A lot of Attention is devoted to incentive travel in this magazine because the insurance industry is big on incentive travel. Over the years, I have attended incentive conferences with my clients in Costa Rica, London, Hong Kong, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Alaska. These are all extremely beautiful places and in each case, the conference was a huge success, but the problem with incentive travel is trying to find a better destination for next year. If somebody tells you that this year's conference was the best one ever, you are under a lot of pressure to find a better place next year. Well, my friends, I think I have the answer.
What if you could plan an incentive trip where few have gone for the past 45 years? It would be a revolutionary trip to the land of the revolution … beautiful, sunny Cuba.
At this writing, Fidel Castro has handed control of the country over to his brother, Skippy, and rumors persist that the end of the Castro regime is at hand. Then the U.S. government may see fit to allow tourists to once again freely visit Cuba, just like they did in Godfather III. When Castro goes, the demise of the ban might not be far behind.
As a professional meeting planner, you want to be in on the cutting edge of this new paradise; and as a professional humorist, I am prepared to make up ersatz facts and figures to help you.
Let me first state that I have never been to Cuba although I have seen it from a passing cruise ship and it looks quite nice. As an island, it is surrounded by water which makes access to things like boating, swimming, and smuggling quite convenient. It also has mountains which I am sure can be climbed for a better view, but don't quote me on this.
Things to Do — Cuba doesn't really have much to offer in the way of tourist activities right now, but once the embargo is lifted, you will see attractions popping up faster than ticks on a goat. Watch for things like…
Inside Castro's Beard — An IMAX adventure takes you deep inside the facial hair of the former dictator. Discover a variety of Cuban cuisine remnants, several old cigar stubs, and Jimmy Hoffa.
The Ricky Ricardo Museum — It's about time someone opened a museum dedicated to the life and times of Cuba's favorite fictional character. The Ricky Ricardo Museum will be built on Mertz Mountain, accessible by Rio Lucy. It will feature all of Ricky's musical memorabilia and a gift shop where you can buy a copy of his hit record.
Little Miami Beach — This section of downtown Havana will look and feel just like Miami Beach. It will be filled with condos occupied by old people who eat dinner at 4 p.m. You can also enjoy a rousing game of shuffleboard and can speak to the residents about their grandchildren and their medical histories.
Smoke a Cigar — Cuba has long been known for its famous cigars, which are enjoyed in the USA under the brand name of “Counterfeit.” Hemingway once said that “smoking a Cuban cigar is better than shooting a defenseless animal”; and Castro wouldn't be seen without one. Be sure to try the different sizes and shapes of cigars known as the El Producto, the Tiparillo, and the “It's a Boy.”
Dale Irvin is The Professional Summarizer. For a fun time, visit www.daleirvin.com and sign up for the Friday Funnies. For booking information, contact Speak Inc. (858) 457-9880.