On February, 18th, the 1st B2B Luxury & MICE workshop was held in Tbilisi Georgia. As an established specialist travel industry event, B2B Luxury & MICE brings together a variety of luxury and destination Travel products, and introduces them to new markets, in this case Tbilisi. The event takes plan on an annual basis in Almaty for 7 years and in Baku for 6 years.
B2B is a closed ‘invitation only event’ which focuses on luxury and up-market travel products including 4-5 * hotels, fashion outlets and different destinations, including national tourism boards. Via a face to face meeting schedule, Georgian Travel companies attending the prestigious event gained access to new ideas and luxury travel products, which do not take part in main stream travel exhibitions. B2B Luxury & MICE is organized by the British company TMI, a travel marketing and communication company which is part of the prestigious Travel Consul group, and its Georgian partner BRANDOR Consulting.
As most of the international participants visited Georgia for the first time, the workshop kicked off with a travel market intelligence session which includes a presentation by TMI’s Director Helene Lloyd and a panel of industry experts including local travel veterans such as: Nick Manjgaladze, General Manager of TravelShop, Maia Sidamonidze, Managing Partner of Protravel Georgia and Dean of the Caucasus School of Tourism and Natalie Kvachantiradze, President of Georgian Travel Association. This was followed by the workshop itself, a series of face to face meetings between the international and local partners. The working day finished off with a gala reception for all workshop participants in the “Hotel Museum” and other special guests, including the Georgia National Tourism Agency. The Financial was the general media partner while Château Mukhrani was the wine partner of the event.
The Director of B2B Luxury & MICE, Maria Gorbacheva said ‘We are delighted to bring B2B Luxury & MICE to Georgia for the 1st time and directly meet with some of the Georgian travel industry leaders. One of the main reasons to bring this event to the Georgia right now, is due to the ‘much awaited’ visa liberalization for Georgians to the Schengen zone, which is expected to implement over the next few months. We anticipate that this will result in many more Georgians travelling to Europe.’
A number of national tourism boards participation in B2B Luxury & MICE workshop including the Singapore Tourism Board, Turespana, Spain and the Dominican Republic. But the majority of the participants were from the private sector and included luxury hotels, destination managements companies as well as Europe’s leading fashion retail outlet brand, McArthurGlen, Designer Outlets.
The world of luxury was represented by mainly 5* star hotel brands including global brands such as Belmond as well as other 5* hotel collections including Duetorrihotels in Italy, Chateau de la Messardiere in France, Intercontinental Hotel Vienna, Austria, Losinj Hotels & Villas, Croatia and one of the most well-known deluxe hotels groups in Greece, Grecotels. A number of destination management companies (DMCs) also participated including: Travel Central (Singapore), Viajes Ancodes (Spain), Itravex (Spain) and the Fashion retailer, McArthurGlen Designer Outlets (Europe) was also presented in the workshop.
Helene Lloyd, the Director of TMI, the organisers of B2B Luxury & MICE workshops said ‘We are really excited about the Georgian markets potential and not only the out-bound opportunities, which was the focus of this workshop, I hope we can work together in the future, to help promote inbound and MICE business to Georgia, as have done for so many other destinations over the last 15 years of working in the CIS region’.