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More than 200 event professionals have gathered in Ras Al Khaimah this week for inVOYAGE 2018, the leading international event for the luxury meetings and incentives sector, which kicked off on Monday 1st October.
The fifth annual inVOYAGE – the biggest to date – brought together luxury travel brands with high-level event planners representing some of the world’s leading corporations for a couple of days of meetings, networking, education and exclusive experiences.
Some of the most influential international buyers attended from around the globe, including the US, Asia, UK and EMEA markets, with senior representatives from brands and agencies including Mary Kay, Informa, Grass Roots Meetings & Events, Black Tomato Agency, ATPI, Worldspan, CWT M&E, George P Johnson, Quintessentially, BI Worldwide and Egencia.
The event kicked off with welcome drinks on Monday evening 1st October at host venue Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, ahead of the inSIGHTS Conference which commenced on Tuesday morning (2nd October) followed by one-to-one meetings and a host of networking opportunities.
Attendees enjoyed Ras Al Khaimah experiences over a busy two-day schedule including an introduction to sailing, dune bashing, kayaking in the mangroves and the world’s longest zipline. Evening events included a 1001 Desert Candles dinner at Ritz Carlton Al Wadi on Tuesday night and a beach party at The Cove Rotana on Wednesday evening.
This year’s inSIGHTS Conference featured keynote sessions by Practical Futurist Andrew Grill and BBC’s David Meade. Former Global Managing Partner at IBM and internationally renowned thought leader in the field of digital disruption, Andrew provided the opening keynote and several deep-dive sessions on social media and the future workplace. BBC’s David Meade closed the event with an energetic session that promises to help attendees improve their decision making, communication, motivation, and problem-solving skills.
Other highlights of the programme included an expert panel session exploring the rise of the luxury hotel ‘experience’ offering. Moderated by Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman, the session explored the evolution of the luxury traveller and future trends, with panellists including senior representatives from Hilton Luxury, Belmond, CWT M&E, Top Banana, OrangeDoor and Mary Kay.
Luxury suppliers this year included loyal inVOYAGE supporters Belmond, Silversea, Design Hotels, Rosewood, Dubai Business Events, Green Route Africa, Incent India, Conventus Switzerland and Accor Luxury, with newcomers in 2018 including Andaz, Selman Marrakech, Kempinski Bahia, Abercrombie & Kent, Lucerne Convention Bureau, Grand Hotel Stockholm and Shangri-La.
Key partners for this year’s event are Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, Waldorf Astoria RAK, Eventtia, Speakers Corner, Travco Pacific World, Emirates, Matrix AVE and our charity partner Meeting Needs.
Richard Joslin, inVOYAGE Founder & CEO, said: “It’s our 5th anniversary and we’re really blessed by the growing support inVOYAGE receives each year. We’re always looking to continually inspire with high-value content and connections focused purely on the luxury lifestyle end of the incentives and events market. With the support of all our partners, Ras Al Khaimah gives us the opportunity to immerse delegates into a unique and burgeoning destination and culture at the same time as creating high-value business relationships globally.”
Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority added: “We are delighted to host the Luxury Meetings and Incentives Forum inVOYAGE in Ras Al Khaimah this year, and I’m looking forward to delivering a keynote speech as part of the 2018 inSIGHTS conference programme. With our world class resorts both on our beautiful coastline and inland and abundance of cultural events and outdoor adventure pursuits, we believe that Ras Al Khaimah will be an entirely new and interesting destination for delegates and members of the international events community to experience, and one that offers a truly authentic taste of the UAE. We are committed to the development of the Emirates’ MICE offering, as we believe that it stimulates the economy, promotes business tourism and most importantly allows us to showcase Ras Al Khaimah’s proposition while giving greater touristic prominence to the Emirate”.
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