Dear Reader!

I am Barbara Shapiro, Managing Director, Global Travel Resources/Global Site Inspections (GTR/GSI), and I welcome you to the first issue of GSI MICE Notes.

Global Travel Resources (GTR) connects international meetings/conferences/incentives supplier and support services to you, the global MICE professional.

Global Site Inspections (GSI) operates educational site inspections, giving buyers the destination experience -the sights, history, venues, hotels, food, and people.

But since we can't travel all the time, GSI MICE Notes will take you, quarterly, on a 'virtual' educational site inspection to some global places and the venues that make it special. So, As The World Turns, let's go! 

Our stops in this edition


United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi

Turkey – Home of the Silk Road

Italy…."The Little Continent"

Lane End Conference and Training Center – UK




FIRST STOP – The Southern Hemisphere – where it is the peak of Summer and Carnival Week!


Brasil is South America's most influential country, an economic giant, and one of the world's biggest democracies.  Brasil has it all, dense forest, hills and mountains, tropical rain forest, and long coastal strip of white sandy beaches. 

The largest city in the Southern Hemisphere, and the financial engine of Brasil, is Sao Paulo.  This densely populated ( 10 million+) city, is made up of neighborhoods, culturally diverse like the people, known as paulistanos

The first time I visited Sao Paulo, the city seemed all business, with exceptional space and infrastructure for the meetings and conventions market.   Gleaming steel, granite and glass skyscrapers dominate the center of the city, high rise branded hotels are found in almost all of the 5 districts with an abundance of meeting space.  Convention centers , suitable for small to large meeting/conventions, are found in the city.  But as I returned again I discovered  Sampa, as the locals call it, is rich with venues for food and fun after the meetings!  Some of my favorite places are….

The historic  Mercado Municipal de Sao Paulo, a bustling noisy local market full of stalls selling everything from pungent spices to fresh fish. Casual lunch and local beers on the mezzanine.

Check out the TripAdvisor review of Renaissance Sao Paulo Hotel, in the Paulista zone, I found it perfect for an incentive or a small business conference, even has its own theatre, and the chef is top notch.   Also in that walking and shopping neighborhood is Figueira Rubaiyat , a restaurant built around a century old fig tree!  The specialty is meat, but the fish and oyster bar are fresh and delish.

For authentic Brazilian cuisine, in a  relaxed atmosphere, with exceptional staff, and possibly the best caiprihinas in town, do not miss Tordesilhas Cozinha Brasileira.  You'll want to go again.

For a memorable group  event, lunch or dinner, or cocktails, with a stunning 360 degree view of the sparkling city centre, plan on Terraco Italia. Continental menu, sophisticated bar,  and what a view! 

Museums and the arts fill the city, but  the most unusual tour in Sao Paulo?  Winding  through the narrow streets and alleys all over the city, covering the walls, is a panorama of colorful graffiti, serious art, done by street artists who sign their work.  Don't miss this experience, there is an artist/guide, who lives the art, I have her card.

Consolid Latin America, BrasilAnd, who can design a program, from meetings to menus,  to include all these experiences?   ConsolidBrasil DMC.   A division of Consolid Latin America, an experienced travel management company covering Latin America, ConsolidBrasil is your partner to a perfect program in Brasil.
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Moving on around the globe……

United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi

Of the 7 emirates in the UAE, Dubai has received the most attention for the past 10 years, and it certainly is a city of superlatives … Dubai is fast-paced,high-energy, and fun, an international cosmopolitan city, and I always enjoy my visits there.

But just a 50 minute drive away down a super highway lies a different experience.  Abu Dhabi is the capital of U.A.E., the richest and the largest of the Emirates, and is quickly developing as the seat of culture and the arts.  Quiet, sophisticated and luxurious, with sparkling  turquoise waters and pristine white beaches, the enticing desert and endless sunny skies, Abu Dhabi is taking its place, not as a competitor, but as a destination equal to Dubai for corporate meetings, incentives and events.

Etihad Airways will take you there in style and comfort from 7 non-stop gateways in the US/Canada. The Abu Dhabi International Airport is beautiful, and provides US Customs and Immigration Preclearance to ease your return home. Voted the World's Leading Airline in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Many international hotel brands are represented in Abu Dhabi, from a palace replica to beach resorts to sleek and modern hotel towers along the Corniche, all suited for the international MICE clients, with the latest in electronic support for your meetings and the expertise of their meetings department to assist.

And, at the end of the meeting day…..  you can get out of town to Al Ain, a UNESCO World Heritage SITE, or Wadi  Adventure,  the region's only man-made white water rafting, kayaking and surf facility built in the foothills of the majestic Jebel Hafeet. Or, Al Gharbia, home of the biggest dunes this side of the Sahara and some of the UAE's most adventurous off-road driving.

Abu Dhabi  has some 200 islands but the largest and most developed are Yas Island and Saadiyat Island and that's where the action is.

Saadiyat Island – the  Cultural District –is being transformed into a world class leisure, residential, business and cultural hub,  housing the world's largest single concentration of premier cultural assets. These will include the Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi - all designed by Pritzker prize winners.

Etihad AirwaysYas Island has some fun options for team building.   First is the Yas Marina Circuit, home of the high energy Etihad Formula One Gran Prix.   Part of the circuit runs right under the Viceroy Yas Hotel!   Do the Behind the Scenes Tour of all the circuitry and cameras and electronics and photograph your team on the winners' podium with trophies.  Cool.

Or go to the Autodrome Race and Driving Centre track, with the opportunity to drive sports and F1 style cars on a race track with an instructor or alone.  What a rush!  Or Ferrari World, to enjoy the world's fastest rollercoaster, Formula Rosso, to feel what 4.8 Gs really feels like.

4Corners Events DMCAbu Dhabi has so much more, and for expert planning for your meetings and events, contact 4 Corners Events DMC, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   Talk to Nasreen Wasti about Etihad Airways MICE program, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..    Or Call me for more in-depth information on this amazing destination.

* Jumeirah Etihad Towers Hotel - Abu Dhabi



Heading West……

Turkey – Home of the Silk Road

TURKEY is a land like no other. Stunning geographic and cultural contrast, top quality facilities and a history beyond compare, make Turkey a dream destination for meetings and incentives. Divided into 7 regions surrounded by four seas, Turkey forms a natural bridge between the old world continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. Turkey is where East meets West. Istanbul, Antalya, Bodrum, Izmir, each offers its own incomparable history. Where to start?

CAPPADOCIA – a fairy tale written by Nature, Man and Time

Cappadocia is the most unique location for meetings & incentives. Located in the heart of Turkey, the spectacular landscapes carved by wind and water over the millennia have formed into unique, other-worldly shapes and formations.

Cappadocia offers the chance to stay in luxurious cave hotels. glide over the valleys in hot air balloons, visit still-thriving ancient villages,Destination Management Turkey DMT/CMT as well as many outdoor activities and history-based attractions. With one-of-a-kind meeting venues available and easy access from Istanbul - Cappadocia is a spectacular destination for meetings & incentives.

Destination Management Turkey DMT/CMT- Istanbul, and Managing Director, Karin Paquay, will design an incentive experience, or manage a corporate meeting and conference, with a personal and experienced touch developed over 20 years in the region.   -   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

* Jumeirah Pera Palace Hotel – Istanbul



Next stop

Italy…."The Little Continent"

Italians are passionate about their homeland, and with good reason. " The Little Continent" has everything to offer for MICE programs and delivers it with panache! A very diverse landscape, mostly mountainous ( Alps/Apennines), this boot shaped peninsula situated on the Mediterranean Sea includes lakes, rolling valleys, rivers, volcanos, sandy beaches, and has its own islands!

One of those islands, Sicily, is where we will stop today.

Do you know Sicily? Sicily is the largest of the 20 regions of Italy, with a famous coastline varying from sandy beaches and crystal clear waters to steep rocky cliffs. Long a meeting point between East and West, Africa and Europe, Sicily changed hands from the Greeks to Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. The result is a rich and unique culture. The largest island in the Mediterranean is home of Mt Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe.

MICE programs in Sicily immerse guests in history and traditions reaching back thousands of years. Traveling between Cefalu, Palermo, Messina and the ancient Greek Theatre in Taormina, introduces the colours and elegance of the Island, and its past. A mixture of PR Incentives Italy DMCauthentic cuisines capture the flavours of Sicily through culinary delights, whether in a 16th century wine cellar, at a Baroque palace in Catania, or relaxing at a private beach club over the blue sea of Siracusa.

PR Incentives Italy DMC, is your winning partner in Italy, with offices in Rome and Catania, and Owner/General Manager Patrizia Rapisarda is a native of Sicily. She is intense about 'The Little Continent", and for 25 years has delivered winning MICE programs in every corner of Italy, Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, Sorrento etc. PR Incentives Italy DMC was awarded the SITE 2014 Crystal Award for Exceptional Motivational Travel Program – Best in Class – Europe for the 2013 YPO Intercontinental Chapter program in Sicily.

PR Incentives Italy DMC believes that whatever your clients can dream, will come true in Italy.

Visit the Case Study diaries, including videos, on To plan your winning Signature Event by Patrizia, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

* Jumeirah Grand Hotel Via Veneto Rome



Farewell to the Continent, looking in at the UNITED KINGDOM

Lane End Conference and Training Center – UK

Lane End Conference CentreSet in 26 acres of lush woodland, in Buckinghamshire's most stunning scenery, sits an exceptional level of quality and service, including over a hundred en-suite rooms, eight main conference rooms and twenty-four meeting rooms, giving you the space you need to host almost any size of conference. Perfect for pharma training seminars , meetings or product launch conferences.

30 minutes from Heathrow Airport. 50 km from central London. Exclusive use available. Not open to the public.

Lane End has invested heavily in infrastructure, including free superfast fiber-optic broadband across the whole site. Residential facilities en-suite bedrooms, and catering is prepared on-site and served fresh from the kitchen. From a working buffet to a formal three-course meal, Lane End's skilled team of caterers will deliver to your specifications.

Five distinct buildings, each with dedicated meeting facilities, accommodation, bar, lounge and dining facilities in a self-contained unit. Gym, sports and leisure facilities to relax after an intense day, or stage a team building event.

Contact : Heni Fourie MCIM This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Heading West


Do you have a client who is looking for something different, an real adventure? The ultimate experience? Did you see Good Morning America's meteorologist Ginger Z at the volcano's edge in Iceland recently?

Camping on a glacier? Cocktails under the Northern Lights seated at a table carved in ice? Arrive at Expedition Camp by helicopter? I lived in Iceland for 3 years, and in the land of endless sunshine in the summer months, deep snows punctuated by bubbling hot springs in the winter, nightly shows of the Northern Lights, Iceland is volcanic and stark by nature, and beautiful.

HL Adventure DMC specializes in high-end / VIP adventure travel arrangements and MICE arrangements in Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen, the North Pole and Antarctica. They create out of the ordinary experiences for clients by combining all the necessary modes of travel, equipment and accessories for the once in a lifetime memorable moment. HL Adventure turns wild ideas into real adventures, and business contacts into lifelong friends. This is the ultimate team-building destination.

Jon Olafur Magnusson, CEO/Professional adventurer has been a nature lover and seeker of adventures all his life and has led expeditions in the Arctic regions, on land and at sea. Jon is a certified sea-captain, a leader of a sea rescue team, and has Wilderness First Response Training. Programs planned by HL Adventure are often guided by Jon, who is a passionate photographer, and a great motivational speaker too!

Go to the website, spend some time feeding the senses with Jons' stunning photography, watch the videos, you will never again think of Iceland in the same way, just ask me!HL Adventure
Contact: Jóhanna Eyjólfsdóttir This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Jumeirah Hotels & ResortsFinally, you will have noticed the occasional NOTE* in this newsletter. All referred to one of the Jumeirah Hotel & Resort Group in that destination.

I am pleased to now be working with The Jumeirah Hotel Group as Sales Support to the US MICE Group Team, David Strang in New York and Seta Hana in Chicago.
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Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, operates a world-class portfolio of hotels and resorts including the flagship Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts manages properties in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Kuwait in the Middle East; Baku, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Mallorca (Spain) and Rome in Europe; the Maldives and Shanghai in Asia.

Please call or email me for more information on any of the featured destinations, or refer to this newsletter or Barbara Shapiro when contacting them directly.

Best regards
Barbara Shapiro, Director
Global Site Inspections/Global Travel Resources LLC
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