Disruption, budget and sustainability were key topics on the agenda at the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) GB 2019 Summit, which brought together a group of around 75 key players in the incentives sector last Thursday (24 October) at etc.Venues Westminster Bridge, London.
President & CEO at Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) Mike Dominguez kicked off the event, taking delegates on a fast-paced journey of disruption and technology in the hospitality industry. He shared both opportunities and warning signs for businesses including:
* it’s no longer the big fish eating the smaller fish, it’s the fast fish eating the slow fish
* speed is the new currency of business
* study behaviour not age
Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, meanwhile shared some interesting insights on spending within the incentives sector from the SITE white paper. A notable trend was that the spend for DMCs is getting smaller and more of the budget going to hotels and venues, which could in part be due to clients and agencies booking hotels directly. The research also showed that more spend is going on experiences rather than on luxury.
A session on best practice in sustainability led to some lively debate with OrangeDoor managing director Elizabeth Heron discussing the benefits of menus that show how far the food has travelled. Danny Pescorelli from Exclusive Hotels, who is passionate about sustainability, tackled the challenge both at a holistic level, but also got into the detail. For example, looking at bath product containers that are environmentally friendly and products like Vegware, which is an eco-friendly packaging, but has to be separated from general recycling for it to actually degrade.
BC Hospitality gave an example related to zero-food waste, offering guests and staff at its events to take food home, with anything left over turned into biofuel. The consensus was that there is still a long way to go in improving the sustainability of incentive travel, but as an industry we can and should drive the conversation with stakeholders.
Continuing the theme of sustainability and social responsibility, SITE GB is looking for donations for raffle and auction prizes to raise funds for events industry charity Meeting Needs at its annual Christmas Lunch.
Donations could be anything from overnight stays, weekend breaks, or a bottle of Champagne, from suppliers. Agencies, meanwhile, could commit to give a guaranteed hour appointment for a supplier to come and present to the team. The list of prizes and who donated them will be on display during the event. All donations are very much appreciated, please send to either [email protected] or [email protected].
The highly regarded Site GB Christmas Lunch will be on Tuesday 17th December at The Langham, London and offers a great networking opportunity to anyone in the incentive travel sector.