Prevue asked Karin A. Darrell, Bermuda Department of Tourism’s partnership manager, her thoughts on incentive trends for 2011.
Q: How do the physical attributes of Bermuda contribute to the success of an incentive program?
A: Our physical attributes go hand-in-hand with the success of any incentive program. Bermuda has beautiful weather and scenery year-round. Top notch hotels and resorts including Tucker’s Point Hotel & Spa, Elbow Beach Bermuda, Fairmont Hamilton Princess and Fairmont Southampton also provide excellent amenities, service and meeting space to organizers. Proximity and ease of travel are also important, and Bermuda is just under a 2-hour flight from East Coast gateways.
Q: How do you maintain high levels of creativity and drama to “wow” attendees?
A: Bermuda has such a rich historic and cultural heritage that it is easy to provide “Aha!” moments to incentive winners.
They are amazed when they experience the Town of St. George, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and get a taste of colonial life through historical re-enactments. They are also wowed by our Royal Naval Dockyard’s rich history. And still they always are fascinated with our distinctive pink sand beaches and lush surroundings. We do a lot of fun teambuilding activities too, such as a sailing regatta or moped rally.
Q: Can you tell us about the golf product in Bermuda?
A: Bermuda is unique in that we have more golf per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Our seven championship golf courses offer incentive winners an unmatched opportunity to compete at any level and experience stunning oceanside vistas while they play. We are also home to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in October at the Port Royal Golf Club. All of the island’s courses are renowned for both their beauty and challenges, which has earned Bermuda a sterling reputation as a golfer’s paradise.
Q: And the spa product?
A: Bermuda has seen its spa product grow by leaps and bounds in the past few years. Many of our hotels and resorts now offer world-class spas that, coupled with the soothing nature of our beautiful surroundings, afford a true sense of wellness and relaxation. One of the more unique spas on the island was opened this past year at Prospero’s Cave at Grotto Bay Beach Resort. It offers a stunning subterranean setting for rejuvenating spa experiences.
Q: What are some lesser known experiences that incentive planners should consider?
A: There are many local experiences that Bermuda can offer to large groups. Bell Diving is an incredible underwater adventure that large groups can participate in. Divers will come face-to-face with sea creatures while touring with an experienced guide along Bermuda’s celebrated coral reefs. The Crystal Caves is also an attraction worth seeing. Located 120 feet underground, Crystal Caves always astonishes and inspires our guests.