Cruising has become an increasingly popular and highly cost-effective option for business-related conferences and incentives, and offers a powerful motivational tool for organisations to achieve various performance goals, according to George Argyropoulos, md of Cruises International. He says that cruises have the highest motivational appeal compared with other forms of travel, and also serves as a great financial reward.
Here are the top ten reasons, according to Argyropoulos, why cruises can effectively be used for the MICE sector.
- The perceived value of a cruise to the delegates is much higher than the actual cost, because a cruise conjures images of luxury and success.
- A cruise allows the decision maker to know the exact cost of a conference or an incentive. This gives a company the opportunity to budget and set the right performance targets.
- A cruise offers value because packages include all the major expenses: luxurious accommodation, meals and fine dining, room-service, conference venues and AV equipment, entertainment and activities. Various pre-paid beverage packages offer the organiser complete control of this significant expense.
- A variety of accommodations from interior, ocean view, balcony staterooms and luxury suites are available on cruises. Due to the size of most ships, a group can be accommodated in the same type of room.
- A vast array of itineraries and destinations are on offer, and the most popular durations for cruising are between three and seven nights, with the Mediterranean as the most popular destination. This covers countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece and Turkey.
- A cruise is easy to plan, and everything is included. The ship also offers themed evenings and entertainment, and for any specific requirements, the planning and staging team on-board are trained to assist.
- There is an opportunity for partners to be included in incentives and conferences, since many options of activities are available on board and ashore while meetings are underway.
- Packages can be tailor-made to suit the group travelling. Customised menus, on-board branding, team-building events, private shore excursions and private functions such as cocktail parties can be arranged. Special entertainers and expert speakers can be brought in as part of their full-service offerings, and cruise liners also provides advice on shore excursions appropriate to the delegates.
- From an incentive planner’s or a PCO’s perspective, a cruise takes away the organisational and logistics headaches, allowing the organiser to focus on maximizing the benefits to the corporate.
- Companies often need to plan in advance and cruising is in line with this. The earlier a cruise is booked, the better the rates and choice of accommodation and venues.
“The specialised team at Cruises International is heavily involved during all stages of a cruise incentive. From the proposal and presentation for the client, right up until the group returns from their cruise,” concludes Argyropoulos.