Location, location, location is a well-known real estate mantra. The incentive travel industry has a similar mantra, destination, destination, destination. Trying to come up with the perfect incentive destination can be quite time consuming. After all, to be a viable option, it needs to offer:
- First class hotels
- A variety of interesting and authentic activity choices
- Fairly easy accessibility
- Great dining options
These are just a few of the things that come in to play when considering potential destinations. The cost of air is also a major factor as air choices continue to decrease and prices continue to increase. So, what’s an incentive planner to do?
One option is to look close to home, right here in the U.S. of A. With the boom of celebrity chefs and farm to table cuisine and boutique hotels, and curated experiences, lots of second tier cities you might not have thought of as incentive destinations a few years ago now provide solid options for some incentive groups. Portland, for example, comes to mind. It has a great food and craft cocktail scene (food trucks in particular), several boutique hotel choices, lots of outdoor activities, terrific wine from the Willamette Valley and of course, Nike is headquartered just around the corner, although tours there are hard to come by. And the cherry on top? You won’t pay any sales tax in Portland!
Santa Fe, New Mexico is another hidden gem. Terrific hotels, a thriving arts community, natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage, not to mention great food. They’re also known for their art markets and wellness and rejuvenation initiatives. And chances are, many of your incentive qualifiers haven’t been there.
If you’d like to learn more about some of the unique destinations that make for great incentive programs, give us a call at 800-748-0478. And visit our blog from time to time to check out our destination spotlights.