UK buyers have sampled an exhilarating itinerary in Cairns and Port Douglas in Australia, part of a three-day educational programme following on from Dreamtime 2015, Tourism Australia’s business incentive showcase which took place in Adelaide, South Australia from 6-8 December. The group visited Cairns from 9-11 December, hosted by partners including Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia and Cairns and Great Barrier Reef Business Events.
Posts By: Kim Benjamin
Adelaide, South Australia’s capital city, is known as the recycling capital of Australia and the city of churches. For incentive groups, however, there are two much more enticing and appetising facts – the city has the most restaurants per capita than any other city in the country and it also produces around 70% of the country’s wine. Foodie enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice with the city’s upmarket dining options and the wine experiences on offer. Ten representatives from UK agencies and myself were lucky enough to get a taste of some of these during Dreamtime 2015, Tourism Australia’s business events showcase, hosted in Adelaide from 6-9 December.
The Dominican Republic’s first tourist was reportedly Christopher Columbus, back in 1492. An island with a rich history, it is the most visited destination in the Caribbean, according to figures reported last year from the Caribbean Tourism Organisation and in May, travel firm Expedia declared the island its leading travel destination. It’s not hard to see why – the Dominican Republic has all the essential ingredients that the word Caribbean conjures – (merengue) music, rum, lots of cigars, sandy beaches and turquoise water, as well as a sophisticated and growing hotel infrastructure.
Athens, steeped in history and culture, can’t fail to impress as a destination with the iconic Acropolis towering over the city. What left a bigger impression on event planners on a recent fam, however, was the fact that tourism and infrastructure is largely unaffected by the negative headlines on the country’s financial crisis.
With Singapore celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence this year, these four cultural experiences give a flavour of the island’s colourful past and present.
Singapore Botanic Gardens: Located a few minutes away from bustling Orchard Road, the Botanic Gardens, opened in 1859, is Singapore’s oldest garden and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July. The site includes the National Orchid Garden, with more than 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids on display, including orchids named in honour of State visitors and other VIPs. The Cool House, a tropical highland cloud forest, provides a welcome respite from the heat. There are several venues within the Gardens that can be used for groups, including Burkill Hall, a restored two-storey colonial house overlooking the National Orchid Garden. It can host up to 80 on one level and 100 on the second level for events.
The Parthenon has stood atop the Acropolis of Athens for nearly 2,500 years, and is arguably a big draw for visitors to the Greek capital. Despite this prime attraction, the city of Athens has had a few bumpy years of late when it comes to tourism, with political turbulence having had a severe impact on the numbers of business and leisure visitors, and many C&I groups opting to head elsewhere.
Located on the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland, famed for being the home of Santa Claus. That’s about as much as I knew about the destination ahead of a fam trip hosted by The DMC Advantage and Arctic Incentives by Lapland Safaris. I was joined by event planners from agencies including Shore Events, Inception Global, River Marketing, BI Worldwide, TMB Marketing & Events, Adding Value and CMM.
Rally in Mini convertibles
With the weather pushing 29 degrees, a three-hour rally around the west part of the island in Mini convertibles was an easy sell. After an early morning departure from Trou Au Biches resort, we gathered in the hotel’s car park and split into three groups, armed with some detailed or confusing directions, depending on which event planner you spoke to, water and a lot of faith in our designated drivers, with the repeated warning of ‘this is not a race’, ringing in our ears. Luckily for us – or rather them, Emotions DMC followed the groups at a respectable distance.
The next part of our itinerary gave us the chance to work off some of the many calories consumed previously (there are around 300 in every caipirinha, must be all that sugar), with a leisurely cycle ride along Copacabana Beach, alongside Rio’s hundreds of joggers. We certainly admired the views – jogging outfits in the 29-degree sweltering heat were mostly swimwear, and not much of it.
Brazil has been one destination I have wanted to visit for quite some time – my sister worked at a detective agency in Sao Paulo for several years but time and circumstance conspired against me visiting whilst she was there.