Take a 2.5-hour flight from Vancouver and land in the historic town of Whitehorse, on the Yukon River, in the midst of stunning mountain scenery. Then head a bit farther north and you'll find Dawson City, heart of the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush, a World Heritage Site with a “Go for the Gold” incentive theme built right into its history. “The best part,” says Michele Saran, director, incentive sales development for the Canadian Tourism Commission, is that “nothing in that area is contrived. You've got wooden boardwalks and ice streets.” Get the whole story at www.latitudeyukon.com.
Book your program at Celtic Manor outside Cardiff, Wales, right now because the 2010 Ryder Cup is about to put the luxury resort — and the “forgotten” country of Wales — squarely on the upscale map. For now, capital city Cardiff remains the most cost-effective city in the U.K., two hours' car or train journey from London or a direct flight from major European gateways such as Amsterdam, Paris, and Brussels.
English is primarily spoken, but you'll hear Welsh everywhere, giving attendees a feeling of being somewhere truly different. Add to that three national parks, more than 600 castles, and a charming bay area with pubs, restaurants, and boutiques, and you have your incentive elements covered.
And then there's Celtic Manor — 400 rooms set amid 1,400 acres, and featuring the new Twenty-Ten Golf Course and Clubhouse, both built specifically for The Ryder Cup. Other highlights include the Forum Spa (above) with 16 treatment rooms; and a purpose-built conference center with ballroom, exhibition hall, and 46 breakout rooms.
The Oresund region, an area encompassing Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmo in Sweden, sets the standard for green living. In Copenhagen, which will host the United Nations Conference on Climate Change next year, every third person bikes to work and 10 percent of the city's power is supplied by windmills. Get all the green details at www.visitden mark.com. Incentive-quality properties in Copenhagen include the completely renovated and renamed Le Méridien Palace Hotel, now part of the Starwood family. With 161 rooms, the hotel is set in the heart of the city, within walking distance of Tivoli Gardens and Strøget, the city's famous pedestrian shopping street. Other top-notch options are the Hotel D'Angleterre, with 123 rooms; the super-trendy Front, with 133 rooms; and the Kong Frederick, with 111 rooms, all NP Hotels.