Fort Lauderdale has seen a recent increase in MICE business due to the recent improvements to their hotel product. Recent renovations along with new properties provides companies with plenty of options when looking for a warm weather location with affordable and frequent airlift.
If you haven’t yet secured your 2019 incentive trip location then you are running out of time, especially if you are in search of a popular five-star incentive destination. Most clients are contracted for 2019 and turning their focus on 2020. This group of hotels is a guarantee in terms of client experience and presenting attendees with a “wow factor.” For those looking for a last minute search or getting a jump start on 2020, here is a great place to start.
The Florida Gulf Coast has a long list of hotels for MICE travel. Unfortunately the product has been a tougher sell when compared to Miami/Fort Lauderdale region of the state. A few renovations to highlight are Hilton Marco Island, JW Marriott Marco Island, Don Cesar, Vinoy, Hyatt Regency Clearwater, and Tampa Marriott Waterside. The Tampa hotel product is constantly improving with a new JW Marriott and Marriott Edition breaking ground in 2019. For those who need less meeting space they can move outside the city of Tampa and closer to one of the beautiful beaches in the area!
UNICO 20˚87˚ is a new player to the adults only all-inclusive scene having been open just over a year this spring. From the moment you enter the property you are taken back with the décor, welcome drink, and fresh scent.
The reception team keeps check-ins quick and comes to guests at the couch versus the traditional line-up at the desk. They appoint every guest a local host who brings you to your room and gets you comfortable with the property. The host will even provide you their cell phone number for the remainder of your stay. They will help you with anything from making dinner reservations, to spa appointments, and even coordinate getting your outdoor bath prepped. It's a nice added touch! If you return, they do their best to appoint you the same local host.
The 2018 incentive season has come to a close! The list of resorts below hosted our most successful President’s Club trips.
Hyatt Ziva/Zilara, Montego Bay, Jamaica
The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba
Secrets Cap Cana
The following rating is a personal preference and is in relation to a grade as a MICE property. Meeting Space refers to indoor meeting space. Please note the below numbers are best estimates as hotels undergo renovations and their meeting space and sleeping room numbers can change.
Every time a tech company brings up Las Vegas for their annual sales kickoff event I cringe. As a millennial myself, I understand the excitement of the bright lights and hoopla of Las Vegas. It's great for bachelor/bachelorette parties, 21st birthday tilts, 40th birthday celebrations, March Madness reunions, poker events, and even an annual family vacation. It truly is one of the most remarkable .8 miles in the world in terms of man-made “wow factor.”
Officially known as Hawaii, the Big Island is the largest of the Hawaii islands with over 4,000 mi². Due to the size of the island there are two main airports that travelers use, Kona and Hilo. The airlift into the Big Island is strong from the West Coast and even International with daily direct flights from San Francisco, LAX, Portland, Seattle, and Tokyo. Many large companies such as Salesforce, SAP, and Oracle host annual events on the Big Island each year therefore the hotel product is continually improving to keep up with MICE travel industry demand.
Kauai is Hawaii's fourth largest island and is sometimes referred to as the "Garden Island," which is an accurate description. This island is known for outdoor adventures, laid back atmosphere, and Hollywood films. There are amazing companies that provide unique experiences to Kauai. A few outdoor adventure partners are Kipu Ranch Adventures offers 4x4 off-road adventures, Maverick Helicopter Tours, and Kauai Backcountry Adventures Mountain Tubing Tours. Airlift is continuing to improve into the small airport, Lihue Airport, on Kauai but is still the most challenging of the four islands to fly into.
With the increase in number of flights and the price drop on airline tickets, Hawaii continues to be a busy destination for incentive travel. For those with travelers' attending from Europe, the flight distance is still a challenge but for those with offices in Australia it could be a great middle meeting grounds. We will explore the hotel products on the islands of Maui, Big Island, and Kauai over the next month of blogs.