Las Vegas. The international portfolio of BestCities partners continues to grow with the cities of Berlin and Houston granted preliminary membership of the global alliance, effective 10 October 2011.
Making the announcement at IMEX 2011 in Las Vegas, Mr Jerad Bachar, Incoming Board Chair for 2012 said, “the BestCities Global Alliance consists of convention bureaux that deliver the world’s best service experience for international meeting planners. These premier meeting destinations already include Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Melbourne, San Juan, Singapore and Vancouver and we are delighted to formally welcome the cities of Berlin and Houston to the group as preliminary members.”
“Both cities are proven international meeting destinations, and ably demonstrate the attributes to meet the strict BestCities criteria for membership which includes, but is not limited to, state-of-the-art convention facilities, a minimum 10,000 hotel rooms, safe, public transportation and excellent air access,“ said Mr Bachar.
“They also display the many professional credentials we look for in a BestCities partner such as a high level of professionalism, a commitment to quality assurance and outstanding client focus,” he said.
Once confirmed as full BestCities partners, Berlin and Houston will also commit to an annual audit by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA). This will ensure a consistent level of service excellence to BestCities Quality Manual is maintained across the alliance at all times.
As home to the largest medical centre in the world and the brains behind US space exploration, Houston is a city with a lot to offer meeting planners. With the 6th largest airport system in the world and links to more than 180 destinations, it is a large city that retains a small town feel. It is also arguably the most multicultural city in the US as well as one of the most culturally rich with resident companies in the four disciplines of the performing arts - Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony and Alley Theatre.
Berlin has been named as one of the top five convention cities worldwide by ICCA for the past five years – not for one but many reasons. The German capital convinces with a large number of convention centres and locations – including the award winning International Congress Centre (ICC) – as well as Europe’s most modern hotel landscape. The opening of the new capital airport in June 2012 will result in an increase in long haul flights ensuring Berlin becomes even more attractive for international event planners.
“The inclusion of both Berlin and Houston will further enrich the in BestCities alliance and extend the cultural diversity of the network across both the American and European continents. The cities will offer our clients two more exciting and diverse options, and through our unique data exchange process they will add even more value to our membership. We warmly welcome them both and look forward to announcing their full membership in 2012,” concludes Mr Bachar.