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Great Hotels of the World predicts emerging meetings and incentives destinations for 2011 and beyond

Meetings and incentive travel is firmly back on the menu for 2011 and is expected to accelerate throughout the year and beyond. Great Hotels of the World (http://www.ghotw.com), the sales and marketing alliance for independent luxury hotels has revealed its top ten predictions for the most popular destinations for meetings and incentive travel during 2011 and beyond.

1. Montenegro

Having experienced dramatic growth in the leisure sector over the past few years, Montenegro is rapidly emerging as a popular destination for meeting and incentive planners. Set on the Adriatic coast and often referred to as one of Europe’s best kept secrets, the country offers endless experiences for incentives and team building activities as well as excellent facilities for conferences and meetings. The hotel industry is booming with huge investment in hotel development and infrastructure and with most of Europe being less than a two hour flight away, Montenegro is fast becoming the destination of choice to provide new and memorable experiences.

2. Croatia

Widely known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ due to its high tourism standards, Croatia has a lot to offer the meetings and incentives industry. With such attractive destinations such as Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Split and Hvar and well-connected through nine international airports, Croatia is fast becoming an attractive option for congresses, meetings and incentive trips as event planners look for first rate business travel destinations.

3. South Africa

With beautiful scenery, a sunny climate, cultural diversity and excellent value for money, South Africa is one of the world’s fastest growing MICE destinations. The World Cup provided a great opportunity for South African cities to showcase their MICE infrastructure and Johannesburg and Cape Town in particular have become popular choices for buyers thanks to their capacity to host events across a variety of sizes and prices. Many new hotels and convention centres are being built and existing facilities are undergoing refurbishment. Safari incentive trips are also becoming more popular.

4. India

With the latest technology and facilities, warm hospitality, rich heritage and natural beauty, India is an ideal destination for meetings and congresses and offers a unique and exotic destination that can be combined with a leisure holiday. India boasts many world-class convention centres as well as stunning scenery, transforming an annual business meeting into a glamorous and enjoyable event.

5. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is emerging as one of Europe’s top MICE destinations thanks to its convenient location, modern infrastructure, good value, mild climate and varied choice of venues and has been one of the most popular requests through the Great Hotels’ MICE desk in the past year. Chosen for many high profile events in recent years, Lisbon’s reputation as an international business destination is soaring and this is set to continue throughout 2011 and beyond.

6. Turkey

With excellent transport links, Turkey is a convenient meeting point for Europe and Asia and is perfectly equipped with a variety of venues and accommodation. Turkey’s luxury resorts, boutique hotels, fully-equipped congress centres and state of the art meeting facilities all boast the highest standards of service and hospitality and combined with unmatched historical landmarks and modern shopping centres it is easy to see why Turkey is an ideal destination for meetings and incentives.

7. Greek Islands

Hotels with meetings and conference facilities are in abundance in Greece and when combined with a mild year-round climate, continuous improvements to their infrastructure and frequent flights, the Greek islands in particular are a popular choice. Crete, Rhodes and Mykonos are in particularly high demand with a 20% increase in enquiries year-on-year for meetings and incentives in 2011 in comparison to 2010.

8. Iceland

Iceland offers in incomparable setting for incentive trips and also has some great meeting and conference facilities. Iceland’s incentiveofferings are world-class including visits to hot springs, volcanoes, glaciers, canyons, jeep safaris, camping, dog-sledding and cultural, historical and geological tours. Enquiries for incentive trips to Iceland have doubled in the past 6 months as planners look for unique and unforgettable destinations for incentive trips.

9. Sardinia

Sardinia is an ideal destination for all kinds of events including corporate meetings, employee incentives and conferences. With close proximity and frequent flights to most European cities as well as a plethora of stunning accommodation and facilities, many top companies are choosing Sardinia for their meeting and incentive trips and it is fast becoming an exclusive and high end destination.

10. Seoul, South Korea

As the second largest city in the world, Seoul is rich in culture, history, technology and food and offers something for everyone. The Seoul Tourism Organisation has the aim of developing the city into one of the world’s top five convention cities and you can see why with its optimal tourism resources, services and a sophisticated convention infrastructure.

Great Hotels of the World offers a free venue finding service. For more information on this service, their collection of meeting and incentive hotels or to become an alliance member email mis@ghotw.com or call +44 (0) 20 7380 8557.

Join Great Hotels Meeting Planners on facebook www.facebook.com/greathotelsmeetingplanners.

Visit the Great Hotels of the World venue finder website to browse the entire collection of MICE hotels.

-ends-

For press enquiries please contact:

Brooke Jester - Marketing and PR Manager, Great Hotels of the World

Note to editors:

Great Hotels of the World (http://www.ghotw.com) provides global hotel reservation, sales and marketing services for an exclusive portfolio of primarily independent hotels and resorts worldwide. Great Hotels of the World provides a range of products, services and innovative technology solutions for over 250 hotels worldwide through trade shows, e-marketing, business travel sales, meeting and incentive sales, public relations, Meeting Forums and a private label GDS chain code (GW).

By acknowledging that each hotel’s core business is different, Great Hotels of the World help’s hotels and consumers to “find their niche” by categorising member hotels into niche travel markets. Great Hotels’ dedicated programmes are aimed at the leisure, meetings and incentive and corporate markets, whilst the individual leisure collections reach precise areas of the market in which the hotel specialises in including gourmet, spa, golf, honeymoon and many more.

Membership of Great Hotels of the World is split into three tiers: the Luxury Collection, the Premium Collection and the Classic Collection and is by invitation only. Hotels must meet strict criteria before being accepted into the brand.

Further information on Great Hotels of the World can be found at (http://www.ghotw.com).

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