences with my clients and having open dialogue about the value of security is common as we evaluate risk factors together.

While hurricanes come with advance warning and time to prepare, the same principles can be applied to the security of any event with the threats we face today and situations that change at a minute’s notice. Training staff, understanding a venue or hotel Emergency Preparedness Plan, identifying all egresses, having key contact information at your fingertips with a backup communication plan if phones are down, prioritizing and identifying the communication chain, and understanding the integration of the local police department, state police, and Homeland Security are key elements to mitigating risk and the safety of guests. The plan must be amended based on the profile of the event and guests, the venue or hotel, and transportation if shuttles are involved.

If you ask me what’s most important about security and risk management, I would tell you having a plan is most important, but communication, keeping a level head and your ability to think on your feet will determine the outcome.

Thanks to Jeff O’Hara, AlliedPRA New Orleans. This article was featured in Special Events magazine.


The Latest in the Food Scene: Northern California

Over the last few years, the landscape of San Francisco’s food scene has changed dramatically. With its urbane, relaxed atmosphere juxtaposed with the ever-booming tech industry, San Francisco has had a lot of inspiration to draw upon for new culinary ventures. The personality of our destination really shines through these three hot spots from AlliedPRA Northern California.

Our Top Picks

At the top of our list is Mister Jiu’s, a new classic in the city. Situated in Chinatown, this restaurant now occupies the building that was once a Chinatown landmark, Four Seas. With high-end style and a menu of Chinese dishes for the California palette, it is no wonder that Mister Jiu’s is becoming a staple for visitors. It helps that owner and executive chef, Brandon Jew, recently won Chef of the Year in San Francisco Magazine – an honor he definitely deserved!

Next on our culinary journey through San Francisco, we have Quince, located in Jackson Square outside of the Financial District. A brick wall backdrop and glowing chandeliers set the mood of your meal. Quince prefers a tasting menu that is entirely seasonal and inspired by French and Italian cuisine. Further, Quince recently renovated and their private dining space gives guests a relaxed, intimate dining experience. AlliedPRA Northern California has worked with Quince to create a magical night for our guests, enjoying the menu that Chef Michael Tusk created with seasonal produce.

Finally, we end our tour in Russian Hill at Lord Stanley, which has the bragging rights of a Michelin Star under its belt. An upscale-casual dining experience, their menu is at once refined, yet relaxed. Lord Stanley is the epitome of what NorCal’s restaurant scene’s future looks like. It has critically-acclaimed menus, seasonally-conscious ingredients, and European-inspired dishes that are never fussy, yet always delicious. Further, Bon Appetit named Lord Stanley one of the Best New Restaurants of 2016.


Mister Jiu’s, Quince, and Lord Stanley are just a sampling of what San Francisco has to offer. To really experience the culinary essence of the city, you’ll have to visit. Let AlliedPRA Northern California be your guides through the Bay Area for your next event!


Distant Frontiers Receives 2016 SITE Crystal Award for Best Destination-Based Experiential Incentive Travel Program

9th November 2016: SITE Crystal Awards Recognition Program provides industry acclaim for world-class organisations that excel in the design of unique, memorable group travel experiences that deliver measurable benefits for their clients. Today, the awards serve as a benchmark for incentive travel programs and are regarded as the highest honour in the motivational events and incentive travel industry. Incentive programs held between 1 May 2015 and 1 May 2016 were eligible, and an independent panel of judges evaluated entries. 

 Distant Frontiers received this prestigious award for Best Destination Based Experiential Incentive Travel Program. When a client of Distant Frontiers wanted to offer a “wow experience” for their top 60 directors, Distant Frontiers chose Jodhpur, India for its diverse landscape, delicious cuisine, and rich cultural heritage. To meet the client’s goal of offering a truly out-of-the-ordinary experience, throughout the five-day trip Distant Frontiers chose accommodations and activities that took advantage of every aspect of the unique destination and ensured that each day unfolded as a surprise to participants.

While many of the participants had travelled to India previously on business, the inspiring program left them with a new impression of the destination and was described as “one of the most incredible incentives they had ever been on.”  The unique and authentic experience helped the team to bond and collaborate while creating experiences that would last a lifetime. It was an award winning incentive travel program!

The award ceremony was held on 6 November, 2016 during the SITE Global Conference in Panama City, Panama. Lovleen Sagar, Head – Operations & Business Development, Distant Frontiers received the award on behalf of the company.

“We are honoured and delighted to receive this recognition of excellence for an experiential incentive program from our peers in the Incentive Travel community, especially since it is our very first shot at the award,” said Mr. Dipak Deva, Managing Director, Distant Frontiers.


PillowMINT is incredibly proud to represent Distant Frontiers in Australia and New Zealand and welcomes the opportunity to discuss this fascinating destination with you!


What’s New In Dubai thanks to Arabian Adventures

Dubai Opera – Dubai Opera opened in late August a truly unique venue and the city’s first purpose built multi – format performing arts theatre situated in the heart of Downtown Dubai. more info

Dubai Parks & Resorts – Opening on the 31st October Dubai Parks and Resorts will offer three amazing theme parks. Amazing rides and attractions, entertainment, food, Hollywood, Bollywood and Amazing Creations. more info

Last Exit – Dubai embraces the Food Truck Trend, inspired by the American food truck stops, The Last Exit is literally the “Last Exit” before travelers leave Dubai and enter into Abu Dhabi. more info

Speak to PillowMINT today about how to keep your next program to Dubai fresh with these new attractions and venues.


Distant Frontiers winner of National Tourism Award for 25th time!

The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, presents National Tourism Awards to various segments of the travel and tourism industry every year. Today, the company received a prestigious award, which recognises outstanding performance for the year 2014 -2015.

Best MICE Operator

The company has also been declared the Best MICE Operator to India.

Distant Frontiers along with its Group Companies is the most awarded travel entity with 37 National Tourism Awards

Thank You

On behalf of Distant Frontiers, our partner in India and Sri Lanka, we thank you for your support!


Discover Jodhpur with Distant Frontiers


Jodhpur is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan and enjoys bright sunny weather throughout the year. No wonder it is known as the ‘Sun City’. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name and the capital of the kingdom known as Marwar. Referred also as the ‘Blue City’ due to the blue-painted houses ( traditionally, blue signified the home of a Brahmin) around the Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination, featuring many palaces, forts and temples, set in the stark landscape of the Thar desert. The old city circles the fort and is bounded by a wall with several gates. However, the city has expanded greatly outside the wall over the past several decades. With its pick of stunning hotels and its location in the geographic centre of Rajasthan state, Jodhpur is a convenient base for traveling through Rajasthan as well as a perfect incentive destination.

1. Camel Safari at Sunrise

Even if you don’t have the whole day, just a camel safari at sunrise is beautiful. Ride deep into the heart of the desert and see the play of light and shadow on the sand dunes as the early morning sun slowly turns night into day.

2. Spend a night in the Desert

With a landscape that has no buildings or people in sight, comfortable tents to retire into and evening filled with cultural activities, a night in the desert is sure to be a highlight of your trip to India. Sleeping under the stars is a magical experience which you will cherish for a lifetime.

3. Off-Road Safari on the Dunes

Experience the thrill of off-roading in Rajasthan. Drive through semi-arid terrain to witness the simple life of different communities that have lived in harmony with nature for centuries. Stop for a delicious picnic lunch at a scenic spot relaxing under a tree, taking in the clean, crisp air. In addition to interacting with the various local communities, the variety of wild life and avian life makes the excursion a photographer’s paradise too.

4. Cricket Match with the Locals

India loves its Bollywood movies and cricket. No wonder the movie Lagaan which has both cricket and Bollywood and narrated the story of the simple village-folk struggling to pay off the annual debts (Lagaan) to the British was such a Box Office Hit and even got nominated for the Oscars. We give you the opportunity to be a part of this cricket madness with a short match between a locals team and visitors. Even though Indians are known for our hospitality, don’t expect any favours on the playing field though.

5. Enjoy a Gala Dinner at Mehrangarh Fort dressed like a Maharaja

Exclusive access to Mehrangarh Fort at night. Your experience starts right at the fort entrance where you are received by guards in ceremonial uniform followed by welcome drinks and traditional dance performances like ‘Dhol Thali Nritya’ & ‘Kachi Ghodi’. Meanwhile ‘safas’ are tied to the gentlemen and ‘chunnis’ offered to the ladies. From here you walk up the pathway escorted by attendants carrying Mashals (fire torches) and Musicians (with Dhol, Pipe, Kamaicha, Sindhi & Sarangi) to reach the cocktail an dinner venue on the ramparts of the fort. Throughout the evening you would be entertained and serenaded by soulful tunes of the desert. This magical evening comes to an end with a spectacular display of fireworks illuminating the night sky.

6. Holi with the Bhil Tribals of Rajasthan

Holi is a fun-filled festival marking the arrival of spring in North India. Different regions celebrate Holi in their own unique way. We whiz-off to a picturesque location on jeeps to celebrate with the Bhil tribes of Rajasthan. Along with playing with Gulal (coloured powder), you will witness an exciting camel race, traditional folk dances like Ghoomer and Dandia Gair or Gait and end with a sumptuous lunch which includes special dishes that are generally prepared at the time of Holi like gujiyas, mathari, dahi bhalla, thandai and papri.




A Taste of the Recent Press

Worth, finance and investing publication, just named New Orleans one of the “15 Most Dynamic Cities in America.”  This adds to some of our already favorite accolades like “Best Big Cities in the U.S.” by Conde Nast Traveler, “World’s Friendliest Cities” by Travel + Leisure, “Top Ten Cities for Creatives” by and Trip Advisor’s recent listing of New Orleans among the top five U.S. cities experiencing the most growth in international visitation.

Two New Boutique Hotels Bring Luxury and Music to Downtown New Orleans

Perfect for international groups owing to their unique flair and luxury comfort at early market pricing, introducing the newly opened ACE Hotel and Opening Fall 2016 The Troubadour. Both hotels offer a musical twist and both feature stunning rooftop pools and social space.

From the ACE: “New Orleans has enraptured us for years,” said Kelly Sawdon, chief brand officer for Ace Hotel. “The culture we love at its heart is the people of the city. We can’t wait to share the food, the music, the history and contribute to the swell of energy and growth that’s happening.” The hotel features 234 rooms with musical trims from classic vinyl records and phonographs to in room Martin Guitars for your enjoyment. Its dining features restaurants from James Beard Award Winning Chefs, the iconic Stumptown Coffee Roasters and the live music venue Three Keys.

NOLA - Alto

From the Troubadour: The Troubadour, a Joie de Vivre Hotel will energize the emerging Central Business District with a lineup of live shows from local musicians, a fun rooftop hangout and a casual bistro spiced with the spirit of NOLA. The 184-room hotel celebrates its vibrant home with good food, good music and good vibes. The design is a bold mix of materials and colors that reflect a passion for New Orleans’ eclectic personality. Chef Phillip Lopez adds a playful twist to traditional local dishes at his signature restaurant, Petit Lion, while its horseshoe-shaped bar is a lively hub for imbibing. The rooftop bar’s jaw-dropping views overlook the surrounding theater district, French Quarter, and Warehouse Districts.The Troubadour moves to the rhythm of its own beat.


New Activity – Xtreme Motorsports

Have you driven an exotic supercar?  The newly opened Xtreme XXperience at NOLA Motorsports Park allows you to experience the thrill of driving your choice of a  Ferrari 458, a Lamborghini, LP 560-4, a Porsche 911GT3 or a Nissan GT-R Premium around the Pro Track at NOLA Motorsports Park at speeds over a 140 mph+! A rush like no other!  In June, the AlliedPRA team experienced XTREME XXPERIENCE and are ready to share it with you.

New Service in Houston for our New Zealand Clients

With Air New Zealand’s recent introduction of direct service from Auckland – Houston, Texas, we have experienced a number of clients the will stay in Houston for a couple of days before heading over to New Orleans. To service this new demand, AlliedPRA New Orleans has implemented ground staff in Houston to service these groups, creating a seamless experience from the time you touch down in the U.S.

PillowMINT proudly partners with AlliedPRA New Orleans and looks forward to working with you on your next event!



SAN DIEGO, Calif., July 14, 2016 – Once again, AlliedPRA, a leading Destination Management Company based in San Diego, Calif., has been named a Top Destination Management Company by Special Events Magazine, according to Tony Lorenz, Chief Executive Officer of AlliedPRA, Inc. The coveted honor marks the 12th straight year AlliedPRA has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Destination Management Companies in the industry.

The Special Events Magazine Top 25 DMC list recognizes those Destination Management Companies around the globe that intimately know the destinations they serve, while maintaining long-standing relationship with local suppliers to provide unique local destination experiences for meetings, incentives and events. This first-hand knowledge is not something that can be found off the shelf but rather is developed over years of creating program experiences, working within the local destination supplier chain for transportation, tours, activities, themed events, site selection and more.

“It is an honor to be recognized every year as a leading force within the destination management industry and named as a Top 25 DMC by this prestigious publication,” said Lorenz. “As a strategic arm of the industry, we are known as destination management experts, creating and executing sophisticated corporate events and meeting experiences for our valued clients. The evolution of our industry is ripe for change, as market segments continue to demand more experiential, hands-on events. The events we craft are extraordinary levers which move careers, businesses and entire industries forward and we are excited to play a significant role in how the marketplace will continue to advance.”

To view the Special Events Top 25 DMC List, please click here. Included in the list, you’ll find company capabilities, noteworthy events and industry trends to watch. AlliedPRA shares its forecast related to the definition of partnership models that will continue to be a growing, scalable force for which will undoubtedly change the global landscape of corporate events. The new partnership models crafted by AlliedPRA create even more exquisite experiences for program guests allowing AlliedPRA to effect change in more ways than one.

For your next program in the USA, please contact us to discuss how AlliedPRA can assist.


Guest Post – Risk Mitigation & Choosing the Right DMC Partner

Jeff O’Hara, Managing Director of AlliedPRA New Orleans is our guest contributor today and his article on risk mitigation is well worth the read!

When it comes to Risk Mitigation and choosing the right DMC partner, one of the most important services your DMC partner provides is insurance. Of course, this includes carrying sufficient levels of insurance in-house, and ensuring all suppliers have ample insurance as well. But equally important is the intangible insurance the DMC partner provides. This means having plans and procedures in place to protect our clients’ financial budget, protect the client from service failures in the eyes of the program participants, having the contacts in hand to work miracles when last minute changes occur on-site (for example, your CEO decides at 7 PM on Saturday he wants THIS in the morning meeting!), and having resources and solutions even when the on-site issues are not part of the DMC program scope. This level of support is literally priceless, and only comes from a DMC that has the plans, contacts, knowledge and most important, the CARE to be that solution.

We work with public and private companies on a regular basis, so we are cognizant of the emphasis on risk and exposure. You can count on AlliedPRA to mitigate exposure to risk through a variety of standards and processes:

  • All supplier-partners are rigorously vetted and subject to annual reviews to ensure they meet our high safety and service standards, have minimum levels of insurance and terms of business that are amenable to our clients.
  • Create routings for all transportation moves to ensure efficient and accurate directions; investigate potential street closings, traffic, construction sites, conflicting event permits or weather considerations.
  • Ensure event staff, restaurants and venues follow responsible alcohol consumption policies.
  • AlliedPRA has a thorough Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan and all AlliedPRA staff have been trained on our internal procedures.
  • System-wide tools, checklists and forms built over decades of program experience are used with each event to ensure no detail is overlooked.
  • All staff and supplier-partners are fully briefed on client, program and attendee details and expectations prior to the event.
  • Background checks on employees are completed prior to hire.
  • On-site staff includes those that are CPR certified.
  • We carry over $3 Million in General Liability Insurance including errors and omissions and workers compensation insurance. We provide Additionally Insured coverage to you for the program.
  • We ensure that all suppliers have sufficient insurance for the services they provide, and that AlliedPRA is named as Additionally Insured.

Running a program with AlliedPRA is like buying the additional insurance on a new appliance. It’s a guarantee that every aspect of the program will have the right level of experience, emergency preparedness plans will be in place, external factors that may influence the program will be managed and informed and frequent communication will occur throughout the program.

It is important to have a trusted partner who is well-equipped to alleviate the risks that may occur in a program.

Contact us for more information on our destination partner AlliedPRA for a list of the destinations they operate in throughout the USA.

DMC Risk Mitigation


Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives and Events and Gulf Ventures Events join forces

Sydney, 13, January 2016: Two of the Middle East’s leading MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Events) operators, Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives and Events, and Gulf Ventures Events, have come together to further strengthen their already comprehensive services for the market. The new partnership, known as Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives and Events, is part of the Emirates Group.

“Australia and New Zealand are important markets with an established and growing MICE industry. By joining forces, we believe can provide more expertise to our customers, access a wider network of contacts, and offer even more value to our clients,” said Justine Thomas-Butler, Manager of Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives and Events.

Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives and Events will be looking to enhance existing partnerships, expand its global reach and market share, as well as diversify its product offering. It will continue to be represented by PillowMINT, the leading partner for MICE companies in Australia and New Zealand. Since 2011, PillowMINT has partnered Arabian Adventures Meetings, Incentives and Events in the market, helping to promote the UAE as an exciting destination offering a variety of opportunities and experiences.


United Colours of Rajasthan

Taj MahalThe spirit of colours in Rajasthan is deep seated and reflects in every aspect of its daily life; attire, ornaments, paintings, homes et all. If you know the colours of Rajasthan you will be able to identify communities and the social status of an individual.
Most of the knowledge on colours in Rajasthan is handed down over generations and it has been rarely documented locally. The colours that we see in Rajasthan are primarily divided into two categories Kachcha Rang which is temporary colour and, Pakka Rang which is permanent
colour. Kachcha rang are worn by the married and unmarried, while the widows only where Pakka rang. Red, Parrot Green, Yellow and Saffron fall under
temporary colour or Kachcha rang and Maroon, Brown, Dark Blue, Dark Green and Grey are permanent or Pakka rang. Nevertheless, in Jodhpur Dark Blue and
Purple, which are otherwise Pakka Rangs and only for widows are worn by the married women during the Diwali festival.
Did you know in Rajasthan there is a certain colour and design dedicated for every month or festival? The month of Chaitra in Rajasthan (March-April) is all about Orange and Golden. Basant Panchami or the season of harvesting (January and February) is welcomed with lemon yellow and light orange. In the month of Fagun (March), women wear red and white or magenta and white. Saawan or the Monsoon (July and August) is greeted with the colours of the rainbow, green being the dominating colour. Red is worn during the Teej Festival in the month of August when Rajasthani women fast and pray for the long life of their husbands.
The stories behind the turbans men wear in Rajasthan is equally fascinating. Known as Paag, Safa or Pagri the turban is a long scarf wrapped around the head. The
style of turbans in Rajasthan changes with every 15 kms. Know the turbans of Rajasthan and you will know the community the person belongs to and his social status. While the turbans of the Rajput community are made out of soft cotton known as malmal; communities such as the Rabaris wear red turbans made out of thick cotton. While Ochre is the colour of the mendicants of Rajasthan, the Bishnoi community; the original conservationist of India, wear white turbans. The
indigenous Bhils and Garasias wear printed white turbans. Turbans in Rajasthan also have other fascinating uses such as; it is used like a rope to take water out of a well, used for protection from the sun in the fields and tying cattle on halt.
Rajasthani men wear yellow turbans during Basant Panchami or the harvest festival (January and February). Between the month of February and March and Holi; the festival of colours, the Rajputs of Rajasthan wear turbans with the combination of red and white. In the month of July, they wear light pink. A green and pink striped or yellow and red striped turban is worn during the monsoon. Black tie and dyed turbans with red borders is ought to be worn at the time of Diwali; the festival of lights while Saffron turbans are worn just before Diwali. Light pink turbans are also worn in the month of October and at the time of Sharad Poornima or the full moon night.
Talk to us about the perfect incentive program through the best Rajasthan has to offer with our DMC partner Distant Frontiers.


San Diego’s Going Back To Their Roots


The dining scene in the Gaslamp Quarter is heating up and the newest restaurant to come on board is Rustic Root. This American Cuisine restaurant focuses on turning out creative versions of locally-sourced meats, produce, seafood and house-made ingredients from Executive Chef Antonio Friscia and his culinary team. Staple items include comfort foods like fried chicken, deviled eggs and delectable pasta dishes with fresh-made noodles per order. The homey menu is complimented with craft cocktails and California beer and wine selections.

The sleek, multi-level setting includes an industrial-chic, 500 square-foot ground floor with eye-catching art, as well as an entire wall dedicated to the trending game of Sudoku, with lights modeled after the Gaslamp’s signature street lamps. Rustic Root also offers downtown’s only stylish rooftop dining area, along with a full-service bar underneath market lights. For in-house private events, the restaurant can accommodate groups as small as 20 to large events with 350 guests.

Let your next event get a little rustic and enjoy an evening under the stars! Our San Diego team is your direct connection to the city’s extensive and exclusive dining options. The team at PillowMINT can help you with your next program to the USA.


An Evening Under the Stars

Few places capture your heart the moment you set eyes of them; New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre is one of them. Originally built in 1927, the venue offers a rich, time-honored history, local residents have enjoyed for almost 100 years. The atmospheric theatre, designed by Emile Weil, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was originally built to recall an Italian Baroque courtyard, with over 150 lights in the ceiling of the theatre, arranged in the shape of constellations of the night sky. The theatre also utilizes special effects to project moving clouds, sunrises and sunsets across the theatre’s interior, leaving those who experience with the illusion of an exquisite Italian alfresco experience.

After Hurricane Katrina’s devastating blow, the theatre reopened in late 2013 having completed a $53 million dollar renovation, restoring this gem to its original beauty and charm. Today, the interior design reflects a magnificent 15th Century Italian courtyard and gardens, with arched surroundings, columns and decorative moldings. This spectacular setting is ideally located on New Orleans’ famous Canal Street, is perfectly suited for exclusive, private dinners; up to 600 guests under the blue domed “sky” ceiling, complete with twinkling lights, magical interior panoramas and lasting memories.

Let the AlliedPRA New Orleans team create your special event in this garden-like Florentine masterpiece. Contact PillowMINT today to find out how.

Q3 saenger 3


Madinat Jumeirah to launch world class event space in October 2015

MJ Fort IslandDubai, 16 August 2015: Madinat Jumeirah, the Arabian Resort of Dubai, will offer the largest hotel event space in the United Arab Emirates when the Fort Island expansion is completed in October 2015. Set over 1,750 square meters, the space has tripled in size and is set to host banquets, parties, exhibitions, product launches, music concerts, weddings, sports events and festivals for up to 1,400 people.

Margaret Paul, Resort General Manager, said: “We are delighted to be unveiling the new Fort Island at Madinat Jumeirah, one of the city’s most innovative and exclusive outdoor venues. This redevelopment demonstrates our commitment to continually enhance the guest experience and we look forward to catering for a larger and wider range of prestigious events for the meetings, incentives, conference and events (MICE) industry. The new venue has been rebuilt to accommodate large marquees and will provide versatile space for every type of event.”

The capacities at Fort Island have increased from 425 people to 1400 people in a cocktail set-up and from 250 people to 1100 people in a banquet style set-up in rounds of 10.

The venue will feature an attractive and sustainable landscape, while preserving the fort’s traditional look and feel. Located in the heart of the resort and surrounded by Madinat Jumeirah’s characteristic waterways, the venue has spectacular views of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. The venue was originally commissioned in recognition of the history, culture and character of old Dubai and was inspired by the Al Fahdi fort located in the oldest existing part of the Dubai creek.

Fort Island will be connected to the resort by four bridges and guests can also access the venue by the traditional wooden abra boats when staying in one of Madinat Jumeirah’s three hotels. Its privileged location, steps away from the bustling Souk Madinat, the 600-seater outdoor amphitheatre, Madinat Theatre and the nearest hotel, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam makes Fort Island a one-of-a-kind venue for spectacular events.

An integral part of the existing and award winning Madinat Jumeirah’s Conference Centre, the new island will increase the centre’s overall capacity to 9,000 people over 10,000 square meters.

The Conference Centre is home to international events such as Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), the World Economic Forum and is the proud sponsor of Art Dubai. Madinat Jumeirah offers a variety of multipurpose indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the resort.

These range from meeting rooms, banquet and events facilities to over 40 restaurants, all are accessible from the resort’s three hotels – Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Jumeirah Al Qasr, and Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf by buggy, by foot, or traditional abras.


Event Partners shows you how to jazz up your Event

Celtic Dawn

At the tea/coffee stage of the meal the lights dim, the haunting sounds of ancient Celtic music can be heard echoing in the room.  Some cloaked figures carrying candles move majestically through the crowd.  They form a guard of honour along the long walls of the room as an imposing figure our bodhrán player, enters!

He leaps up onto the centre dining table, surprising the diners. Without saying a word, he starts drumming with increasing intensity and interacts with the audience. During which time some of the cloaked figures have also made their way onto the dining tables.
Then with a loud cry and a commanding strike to the bodhrán the dancers in position on the tables, drop their cloaks and erupted into a spectacular hard shoe acappella performance. This generally results in an immediate outburst of spontaneous applause from an astounded audience! The piece continues with the appearance of a Celtic Warrior Drummer who also takes to a table. There is a trade-off between the bodhrán and the drum. Finally 4 female dancers join the drummer and all 8 dancers and 2 percussionists perform a spectacular hard shoe routine on the guests’ dining tables. A powerful dance off on the tables then ensues, percussion versus dancers in a sensational duel of rhythm, noise and exhilaration! But it doesn’t need to end here!  The dancers then take to the stage where they perform a further 20 min show of rapid footwork, graceful elegance and diverse choreography, culminating in a “Riverdance” style finale.


Distant Frontiers launches Video Magazine

Distant Frontiers has done it again! Click here to see their very first video magazine!




Perahera Festival

The team at Distant Frontiers can incorporate a traditional festival in to your next program. There are many amazing and colourful festivals throughout the region and provide a strong cultural platform for an incentive program to Sri Lanka and India.

Perahera Festival is the Buddhist festival that spearheads attention from all corners of the globe with breath-taking dances, clattering drummers and lavishly decorated elephants that light up the streets in Kandy.

Running through ten colorful days, the Kandy Esala Perahera venerates the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha and flanked by the pageants of the four temples located in the vicinity of the Kandy Temple: Natha, Vishnu, Kataragama & Pattini.

Visit Sri Lanka in August, to witness the majesty and awe-inspiring beauty of this ceremony where you will be left with nothing but a bundle of unforgettable memories of a lifetime. Contact us to see how you can incorporate a traditional cultural festival in to your next program.

Sri Lankan traditional dancers perform i


Dublin Has Officially Been Named ‘Favourite Worldwide City’ By International Travellers


Dublin has been officially named ‘Favourite Worldwide City’ at this year’s Trazee Awards.

Having taken place in Orlando, Florida, the award ceremony confirmed that Ireland’s capital city is a hit among international travellers between 18 and 35 years of age.

The award, which celebrates the very best of the travel industry, came from; an online travel publication, who collected nominations from their readers and online contributors. Other Trazee categories included ‘Favourite Airline In Europe,’ ‘Favourite Overall Airport In The World’ and ‘Favourite Individual Hotel.’

Orla Carroll, Director of Dublin, Fáilte Ireland had this to say about the award.

This award is a fantastic accolade for Dublin which proves that our capital has something unique and extraordinary to offer the young and discerning traveller. Fáilte Ireland and the Dublin Tourism Industry have been working hard to reposition Dublin as a destination that offers unforgettable experiences to the young adventurous traveller. This award, which is voted for by the visitors we are trying to reach, prove that our efforts are paying off. More than that, it is a real testament to the variety and quality of experiences Dublin has to offer visitors of all ages.

Orla Carroll, Director of Dublin, Fáilte Ireland

Courtesy of


New Entertainment Acts – United Arab Emirates


The team from Arabian Adventures have been busy looking for some new entertainment acts to enhance your next special event in the UAE! From cultural to sublime – there is always ways to add more atmosphere and memorable moments to your program.

Live Museum

Using the costumes and props surrounding them, this dynamic approach will educate and enlighten the guests of the major values of UAE’s tradition.

Our Live Museum display will take your visitors on a magical journey to the beginnings of the UAE in a unique, memorable way.

A live museum will be set at the venue wherein our Arabic characters will represent boat builders, fishermen, pearl divers, old cook, spice sellers, pottery makers.

These will enlighten the guests by showing the major values of UAE’s tradition. Our Live museum display will take your visitors to its beginnings in the most magical way.

Floating Chandelier dancers

The Floating Chandelier is a totally enchanting new act never before seen in the region. The beautifully choreographed moves catch the light as the artist spins in a truly mesmerising floor show.

Sand Artist

This show is a beautiful and unique display of the UAE! Watch in amazement as a beautiful sand performance unravels and a story is told.

Through the sand, legendary Arabic stories can be told, or the history of Dubai displayed as the sand artist swirls and creates patterns and images with the grains and lights. All fully synchronised to music beautiful, creating a peaceful harmony.

sand artist


Hannah’s Baileys Cheesecake


Father’s Day is just around the corner so the lovely Hannah from #Event Partners Ireland has sent us one of her favourite treats to share with your family. What’s not to love about Ireland and all of the goodies it produces!


  • 100g/3½oz butter
  • 250g/8¾oz digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 600g/1lb 5oz cream cheese
  • 25ml/1fl oz Baileys
  • 100ml/3½oz icing sugar
  • 300ml/10½oz double cream, whipped
  • 100g/3½oz grated chocolate

To garnish

  • 200ml/7¼oz double cream, whipped
  • cocoa powder, to dust

Preparation method

  1. Melt the butter in a pan and add the crushed digestive biscuits. Mix well until the biscuits have absorbed all the butter.
  2. Remove from the heat and press into the bottom of a lined 18cm/7in springform tin. Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for one hour.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Lightly whip the cream cheese then beat in the Irish cream and icing sugar. Fold in the whipped cream and grated chocolate. When smooth, spoon evenly onto the biscuits.
  4. Refrigerate and allow to set for a further two hours. Once set, remove and decorate with whipped cream and cocoa powder dusted over the top. Serve.

Ireland is a wonderful destination for your next group. A combination of stunning scenery, excellent fresh flavours and a cultural spirit that really warms the heart. Event Partners delivers Ireland on a plate with a nip of Baileys should you desire! Let me know how we can help with your next program to Ireland!


Fresh Ideas from Event Partners Ireland

The Team from Event Partners, still riding high on their recent win at the National Tourism Awards have been busy creating some new concepts and updates for you! Check them out.
image007  Sail Away with Me
Your group will discover Ireland in a whole new light- by the sea. Rather than the usual cruise/charter, we can offer a unique racing regatta for your group. This element has that competitive edge that creates a fun atmosphere amongst the group. They will be asked to join in on the craic and help our local fishermen pull up their lobster pots. Once your group chooses the best and juiciest lobsters, we will take the catch back to their private Michelin star chef to prepare the perfect sumptuous meal. After all of the fresh sea air, your group will need some warming up and what better way than over a glass of Irish whiskey. The Teeling Whiskey Distillery is the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years and will bring the craft of distilling back into the very heart of Dublin city centre. Located in an ancient market square called Newmarket, an area long associated with brewing and distilling, the new distillery is a three copper pot still operation reviving the traditional style of Dublin whiskey distillation.
image009All Aboard
Step aboard to enter a shimmering world of indulgence—contemporary carriages inspired by Dublin’s architecture, fine cuisine enhanced with local delicacies and an ever-changing backdrop of Ireland’s celebrated landscapes.
Belmond Grand Hibernian boasts accommodation for up to 40 guests in elegant, private en-suite cabins. Design draws inspiration from Dublin’s classic Georgian architecture, blended with elements of ancient folklore and tradition. The result proudly reflects the country’s cultural heritage with an indulgent, contemporary twist.
There is a selection of two-, four- and six-night journeys. All depart from Dublin and encompass the highlights of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Visit vibrant cities, spot rare wildlife, sample famous whiskies and explore ancient castles, such as the stunning, newly refurbished, Ashford Castle.

See more

image011Elegance is an Attitude
5 Star castles and elaborate country estates are just some of the reasons Ireland is hugely desired worldwide. The most elegant of our castle properties,Ashford Castle, has just received a whopping €75 million makeover. Allow your group to be some of the first people to experience this new and improved medieval castle property. 5 star luxury and class beckons throughout the castle, from the staff’s warm personal approach to the napkins, no 5 star details are left unturned.
If the walls could speak the secrets of the previous residents, the Guinness family, would be spilt…. Maybe we’d all learn the secret ingredient to that perfect creamy pint of Guinness!
See more


Event Partners Win Best Event Team Award 2015

It is with great pride that Event Partners is delighted to announce that it was awarded the Best Event Team Award at the Event Industry Awards at the Double Tree by Hilton before an audience of 400 of their industry peers, on 27th May 2015.

Speaking of the company’s success, Managing Director Nicola Mc Grane commented We are delighted to be recognized as the leading team in the field of Event and Destination Management. At Event Partners, our team stretches beyond the boundaries of our office. Put simply, our approach is in our name – we work in PARTNERship, with one another, with our suppliers and with our clients. Together we become one team with the sole focus of achieving our client’s objectives and delivering a return on their investment. We believe this collaborative approach underpins our success to date and will provide the foundations for future triumphs.”

From a longevity perspective, Event Partners are admittedly the “new kid on the block” with just over 5 years in business, but their highly experienced team of 12 bring multiples of those years to the table. As a result, their clients’ experience the best of both worlds – the flexibility and ambition of youth, combined with the wisdom and knowledge that comes with age. Together, they manage each project with a focus on creativity, quality and client satisfaction and this has resulted in an enviable proved track record.

This is Event Partners 4th time winning a prestigious Event Industry Award.



Dubai Welcomes 13.2m International Visitors in 2014



Dubai, UAE; 3 May 2015: Dubai welcomed a total of 13.2 million international overnight visitors in 2014, according to new statistics issued by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). Representing a year-on-year increase of 8.2 per cent – significantly higher than the global average of 4.7 per cent – the growth reflects the continuing strides that the Emirate is making towards realising Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020, which aims to welcome 20 million visitors by the start of the next decade.

The 13.2 million figure is the headline statistic of the inaugural ‘Dubai Annual Visitor Report’, issued at this week’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM). Differing from previously announced statistics on guests staying at Dubai’s hotel establishments, the figure is a measure of all international visitors travelling to Dubai and staying for at least one night, in hotel accommodation and holiday rentals, with friends and relatives, and on board cruise ships.

The Dubai Annual Visitor Report is a collation of key tourism metrics, trends and insights drawn from Dubai Tourism’s comprehensive research, which involves monitoring performance across global demand and competitive intensity, the effectiveness and supply of Dubai’s proposition, and the emirate’s ability to deliver a rounded destination experience to leisure and business travellers.

Commenting on the results, His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of DTCM, said: “The Dubai Annual Visitor Report provides insights into how and why Dubai achieved significant visitor growth in 2014, continuing the upward trend of recent years. With the year-on-year increase of 8.2 per cent being significantly higher than the global average, the report demonstrates Dubai’s broadening appeal as a tourism destination among multiple geographies and audience segments, highlighting both the success achieved to date and the opportunity for continual growth.

“The 2014 success is especially promising considering pressures on a number of source market economies and the 80-day partial closure of Dubai International Airport (DXB). The results are a tribute to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and the continued resolute partnership between the government and the private sector.

Having traditionally released annual data on hotel establishment guests, the new report encompasses all international overnight visitors, painting a broader picture of the successes, challenges and opportunities of the Emirate’s tourism economy. The research behind the report enables us to further enhance our targeted marketing activity, which in the past year has included the development of extensive digital, social media and PR partnerships with some of the most influential channels in the industry.”

Market growth

Significantly, while sustained momentum in Dubai’s traditional source markets saw the majority of the Emirate’s top ten source markets growing around eight per cent, there was also double-digit growth from a number of emerging travel source countries home to fast-growing middle-class populations with high disposable incomes. Examples include China, Nigeria and Brazil, in addition to several Eastern European nations – a result of the easing of UAE visa policies applying to 13 EU member states in March 2014.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of DTCM, said: “Dubai has strategically sought to ensure a fragmented source market approach, mitigating risks associated with over reliance on any specific region or geography. Fifty-five per cent of last year’s visitors came from our top ten source markets, the majority of which saw sustained growth, and there was healthy acceleration in many emerging feeder geographies. We will continue to work with our partners to further diversify our markets and leverage opportunities for growth, with one example being maximising the potential of Eastern European markets, from which we have already seen a positive result from the easing of visa regulations in March last year and the subsequent flight launches to the region by Emirates and flydubai towards the end of 2014.”

Reasons for growth

Despite an 80-day partial runway closure from May to July, 2014 saw Dubai International Airport emerge as the world’s busiest for international passengers, surpassing London Heathrow for the first time. The airport welcomed 70.5 million passengers in 2014, an increase of 6.1 per cent, while overall seat capacity to Dubai increased 7.2 per cent year-on-year to 48.6 million. Dubai’s two home-grown airlines, Emirates and flydubai, achieved exceptional growth in fleet size and global footprint expansion; the former launching new routes to eight destinations and adding circa 420,000 seats, the latter to 18 destinations and approximately 180,000 seats. The growth in aviation capacity supports the World Economic Forum’s assertion that “Dubai’s greatest competitive advantage in tourism is its ability to provide a world-class international hub for global air travellers.” Dubai’s cruise industry, meanwhile, also contributed to growth thanks to the opening of Dubai’s third cruise terminal, and 425,000 passengers are expected to arrive on cruises into Dubai in 2015, a 30 per cent increase over the previous year.

2014 also saw improved accessibility to Dubai, driven by the easing of UAE visa policies that have it made it easier and cheaper to visit the emirate. Citizens from a total of 46 countries can now obtain a visa on arrival, boosted by the March 2014 addition of 13 EU member states to the existing 15 member states already eligible. Positive results can already be seen in the increase in visitors from Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, for example, up by 104 per cent, 86 per cent and 64 per cent respectively.

At the same time, the breadth and depth of Dubai’s destination proposition has continued to evolve and diversify, attracting more visitors and contributing to increasing visitors’ length of stay. A total of 46 new hotel and hotel apartment establishments opened in 2014, including the likes of Marriott Hotel Al Jaddaf, Warwick Hotel Sheikh Zayed, Sheraton Grand Hotel and Four Seasons Resort Dubai, as well as a host of new attractions such as The Beach at JBR, Jumeirah Corniche and At The Top, Burj Khalifa SKY. These additions, together with Dubai’s world-class approach to customer service across all tourism sectors and continued infrastructure developments, have contributed to the ongoing enhancement of Dubai’s destination offering and its global appeal.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri commented: “Dubai’s sustained growth is a result of the pursuit of excellence across all parts of the tourism economy by the private and public sectors, constantly seeking to be the number one destination for both leisure and business travel. This applies to both creating a compelling proposition and delivering a superior end-to-end experience, and has resulted in the creation of a destination offering that appeals to both leisure and business visitors, and to families, couples and solo travellers. Continuous enhancements to the offering have contributed to an average length of stay of 7.8 days, surpassing that of London and similar to that of New York, and there are numerous additions to the offering, across attractions, experiences, hotels and restaurants, due to open in 2015 and 2016.”

Multiple audiences

A key statement within the Dubai Tourism Vision for 2020 is the ambition to become the world’s number one family destination, with the objective of capturing a substantial share of one of the highest potential segments in the global tourism market. According to Thomson Reuters, family travel accounts for over 12.5 per cent of the USD 1.7 trillion global tourism market, and is projected to grow at circa 5 per cent up to 2020. With Dubai’s top source markets for families being the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman and India, the Emirate continues to expand its offering for the segment, with the next two years seeing the opening of attractions including Dubai Safari Park, Dubai Opera House, Legoland Dubai, Hollywood-themed Motion Gate and Bollywood Parks Dubai.

Business travellers are another stated target segment for the Emirate, and in 2014 the number of visitors travelling for meetings, exhibitions, conferences and events (MICE) grew by 10 per cent.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri concluded: “In delivering the ambitious targets of our Tourism Vision for 2020, there are no doubt challenges ahead, but the continued collaboration of all stakeholders within the tourism industry and related sectors ensure we are well positioned for success.”



Recipe – Howth Head Seafood Chowder



1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
50g pancetta, cut into cubes
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1 bay leaf
300g potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 litre fish stock
Sea salt and ground black pepper
150g cod or haddock, skinned and flesh cut into 2cm pieces
150g salmon, skinned and flesh cut into 2cm pieces
250g  smoked haddock, skinned and flesh cut into 2cm pieces
1kg mussels in their shells, cleaned
1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
160ml double cream
Smoked salmon, cut into strips, to garnish

Melt the butter in a large pot over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for 3–4 minutes until softened. Add the pancetta and continue to fry until it colours, then stir in the thyme leaves, bay leaf and potatoes and cook gently for 2–3 minutes before adding the fish stock.  Season well with sea salt and ground black pepper.

Simmer for 10–15 minutes until the potatoes are tender yet firm. Add the cod, salmon, smoked haddock and mussels and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Discard any mussels which haven’t opened whilst cooking. Remove the pot from the heat and gently stir through the parsley and cream. Try not to stir too vigorously as the fish chunks will break up.

Serve in warmed deep bowls with the strips of smoked salmon as a garnish on top.


Meet Gillian from Event Partners Ireland


With more than 10 years in the incentive industry in Ireland, Gillian not only offers a safe pair of hands when planning and executing an event but she is also brim full of creative ideas. This Limerick lass is stress proof, she has a teenage daughter after all! When Gillian is not planning events this bookworm loves going to boy band concerts! Gillian ‘always in heels’ Costelloe not only has a Masters in Tourism, but she has also mastered the art of maintaining the perfect manicure while doing manual labour on site. If only she would share her secret!


Spotlight on Dublin – The Dean Hotel

dean hotel IMG_8618-1 sophies

Developed by the the Press Up Entertainment Group, which also operates U2’s Clarence Hotel, the Dean is an urbane and boldly-designed four-star giving the city’s boutique hotel scene a fresh cutting edge.

It sets 52 bedrooms over several floors of Georgian and contemporary architecture, with a set-piece highlight in the shape of a rooftop bar and restaurant – Sophie’s.

The restaurant comes with 270-degree views over the city centre.

The Dean has invested heavily in emerging Irish artists, boasts a rotisserie on its ground floor, a first-floor function room (‘The Blue Room’), and loads of delicious design touches.

Think miniature Smeg fridges and Marshall amps, old-school sweets, little brown envelopes for room keys and Grafton Barber bathroom products.


Yotel signs first property in Dubai

Yotel, a leading international hotel chain, has signed a long-term agreement with Dubai Investment Properties (DIP) to operate a new hotel in Dubai, UAE – the brand’s first property in the Middle East.

The hotel is part of a new major development located on Sheikh Zayed Road, directly adjacent to the upcoming Dubai Water Canal Project and at the gateway of Business Bay, the city’s fastest growing business district. The hotel will be a short walk from the Business Bay Metro station and just minutes from Downtown Dubai, the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall.

When complete in early 2018, the 42-storey property designed by Arkiteknik International will boast 438 cabins, furnished with the brand’s signature Techno Walls and Smart Beds, as well Yotel’s exclusive Club Lounge, a multi-function co-working and recreational space. The property will also feature 127 serviced apartments, also managed by Yotel, marking the brand’s debut in the fast-expanding serviced residence space.

“We are delighted to announce our first project in the UAE with DIP,” said Hubert Viriot, CEO of Yotel. “Dubai has a thriving hospitality market but lacks good quality, affordable luxury hotels. Yotel Business Bay will put an end to this oddity and be a true flagship for our brand in the Middle East, a region with huge untapped potential. This project is also our debut into the serviced apartment segment, a natural extension to our brand DNA – smart spaces delivering outstanding value”.

Francois Faure, executive director of DIP, said: “Ever since its creation in 1994, DIP has been focused on developing selective, forward-looking projects. Yotel brings something new and entirely unique to the local hotel market, and is in line with Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020 as well as its Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing objective to develop more mid-range hotels. YOTEL Business Bay will also perfectly complement the Single Business Tower, our existing office tower located directly adjacent.”

This agreement represents the first phase of Yotel’s aggressive expansion into the Middle East. The company is currently in advanced negotiations on potential hotel projects in other key destinations in the region, including Riyadh and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Istanbul (Turkey) and Abu Dhabi (UAE). – TradeArabia News Service


Case Study – Distant Frontiers


Company: Vorwerk Folletto

Requirement: Incentive for top sales agents from Italy

Number of people: 176 pax.

Folletto wanted to reward their top performing sales agents with a memorable trip to the Indian Subcontinent, where they would be able to enjoy a perfect blend of culture, stunning scenery and picturesque relaxing beaches. What better way than to start by exploring the magical Golden Triangle program covering Delhi, Agra and Jaipur followed by a private chartered flight to the magical Maldives.

Distant Frontiers (DFT) handled the logistics for the Indian component of the incentive and provided many life long memories including private experiences, excursions and gala evenings. Participants were able to experience local culture such as visiting local temples in Delhi, exploring the oldest market of north India (and taking in its vibrant colours) and taking part in an entourage of cycle rickshaws through the narrow streets of Chandni Chowk (the Folletto branded t-shirts certainly made heads turn).

The expedition continued with a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra and a jeep ride through the streets of Jaipur, culminating in a farmhouse nestled in the wilderness where guests enjoyed a lavish lunch followed by elephant rides. However, the main highlight of the trip was the gala extravaganza in the luxurious Oberoi Rajvilas hotel in Jaipur, which was exclusively booked for the group. The evening started with cocktails and canapés by the pool, beautifully decorated with flowers and diyas. Traditional dancers and drummers escorted everyone to the venue where decorated elephants, camels and horses were majestically lined up as a welcome to the Raj Mahal restaurant. The restaurant had a beautiful rangoli of the company’s logo at the entrance. While dining, the clients had an opportunity to not only enjoy watching the dancers but also join in! For those who craved more, a DJ upped the party mood in a private room which went on till the wee hours in the morning.

A dedicated team of DFT staff escorted the group to ensure that all the events and activities were well-coordinated and went off smoothly. The client was extremely impressed with the flawless execution of such a large incentive and very grateful to the DFT staff for putting on a great trip for their star performers.



Meet Ishrat from Arabian Adventures


Where I was born United Arab Emirates
How long I’ve lived in Dubai Very lucky to say all my life!
How long I’ve been with Arabian Adventures 6 years and counting
The best bit about my job is… Educating clients on how exciting Dubai is and then watching them talk about it with even more excitement is the best bit!
My favourite hotel in the UAE and why Madinat JumeirahIt truly is the Arabian Resort that represents the UAE.
My best ‘secret’ place to visit in the UAE Jebel Hafeet Mountain in Al Ain
My Favourite cuisine Sushi
Best UAE memory / Experience so far I still remember when they had announced the building of Burj Khalifa in 2004 on a flat land.Witnessing the transformation of the Downtown area into what it is now within 6 years is the most incredible and memorable experience ever!
3 items I would take on my Desert Island stay SunglassesLip glossOpen Sandals
Current No1 song on my Ipod Sugar by Maroon 5
I would most like to meet and why… Ellen DegeneresI believe people don’t laugh enough and Ellen is one woman who makes a difference through her comedy.
I am currently reading… Vogue. I am not much of a book reader.
The best advice I have been given By my mum – Always carry your positive energy with you, wherever life takes you.


New in Dubai – The Four Seasons

Four seasons

Set on a pristine, natural beach, Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach blends Arabic design with cool, contemporary style creating an atmosphere of light, sophisticated luxury.

The 237 ultra-spacious Dubai hotel rooms – including 49 suites – offer views of the Arabian Gulf on one side and Burj Khalifa and the downtown skyline on the other.

This 5 Star Dubai Hotel is home to 10 restaurants and lounges, one of the city’s most lavish spas, three swimming pools and fun family activities. With a warm, comfortable attitude and legendary personalized service, Four Seasons is redefining the Dubai luxury experience.

Meetings, Events and Conferences

A Dubai conference venue for 12 to 360 guests, Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach encompasses 1,199 square metres (12,900 square feet) of event space. Ideal for welcoming guests, there’s a separate function arrival area off the driveway. The ballroom and Dubai meeting rooms are all conveniently grouped in a grand beachfront setting, open to a terrace and lawn. With natural light and sea views, Four Seasons Resort Dubai venues offer a sense of urban sophistication uncommon among Dubai beach resorts.


PillowMINT and New Zealand’s Orange Exchange Team-Up


Kiwi DMC Orange Exchange and Australian DMC partner PillowMINT have formed an alliance to allow Australian Meetings, Incentive and Events clients to more easily access the benefits of a DMC partner in New Zealand.

New Zealand has always been a popular destination for Australian corporate groups and economic trends are triggering an increase in Australian groups travelling to New Zealand.

The PillowMINT / Orange Exchange partnership increases the accessibility of the best New Zealand has to offer. The iconic activities New Zealand offers are well known to many Australian event professionals, however discovering the unique and emerging experiences that take a New Zealand incentive to another level require local knowledge and relationships.

Orange Exchange focuses on matching group objectives and needs with tailored experiences and programmes. This bespoke approach generates new ideas and often leads to unique ‘firsts’. This sense of adventure is based on world-class DMC staff and practices that ensure smooth delivery of extraordinary destination experiences.

PillowMINT offers Australian clients a direct link to Orange Exchange and allows a new level of service. “We’re here to help Australian meeting and incentive planners access the best of New Zealand for their clients. As more groups from Australia travel to New Zealand, we are committed to ensuring planners have access to bespoke experiences that will ensure they have the winning edge”, says PillowMINT Founder Rebecca Easterman.

Orange Exchange is part of The Orange Group, New Zealand’s largest event experience Group. While the Group has provided incentive and destination management services for over a decade Orange Exchange was launched June 2013. Orange Exchange provides high-end and bespoke experiences to groups from Australia, Asia and beyond.



AlliedPRA Moves Europe to a Partnership Model

LONDON, January 30, 2015 – AlliedPRA, a leader in the destination management company (DMC) sector, announces plans to move its operations to a partnership model in Europe.  This strategy is designed to allow the company to better compete internationally, serve its clients’ needs more effectively, while allowing it to focus on supporting the rapid growth of its solid and successful model in the North American operations.  While the European offices wind down operations, key team members will remain on staff, working closely with clients to help transition programs.

“Our core strength and grass roots are in North America,” shared Denise Dornfeld, President of North America. “Keeping the best interests of our valued clients in mind, we are able to take this opportunity to refocus on our primary markets in North America. By moving to the partnership model abroad, AlliedPRA will have a direct link to opportunities for clients seeking programs in Europe, while we build strength in North America to continue to deliver the innovative programs our clients have come to expect and appreciate from AlliedPRA – their trusted, Destination Management Company partner.”

In 2014, revenues in North America grew to record levels, while the company opened new locations in Hawai’i and Washington, D.C., and recently acquired the previously independently owned franchise office in Palm Springs. The focus on growth in North America will continue with the company dedicating additional resources to further expand the breadth and depth of its successful model.  Additional acquisitions are targeted and new offices are already in the pipeline.

“While we have just experienced a record-breaking sales year in the US and Europe, the current operational model continues to be a challenge in the European market.” shared Dornfeld. “The scale of business needed to maintain a consolidated DMC in Europe is not achievable in today’s economic climate, and therefore to protect clients and deliver programs in the fashion they expect and deserve, we are transitioning to a partnership model.  This will allow us to better compete and serve the best interest of our clients globally.  We value our long-standing, respected client partnerships and will ensure we make this transition as smooth as possible and will keep key members of staff on our accounts.  As a valued DMC partner, we are honoring every deposit acquired by AlliedPRA.”



Distant Frontiers opens an office in Sri Lanka effective 1st February 2015

January 19, 2015

Distant Frontiers continues to expand its network. With the opening of an office in Sri Lanka, the company marks its return to the destination after 5 years.

The opening of the office is in line with the Company’s service strategy wherein every key and potential destination is serviced by a specialised team of experts.

The office is located in central Colombo and has a five member team to start with.

Ms. Denise Lanz, General Manager will be responsible for the Sri Lanka operations. Denise comes with a wealth of experience and expertise required for this destination, having worked as a Managing Director at Intens Travel, Switzerland.

We look forward to working with you on your programs to Sri Lanka.


Discovering Distant Frontiers India

I recently had the pleasure of embarking on a journey of discovery through the Golden Triangle of India. The diversity of this country is astounding and you are instantly enveloped and charmed by its colour, culture, majestic history and of course its people. The food is nothing short of magnificent and I have spent the days since my return madly googling recipes to try and recreate at home, and I long for the scent of fresh breads from the Tandoor oven.

Our program included two nights in Delhi discovering Old Delhi and New! A cycle-rickshaw ride through Old Delhi and the massive and busy spice markets was the highlight along with visit to the many incentive level hotel properties. From the colonial Imperial through to the more destinational Taj Resorts each property has a unique offering but the service throughout was warm and sincere.

From Delhi we made our way to Jaipur via the efficient, clean and comfortable rail network. Jaipur is a bustling city of, dare I say it ‘contrasts’. From the humble streets where cart vendors sell anything from motor parts to snacks to the extraordinary palaces and forts of times gone by but certainly not forgotten. Both the Palaces and Forts are brilliant venue options for private groups and the restaurant at the Amber Fort has the most divine private dining room on the upper level. It is a great way to see and experience these venues without having to spend a day ‘sightseeing’. In using these venues for your group events, you become part of the property and experience a real sense of what it would mean to have lived there.

A little side trip saw us visit the delightful Samode Palace, with its canary yellow facade it is a cheerful place with some of the most unique venues for groups within its grounds. I never wanted to leave such was the service and surroundings. I was in luck as there was an incentive group in house so I was able to witness the spectacular arrival with camels, and musicians greeting the guests along with walkways decorated with marigolds and rose petals. A fireworks display followed and the group were on their way to the terrace for their dinner. Late in the evening I could still hear them enjoying the local dances and music in their local themed attire. Would have made for some amazing photos!

Back in Jaipur I again took time out to visit the many wonderful properties available. Some steeped in history, others more purpose built but matching in charm. The historic properties are repurposed Palaces and are spectacular in every way however be prepared for the rooms not being identical – something that cannot be avoided in such heritage buildings.

The last leg of this trip was Agra, home to the Taj Mahal. The city itself doesn’t posess as much charm and charactor as some of the others we have passed through on our journey however the Taj Mahal is indeed a sight to behold and being able to get up close in the early hours of the day made for both a tranquil and endearing visit. There is a lovely garden adjacent to the grounds where the group can enjoy breakfast or lunch feasting their eyes not only on the buffet but on the view before them. I accessed the site by horse and buggy but you can also take battery operated buses (smaller sized) and cycle rickshaws – whatever most takes your fancy!

Back in Australia, India seems so far away. It is the kind of destination that lends itself effortlessly to incentive groups in that you are offering your delegates an opportunity to visit an exotic destination rich in culture that they might not visit on their own and to do it right and in style! With visas now offered on arrival and direct flights with Air India it is a great time to consider India for your next program.

I’d be delighted to share more information and sample programs from our wonderful DMC in India, Distant Frontiers.





New e-Visa easing travel to India

As a historic step for the tourism sector towards liberalisation of the visa regime, the government has rolled out Visa on Arrival enabled by ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) for 43 countries.

Starting today, Visitors from 43 countries, including Germany, United States, Israel Russia, Ukraine and Australia, will now be able to avail the much-awaited electronic visa facility. For a detailed list of the approved countries, please refer to the link given below.

In order to get an e-visa, one needs to apply on the designated website and go through four steps. Once approved, the traveller would get the ETA by e mail.

The nine approved international airports where arrival is permitted with ETA are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Goa.

To view details on this first initiative to make India more tourist friendly, please click on the link

There are several more countries expected to be granted this facility in future and we will be happy to share this information as and when it happens.

If you have any queries on the current ETA (electronic Travel Authorization) please do not hesitate to contact the team at PillowMINT.


AlliedPRA Forms Partnership with DMC Incentive Travel Iceland

LONDON, October 23, 2014 – AlliedPRA Inc., a global leader in the destination management company (DMC) sector, announces today a partnership with DMC Incentive Travel Iceland, a long established and well-respected DMC based in Reykjavík, Iceland.  Robert Patterson, Chief Financial & Operating Officer of AlliedPRA commented “this new partnership allows AlliedPRA to offer its clients destinations for meetings, events and incentives in Iceland, a dramatic landscape with a splendid range of outdoor activities, which many of our clients have expressed an interest in.” DMC Incentive Travel Iceland, which continues to be independently owned, will enjoy the advantages of AlliedPRA’s extensive sales channels and the resources of its central sales and marketing team. AlliedPRA in turn will benefit from DMC Incentive Travel Iceland’s strong client relationships and destination offerings.

For over 14 years, DMC Incentive Travel Iceland has delivered high quality, customized and creative meeting and incentive programs, concerts and events. DMC Incentive Travel Iceland is located in Reykjavík and offers clients the benefits of its extensive resources and in-depth local knowledge. In addition to its broad spectrum of destination management services, DMC Incentive Travel Iceland also runs an activity park that specializes in team building and corporate events.  The number of tourists arriving in Iceland continues to rise and the expected increase for 2014 is 15% year on year, the fifth consecutive year of 15% or more annual growth in tourist numbers.

“AlliedPRA is highly selective in its choice of partners. Whilst we intend to be able to offer our clients ever more destinations, we will only partner with other DMC’s, such as DMC Incentive Travel Iceland, who share our values and our commitment to quality control excellence,” shared Patterson. “We look forward to a successful partnership with DMC Incentive Travel Iceland.”

“For DMC Incentive Travel Iceland, the partnership with AlliedPRA, who we consider to be one of the best global DMCs in the sector, connects us to AlliedPRA’s impressive client base and a share in its considerable sales resources,” notes Ingibjorg Gudmundsdottir, Owner and General Manager of DMC Incentive Travel Iceland. “Since 2000 we have gradually built up our company in an organic manner, first by servicing small groups and later by gradually enlarging the projects up to ones that have involved several thousand participants. We look forward to working with AlliedPRA and servicing clients in our beautiful destination.”

AlliedPRA consistently offers comprehensive and customized DMC solutions to corporate, incentive and association planners based in vast locations around the world. In 2014, AlliedPRA plans to further expand the number of locations it offers clients, both through new partnerships with select independently owned DMC’s and by opening up new wholly owned subsidiary offices.


PillowMINT Appointed Sales Representative of Distant Frontiers in the Australian & New Zealand Markets

PillowMint has been selected to represent Distant Frontiers whose operations are fine-tuned to the needs of Incentive Tours, the discerning individual traveller and the Special Interest Traveller to India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.

“I am delighted to welcome Distant Frontiers to our portfolio of Destination Management Companies as I feel that the culture of the Indian Subcontinent and the themes that run through programs in that region are in line with emerging trends in the Incentive market” PillowMINT Managing Director Rebecca Easterman said.

Distant Frontiers bases the core of its travel experience on principles of Responsible Tourism, Social Consciousness, Environmental Concerns and Unique Cultural Experiences that bring diverse communities together and increase understanding.

In existence for twenty years, Distant Frontiers is a trusted organization for people all over the world and are able to translate the most difficult briefs into personalized, unique and contemporary travel solutions.

Knowledge, experience and expertise create value. Distant Frontiers tracks markets and social changes; creating new trends and innovation, whilst demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. Distant Frontiers aims for the best quality products and services and high customer and employee satisfaction combined with healthy growth and sustainable profitability.

PillowMINT, together with Distant Frontiers is excited about educating incentive and event professionals on the benefits of each destination, to assist them in the decision making process.



2016 UEFA European Football Championship


The 2016 UEFA European Football Championship is scheduled to be held in France from
10 June to 10 July 2016:

  • 24 teams
  • 51 matches
  • 9 cities: Paris, Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Saint Etienne and Toulouse.

We are your DMC Partner
AlliedPRA France is at your disposal to send you a proposal and discuss the best way for you
to include this event into your program.

Founded in 1964, AlliedPRA France is a pioneer in the industry and still remains the number
one choice for destination management services in the country, serving clients needs in
incentives, meetings, conventions, product launches and events!

We have established relationships and dedicated partnerships with 400+ in-destination hotel
and service providers in more than 15 French destinations to enhance the client experience.
Our team of 10 DMC professionals combines 100+ years of MICE industry experience. We
are passionate about our country. We are committed to service excellence by designing
innovative products and services that exceed our client’s expectations.

At AlliedPRA France, we don’t leave anything to chance. We know how critical details can be
and we concentrate our efforts on the things that matter most to our customers.

The UEFA European Championship is the primary association football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the members of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), determining the continental champion of Europe. Held every four years, in the even-numbered year between World Cup tournaments, the UEFA European Championship is the second most popular international football tournament after the FIFA World Cup.

For information on developing your 2016 incentive program around this event, speak to PillowMINT today!



New Project welcomed on The World Islands – Dubai

The company behind the Great Britain island on The World Islands, Dubai said it will shortly unveil plans to turn the area into a luxury resort.
Q Group said the island will feature luxury hotels, private villas and water villas, as well as hotel serviced apartments.

The development plans also includes an event and wedding venue, offshore restaurants and bars, and water-based experiences for people of all ages, the company said in a statement. Set up by Safi Qurashi, CEO and founder, two years ago, with property sales and leasing as its core business, Q Group now comprises seven companies, with operations extending from real estate brokerage, development and investment into facilities management, access solutions and security.

With a big recruitment drive under way, the group is now entering a new phase of expansion, including the launch of its five-star resort on The World Islands, Dubai and the establishment of an investment fund linked to major leisure, entertainment and hospitality projects.

Qurashi said Q Development will start construction next month on a residential block at Dubai’s Jumeirah Village Circle, with another at Motor City awaiting final planning approvals. Both projects, and others in the pipeline, will take services for residents to a new level, he said.  “We need to match their needs, not just build another apartment block with a gym and a swimming pool,” said Qurashi. “Service charges shouldn’t just be about cleaning the corridors and changing the light bulbs.”

“We’re now seeing a significant change in attitude by developers. A lot more thought is going into what they build. Developers are also looking more closely at finances in order to make projects secure, rather than depending on pre-sales to finance them.”

Qurashi said he sees Dubai’s real estate market entering a new era in which the most successful developers will be those adopting a longer term approach, and aligning projects with Dubai’s economic drivers of tourism, leisure and hospitality.  “We’re seeing a significant change in attitude as the real estate market here matures,” said Qurashi. “Projects are now more focused on a sustainable, long-term approach rather than the old one of build it, sell it and move on.
“Developers know they need to do more than just find a bunch of investors they can make money from, without thinking of the end-user. We as a group, and other developers, are now focusing more on properties from the viewpoint of the people who will live in them.”

Planning a program to the United Arab Emirates? Talk to the PillowMINT Team about some unique enhancements and new services.


Break Out of the Ballroom!

Having events and meetings in non-traditional spaces is increasingly popular given all the options with the coolest and newest temporary structures – from elaborate tents to funky domes.  AlliedPRA Arizona has created a uniquely wow “pop up venue” that can take place in the midst of the amazing Sonoran desert.

Accessible by 4×4 vehicles, the “Room with a View” themed event causes a stir and a sense of adventure as guests are treated to creature comforts in the great outdoors including five-star dining, a rock and roll tribute band featuring oldie but goodie Johnny Cash tunes, plush leather cigar lounge areas and stylish networking niches, all tucked under the star-filled sky with the best view in town.

“I am constantly awestruck by the beauty and adventure we can offer our clients in this truly incredible destination of Arizona. The best part of my job, however, is working with a team of smart, dynamic women, all leaders in their own right. There is a passion for what we do, what we bring to the table and who we are. I’m part of a great team, a great destination and it just doesn’t get better than this!” commented Pam Navarre, General Manager AlliedPRA Arizona

The timing is still great to soak up the sunshine, so break out of the ballroom and head to the Arizona desert!

Dinner in the Desert - Before and After

Your experience with AlliedPRA Arizona will find you rewarded with unmatched service, dedicated destination management professionals and a truly unforgettable program, leaving you stress free and wanting more.  For the latest trends in themed events and all your destination needs, reach out to the PillowMINT team


AlliedPRA Opens New Office in Washington, D.C.


(WASHINGTON, D.C.), September 3, 2014 –AlliedPRA, Inc., a global leader in the destination management company (DMC) sector, announces today the official opening of the AlliedPRA Washington, D.C. office as shared by Denise Dornfeld, President of AlliedPRA North America. This move marks the sixth new destination offering in the past 12 months by the award-winning Destination Management Company, with other new locations on board which include, Hawai’i, Madrid, Portugal, Rome, Scotland, and now Washington, D.C. In addition, AlliedPRA expanded its marketing partnerships in North America with Cantrav Destination Management Services to cover Canada and Alaska. Heading up the company-owned District office is Christopher McAnany, Director of Sales for AlliedPRA Washington, D.C., along with Meg Usher, Account Manager and Pia Kirwan, Program Manager.

McAnany brings nearly 14 years of experience that encompasses operations, sales, marketing, client services and account management within various event, hospitality and branding realms for clients around the globe. In his role as Director of Sales, he will oversee all daily operations of the new location, focusing on business and partner development. As a native of the Washington, D.C .metropolitan area, Usher is proud to showcase her city and everything it has to offer. She began her career in the industry as a meeting planner with a trade association.  For nearly 11 years, she pursued the “best-of-the-best” things to do, see, and experience for her guests and attendees. Kirwan brings a wealth of experience gained from various global sales and development roles in the hospitality industry. Originally from Montreal, Canada, she most recently worked for the Canadian Tourism Commission raising Canada’s profile in the international meetings, association and incentive arena. This experienced team brings together years of industry expertise; spending quality time understanding client’s passions and goals to design truly fulfilling experiences, while matching groups with the hidden gems and iconic landmarks that suit client interests and budgets.

According to the local convention and visitors bureau, in 2013, Washington, D.C. received 19 million visitors of which 17.4 million were domestic, an all-time high, and 1.6 million came from overseas. The hospitality and tourism industry fueled the economy of the nation’s capital last year, with an estimated $6.7 billion in visitor spending. With exceptional inventory already in place, new hotels, restaurants, attractions and transportation options are expected to open in the next 24 months.  Visitors to Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland will experience an impressive array of fascinating and historic attractions.  The district is home to powerful monuments and memorials on the National Mall, along with inspiring cultural treasures like the Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress and National Gallery of Art. But that’s just a start. This one-of-a-kind destination also boasts some of the most acclaimed hotels and venues in the nation. Explore charming neighborhoods, hot spots in historic Georgetown, or be tempted with the chic boutiques, hip local restaurants, world-class theatres, or breathtaking cherry blossoms that adorn tranquil parks.

“Washington, D.C. is the perfect location for companies and organizations seeking a distinct destination for meetings, incentives and events,” commented McAnany. “As one of the worlds’ most talked about destinations, D.C. attracts millions of international visitors with its unmatched assortment of quality attractions, magnificent memorials and monuments, world-class dining and first-rate accommodations. Our experienced team is ready to share its outstanding DMC programs in this sought-after destination.”

 “We’ve been waiting for years to find the right time to launch operations in the District region and are so pleased to officially open the doors for AlliedPRA Washington, D.C., knowing this destination is the next phase in continuing our global growth strategy to meet the evolving needs for incentive and corporate travel,” commented Denise Dornfeld. “Our clients have requested this destination and it was an offering we’ve wanted to bring to the table. We now have the perfect team in place, who are industry leaders offering only the best in destination services. With a proven track record of success and leadership the AlliedPRA Washington, D.C. team has a wealth of experience in delivering destination management services, and we look forward to impressing our valued clients with our newest destination offering.”



AlliedPRA New Orleans shines the light on The Outlet Collection – Riverwalk


Earlier this summer, a landmark redevelopment took place on the Mississippi River right in downtown New Orleans, as the nation’s first upscale outlet center in a downtown setting opened – The Outlet Collection at the Riverwalk.

Featuring over 75 retailers and restaurants on the bank of the majestic Mississippi River, The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk offers shoppers and diners an experience like no other. Major national brands include Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio, Tommy Bahama Outlet, Forever 21, Coach, The PUMA Store, Hartstrings Kids Apparel Center, and Kenneth Cole. Center favorites, and original tenants from the beginning, also include The Fudgery, Gap Factory Store, Café Du Monde, Aerosoles and Swim ‘n Sport Outlet.

As an added attraction for our international visitors, on August 5 Louisiana Tax Free Shopping opened a Redemption Center right in the Outlet Collection. International guests are eligible for VAT refunds on retail purchases made in Louisiana, including at great New Orleans downtown shopping centers such as the Outlet Collection and The Shoppes at Canal Place.

Additionally, AlliedPRA New Orleans produced 5 days of events to launch the Grand Opening, highlighted by the Grand Reveal featured in this video: Over 100,000 guests took part in the festivities of the Opening Weekend.

AlliedPRA New Orleans President Jeff O’Hara said “We were thrilled to partner with the Howard Hughes Corporation on the Grand Opening of this landmark development for New Orleans. We produced five days of themed events including the Grand Reveal, Fashion Friday, The Taste of the Riverwalk on Saturday, Family Fun Day on Sunday and Salute to Veterans on Memorial Day Monday. We are particularly excited to welcome our international visitors, who now have the convenience of receiving their VAT refunds right on site!”

Thinking of New Orleans for your next program, call the PillowMINT team who will assist you every step of the way.


Designer Fashion Show and Boutique Private Visit with AlliedPRA

AlliedPRA Monaco welcomes important international incentives and conferences in Monaco each year and organizes out of the box activities, such as fashion shows.
Designer Isabell Kristensen has become synonymous with the glamorous world of Haute Couture in the last decade. She has dressed Nicole Kidman, Liza Minnelli and Shirley Bassey, to name a few, and was H.S.H. Princess Charlene’s bridesmaid at the 2011 Princely wedding.
AlliedPRA can organize exclusive group visits to her boutique located in Monaco’s Old Town or can set up a fashion show off-site. The fashion show promises to be an exciting and theatrical presentation of apparel and accessories on eight live models.
Together with talented interior designers, architects and lighting designers AlliedPRA can create magical settings for gala evenings, product launches and other events. For more information, please contact your AlliedPRA representative via



High Roller @ the LINQ - Las Vegas

Nothing in recent years has redefined the iconic Las Vegas skyline more prominently than the High Roller, which opened the end of March 2014. Topping 550 feet at its peak, making it the largest observation wheel in the world, the epic High Roller is the crown jewel of the Strip’s newest dining, shopping, and entertainment district, The LINQ. With 28 spherical, glass-enclosed cabins, passengers are in for unparalleled views of Las Vegas during a full 30 minute rotation.

Weighing in at 44,000 pounds each, the stylish modern-styled cabins each can hold up to 40 people. Upon entrance, riders are thrust into an immersive journey from start to finish that begins with its pre-ride experience guiding guests through the wheelhouse with its own lounge and ends with a camera full of epic photos. Whether you are renting out a cabin for pre-dinner reception or as part of an afternoon activity, each cabin features dynamic music and videos that seamlessly fade in and out as riders take in the 360-degree sights.

For more information on this and other unique Vegas group experiences, please contact PillowMINT Team on 07 3206 6548


The “Once in a Lifetime” Educational Tour

A trip to remember the  “Once in a Lifetime” Educational Tour returns from Monaco via Dubai and Nice

Monaco Tourism joined forces with Emirates, The Leading Hotels of the World, AlliedPRA and Arabian Adventures to create a spectacular educational tour specifically targeting the incentive industry.

Seven lucky participants flew with their hosts on Emirates to Dubai where they explored the highlights of Dubai, including a very ‘high’ tea on the 122nd floor of the world’s tallest building and experienced a desert adventure with Arabian Adventures. The group stayed at The Leading Hotels of the World spectacular member One & Only Royal Mirage.

Flying onto Nice airport the group stayed at the iconic Hotel Negresco in Nice before moving onto Monaco and checking in at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo.

AlliedPRA ensured the group received a true sampling of the very best the region has to offer as the group visited local must see attractions, sampled Absinthe in Antibes, tasted wines in the quaint village of Saint Paul de Vence, visited the Fragonard perfumery and dined at both local and internationally famed restaurants.

Participants photographed in Le Condamine Market in Monaco presenting their attentive Guide Patrice (Centre) with a bouquet of thanks.

The group visited and enjoyed the warm hospitality of other members of The Leading Hotels of the World during the stay including One & Only, The Palm in Dubai, Hotel Royal Riviera at Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, Hotel Metropole and the Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo.

Guillaume Rose, President of Monaco Tourism said “we are seeing more incentive groups from Australia and New Zealand – they are very discerning, we focus on giving them wonderful experiences they will never forget. Monaco is a perfect destination for these groups and works so well in conjunction with our neighbouring regions as well as with Dubai thanks to the fantastic airline connections and the luxury offerings. We were delighted to host this group and work with all the partners involved.”

Whilst the group did not complain about being wined and dined from Dubai to the French Riviera there were many murmurs about a detox starting once they got home!


AlliedPRA Northern California Wins 2014 ADMEI Achievement Award for Best Innovative Event

SAN DIEGO, Calif., February 13, 2014 – AlliedPRA Inc., a global leader in the destination management company (DMC) sector, announces today the AlliedPRA Northern California team was named winner for the 2014 Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI) Achievement Awards for the category of Best Innovative Event $200,000 and Above, according to Fran Rickenbach, CAE, IOM, executive vice president of ADMEI. The winners were unveiled at the annual Achievement Awards event on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. The win marks the eighth year

AlliedPRA Northern California has been named a finalist, having won previously for outstanding transportation and innovative event programs.

Many entries were received and judges from various organizations reviewed and rated each entry based on originality, innovation, and solutions provided to challenges presented by clients. AlliedPRA Northern California won the award in the Best Innovative Event $200,000 and Above category for its An Evening With the Arts.

As detailed in the entry submission, a top accounting firm requested a cultural and elegant, once-in-a-lifetime event for its last night in San Francisco. To achieve this vision, the AlliedPRA team created the “Evening with the Arts” theme with each venue representing a different version of the Arts, from classic ballet décor, to a custom-built stage to showcase a local opera singer, along with violin centerpieces, beautiful art pieces in the Asian Art Museum, and an edgy tent on Folsom street featuring aerialists and custom wallscapes of the client’s signature color palette.

AlliedPRA Northern California closed down an entire city block to throw one of the most fabulous parties this company, and San Francisco, has ever seen. San Francisco City Hall, Asian Art Museum, a 22,800 square-foot tent and three major city streets were all used to create this memorable evening for the 5,500 attendees. The results were amazing, with several guests sharing that the event was one of the most elegant and entertaining galas they had ever attended. The seasoned client said she had tears of joy when she entered City Hall, stating the AlliedPRA Northern California team had successfully exceeded all of her expectations tenfold.

“We are so proud of the entire AlliedPRA Northern California team having once again earned the well-deserved recognition for successfully displaying the creative drive that makes the office stand out as true innovators in our industry,” commented Denise Dornfeld, president of AlliedPRA North America. “The ADMEI Achievement Awards bring out the best of the best and to be awarded for outstanding achievement year after year is quite an accomplishment for the team.”

AlliedPRA consistently offers comprehensive and customized DMC solutions to corporate, incentive and association planners based in many locations around the world. In 2014, AlliedPRA plans to further expand the number of locations it can offer its clients, both through new partnerships with select independently owned DMCs and by opening up new wholly owned subsidiary offices.

AlliedPRA is a leading global destination management and event planning company with a reach across three continents, seven countries and over 100 destinations, serving some of the most respected companies in every major industry sector. For information on the complete portfolio of international destination management services, please email:


AlliedPRA Forms Partnership with Cantrav Destination Management Services

 LONDON, February 10, 2014 – AlliedPRA Inc., a global leader in the destination management company (DMC) sector, announces today a partnership with Cantrav Destination Management Services, a long established and well-respected DMC based in Vancouver, Canada.  According to Robert Patterson, Chief Financial & Operating Officer of AlliedPRA “this new partnership allows AlliedPRA to offer its clients destinations for meetings, events and incentives in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, as well as the US State of Alaska, destinations for which we know there is considerable demand from AlliedPRA’s client base.” Cantrav, which will continue to be independently owned, will benefit from greater international exposure, new sales channels and the resources of AlliedPRA’s central sales team. AlliedPRA in turn expects to benefit from some of Cantrav’s strong client relationships.

For over 30 years, Cantrav has delivered, high quality, customized and creative meeting and incentive programs and events across Western Canada. Cantrav, which has offices in Vancouver, Whistler and Banff, offers clients the benefits of its extensive resources and in-depth local knowledge. In addition to its DMC services, the Cantrav Events and Production team offers expertise in designing themed events, meetings management and branded productions. Cantrav’s range of DMC services includes activities, tours, transportation and logistics management.

“AlliedPRA is highly selective in its choice of partners. Whilst we intend to be able to offer our clients ever more destinations, we will only partner with other DMC’s, such as Cantrav, who share our values and quality control excellence.” shared Patterson. “We look forward to a successful partnership with Cantrav.”

 “For Cantrav, the partnership with AlliedPRA gives us access to AlliedPRA’s impressive client base and share its considerable sales resources” shared George Bartel, president of Cantrav Destination Management Services. “Since 1980 we have sought to respond quickly to changes in the market place and changes in the needs of clients. We look forward to working with AlliedPRA.”

AlliedPRA consistently offers comprehensive and customized DMC solutions to corporate, incentive and association planners based in many locations around the world. In 2014, AlliedPRA plans to further expand the number of locations it can offer its clients, both through new partnerships with select independently owned DMCs and by opening up new wholly owned subsidiary offices.

AlliedPRA is represented in Australia & New Zealand by PillowMINT.


Destination – AlliedPRA HAWAII


It is with Great Pleasure, AlliedPRA Announces its Newest Destination Offering- AlliedPRA Hawaii.

Heading up the new Hawaii location are Co-Principal Owners, Liz Keyser and Ferris Suer, who also own and operate the award-winning DMC, AlliedPRA Northern California.

“In looking to expand our DMC operations, we sought out a resort location ideal for incentive travel and corporate meeting requirements, to offer our valued clients the finest setting for destination programs,” shared Keyser.

Hawaii provides first-class accommodations, breathtaking beauty, perfect year-round weather and modern facilities in a tropical, resort setting.

Hawaii is the perfect incentive and corporate meeting destination. It offers clients excellent hotel collections, fine dining and a rich selection of cultural options, which add up to a memorable backdrop for meetings and events. Hawaii and its stunning natural beauty have become one of the most visited destinations in the world, and you’ll soon discover for yourself why Hawaii is the ideal location for your next program.

Embrace the “Aloha Spirit” by uncovering the local flavor and abundance of exciting destination activities. The AlliedPRA Hawaii team is ready to help you plan your paradise retreat.


AlliedPRA Monaco Offers the “Bonjour Monaco” Experience

Creative, out-of-the-box and unique experiences in incentive travel programs within the Principality are AlliedPRA’s specialty.
For companies wishing to engage, motivate and reward, AlliedPRA’s team has developed interesting sight-seeing adventure programs, sure to leave a lasting impression among guests.
A sampling of some of the customizable packages include: Bonjour Monaco (tea with a Monégasque family), private visits and concerts, an
afternoon on the Mediterranean, a tour of the architecture of Monaco, experiencing the food and wine of the local market in La Condamine or the musical splendors of the Principality, and a private visit to a historical wine cellar with an expert sommelier.
If you are looking for a motivational speaker for the opening ceremony of a conference, the AlliedPRA Monaco team will connect you with engaging and interesting speakers from the leading business sectors in Monaco including finance or banking, new technologies, healthcare, international trade, shipping, real estate, or CSR.
AlliedPRA Global Sales Representative, Rebecca Easterman will be happy to connect with you and share the latest hot new trends in the Principality.


AlliedPRA, Leading International Destination Management Firm, to Exhibit at PAICE

LONDON, October, 2013 – AlliedPRA International, a global leader in the destination management company (DMC) sector, will be exhibiting at Auckland based industry event, Pacific Area Incentives & Conferences Expo (PAICE)  for the first time at booth 23. PAICE enables New Zealand based incentive and conference organisers to research and source products and services from a wide selection of offshore suppliers under one roof, on one day.

Speaking on behalf of AlliedPRA, Global Sales Representative Rebecca Easterman, from PillowMINT commented, “PAICE will be a great platform for AlliedPRA to demonstrate its commitment to the Australian and New Zealand MICE market. With offices throughout Europe and North America, AlliedPRA is well positioned to create programs that achieve set client objectives, generate creativity and are memorable destination experiences.”

PAICE is aimed at New Zealand based professionals who organise off-shore incentives, conferences and events. In past years more than 165 buyers have attended the one day event, with a strong turn-out from professional incentive and conference organisers, personal assistants, human resources managers, executive secretaries and other administrative professionals who organise their company’s off-shore meetings, incentives and other events. PAICE also attracts association executives who organise offshore conferences and is also gaining a profile among organisers of weddings, special event/special interest tours, sports tours and other group events.

One of the most recognized and notable international destination management companies, AlliedPRA offers clients the same unsurpassed quality independent of which AlliedPRA office they do business with. AlliedPRA offices provide a full range of destination management services ranging from unique special events to complex transportation solutions, team building programs, sightseeing tours, meetings, incentives, conventions, and events.

Follow AlliedPRA Destination Management at or any of the following social media sites: Twitter at!alliedpra, Facebook at and on LinkedIn under AlliedPRA groups.



Monaco announces a full calendar of Motorsport Events in 2014

Grand Prix

Once again the glamorous Principality of Monaco has a big year ahead. The calendar of events 2014 will not only feature top class sport events such as the Monte-Carlo Tennis Rolex Masters, the Grand Prix Formula 1 and the Monaco Yacht Show but also the best of cultural highlights including the annual International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo, the Sporting Summer Festival, Television Festival and the International Fireworks Competition to name only a few.

The year 2014 will particularly make the heart of each motorsport lover leap for joy with a diversified line up of world-class motorsports competitions held in Monaco:
– 17th Rallye de Monte-Carlo Historique
– Grand Prix Historique de Monaco
– Grand Prix Formula 1 of Monaco
– Monaco Automobile Elegance Competition
All four events will showcase the most unique cars of all times and will particularly impress all car enthusiasts, collectors and drivers and just everyone who has a passion for cars and competitions.

17th Rallye de Monte-Carlo Historique / 22-29 January 2014
The 2014 edition of the Rallye de Monte Carlo is a fascinating one week event open to cars that have participated in the Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo between 1955 and 1980. Participants will start on 22 January from 6 different departure cities: Barcelona, Glasgow, Monte-Carlo, Oslo, Stockholm and Reims. Before reaching the Principality of Monaco, the final stage of the competition, the challengers will have to go through several challenges and successfully reach different rallying points across the French Riviera. To conclude the event in style and glamour the last stage of the challenging Rallye week will be the highly appreciated Award Ceremony Gala held on 29 January in the Salle des Etoiles of the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club to celebrate and congratulate the winners of the race.

Grand Prix Historique de Monaco / 9-11 May 2014
The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique will celebrate its 9th edition in 2014, an event not to be missed by worldwide collectors, classic motorsport fanatics and ardent supporters of former days’ mecahnics. Organised since 1997 by the Automobile Club de Monaco, this “biennial” event will take place two weeks before the Grand Prix de Monaco and is a real sprint race, contested on the legendary circuit of Monaco.

Grand Prix Formula 1 of Monaco / 22-25 May 2014
Without a doubt one of the most sought-after events worldwide, the Monaco Grand Prix is a mythical race each and every driver dreams to win on the circuit of the Principality considered to be the most challenging circuit of the Formula 1 World Championship. William Grover-Williams won the first Grand Prix of Monaco. There after great names followed such as Schumacher, Senna, Prost, Fangio, Graham Hill – and Michael Webber in 2012.

Monaco Automobile Elegance Competition / 27-29 June 2014
Thirteen years after the last event in September 2001 the Automobile Club de Monaco has revived the Automobile Elegance Competition. The “Concours d’Elegance Automobile” will present around fifty vintage cars ranging from pre-war models through to post-war cars and concept cars for the future. To kick off the competition the participants will be welcomed on 27 June in the luxurious Hotel de Paris located on the world-famous “Place du Casino”. On Saturday 28 June, there will be a tour to the hinterland with an authentic lunch celebrating the traditional French Riviera quality “cuisine”. The highlight of the 3 day programme will be an exhibition and a parade of the participating cars in the Palace of Monaco square, followed by their assessment for excellence by a jury of renowned experts and celebrities, chaired by HSH Pricess Charlene of Monaco. The weekend will conclude with a unique and sumptuous Gala Dinner held at the Prince’s Palace.

Contact us for more information on what our DMC, AlliedPRA Monaco can do for your next group!


AlliedPRA, Leading International Destination Management Firm, Opens Office in Lisbon, Portugal

LONDON, October, 2013 – AlliedPRA International, a global leader in the destination management company (DMC) sector, announces the opening of AlliedPRA Portugal in Lisbon. The new Lisbon office, Robert Patterson, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, explained will service clients seeking a distinctive, yet affordable location for corporate meetings and events, blending modern conveniences with a classic European feel.

The AlliedPRA Portugal office will serve Lisbon, including the city center of Baixa, Chiado, Bairro Alto, Nations Park in the eastern part of Lisbon, as well as the resort destinations of Belém, and Estoril/Cascais. Denise Dornfeld, President AlliedPRA North America, stated “Portugal and Lisbon in particular, is a popular destination for incentive groups and AlliedPRA’s Global Sales team is delighted to have another destination to offer the group’s clients.”

Heading up the AlliedPRA Portugal team is Fatima Luis Neves, who has been appointed as Managing Director. An experienced professional with a diverse skill set, Fatima has designed, planned and operated large scale events, team building activities, incentive programmes, meeting and congresses for various companies in, amongst others, the banking, pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Fatima has built solid relationships with the best in class suppliers in Portugal, helping her to offer and deliver optimal solutions to clients’ needs. Her strong focus on identifying the best value for money product, combined with her innovation has enabled her to consistently exceed the expectations of her clients. Fatima has been entrusted with the responsibility of firmly establishing AlliedPRA Portugal as the premier DMC operator in Portugal.

Lisbon offers an eclectic mix of historic charm and contemporary venues. When you think of world capitals for business event planning, Lisbon has an allure that can compete with any other major city. It is one of the most ancient cities in the world with a rich history offering corporate and incentive clients budget-friendly venues that range from modern convention destinations to unique museums. Lisbon has an enviable selection of traditional and modern venues as well as excellent business and luxury hotels. The city offers meeting and events planners the opportunity to experience Portuguese culture, from its globally inspired cuisine and world-renowned wines, to soulful music, reflecting the warmth of its people. It all makes for a memorable backdrop for meeting and events.
“The AlliedPRA group is constantly adapting to meet the evolving needs of our clients and is committed to steadily expanding the service it is able to offer globally,” commented Patterson. “Lisbon is an attractive and accessible destination enjoying warm weather all year round. It is able to offer clients with M.I.C.E. requirements excellent hotels, fine dining, traditional and modern architecture and a rich selection of cultural options, all at very affordable prices. “

One of the most recognized and notable international destination management companies, AlliedPRA offers clients the same unsurpassed quality independent of which AlliedPRA office they do business with. AlliedPRA offices provide a full range of destination management services ranging from unique special events to complex transportation solutions, team building programs, sightseeing tours, meetings, incentives, conventions, and events.


AlliedPRA Las Vegas – Official DMC for IMEX America Hosted Buyer Program

LAS VEGAS — October, 2013 – AlliedPRA Las Vegas was selected to provide a comprehensive airport and hotel transportation system and staffing for the hosted buyers attending IMEX America 2013, according to Nikki Williams, Director of Hosted Buyer Programs for IMEX America. As the official DMC, AlliedPRA Las Vegas was selected for a second consecutive year, based on its successful operation of IMEX America 2012 which showcased AlliedPRA’s exceptional staff, experience and high service standards. AlliedPRA Las Vegas will work with the IMEX America hosted buyer team in coordinating the complex transportation program, while providing an emergency contingency plan for the event. IMEX America is America’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events and is the largest tradeshow for the industry in the USA. The event will take place at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas, (which is connected to the show’s Headquarters Hotel, The Venetian®|The Palazzo®), October 15-17, 2013.

“The AlliedPRA team works closely with the IMEX America staff to ensure each requirement of the hosted buyer transportation program and expectations are met and exceeded” commented Denise Dornfeld, president of AlliedPRA North America. “AlliedPRA is known for its comprehensive logistics and transportation planning in the industry and we are pleased to provide the peace of mind to our client, for one of the most important elements of the show.”

“As the hosted buyer program continues to grow we are pleased to partner with AlliedPRA to provide the highest level of DMC service, managing the airport arrival and departures and hotel shuttles,” shared Williams. “We want all visitors and our hosted-buyers to feel they’ve received outstanding value and return on time and effort invested.”

“It is an honor to be selected for a second term, as the official DMC of IMEX America 2013 and our team is thrilled to showcase, once again, our outstanding transportation services and program logistics,” shared Francine McKanna, DMCP, president and owner of AlliedPRA Las Vegas. “Last year was an overwhelming success for our team and all the hosted buyers who attend IMEX America. Over the past couple of years, this show has quickly grown into the go-to tradeshow for our industry and we are pleased to be a part of this important connection between our peers.”


Abu Dhabi: Airport passenger numbers increase by 14%

A multi-billion-dollar redevelopment plan for Abu Dhabi International Airport (ADIA) is expected to help the facility handle a rising number of passengers as well as assist the emirate in establishing a position as a regional aviation hub.
In June, airport officials announced that the $3.2bn Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC) would be operational by the third quarter of 2017. The 700,000-sq-metre development, which will include a terminal building, passenger and cargo facilities, and shops and restaurants, is set to boost annual capacity by 30m passengers, bringing the airport’s total to 47m.
The MTC project is part of a larger $6.8bn re-development of ADIA that has already seen the completion of a third terminal and the addition of second runway.
Growth in air traffic has paralleled the expansion in facilities. According to figures from the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), passenger numbers at the airport grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.5% between 2006 and 2011, and the company forecasts a CAGR of 7.9% up to 2020.
Recent statistics from the ADAC suggest that the airport is on track to meet these goals. The airport served 5.2m passengers during the first four months of 2013, a year-on-year (y-o-y) rise of 14%, with the number of flights increasing 9.5% over the same period. Cargo traffic rose by 20.2% y-o-y, the ADAC added, with volumes reaching 209,880 tonnes for the January-April period.
The biggest jump came in April and March, when more than 1.3m passengers used the airport each month, up 15% and 8.6% respectively on last year’s performance.

The airport has also had success in attracting additional operators, and six new airlines opened services in 2012, including RAK Airways, Alitalia and Rotana Jet. Etihad Airways, based at ADIA, has also added routes, including most recently Sao Paolo, Brazil, its first South American destination.

Part of the reason for Abu Dhabi’s strong performance in recent years has been expansion in the broader regional aviation market. The Middle East – and the Gulf states in particular – has weathered the global recession better than countries in the West, and links to Asian markets have supported growth.  As James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways, told OBG, “The most obvious development in the market has been first-time travelers coming from the growing middle classes in China and India,” he told OBG. “In India alone, the middle class is expected to expand by 200m people in the next eight years.”

According to the International Air Transport Association, the Middle East will lead the industry in 2013, having forecast an average 15% rise in passenger numbers for the region, almost three times the global rate.
The market may be growing quickly, but it is also competitive. In addition to Etihad, two other major Gulf carriers, Qatar Airways and Emirates, are vying for the same east-west transit business, and on the face of it they have similar offerings and hubs that are close together. While this is not necessarily a problem in itself – after all, several major air hubs in Europe, such as Amsterdam and Frankfurt, are in fairly close proximity – this factor does enhance competition.

But with infrastructure investments set to boost capacity at ADIA, Abu Dhabi may well be able to establish a role as a transit centre. Moreover, recent additions of carriers and route expansion by Etihad will likely bring more visitors to the emirate, which could in turn boost its tourism sector and the economy more generally.

Source: The Middle East | 29 Jul 2013


Experience a Touch of Thai in the Middle East with Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa

Water Villa SunsetAnantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas will soon offer journeys of rich discovery and renowned Thai hospitality in Dubai, with the opening of Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa in September 2013.    Offering a unique kind of urban escape in the most cosmopolitan city of the United Arab Emirates, Anantara’s first Dubai hideaway is a luxury beach resort that is quite unlike any other.

Enviably positioned on the eastern crescent of the iconic Palm Jumeirah – a manmade island dubbed the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ – Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa is conveniently situated a 45 minute drive from Dubai International Airport, with a wide range of exciting attractions nearby.

Set amidst lush tropical landscaping and carefully designed to maximise privacy, 293 luxurious rooms and villas are characterised by Asian inspired luxury, tasteful furnishings and spectacular views of the lagoons or the Palm. The impressive choice of private villas includes Beach Pool Villas each with a personal infinity pool. Over Water Villas are poised over the Arabian Gulf with glass viewing panels, and are completely unique to the Middle East. Families and friends travelling together will find that the Two Bedroom Anantara Beach Pool Villa provides the epitome of luxury, space and style.

Lazy days can be spent enjoying the exotic pleasures of the resort’s private 400 metre beach, as well as the three winding lagoons and shoreline infinity pool which look out across the Palm. Infusing exotic elements from the beautiful country of Thailand, where Anantara is rooted, floating market style boats will glide across the lagoons, serving perfectly concocted cocktails and other refreshing beverages and  Thailand’s famous three wheeler tuk-tuks will transport guests around the tropical resort.

Guests can maintain their exercise routine in the two fully equipped gyms and tennis courts.  The tranquil sanctuary of Anantara Spa features innovative facilities and an extensive treatment menu to offer inspirational journeys, enhanced by the healing hands of highly trained therapists.

Culinary experiences offer tantalising diversity for discerning palates.  Crescendo, the all-day dining restaurant, serves a variety of international cuisine.  Bushman’s Australian Grill, showcases the art of succulent flame grilled delights.  The Asian themed specialty restaurant, Mekong, takes diners on a mouthwatering journey.  The Beach House expresses the rich simplicity of Mediterranean flavours in a breezy shoreline setting.  Lotus Lounge in the lobby serves afternoon tea by day and cocktails at sunset.  The Pool Bar refreshes guests with an enticing beverage and snack menu in shady poolside bliss and at the swim-up bar.   For the ultimate in tailored romance, Anantara’s signature Dining by Design concept includes a choice of fine dining menus and intimate settings, a private chef and flawless service.

Experience an alluring blend of international finesse and exotic Thai charm at Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa.

Contact PillowMINT to discuss your next group to Dubai!


9th Grand Prix de Monaco Historique (9-11 May 2014) – The 9th Symphony!

Archives AC de Monaco - M.Fugier

The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique will celebrate its 9th edition in 2014, an event not to be missed for worldwide collectors and classic motorsport fanatics. Organised since 1997 by the Automobile Club de Monaco, this “biennial” event will take place two weeks before the Grand Prix de Monaco.  A real sprint race, contested on the legendary circuit of Monaco, The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique is designed for worldwide collectors, nostalgic enthusiasts, drivers, spectators and ardent supporters of former days’ mechanics, who definitely won’t miss this world event.

Within two and a half days, from Friday 9th afternoon to Sunday, May 11th 2014, the Principality of Monaco is going to be transformed into a real temple to turn back the clock. It is indeed about 50 years of motor racing will be commemorated, through 7 exceptional series:

• Series A : Pre-war “Voiturettes” and Grand-Prix Cars , from 1939 maximum
• Series B : Formula 1 and Formula 2 Grand Prix Cars, manufactured before 1961
• Series C : Sports Cars that ran from 1952 to 1955
• Series D : F1 Grand Prix  Cars – 1500cc, from 1961 to 1965
• Series E : F1 Grand Prix  Cars – from 1966 to 1972
• Series F : F1 Grand Prix  Cars – from 1973 to 1978
• Series G : Formula 3 Cars, 2 liters –  from 1974 to 1978

The famous jewellery and watch manufacturer “Chopard” and the bank “Credit Suisse” involved in major international events such as “Historic” races and “Concours d’Elégance” will be the partners of the Automobile Club de Monaco on the occasion of this ninth edition of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique.

• Monday, February 10, 2014: Closing date for entries
• Monday, February 24, 2014: Confirmation of selected cars

• Wednesday 7 & Thursday, May 8, 2014: Administrative checks and Scrutineering
• Friday, May 9, 2014: Drivers’ Briefing (11:30 am)

Practice sessions (2:30 pm to 6:30 pm)

• Saturday, May 11, 2014: Practice sessions (8:30 am to 7:00 pm)
• Sunday, May 12, 2014: Races (9:00 am to 6:30 pm)

For further information on how the AlliedPRA Monaco team can build your next group program around this event, please contact Rebecca at

Reference: Monaco Government Tourist & Convention Authority


Your Event Needs Monaco!

Dest Monaco


The Monaco Government Tourist & Convention Authority is launching a new campaign to showcase the best of Monaco for the meetings, incentives, conferences and events sector “Choose Monaco and harness the expertise that will make your event a success”

The new campaign is designed to move away from the glitzy images of Monaco as a Leading Luxury Leisure destination and instead focus on pictures of professional delegates ready for work – projecting them in Monaco and showing that the Principality is for them and about them. It particularly targets the medical, information & communication technologies, finance and environmental technology sectors and uses phrases such as: “In Monaco, Technology doesn’t only drive formula one cars”; “In Monaco, Surgeons don’t operate on blackjack tables”; “In Monaco, When it comes to banking, there is not bet on red or black”; and “In Monaco, Green isn’t only at play at the golf club”.

Sandrine Camia, Director of the Monaco Convention Bureau, commented: “Finance, health and information & communication technologies represent 50% of our MICE business and they are also the pillars of Monaco’s industrial base. But, we do not think that our expertise in these sectors and our convention centre infrastructure and assets, are as well known in Europe as they should be. Monaco should be a top of mind destination and the new campaign is designed to make us memorable.”

The eco-certified Grimaldi Congress Centre, which can accommodate up to 2,000 delegates, is easy to reach on foot, as are Monaco’s 15 other MICE venues. Many hotels and restaurants are also walk-able within the Principality, which has over 300 days of sunshine a year and is the safest country in the World.

As well as leading 5-star hotels, such as the Hotel de Paris, the Hermitage and Hotel Metropole; and internationally renowned 4-star options, including Le Meridien and Fairmont Monte Carlo; there are alternative, affordable options, such as the Columbus Monaco and the Novotel Monte-Carlo.

Monaco is one of the easiest destinations to reach via Nice airport (25 minutes by road, or 6 minutes by helicopter transfer) linked daily to major European capitals and beyond to all continents.

The team at AlliedPRA are looking forward to discussing your next group to Monaco! Contact Rebecca via for more details.


Aussie practicioners discover PillowMINT destinations!


After attending IMEX Frankfurt – the PillowMINT Hosted Buyer group were faced with a dilema. Two mini famils were on offer – one to Dubai with Arabian Adventures, the other to Ireland with Event Partners. After much deliberation, it was split down the middle and I joined the four practitioners heading to Dublin Ireland for three nights, with the promise of a million laughs!

What we found upon arrival was a wonderfully warm and inviting country full of natural storytellers, inviting bars, local characters and of course the famous craic.

With the Qantas/Emirates partnership flying daily into Dublin via Dubai,there was no better time to introduce Ireland as the perfect destination for incentives, meetings and events.

We were accompanied to Dublin by John from the multi award winning DMC Event Partners. We enjoyed a creative and thoughtful program including a visit to the Long Room at historic Trinity College, Whiskey tasting at Jamison Distillary, some craic at famous Johnnie Foxes and a visit to the Guinness Storehouse where we learned to pull the perfect pint!

Ireland offers an amazing array of hotels, ranging from traditional to contemporary and our participants were treated to some of the finest. We had the opportunity to stay at the very new and very hip Marker Hotel in the cultural district in Dublin and then on to the sublime Ritz Carlton at Powerscourt in picturesque county Wicklow where we got some hands on lessons in the traditional game of Hurling. A special treat for the afternoon was a tasting session with Tom, local Baileys expert – we voted that the Original Baileys is still something to make one swoon!

Participants agree that we will forever think of Ireland as being the small country with a big heart!

Special thanks to Premier DMC, Event Partners, The Marker, Ritz Carlton.

Event Partners are represented in Australia by PillowMINT.

Photo Caption: (L-R) John Costelloe (Event Partners), Carly Adler (Flight Centre), Mike Gray (212F), Rebecca Easterman (PillowMINT), Kristy Moorhouse (Destination Event Management),  Peter Gray (Motivating People).


TCA launches Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau

The Authority has launched a new force to drive its business events ambitions forward as it looks for the emirate to be ranked by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) as among the world’s top 50 association meetings destinations in five years.

Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau – a new dedicated, one-stop-support-shop within the Authority – will assist the growth of exhibitions and conferences within the emirate by forging closer links with the industry and providing financial and non-financial support.

The bureau will provide a range of services to the industry including bid presentation support, delegate generation campaigns, local stakeholder co-ordination and knowledge, on-site destination advice, government support co-ordination and marketing assistance.

Further information on Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau is available on: where business planners can also apply online for Advantage Abu Dhabi incentives.


DMC Sales Expert, Rebecca Easterman to Represent AlliedPRA in Australia and New Zealand

LONDON – May 9, 2013 – AlliedPRA, Inc. a global leader in the destination management company (DMC) sector, announced today sales and marketing expert, Rebecca Easterman of PillowMint, will represent AlliedPRA in the Australia and New Zealand markets, as part of the AlliedPRA EMEA Global Sales team. PillowMINT, based in Brisbane,  is a privately owned and managed sales and marketing company that partners with the most respected destination management companies around the globe. In this new role, Easterman will expand the company’s marketing and sales efforts and destination offerings in Australia and New Zealand; a growing market segment and key strategic move to further enhance the global reach of the  AlliedPRA brand.

PillowMint won the pitch to represent AlliedPRA in Australia and New Zealand by demonstrating the importance of understanding  the unique needs of client business and being able to build strong bridges which create long-term partnerships with local offices. Easterman’s excellent communication skills and knowledge of today’s industry allows AlliedPRA to maintain the strong existing relationships the company has established in the market, while continuing to further develop additional MICE opportunities. Easterman brings a diverse professional background in business development, events, business tourism, hospitality and destination marketing. Her in depth experience in Convention Centres, Destination Management Companies and Hotel Management Companies, as well as her dedication to a number of industry bodies has provided her with a well rounded and thorough understanding of the many elements involved in Business Tourism. She is an active member of the Committee of Management for the Incentive Association (AU/NZ).

“I am delighted that Rebecca joined the AlliedPRA EMEA GSA team,” shared Maxine MacPherson, Regional Head of Global Sales for AlliedPRA.   “She comes highly recommended by existing clients in the market for her professional attitude and outstanding sales abilities. I am confident that Rebecca will do an excellent job representing AlliedPRA in her markets and I am very much looking forward to working with her as we expand our presence in this key MICE market.”

“Learning about destinations from the ground up is thrilling,” said Easterman. “I love the chance to consult with my clients,  working with them on the finer details of their programs, the special moments and to ensure they are well equipped with the latest destination information. I am passionate about providing clients with the opportunity to feel the heartbeat of these wondrous places for themselves and look forward to showcasing all AlliedPRA has to offer in this region, as well as around the globe.” 

Founded in 1981, AlliedPRA is the leading global destination management and event planning company with a reach across three continents, 7 countries and over 100 destinations, serving the most respected companies in every major business sector. AlliedPRA offers a full-range of destination management services including event planning, transportation management, tours, teambuilding activities, site selection, product launches and on-site services. For information on the complete portfolio of international destination management services, please contact +44 (0) 1784 224219 or visit

Follow AlliedPRA Destination Management at or any of the following social media sites: Twitter at!alliedpra, Facebook at and on LinkedIn under AlliedPRA groups.



Hotel Royal Savoy in Lausanne back in 2014

The legendary Royal Savoy is writing a new chapter in hotel history: 200 rooms and suites, business facilities,an exclusive terrace restaurant,lobby lounge, cigar lounge and anextensive spa area. International class and a distinctive style since 1906, and state-of-the art five-star luxury beginning in 2014. With the legendary building and the newly developed wing, the Royal Savoy is writing hotel history.


The newly renovated property will boast 200 spacious rooms and suites – 100 situated in the historical building and 100 in the new wing.The rooms and suites will all have luxurious bathrooms and will feature the latest technology. Enjoy the comfort of a 5-star hotel and let us spoil you: the well being of our guests comes first here.


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The hotel will be an attractive new venue for meetings and events in this very internationally oriented city. Available for business events will boast a ballroom (520sqm), five breakout rooms and the Business Centre.