micebook has scoured the globe in search of the hottest events and incentive destinations for 2020 and here’s our top six to watch out for….
From rafting to paragliding, canyoning to zip-lining, Nepal’s staggeringly beautiful backdrop makes it the ultimate haven for adventure seekers, and two UK fam trips to the destination at the back-end of 2019 have put it firmly on the radar for many planners. “This truly unique destination has it all – rich culture, ancient history and is far from short of the ‘wow’ factor with plenty of once in a lifetime opportunities,” said Penguins head of incentives Holly Mills who went on a fam organised by Distant Frontiers DMC. “It is fair to say that this whistle stop adventure of Nepal has ignited the fire to return as it is clear that we have only scratched the surface of the possibilities on offer.”
A raft of new properties are set to open to cater for the rising number of visitors to the destination – Indian Hotels Company, which already has one property in Chitwan National Park, has announced the opening of the 111-room Vivanta Hotel in Kathmandu next year. Meanwhile the tried and tested Dwarika Hotel in Kathmandu is popular for incentive groups, along with sister property Dwarika’s Dhulikhel Resort, set over 20 beautiful acres of land and offering panoramic views of the Himalayas.
Hot on the heels of hosting the Rugby World Cup, Japan will be back in the spotlight this summer when it hosts the 2020 Olympics. And unsurprisingly, the capital has seen a boom in hotel openings to prepare for the increased influx of visitors, giving planners a raft of exciting new options to choose from. MUJI’s first hotel in Japan – the 79-room MUJI Hotel Ginza – aims to provide guests with a cosy and homely space at a reasonable price, offering the same rate throughout the year, regardless of season and day.
Also located in Ginza on the fashionable Namiki-dori street, the newly opened Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo offers 164-rooms, while The Okura Tokyo opened in September, replacing the highly reputed but aging Hotel Okura Tokyo. A total of 508 luxury rooms are available in two buildings on the spacious central-Tokyo Okura property, which boasts lush gardens and greenery throughout.
Rwanda is fast emerging as a hot destination for adventurous incentive groups looking to get off the beaten track and experience its stunning scenery and unique wildlife. A number of recent luxury accommodation openings are also helping boost its appeal, such as the Singita Kwitonda Lodge, named after a legendary silverback gorilla and located on the edge of Volcanoes National Park where more than one third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas live and Wilderness Safaris’ newest luxury lodge, Magashi Camp. One&Only has also opened a second luxury property in Rwanda, One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, following on from it’s the 2018 opening of One&Only Nyungwe House.
Worldspan managing director Sophie Morris, recently took a trip to Rwanda and said she was blown away by how different it was to the usual African destinations and how safe she felt: “It is amazing and going to see the gorillas was a life changing experience. I would actively sell Rwanda for an incentive group that is looking for something a bit different.”
2019 was a record-breaking year for Israel with the number of visitors to the destination reaching an all-time high of 4.5 million people. And the energetic and increasingly popular city of Tel Aviv captured the spotlight last May when it hosted the Eurovision Song Contest. There are plenty of high-end hotel options available for events and incentive groups, including The Jaffa, a Luxury Collection Hotel (right), which offers 120 elegant rooms and suites spread across its two recently restored buildings, and the nearby The Setai, an urban retreat housed in an Ottoman-era building.
Upcoming openings in the city include the bohemian BoBo Hôtel, a 200-room hotel opening in March 2020 on Yavne Street, a side street off of the trendy Rothschild Boulevardm and Nobu Hotel Tel Aviv by the global lifestyle brand, founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper. It will feature 38 striking rooms, a large garden fitness centre, swimming pool, outdoor spaces and a private rooftop, ideal for events, plus of course the signature Nobu restaurant at the very heart of this forthcoming boutique hotel.
The Middle Eastern destination, and particularly its capital Muscat, looks set to gain increased attention this year from planners looking for an alternative to the tried-and-tested emirate states of Dubai and Abu Dhabi thanks to a flurry of new luxury hotel openings.
2019 saw the Jumeirah and W brands open new properties in Muscat with Jumeirah Muscat Bay and W Muscat, offering 279 luxurious rooms offering views of azure waters of the Gulf of Oman, five tantalising restaurants and have 850m sqm of meeting space, capable of hosting a range of events and set ups. Elsewhere, Sahab Resort & Spa is a new 27-room property perched at the edge of a canyon boasting breath-taking views over the Jabal Akhdar plateau and valleys in the western Al Hajar mountain range, while Hyatt will be bringing its luxury eco-conscious brand, Alila, to Hinu Bay next year.
Top Banana director of venues Louise Goalen recently visited Oman on a fam trip and was impressed. “It was my first time in Oman and my first impression was how different the destination is to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the other Emirate states, despite its proximity. I was also struck by how welcoming and lovely the Omani population are. It felt so authentic and there is nothing contrived about it at all,” she said.
With nicknames including the somewhat intriguing Black Mountain through to the downright charming Land of Fairy Tales, Montenegro is a diminutive destination that packs a punch in the incentive travel stakes. And 2020 could be the year it finally becomes the MICE hotspot it deserves to be, thanks to increased flight options and new luxury hotel openings.
The Regent Porto Montenegro provides a glamorous backdrop along the shores of the Adriatic, with two distinct but equally elegant wings offering around 150 rooms, suites and penthouses, while The Chedi Lustica Bay is set in the ongoing marina development in Boka Bay.
This April will see the much anticipated One & Only, Portonovi finally open its doors. Designed as an elegant Montenegrin village, the property will debut approximately 120 luxurious guest rooms, suites and villas, conference and event space, signature restaurants, beach clubs and a wellness centre. Further ahead Ritz-Carlton has also revealed plans for its first property in Montenegro.
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