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ITCM Visits

Flooding washed out best laid plans

Montpellier trip was severely disrupted, explains Michelle Chenery

I was recently part of an organiser’s nightmare – when a natural disaster upsets all the careful, detailed arrangements made for an event.
Sud de France, the organisation set up to promote business tourism in the South of France, invited groups of MICE buyers and journalists to visit Montpellier in order to enjoy that beautiful part of France and to take part in a workshop, where we could meet local suppliers. ITCM was a member of a group from the UK.
We left from Gatwick Airport on EasyJet, the no-frills airline that has now recognised the opportunities in the MICE sector and has at last allowed groups to advance seat bookings on their flights.

Read more: Flooding washed out best laid plans

A venue for all reasons

Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort facade

Sydney Paulden sees Bowood in terms of private meetings, a corporate family outing, golf days, pop concert, Capability Brown 300 - and much more

We normally view a venue in terms of which type of event it would suit. That doesn’t apply after a visit to Bowood. This is an extremely extensive estate in Wiltshire, in the West of England, that literally has something for everyone.
Its grounds are not only measured in thousands of acres (or hectares) but were actually designed and landscaped by the world-famous Capability Brown. What better place than Bowood Gardens to celebrate, for example, the 300th anniversary of Capability Brown’s birthday in 2016, if your organisation has any interest in garden design?

Read more: A venue for all reasons

New facilities in Northern France


National Sea Experience Centre to net more corporate business
(Roger St Pierre reports)

The bustling Channel town of Boulogne sur Mer is France’s premier fishing port. It is therefore an obvious location for Nausicaá – the superb French National Sea Experience Centre. As much as 330,000 tonnes of fish and seafood are processed in the town’s port for the table each year. Meanwhile, the 5.4m litres of water that fill Nausicaá’s 45 aquariums and terrariums provide a safe haven for more than 36,000 sea creatures.

Read more: New facilities in Northern France

UNESCO wilderness heritage site in Finland

Replot Bridge

Kvarken Archipelago offers a unique group experience

Finland is unlike any other country in the world. It is bigger in land area than the UK, has a fraction of the population, boasts more named lakes than any other country and the major part of its land is covered in forest.
It is a very relaxing change for people from most other countries to be able to sail along its coastline or drive along its highways with only an occasional sight of another boat or car.
But Finland is a highly developed country. Symbolic, perhaps, is the fact that a very tiny town, called Nokia, was the scene for the rapid progress made by mobile phones. The Nokia company, beginning with the manufacture of rubber boots, grew to become a world leader in telecommunications.

Read more: UNESCO wilderness heritage site in Finland

It can all happen on the Wirral

Hillbark Hotel

Roger St. Pierre discovers why events travel south of the Mersey

Liverpool’s spectacular renaissance is not the only good news coming from Merseyside. Groups that take the ferry ‘Cross The Mersey’ to the Wirral discover a green and leafy peninsula where the ‘feelgood factor’ has been running rampant.
Ashore in Birkenhead they find the lavishly refurbished Woodside terminal with its U-Boat exhibition and restored maritime buildings and a grandiose Victorian town hall in a town that, until very recently near-derelict, has re-found its heart and soul.

Read more: It can all happen on the Wirral