Monaco is committed to sustainable development and fight against climate change. The Monaco Convention Bureau reinforces its commitment to sustainability through green initiatives and a newly launched at IMEX Frankfurt 2019 #BusinessIsGreen digital campaign. IMEX took place from 21–32 May.
Monaco, under the leadership of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, is one of the first nations in Europe to adopt a more environmentally conscious attitude. His Serene Highness has defined a roadmap for 2050 to become carbon neutral at this date, and all local stakeholders are on board to achieve this target.
Business tourism in Monaco is an important economic pillar, and the Monaco Convention Bureau and its partners including hotels, venues and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) are working collaboratively to implement, communicate and design event programmes that are environmentally friendly.
These strategies were introduced at the press conference at IMEX Frankfurt, together with key business figures for 2018.
MICE in Monaco in numbers: 2018
The MICE occupancy rate in 2018 was 64.3 percent, with an average room rate of 333.45 Euros per night in the 3–5-star hotel category. Now, MICE business accounts for 27 percent of the market share in the principality, compared to 26.1 percent in 2017 and 18 percent in 2012.
Top MICE markets in Monaco are predominantly European, including increases from France with 14 percent and the UK with a significant 60 percent increase. The USA is also a top market, in particular for incentives.
Key sectors for MICE in Monaco include new technologies, medical, finance/consulting/ insurance, sport and automobile. The number of sports and automobile events has seen an increase in recent years.
New booth design for Monaco
From the previous year, Monaco demonstrated again a strong presence at IMEX with novelties. This year, visitors were introduced to a new stand design of the Monaco Convention Bureau. Sandrine Camia, Deputy General Director of the Monaco Convention Bureau commented on the new design, stating that ‘they wanted to have something different, that allows the partners to conduct business in a comfortable way, and at the same time showcasing the new digital campaign #BusinessIsGreen. We’ve created a new multifunctional area on the stand where partners and visitors can conduct meetings, host a press conference and hosted buyer presentations. This new space serves as a networking zone that allows everyone to meet, discuss and strengthen relationships; that’s what we are here for.’
Local partners in Monaco are committed to sustainability
In Monaco, business events can be more successful by integrating sustainability into events. Eighty-two percent of the hotels have green standards, such as the Green Globe, Green Key and Planet 21 by Accor. The congress centre Grimaldi Forum has been ISO 14001 certified since 2008 and will install photovoltaic panels on its rooftop this year. Additional actions to eliminate plastic, such as straws, goblets, water bottles and disposable crockery are currently being implemented. In 2018, Monaco became a member of the Global Destination Sustainability Index and was ranked 13 in the latest report.
Grimaldi Forum sets high sustainability standards
Sebastien Inzirillo, Communication Managers MICE at the Grimaldi Forum introduced three key updates: the venue will be the first solar panel energy producer. Secondly, the building will be fully powered by renewable energy, and lastly, there is a new event space opening at the Grimaldi Forum — The Terrace — from next January. This space will have the capacity to accommodate up to 800 attendees for a standing cocktail and networking reception.
Monte Carlo SBM: Green, dynamic and fast moving
Julie Duranton, Sales Manager at Monte Carlo SBM shared the latest news from the group. Monte Carlo SBM has four hotels: Hotel De Paris (which just completed a 4-year refurbishment programme), Hotel Hermitage, Monte Carlo Bay and Monte Carlo Beach. Additionally, the brand new One Monte Carlo complex will open on 4 June 2019. The new building of One Monte Carlo encompasses luxury flats and shops, conference centre, restaurant and an art gallery.
Having One Monte Carlo, Hotel de Paris and Hotel Hermitage on the Casino Square serves as a complete MICE hub to enhance the destination experience for events.
Ideas for sustainable events
Last year, over 50 sustainable events took place in Monaco. Sabrina Caputo, commercial and marketing director at Lafayette Group, shared that many clients now request green group activities, so they designed several programmes to meet the increasing demand.
Working with Terre de Monaco, an urban farm, one activity teaches participants about garden spices and unusual edible flowers, which will also be tasted and paired with herbal tea. To offer more active options, you can provide a Yoga Wellness package which has three components: fitness walking, yoga class and lunch on the beach. For more adventurous groups, a tour of Monaco using two different means of transport — the Nosmoke (electric car) and E.solex (electric bike) — can be provided. Based on seasonality, groups can explore the surrounding nature, mountains or by the sea. Using these two means of transport allows exploring of the hidden gems of Monaco which are otherwise not reachable by bus. Another suggestion is to offer a group challenge and take the guests on a ‘sense walking tour’, where the attendees will have to activate all their senses while at the same time learning about Monaco and local products.
Pierre Oudine, Managing Director and co-founder of Raising Stones Events, shared further recommendations for group activities around education, recycling and hands-on involvement in corporate social responsibility projects that can also leave positive impacts on local communities.
My involvement in Business Is Green campaign
Perhaps you’ve seen on my social media that I was in Monaco at the beginning of May to participate in the filming of the #BusinessIsGreen campaign (you can watch the saved stories on my Instagram). This video was launched at the press conference in front of international press and guests. I’ve been working with the Monaco Convention Bureau for over a year now, and during this time, I have familiarised myself with the sustainable practices applied by the venues in the principality, so it was a big honour to be asked to take part.
My audience is predominantly 24–35-year-olds, who are future decision-makers. It is important for me to communicate the importance of sustainability to my audience and the advantages of incorporating such sustainability into events. Young people who enter the industry today don’t necessarily know about this area in the context of events, and we can showcase how easy it is to do so.
Presenting sustainability in a playful and engaging way by using visual storytelling helps to bring the message across and make it more memorable. I think that the question now is not ‘whether or not’ we need it, but ‘how?’, and for ‘how’, more education and case studies are necessary. This campaign shares tips for a more sustainable lifestyle and event practices.
Future event sustainability trends and how they will impact group business travel in the future
In my opinion, sustainability trends which will impact group travel include, firstly, having strong partners who understand sustainability and applying it also across their supply chain. Secondly, it is important to focus on education with respect to sustainability and seasonality.
Now event planners, destinations and their partners have the power to share all this know-how on social media and change perceptions that will lead to changing behaviour. As a result, attendees will be able to make more sustainable choices when they travel for business.
Photos: Thomas Loris, Loris.tv