Luxury Along Florida’s Paradise Coast: Q&A with Debi DeBenedetto

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Debi DeBenedetto, sales/marketing manager for Naples, Marco Island
Debi DeBenedetto, sales/marketing manager for Naples, Marco Island

Debi DeBenedetto, sales/marketing manager for Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB Tourism knows how planners can add a sense of luxury to meetings & incentives. Lucky for us, she wanted to share.

Prevue: Do you offer any services or amenities that increase ROI or ROE for planners?

DeBenedetto: Yes, Our CVB has helpful information on our website at www.ParadiseCoast.com/GAP to help planners market their meeting once booked on the Paradise Coast. The gorgeous destination alone is a draw for attendee registration.  We also have site assistance to save planning time, logistics time and even pay for site visit transportation for groups with specific qualifiers, and an in market piece for planners to put in attendee bags that show attendees where to go and what to do for free time in the destination– this encourages pre- and post-stay and return visits.  There is also an Rfp enhancement incentive where the CVB supports F&B or transportation through the hotel for some groups to encourage bookings over specific need dates.  All of these services add value and ROI.

How can cost-conscious planners add a sense of luxury to meetings and incentives?

Utilizing the outdoor meeting venue space at the hotels and resorts, beach parties and outdoor picnics or breakouts add value to luxury and attendees get the opportunity for fresh air and sunshine, palm trees and sandy beaches bathing themselves in luxury!

What are some cultural venues that enhance meeting & incentive experiences on any budget? 

Our downtown Fifth Avenue and Third Street districts are a cultural experience, strolling the streets with 34 restaurants and 52 shops and several art galleries in an 8 block area down Fifth Avenue or visiting our “on Street” Concierge on Third Street after walking Naples Pier or seeing the  historic Palm Cottage in the heart of old Naples.  Festivals and art fairs abound in the winter months and summer brings on the sidewalk sales during the value season.  We also have the Naples Botanical Gardens, Naples Zoo, group yacht and Dolphin sightseeing tours, Collier Auto Museum, Artis Naples Cultural center & museum and for higher end events NGALA, a wildlife preserve and venue.

Has the definition of luxury changed over the past year? 

The Paradise Coast of Naples Marco Island & the Everglades is refined and redefined.

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