Ireland was the setting for this year’s Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) Executive Summit held January 29 – February 2 in Dublin.
This annual event takes the SITE Board of Directors and SITE Foundation Board of Trustees to a part of the world that can leverage the experience and knowledge of global industry leaders to grow its incentive travel business. The summit provided a valuable backdrop for the new boards to come together and strategically plan for SITE events and initiatives in 2017.
Ken Lyons, President of the SITE Ireland Chapter was instrumental in bringing the Summit to Ireland. “Ireland has been welcoming incentive travel groups for decades, but lately we realized that the perception of what Ireland has to offer as an incentive destination is not fully aligned with the experiences. The event was part of a strategy to showcase Ireland’s transformation, with a focus on the unique and creative food and beverage experience and diversity of venues from the historic to the modern and chic. Our sponsors Meet in Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland, SITE Ireland members and industry partners all played critical roles to ensure this event would not only take place in Ireland, but would be a memorable experience for all in attendance.”
A highlight of the week was the Education Forum held at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham that brought together 260 members of the Irish and international incentive travel industry to gain insights from SITE leaders into the latest issues and trends, and learn practical knowledge that they can immediately apply to market and grow their business. “It was a spectacular day, and the knowledge shared and relationships formed will stay with the host destination for a long time to come.” Lyons added.
A SITE delegation also visited Belfast, Northern Ireland to evaluate the region’s incentive travel offerings, meeting with local government officials to help them better understand the needs and opportunities of the incentive sector.
“The summit was an opportunity for our group of industry influencers to explore Ireland’s unique incentive travel offerings, while providing real-time feedback on what factors are most important to buyers when making incentive travel decisions. The destination went above the call to show us what they can do and worked with us on suggestions for adaptations and delivery for customers from around the world,” shared Rajeev Kohli, SITE President.