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Germany the Conventions and Meetings Market Leader in Europe; 
Many New Hotels and Convention Centres in Germany
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Frankfurt/Main, 17 May 2006. -  Germany is still the most popular destination for meetings and conventions in Europe. According to the new International Association Meetings Market 2005 survey by the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), Germany has defended its leading position in Europe. And world-wide, Germany still ranks second for congresses behind the USA. In the ICCA's world-wide city ranking the capital Berlin also maintained its excellent fourth place.

"The fact that we are now conventions and meetings market leader in Europe for the second time running confirms our strategy and shows that it has a lasting impact," says a happy Lutz P. Vogt, director of the German Convention Bureau (GCB). 

One of the reasons for this is its excellent infrastructure with plenty of high-quality meeting hotels and congress centres. Germany stands out in particular for its wide variety of meeting locations: In Germany organisers can choose between 60,500 meeting rooms of all shapes and sizes - in 11,000 meeting venues like hotels, convention centres, universities, airports and unusual venues like monasteries, castles, museums or theme parks.

The German meeting hotels, convention centres and other service providers are very well positioned, provide excellent value for money and nationwide offerings. However, competition among convention centres and hotels is predatory and becoming increasingly international. Ever larger convention centres are being built, existing ones are being expanded and modernised - not only in Germany but world-wide.

Constant openings of new hotels, the expansion and optimisation of convention centres, and the creation of innovative venues ensure that Germany can consolidate its leading international position and hold its own in a dynamic international environment. The new locations react with conversions to ever more demanding requirements of organisers for more flexible, modern, partitionable, light-filled space concepts and additional exhibition and workshop spaces.

Over the past few years there has been a construction boom in the hotel segment in Germany, in particular just before the FIFA World Cup™ which takes place from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in twelve German cities. Frankfurt on Main is a case in point. The meeting metropolis saw 10 new hotels open in 2005 and there will be six further new openings up to June 2006. 

WLAN, high-speed Internet, modern sound systems and IT equipment are further examples of the standard requirements event planners demand of event venues - and hotels and convention centres in Germany are constantly optimising their offerings according to these standards. Additionally, German suppliers are positioning themselves with special services like spa areas, oxygen bars or healthy nutritious menus.

The following examples show how hotels and convention centres are investing in Germany:

Clarion Hotel Berlin gets a makeover
Clarion Hotel Berlin presents itself to guests with its familiar professional service, elegant ambience and a completely new face. In record time over 500 rooms received a makeover early this year and the hotel’s entire lobby area has been completely renovated. Now the Clarion Hotel Berlin boasts over 701 modern rooms and suites - including 270 new business rooms and suites with Wireless LAN - 18 event rooms and a new lobby, a new bar and a new restaurant. www.hotel-berlin.de

International Congress Centre Bundeshaus Bonn (IKBB)
The International Congress Centre Bundeshaus Bonn (IKBB) will be comprehensively expanded. Construction work has already started. Until 2009 an additional convention centre for up to 5,000 people is to be built opposite the Bundeshaus. The 3,500-sqm multi-purpose centre will be used both for concerts and gala events and for meetings and conventions. www.ikbb.de

ÜberFluss, Bremen‘s first design hotel, opens its gates
Old and new come together in Bremen’s first design hotel. The medieval walls and old facades were integrated in the new building. ÜberFluss Hotel on the Weserpromenade has 51 rooms and offers its guests an extraordinary ambience as a design hotel in the four-star-plus category. For example, a ceiling-to-floor glass front, overlooking the river Weser, lends the Top of ÜberFluss conference and function space a special flair. www.bremen-tourismus.de 

darmstadtium wissenschaft + kongresse, Darmstadt
December 2007 will see the opening of darmstadtium wissenschaft + kongresse (science + congresses). The science and convention centre in the heart of the southern German university city will be one of Europe’s most modern event centres. The large congress hall with a space of 1,200 square metres will have capacities for up to 2,000 people. A total of 20 conference and seminar rooms of various sizes will offer space for small groups and for meetings with up to 200 guests. In the foyers 1,800 square metres can be used for exhibitions. In addition, there will be a 208-room hotel with direct access to the convention centre and the 3-D Cybernarium event park. www.darmstadtium.de

Maritim Hotel & International Congress Center Dresden
On the banks of the Elbe, between Marienbrücke and the Saxon Parliament a new exclusive Maritim Hotel will open its gates on 15 May 2006. The listed Erlweinspeicher building will be converted into an impressive 328-room hotel. It will have direct access to International Congress Centre Dresden, which was already completed in May 2004 and is also operated by Maritim. The hotel with its unusual architecture is very close to the Zwinger, Semper Opera and Frauenkirche. www.maritim.de

Steigenberger Hotel de Saxe in a historical setting in Dresden
In April 2006 the Frankfurt/Main-based Steigenberger Hotel Group opened Steigenberger Hotel de Saxe in the heart of Dresden. Just opposite Frauenkirche and right on Neumarkt the new 185-room hotel offers ten partly combinable meeting rooms. The four-star superior hotel is suitable both for business travellers and city tourists. www.steigenberger.com

ISS DOME in Düsseldorf
From September 2006 there will be another highlight on Düsseldorf’s venue market. With the opening of the ISS DOME in Düsseldorf-Rath a new event centre will be available offering a high standard of sport and concert events. This will enable organisers to stage events for up to 13,400 people in a futuristic setting with a maximum of flexibility. An exclusive business club will offer space for events with up to 600 people. www.iss-dome.de

Maritim: cornerstone ceremony at Düsseldorf Airport
The cornerstone ceremony for Maritim Hotel Düsseldorf, the first Maritim Hotel in the North Rhine Westphalian capital, took place at the Airport City site of Düsseldorf Airport on 19 January 2006. In November 2007 the hotel will be completed - with direct access from the airport’s terminal building. The hotel will have 533 rooms including 30 suites. With event capacities for up to 5,045 people it will be the largest congress hotel of North Rhine Westphalia. Its largest hall will offer space for up to 2,450 people and a smaller hall for up to 1,000 people. In the additional 21 meeting rooms and suites events can be staged for 20 to 400 attendees, accomodating a further 1,600 people. www.maritim.de

Fleming’s Hotel Frankfurt-Neue Börse
Fleming’s Hotel Frankfurt-Neue Börse has just opened its gates. With 16 conference rooms and suites, the hotel offers a meeting space of 1,300 square metres. It is suitable for small meetings with business partners and festive banquets for up to 600 people. The guests of the new hotel can stay in 146 rooms and six suites. It also features two restaurants with a delicatessen area and wine bar. www.flemings-hotels.com

Mövenpick Conference Hotel in Europe Quarter at Frankfurt Fair
The Swiss-based Mövenpick hotel group will open a four-star business and meeting hotel in the Europe Quarter at Frankfurt Fair in June 2006. The Vivico real estate company will invest around 45 million euros in Mövenpick Hotel Frankfurt-City with 288 rooms. A restaurant with 162 seats, a bar, 678 sqm of conference and banquet space, a gym and garage with 130 parking spaces are part of the project. www.moevenpick-hotels.com

Freiburg: new exhibition and event hall for large events
The future hall 4 of Freiburg Fair is slated to open in the early summer of 2006 with Intersolar fair. With the new Rothaus Arena/ hall 4 the fair will be able to react more flexibly to co-inciding large events in future and create new space for international fairs. Still a shell, the hall will boast 5,000 sqm, generating around 8,000 square metres of additional exhibition space together with the new foyer and offering new facilities for concerts, sports and television events. Additionally, there will be 550 square metres of new space for conference and meeting rooms. www.messe.freiburg.de

CCH-Congress Center Hamburg heads international competition
A unique convention complex is currently under construction in Hamburg consisting of a multi-purpose exhibition hall and adjacent conference space. With the completion of this comprehensive new concept by September 2006, the CCH will meet the requirements of a modern convention centre and occupy a top position world-wide. With this construction, the CCH is expanding its exhibition space to 12,000 square metres. Together with the new convention area, the CCH will be able to offer 43 fully air-conditioned rooms with variable capacities of 30 to 6,000 seats. On completion, the CCH will then have a total of 16,000 seats for its guests. www.cch.de

GRAND ELYSEE Hamburg Hotel opens in spring 2006
Spring 2006 will see the opening of GRAND ELYSEE Hamburg Hotel. Investing over 100 million euros, the hotel will add a five-storey annex with 215 new rooms, a total of 15 function rooms and a banquet and meeting hall for over 1,000 people. With 520 rooms, a banquet and meeting hall for over 1,000 people and 24 meeting rooms, the GRAND ELYSEE will have the largest event capacities on the Hamburg hotel market. www.elysee.de

New since January 2006: Congress Centrum Nord of Cologne Fair
The showpiece of Cologne Fair’s new Congress Centrum Nord is the 722-sqm Konrad-Adenauer-Saal on two storeys with capacities for over 750 people in theatre-style seating. Rheinsaal on the second floor, also with 722 square metres, can be divided into six segments, offering space for up to 120 people. On the same floor there are twelve conference rooms. Hall 9 of Cologne Fair, which has direct access to Congress Centrum Nord and can be used as an event venue, has capacities for an additional 9,600 guests. www.koelnkongress.de

Congress Centrum Mainz
Congress Centrum Mainz will add a 1,800-sqm hall to Rheingoldhalle plus a foyer with an exhibition space of 1,700 square metres. Gutenberg Saal offers space for 1,340 people in theatre-style seating. In total, this will add 3,200 square metres of gross space. The expansion will be completed by autumn 2006. www.ccmainz.de

Expansion of m:con Congress Centre Rosengarten, Mannheim
The “new” m:con Congress Center Rosengarten in Mannheim will not just be one of the most modern traditional centres in the meeting business after its expansion in 2007 but also one of the largest in Germany. Together with the historical Art Noveau building and the subterranean Variohalle, Mannheim’s convention centre will then feature 50,000 square metres of space for meetings, training, conventions and scientific events, not in a greenfield site but in the heart of the city. www.mcon-mannheim.de

International Congress Centre Stuttgart ICS
From 2007 International Congress Centre Stuttgart ICS will offer its guests in a light-filled architecture and flexibility. With the new fair centre and ICS right at Stuttgart Airport, this will create a unique infrastructure in Europe: 100,000 square metres of hall space, conference halls and meeting rooms with state-of-the-art equipment for over 9,000 people - offering direct access to the airport, motorway and railway. Construction work on Stuttgart’s new fair started in September 2004 and will cost a good 800 million euros. www.ics-stuttgart.de

Stuttgart: Porsche Arena
With the opening of Porsche Arena in May 2006 NeckarPark Stuttgart will feature a new attraction. The architecture of Porsche Arena with its steep stands will create a unique atmosphere. The audience is really close to the action and 20 exclusive boxes are available in the top ranks. In total, the new centre has capacities of up to 7,500 seats. www.stuttgart-tourist.de

Rhein-Main-Hallen Wiesbaden: the new dimension
A new attractive main entrance, elegant foyers and additional meeting and exhibition spaces are now adding 1,800 square metres to Rhein-Main-Hallen Wiesbaden. An elegant pent roof emphasises the new dynamic look of this conversion. In future, it will offer weather-sheltered access from the arrivals area to the main entrance. State-of-the-art light-filled steel glass constructions will connect the outside world with the entrance area. www.rhein-main-hallen.de

Efficient meetings in Germany

Apart from warm hospitality the hallmarks of German providers are, above all, great professionalism, a good infrastructure, first-class service and optimum meeting rooms. Apart from things that should be taken for granted like cleanliness and safety, one should single out features like a designated contact for meeting planners, well-trained personnel and good traffic access. 

Outstanding event venues and perfect organisation, plus numerous options for interesting social programmes - from culture through sports to nature and wellness experiences - make Germany ever more attractive as a destination for meetings, conventions and incentives world-wide. 

Also, Germany’s image as a science hub and central and accessible international business location contributes to this. German airports - especially Frankfurt Airport - guarantee fast and convenient travel to events in Germany for attendees from all over the world. Also, within Germany, an excellent infrastructure helps make the organisation of events of all kinds very efficient. 

Numerous associations and companies have already realised this potential and Germany’s advantages as a meeting and congress destination. The GCB congress agenda on www.germany-meetings.com lists many international conventions that will take place in Germany in 2006.

The GCB markets Germany as a destination for conventions, meetings, events and incentives both on a national and international level, and is the place to contact for anybody planning an event in Germany. Its approx. 200 members include leading hotels, convention centres and destinations, car hire firms, event agencies and service providers of the German meetings and convention industry. Preferred partners of the GCB include m:con Mannheim, Maritim Hotels and the SevenCenters of Germany. 

The GCB is an interface between organisers of meetings and conventions and suppliers of the German meetings market, offers advice and support for planning and organising events, and provides contacts and addresses. Its website http://www.germany-meetings.com features an online search facility for meeting venues, newsletter, Germany guide and a lot more.

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Contact:

GCB German Convention Bureau e.V.
Münchener Str. 48
60329 Frankfurt/Main
Germany
Tel:  +49 (0)69 - 24 29 30 0
E-Mail: info@gcb.de
Internet: http://www.germany-meetings.com 

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Also See: German Hoteliers Struggle to Maintain Growth at the Same Levels During the First Six Months of 2005; RevPAR Up Just 1.2% / Deloitte / August 2005
Steigenberger Hotels AG will Manage the Steigenberger Hotel de Saxe in Dresden, Germany / May 2005


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