Also, What’s Old is New Again
When we asked incentive houses, meeting managers, and incentive industry leaders which destinations they considered to be “emerging,” many of the ones they chose were popular years ago and are now coming back into vogue. Among them:
Aruba—This island in the lesser Antilles is back on the map, due in large part to the much-anticipated opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, next year.
Beijing/Shanghai—These cities, which are often combined for incentive groups, are back on radar after being off for 10 years, says Jim Adams, president, Performance Strategies, Indianapolis, Ind. “They rule the entire Asian experience right now.”
Mexico—The focus is primarily on the Riviera Maya/Playa del Carmen, but also Cancun, where the Incentive Research Foundation is holding its Annual Incentive Invitational May 7 to 11. “We’ve chosen the motto ‘Your first and best opportunity to see the new Cancun,’” says IRF President Melissa Van Dyke, “because of the focus by the Mexican government on investing in this area. There are a number of new and renovated properties that most planners have probably not experienced, such as the Hard Rock Hotel [headquarters hotel for the event] and Secrets the Vine.”
The lesser-traveled Caribbean—Here, the resort itself is the destination. Among those mentioned: Jumby Bay Resort off the coast of Antigua, Sandy Lane Resort on Barbados, and the Four Seasons Resort Nevis, which reopened at the end of 2010 after it was devastated by Hurricane Omar in 2008 (creating a national emergency for the island since the resort was the island's largest employer).