Ac­corHo­tels-ICESAP im­part MICE train­ing

AC­CORHO­TELS will work closely with the In­cen­tive Con­fer­ence & Event So­ci­ety Asia Pa­cific (ICESAP) to im­prove train­ing stan­dards, sup­port ed­u­ca­tion and ad­vance best prac­tices on the so­ci­ety’s agency ac­cred­i­ta­tion and dis­tance learn­ing pro­gramme

Micetalk - - Contents - Hazel Jain

Apart from high­light­ing its var­i­ous brands and ho­tels at its ‘Ac­corHo­tels Show­case' that was held in Mum­bai and New Delhi, the ho­tel group also an­nounced its part­ner­ship with the In­cen­tive Con­fer­ence & Event So­ci­ety Asia Pa­cific (ICESAP). The aim is to pro­fes­sion­alise the MICE in­dus­try in Asia Pa­cific.

ICESAP is a sin­gle body for the In­cen­tive Travel, Con­fer­ence and Busi­ness Event sec­tor and its mem­bers are in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions made up of cus­tomers, in­ter­me­di­ary agen­cies and the sup­pli­ers of prod­ucts and ser­vices to the In­cen­tive Con­fer­ence & Event (IC&E) in­dus­try in Asia Pa­cific. As the prin­ci­ple part­ner on ICESAP's Agency Ac­cred­i­ta­tion and Dis­tance Learn­ing pro­gramme, Ac­corHo­tels will work closely with the so­ci­ety to im­prove train­ing stan­dards, sup­port ed­u­ca­tion and ad­vance best prac­tices through­out the sec­tor. The aim will be to build in­dus­try-wide pro­fes­sional stan­dards across the APAC re­gion, for which the ac­cred­i­ta­tion scheme is de­vel­oped.

This year, ‘Ac­corHo­tels Show­case' brought all of its ho­tels from all around the globe to show­case its brands and its key ho­tels to the In­dian mar­ket. It saw 30 del­e­gates from 95 coun­tries like the Mid­dle East and Asia Pa­cific coun­tries as far as Europe rep­re­sent­ing more than 4,100 ho­tels meet mem­bers of the In­dian trade. This was the first time it was done as a show­case. Prior to this, it was like a sales mis­sion and smaller in size.

PER­FECT MATCH

Kerry Healy, Vice Pres­i­dent Sales, Asia Pa­cific, Ac­corHo­tels, says, “Meet­ings and Events seg­ments have al­ways been im­por­tant to Ac­cor Ho­tels as we ac­quired the Fair­mont and Swis­so­tel brands. We are now 767 ho­tels and we will def­i­nitely close the year at 800. In the next five years we will add an­other 250 ho­tels. A third of this devel­op­ment is sit­ting in our lux­ury and up­scale brands which is an im­por­tant part for the Meet­ings and Events seg­ments. Not to dis­count the third of the net­work sit­ting in that mid-scale which is also a con­ve­nient plus point from the value propo­si­tion for Meet­ings and Events. The

Our aim will be to build in­dus­try-wide pro­fes­sional stan­dards across the APAC re­gion

part­ner­ship was a per­fect align­ment for us. In­dia ranks in the top three in the meet­ings mar­ket and we an­tic­i­pate get­ting more events busi­ness but more par­tic­u­larly the In­cen­tives mar­ket and prob­a­bly the as­so­ci­a­tion mar­ket mov­ing for­ward. So, we have high hopes. We are happy with it now but we want to get closer to the mar­ket,” she adds.

Speak­ing about the rea­son be­hind the move, she adds that it is im­por­tant to be in an in­dus­try which is reg­u­lated. “It is im­por­tant for the ho­tel to make sure they un­der­stand who they are work­ing with. It's very im­por­tant for the cus­tomers – cor­po­rate or an agency – to also have some reg­u­la­tion in the busi­ness. So when we were asked to part­ner as the Ed­u­ca­tion Part­ner, it clicked.

There are a lot of new peo­ple com­ing into the busi­ness that we need to ed­u­cate on the Meet­ings, Events & In­cen­tives (ME&I) seg­ments, on how to do busi­ness prop­erly and to raise the bar both at the agency level and at the ho­tel level,” Healy ex­plains.

In­dia ranks in the top three in the meet­ings mar­ket and we an­tic­i­pate get­ting more events

KEEP­ING IT REL­E­VANT

Although Ac­corHo­tels al­ready does a lot of its own train­ing within the MI&E seg­ments, one of the things Healy is look­ing to work with ICESAP on is to have its in­dus­try part­ners come in and eval­u­ate the items that it trains on. “Is it rel­e­vant? How to make it bet­ter? How to make our brands res­onate more with the meet­ing plan­ners? That's my key fo­cus for 2017,” she adds.

Vishal Dhale, Re­gional Vice Pres­i­dent – South Asia, In­cen­tive, Con­fer­ence & Event So­ci­ety Asia Pa­cific (ICESAP) who is also Re­gional VP, Birla Sun­life In­sur­ance, is spear­head­ing ICESAP op­er­a­tions in In­dia since De­cem­ber 2016. He says, “We have just got­ten our ad­vi­sory panel in place with three mem­bers from Mum­bai and ex­pand­ing to other towns where we are look­ing at mem­bers from Bengaluru, Pune, Dubai and then Sri Lanka. The first thing that we are driv­ing is the agency ac­cred­i­ta­tion piece along with learn­ing and devel­op­ment piece. The in­dus­try is grow­ing fast and if there is a struc­ture to it, it will ben­e­fit ev­ery­one.”

For agency ac­cred­i­ta­tion, ICESAP is look­ing at cer­ti­fy­ing agen­cies and part­ners un­der var­i­ous points like code of con­duct, em­ployee ef­fi­ciency, etc and ac­credit and cer­tify an agency to a level where they can use it as a strong USP when they are in talks with clients. It has read­ied the pro­gramme which will be on the sys­tem from first week of April and in­ter­ested par­ties can start ap­ply­ing.

ICESAP has tied up with Black­berry and Dun & Brad­street as its con­sul­tants who will han­dle the pro­gramme from Sin­ga­pore. It will go through the en­tire process of ver­i­fy­ing and cer­ti­fy­ing the agency. “We are not lim­it­ing it to the larger agen­cies, but also in­volv­ing the smaller ones as well as new agen­cies who are strug­gling to set their foot in the mar­ket,” Dhale adds.

If some­one is not cer­ti­fied, ICESAP will give them tem­po­rary in­puts which they can im­prove on over a pe­riod of one year. The cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will have to be re­newed an­nu­ally. “Ac­cor has part­nered with us for the learn­ing and devel­op­ment pro­gramme for which we have part­nered with Wil­liam Angliss In­sti­tute in Aus­tralia. Ac­cor Ho­tels has spon­sored this project while the con­tent is worked out by Wil­liam Angliss In­sti­tute in Aus­tralia,” Dhale ex­plains.

MICE has al­ways been an im­por­tant seg­ment for Ac­corHo­tels

Kerry Healy

Vishal Dhale

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