Popular groups and incentive destinations


New for the incentive market is Sri Lanka, which, says John Ridler of Thompsons Holidays, offers a rich history, heritage and culture, excellent food, top beaches and wild scenery.

Island and beach destinations, he says, are always popular, with Zanzibar and Mauritius ideal for larger groups. In southern Africa Victoria Falls, Namibia and Mozambique are sought after, while further afield, Europe and skiing and Sri Lanka are also on the radar.

In South Africa smaller groups are patronising the Conrad Pezula Golf Resort & Spa and Zimbali Coastal Resort, says Ramon Geldenhuys of 360 Degrees Travel. “Larger groups go to Sun City and destinations with large convention centres, while leisure groups love the Kruger National Park, Cape Town and the Western Cape, and KwaZulu Natal.”

The North American destinations of Orlando and Las Vegas are strong incentive favourites, says Manoj Kuriakose, commercial director Middle East & Southern Africa for Delta Air Lines. New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Washington are always popular group destinations.

Theresa Szejwallo says Trafalgar’s Discover Europe trips that include several destinations are popular. “South Africans no longer need visas for Russia, which has become a sought-after group destination as have Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Eastern Europe offers the best value, especially Prague and Budapest. France, Austria and the Scandinavian countries are also growing group destinations.

Ross Volk, MSC Cruises SA md, says MSC Cruises’ new four-night cruise to Pomene Bay is ideal for groups and incentives, as well as a three-night weekend Portuguese Island getaway.

“We’re increasingly seeing requests for our Asian, southern Europe and Brazilian resorts,” says Club Med’s Olivier Perillat-Piratoine.  Skiing is another fast-growing segment.  Our Club Med 2, five-masted cruise ship is a must for top incentives, as are our Finolhu Villas in the Maldives and Valmorel Chalets in the French Alps. In Africa, Marrakech offers a unique culture, city and fascinating excursions to Berber villages,” he says.

Dalene Oroni of Development Promotions reports a lot of interest in Alaska, Asia and Norway from the groups and incentives market, while World Leisure Holidays’ Cathie Bester says Zanzibar and Mauritius offer good quality, reliability, choice and great value, while Réunion offers something unique for the more adventurous.