Star Alliance Interview – Convention and Meetings Support, IMEX

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Star Alliance, has recently re-launched new MICE products under the name of “Conventions Plus” and are focused on delegates and organisers of meetings and events. Delegates can benefit from a larger range of fares and the abolition of the booking fee to use the online tool. Event planners now look at added value with enhanced support and a more simplified contracting scheme.

The choice of fares available has been extended through the inclusion of more booking classes, with discounts ranging between four and 20 percent.  As the fares can be interlinked among the participating Star Alliance member airlines, delegates can choose from more flights when travelling to their selected event.

During IMEX 2014, MICExchange spoke to Olav Glorvigen, Director Sales and Marketing Development about how airlines and Star Alliance were recognising the business opportunities in Business and Convention travel.  Glorvigen said, ”  “We represent the biggest network of all the airline alliances, and we cover 1300 destinations in different countries.”  “[Since 2002] we have seen a year on year average growth of 26% each year, so there is no question that this is a very important area for us.”

For convention organisers Star Alliance has introduced a new support scheme which is now linked to the number of delegates booked. The organiser can accumulate credit for his or her own travel needs.  Following the trend for more e-enablement in the travel industry, Star Alliance has introduced a new and simplified Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Conventions Plus product. Lead times have been reduced and the cumbersome paperwork done away with.

“We have seen that the Conventions and Meetings Travel market has been one of the most reliable market segments in our own company’s 17 year history. We have managed to achieve year-on-year growth – both in terms of contracted events and delegates travelled – ever since we introduced Conventions Plus in 2002”, said Horst Findeisen, Vice President Commercial and Business Development at Star Alliance. “We are convinced that the enhancements announced today will be well received by organisers and delegates alike, as both parties benefit from the changes”.

In addition to Conventions Plus, the Star Alliance product, Meetings Plus continues as a further global product supporting the meetings market. Companies and meeting planners needing to organise gatherings with participants from different countries, have access to the entire Star Alliance network and discounted fares, by contracting their travel needs through just one Star Alliance member airline. Meetings Plus can be used for most meetings of 50 people or more, with attendees originating in at least three different countries.

Star Alliance has became the first airline alliance to introduce a dedicated conventions product, providing simplified travel solutions to major event organisers by providing access to the entire Alliance network through one of the member airlines.
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