This location is emerging as one of the top destinations in Europe as tourism is booming in Portugal. Incentive travel is especially on the rise in this memorable European Destination. One of the biggest draws to Lisbon is the value for your money and ease of travel. There is so much to experience in Lisbon and the surrounding areas that you will be planning your next trip back before you even leave. You are able to explore the unique culture, amazing food, lively nightlife, world-class golf and tranquil beaches while not breaking the bank.
Many software/tech companies host their first incentive trip when they are in the midst of an aggressive growth stage. During this time one qualification strategy might make sense given the overall headcount and trip budget. Over time and company growth you might find that qualification strategy no longer makes sense for your long-term corporate incentive strategy (See blog post on qualification strategies).
Don't be afraid to continually look at your current incentive program and analyze the ROI of the program and how to increase that ROI. Each company chooses different ways to measure the ROI of their incentive program but here is a good in depth research report on the topic: Determining the Return on Investment of Incentive Travel Programs. For those looking for a lighter read: Why You Should Measure Incentive ROI
As beautiful and exotic as St. Lucia is, it's unfortunately a tough fit for a typical incentive trip (3-4 nights). The main reason behind this is the distance between the airport and the hotels. There are only a few hotels who would be a good fit for any incentive trip over 50 rooms. These hotels are within a one hour drive to the airport, have over 75 rooms, have multiple dining options, and can be accessed by boat to provide day activities. Also due to the topography and roads within St. Lucia it makes transportation for dinners, activities very cost prohibitive. Pricing for transfers can be almost 60% more than most Caribbean islands.
The island does boost an impressive collection of boutique hotels that target honeymoon and romance travel but these are high budget experiences with only a limited number of rooms.
All Inclusive Focus - Four Five Star Property Comparisons
Secrets Cap Cana (Set to Open Nov 2016):
This is a brand new capstone property scheduled to open mid November of this year with approximately 450 rooms. The breakdown is expected to be 55 tropical view (Run of House) with another ~50 with partial oceanviews (these are NOT oceanfront, think very small oceanview). This property is planning 14 different room categories so it will be interesting to see if this changes in the upcoming year. The location on Cap Cana is secluded and breath-taking. The white sand beach, crystal blue waters and feeling of seclusion will blow you away for a Dominican Republic product. Similar to Paradisus Palma Real the infinity pool is again the centerpiece of this hotel and will be the perfect gathering place for incentive trips.
- Few Highlights
- Size - Small Horse shoe feel that incentive trips are looking for
- Location - Cap Cana
- Brand New - chic clean South Beach design
- Meeting Space ~10,000 Square Feet
- 15 minutes from airport
- Golf & Scape Park ~5 minutes away
- Couples/Honeymoon Focus
- Lack of Double Bed Rooms
- Service TBD (could take awhile to get organized and experienced)
- Food TBD (bar is set high with Paradisus Palma Real)
New England Resorts :
For companies that are looking to hold corporate events, events in off season months at New England resorts are a tremendous opportunity for a top flight corporate event at a bargain rate. Events booked in either the fall or spring benefit from the drop in occupancy in the form of reduced block room rates, the full attention of a recreation department to plan activities and still pleasantly warm temperatures of the late spring or early fall season. For those looking for a little more than a company picnic at Thompson Island, here are four impressive options within two hours of the Boston area.
Providenciales is a beautiful island in Turks and Caicos that is just a quick (2-3 hour) flight from the East Coast.
What makes Providenciales so impressive is the small boutique hotels which minimizes the crowds on the beach. Unfortunately this boutique feel makes this island a tough fit for incentive travel. There is only one 4 Star + hotel that has over 200 rooms and that is an all-inclusive family packed Beaches resort. The average hotel size is around 60 rooms and most are owned condos placed in a rental pool. For small incentive trips under 40 rooms this island is great option with white sand beaches, 18 hole golf course, boating options, serene spas, kayaking trips, windsurfing lessons and endless amounts of culinary options.
- World-Class Wall Scuba-Diving
- Grace Bay Beach - White Sand and Crystal Clear Waters
- Winter Whale Watching
- Off-shore Snorkeling
The One & Only Club Resort in the Bahamas completed renovations in 2015 and the property continues to Wow guests.
Already an impressive 5 star resort, the recent changes only increased the value for both independent travelers and incentive travel. If you have the budget for this property, this is a no-brainer with world-class golf, inspiring culinary cuisine, unique Versailles gardens and pool, intimate and private accommodations and award-winning spa. The upgrades to the Hartford Wing and addition of the infinity pool and Ocean Grill increases the allure for the millennial traveler.
Three main upgrades to the property:
- New Ocean Infinity Pool
- Hartford Wing Upgrades
- Ocean Grill Opening
Costa Rica is truly an amazing place. Is it the perfect destination for incentive travel? This all depends what your company is expecting from an incentive trip. Costa Rica should not be viewed as a beach destination but instead a vacation for those looking for either adventure and activity. The pools are great, wildlife abundant, views memorable, food tasty, and the culture inspiring.
"Checks all the boxes," "Constantly investing in improvements," "No is not in their vocabulary," "Surfset class was an amazing start to a day full of meetings"
Overall I would give this resort an A rating which is rare given my high expectations. From the minute you enter the lobby you are impressed by the staff welcoming, cleanliness, and overall Texas charm. Each day the resort provides a tasty complimentary drink by the check-in counter, throughout the spa and in the sports club (Arnold Palmer, peach iced tea, etc). The lobby has a great seating area with views of the pool and golf course which also doubles as a great spot to enjoy lunch, snacks throughout the day or drinks in the evening. Many guests enjoyed the comfort of the lobby lounge and were found escaping their rooms and working from this area.
Executive Group Travel's Review of Four Aruba Hotels. Stay tuned for upcoming reviews on Aruba group restaurant options and DMC's