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Corporate Newsletter: Issue #1

Welcome to Edge Intelligence for September 2007

Welcome to the first issue of Edge Intelligence  - Executive Edge Travel + Events monthly corporate newsletter.  The first of each month you will receive interesting industry information, business hotel news and recommendations, as well as our Conference and Events news. 

In this issue, we introduce you to Jane Ouvaroff, our Conference and Events Manager who brings years of expert event planning experience to Edge.  We hope you’ll think of us for your next conference or event.  As always, we are pleased to have you as valued clients.

Kimberly Rosbe
Marketing and Communications Manager


 
   

INDUSTRY NEWS

BUSINESS HOTEL NEWS

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

EDGE INTELLIGENCE

EDGE BRAIN TEASER

   

INDUSTRY NEWS

Fly while you work – Singapore business upgrades
Travel Advisories – Government conspiracy?
Cleaner Skies: Qantas leads the industry in environmental awareness
Climate Friendly:  Edge’s efforts
International flights expansion at Qantas

BUSINESS HOTEL NEWS

Featured business hotel:  The Westin Beijing
High Demand for Corporate “Apartment” Hotels

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

Edge’s Range of Services
Destination Thailand

EDGE INTELLIGENCE

London Pearl:  The Latest Oyster Card
Qantas 1st Class Lounge Access

EDGE BRAIN TEASERS


INDUSTRY NEWS

Fly while you work – Singapore business upgrades

Flying has never been more productive.  Business conscious Singapore Airlines will introduce work-productivity software in October to its entertainment system for its new A30 planes.  Passengers will be able to access Sun Microsystem’s Star Office applications – word processing, presentation software and spreadsheets.  Work can be saved via any USB flash drive.  Now your business to and from Singapore won’t be interrupted by travel.

Travel Advisories – Government conspiracy?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has come under heavy fire as of late.  DFAT’s advisory system, aimed to warn travellers of high-risk places, has been accused of being a pawn in the Government’s efforts to economically stunt offensive regimes.   This speculation most recently involves travel warnings to Fiji and Indonesia.    DFAT’s harsh warnings against Fiji, in particular, have agents questioning their legitimacy.  History dictates that tourists are not a target in Fiji and are highly unlikely to be affected by volatile political incidents in that country.  DFAT denies all allegations, and claims that erring on the side of caution and protecting Australian citizens is always its sole motivation.  Nevertheless, DFAT’s negative advisories about Fiji have resulted in a significant loss of high-yielding conference business to the country. 

Cleaner Skies: Qantas leads the industry in environmental awareness

Climate change is at the forefront of aviation debates today given the airline industry is responsible for a significant production of greenhouse gases.  In fact, air transport generates 15% of total global carbon dioxide emissions.  Determining methods for managing emissions is vital. 

Qantas leads the industry in their concerted efforts to actively campaign for climate controls and cleaner skies.  On the agenda for this year’s operations reductions in global emissions:

  • Reaching a target of saving 2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 5 years through establishment of an Environment and Fuel Conservation Department
  • Joining the Australian Greenhouse Challenge Plus Program – a voluntary industry partnership to publicly report their greenhouse impacts
  • Introducing a carbon emission offset program with Qantas and Jetstar
  • Expanding its satellite navigation technology (RNP) for flight approach and departure tracks, resulting in reduced emissions

Climate Friendly:  Edge’s efforts

To share in the responsibility of a climate change solution, Executive Edge is partnering with a company called Climate Friendly in an effort to contribute to reducing carbon emissions in the corporate travel sector.  Our aim is to make our operations Climate Neutral – fund clean technology projects that prevent the same amount of greenhouse gas as we emit.  The Climate Friendly system helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously expanding the renewable energy industry.  Additionally, Climate Friendly and Executive Edge are designing reporting systems to integrate with our existing technology which monitor and track greenhouse emissions associated with our business clients’ travel activities including flights, hotel stays and car hire.   These reports will allow our clients to develop a “corporate climate strategy” which enables immediate steps toward climate neutrality.

International flights expansion at Qantas

Due to demand for greater choice and availability for Australian corporates travelling internationally, Qantas is introducing considerably increased international services on certain routes.

  • From March 2008, 3 additional services to L.A. each week – one from Sydney and two from Brisbane
  • From August 2007, additional return service between Sydney and Shanghai
  • From March 2008, new service between Melbourne and Shanghai
  • From November 2008, commencement of services to South America
  • From November 2008, additional weekly service between Sydney and Johannesburg

BUSINESS HOTEL NEWS

Featured business hotel: The Westin Beijing

The sleek and stylish Westin has created the ideal environment for business travellers needs.  The Westin Beijing located in the financial district a mere 40 minutes from the airport offers its Executive Club Room guests access to its private Executive Club business retreat on the 26th floor complete with morning breakfast, free wireless and cable broadband internet access, printers, faxes and cocktails and canapés in the evening.  For these business travellers, the hotel offers complimentary suit pressing, private check-in and check-out and freshly brewed in-room coffee.  Need a break from all that work?  Unwind in an exotic soak prepared in your room by a “bathologist.”

The Westin Beijing, 9B Financial District, Xi Cheng District, Beijing, China

High Demand for Corporate “Apartment” Hotels

The latest emerging trend in business accommodation is a growing demand for serviced apartments.  Corporate travellers are becoming increasingly aware of the convenience, extra space and overall cost-effectiveness of self-contained facilities.  Global hotel investment firms are taking notice.  Quest Serviced Apartments’ Chairman Paul Constantinou advertises that the popularity of apartments in the corporate sector is increasing three times faster than all other segments and continues its heavy development in the area.  Mirvac, apartment hotel pioneer, has opened 5 new self-contained apartment hotels under the quality brands Quay Grand Suites, The Sebel and Sea Temple since May 2006.  The Ascott Group, the largest international self-contained residence operator outside the U.S., has just secured a contract for eight new Australian properties.  Ascott currently also has 5400 units under construction in Thailand, Vietnam and China.  Self-contained facilities will undoubtedly continue to emerge as useful hotel alternatives for business travellers in upcoming years.

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

Edge’s Range of Services

My name is Jane Ouvaroff – Executive Edge Travel + Events’ Conference & Events Manager.  Although I’ve been with Edge for the last two years, I have been in the events/conference industry for over a decade based in Sydney and Melbourne.  As an ‘Event Manager’ I still get many clients asking “so what do you actually do?”  What I offer can be most succinctly described in four categories – Events, Conferences, Incentives and Study Tours.

  • Events:  These can be stand alone (1 evening or day) or on-going for a few days. Some examples of events I have covered include product launches, corporate hospitality including design and facilitation of corporate marquees for Spring Racing Carnival and Grand Prix, corporate Christmas parties, and reward dinners for company’s clients or staff.

  • Conferences:  I have designed and executed conferences for companies worldwide at destinations including Australia (all states), Paris, London, Munich, Greece, Spain, South Africa, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Vietnam, Thailand, Fiji and Vanuatu.  I’m happy to organise a conference in the country of your choice. 

  • Incentives:  Many companies now choose to reward their staff or clients with amazing life experiences rather than just a new plasma.  A well-run and executed incentive program will create excitement for the staff and offer a unique opportunity they would never do on their own.  It is important that these ‘experiences’ align with the company’s culture.  For example, an incentive for a group of high-level executives could be afternoon tea with Bill Gates, meetings with well-renowned CEOs in the U.S. or invitations to a gala dinner at the White House.   Alternatively, perhaps a round-the-world trip that included Grand Prix visits with pit tickets would motivate an Australian motor company’s staff.  These are two top-end incentive examples but wherever the incentive trip, your staff will undoubtedly continue discussing the experience long after the plasma has been switched off.

  • Study Tours:  In my opinion, study tours are the fastest growing and most innovative sector of this industry today.  Corporate study tours are one to two week strategic learning experiences abroad relevant to the company’s industry.  Study tours offer a dynamic marketing tool to engage staff and clients alike experiencing what the client does and how they do it.  Key benefit?  There are tax deductions available for both the company as well as the delegates.

Destination Thailand

In an effort to encourage corporates to choose Thailand for their next convention, The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau is offering an incentive package called “Beyond Extra Miles” from October through March.  The limited time offer includes a cultural performance and branding activities supported by the TCEB as well as a welcome performance, publicity, hotel limousine service (4 and 5* hotels only) and spa or golf vouchers.

Who qualifies?

  • groups of at least 201 booked at 3, 4 or 5* hotels
  • groups of between 50 and 100 booked at a 5* hotels
  • groups of 80 to 200 booked at 4 and 5* hotels
  • for Board and executive meetings – groups of at least 20 staying at 4 and 5* hotels for a minimum of 4 days and 3 nights

EDGE INTELLIGENCE

London Pearl:  The Latest Oyster Card

Although London’s Oyster Card – its electronic ticketing for Greater London’s national rail services - has been around since 2003, new features have been introduced.  It’s a must-have smart card that ensures the more you travel, the lower the fare.

Qantas 1st Class Lounge Access

Access to Qantas’s newly opened First Class Lounges in Melbourne and Sydney are also available to British Airways Executive Club members.  To fully take advantage of the facilities and feel rejuvenated before your flight, Edge recommends pre-booking a Payot spa treatment at the lounge followed by an organic Neil Perry-designed early dinner.

EDGE BRAIN TEASERS

  • What is the longest word in the English language that can be produced from the letters below?  No letter may be used more than once.

    Y L O I D M A W H K
  • The following multiplication example uses all the digits from 0 to 9.  Three numbers have been filled in to get you started.  (You can use the digits more than once in the intervening steps, but not in the answer.)

 
   
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