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Sun 24 Feb 2008 05:11 PM

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SITE on the lookout for new members

The UAE chapter of the Society of Incentives and Travel Executives is looking to sigh up planners responsible for booking incentives travel.

Society of Incentives and Travel Executives (SITE) international board member Gillian Taylor is calling for anyone responsible for booking incentives travel to become a member of the local chapter of the society.

SITE is a not-for-profit, professional association that provides educational seminars and information to everyone involved in the design, development, promotion, sales, administration or operation of incentives trips.

Taylor's role as director, Middle East and Africa is to convey "concerns, challenges and suggestions" to the international board of directors: "We encourage everyone to join; I would love it if members would share these with me so I can do the job properly and represent them and give them value," she said.

Other key members of SITE's UAE chapter are Jumeirah's director of sales and marketing Sian Thomas and Alexander John, director, business development, MCI Dubai Office.

"The benefit of having a local chapter is that they play a crucial role in communicating the needs of the regional/local area and are instrumental in setting the direction of the international Society," said Taylor, who is also business tourism/MICE manager for the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).

"Establishing a chapter assists the society in achieving its goal of increasing the level of professionalism of the incentive industry locally in the UAE. Our local chapter will serve UAE SITE members and other incentive industry professionals by providing education programs, information services and networking opportunities."

Members are part of the most well recognised incentives travel society in the world, and benefit from networking opportunities, educational services and professional development.

Other benefits include an online request for proposal (FRP) service, SITE finder service, e-Learning courses, a code of ethics, online discussion forums and volunteer leadership opportunities.

"When conducting business outside of your own country, it is helpful to have contacts that you know will act in an ethical manner and adhere to a Code of Ethics," Taylor added.

Members can also benefit from networking opportunities with more than 2000 other members in 82 countries and 34 chapters and an internationally recognized logo for use on personal business cards, web sites and letterheads.

SITE's next local event is taking place at the Gulf Incentives, Business Travel and Meetings (GIBTM) exhibition in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (ADNEC).

Guests will include the SITE president Padraig Gilligan and four international board directors.

Other upcoming events include the Emirates Academy Summer Seminar, Dubai, which is set to take place in June 2008, and the Young Leaders Academy, which will take place from August 3 - 6.

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