Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea and Japan are leading the resurgence of incentives within Asia-Pacific.
This is according to Michael Welsh, executive director, global sales,
meetings and incentives at Accor. Welsh was speaking at a recent SITE
webinar, entitled ‘Resumption, Recovery, and Renaissance for Incentive
Accor’s Welsh outlined how incentive demand was equally strong in
Asia as in other regions such as North America, despite the fact that
the region had been slower to open up compared to others.
“Our hotels [in the region] are humming and people that are going to
resort destinations in Asia are trying to stay as long as possible -
they might have to work but they are going to enjoy the destination and
opportunities for rest and relaxation,” he said.
“In terms of forward bookings there is lots of interest in Bangkok,
Phuket, Danang, Bali, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo and Osaka. Our company
anticipates strong pent-up demand has been released as restrictions have
eased across the region.”
The webinar also featured insights from Mark Zanetti, incentive
specialist at Destination Canada, and Cate Banfield, COO at event
management company Wynford and previously vice president, experience
& event solutions at BCD Meetings & Events.
Banfield said clients are running multiple programmes to make up for
lost time and that the idea of ‘transformational’ travel is more
important now than ever.
“Attendee experiences that are authentic are critically important -
an event is no longer a set of dates but an opportunity to build content
and experiences that allow people to participate in a destination in a
much deeper way,” she said.
Zanetti said there is a ‘vital need for uniqueness and creativity
with incentives’, with particular emphasis on wellness and
environmental, social and governance themes.
webinar was hosted by Padraig Gilligan, chief marketing officer at
SITE, who said that incentive travel is back and in full force, quicker
and more comprehensively than any of SITE’s research had predicted.
“We have found ourselves in a new normal much quicker than we
thought,” he said. “It’s been a whirlwind year with new destinations and
[incentive] quality expectations shifting too, as well as there being a
renewed focus on sustainability.”