Destination Edit: Victoria, Manzanillo, and Montana

Destination Edit: Victoria, Manzanillo, and Montana

Exploring North American destinations for the first stop on our global tour.
Editor’s Note: Welcome to the first edition of our newest series, Destination Edit. Each quarter, our incentive and venue sourcing team shares their top picks for the most desirable destinations in the world. From the hidden gems to the global hotspots, this quarterly edit equips you with the latest trends in incentive travel.

The latest Incentive Travel Index, a comprehensive study by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), reveals a clear shift in buyer preferences. Across regions, there is a growing interest in exploring new destinations closer to home. This trend coincides with a 71% increase in buyers planning to utilize fresh locations for their incentive programs. 

Further, the data highlights a growing focus on sustainability. 41% of buyers prioritize destinations with a lower carbon footprint, demonstrating a heightened environmental consciousness. This trend is likely to persist, with nearly half (49%) indicating consistent year-over-year importance placed on eco-friendly travel. 

These findings present a golden opportunity to embrace creativity and explore exciting new territories closer to home, wherever that may be. Beyond the travel destinations we’ve all come to expect (and love!), there are dozens of off-the-beaten-path places that will give attendees something they’ve never experienced before while minimizing their carbon footprint. 

First stop on our tour—North America. Let’s dive into three of our top picks!

Victoria, B.C. 

Where history, charm, and ecoconsciousness converge.

Surprise your team with an incentive trip to Victoria, BC, a city unlike any they've experienced. This charming destination is rich with British heritage, vibrant flower gardens, and stunning castles. It's also home to the Royal BC Museum, which gives visitors a glimpse into the region's rich past. 

Victoria is well-known for its passion for sustainability, making it a haven for eco-conscious travelers. The city has earned impressive sustainability accolades over the years, including a carbon-neutral designation in 2021 and a Biosphere Certification in 2023. Thanks to clean water initiatives, visitors can explore the bustling Inner Harbour, a sanctuary for marine life, or head out for a world-renowned whale-watching tour.

Victoria boasts a vibrant culinary scene for foodies. Fresh seafood and farm-to-table restaurants are the highlights of this city's cuisine. It's also a paradise for craft beer lovers, with a thriving microbrewery scene. Visitors can explore the bustling Market Square or venture outside the city for a thrilling grizzly bear expedition.

For a luxurious stay steeped in history, consider the Fairmont Empress. This iconic hotel, designated a National Historic Site, offers stunning harbor views and impeccable service. Indulge in their renowned afternoon tea for a taste of Victorian elegance, or unwind at the Willow Stream Spa. 

Whether your team seeks cultural immersion, outdoor adventure, or luxurious relaxation, Victoria offers it all, with a focus on sustainability that perfectly aligns with environmentally conscious companies.

Photo: BC Parliament Building and Inner Harbor, Getty
Photo: Orca Spirit Adventures in Victoria
Photo: Fairmont Empress, Getty

Manzanillo, Mexico 

Where untamed beauty meets sustainable luxury.

Manzanillo is the perfect escape for groups seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure. Compared to its more well-known neighbors, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan, Manzanillo retains a tranquil charm, offering a destination many in your group will likely have never experienced. This hidden gem boasts a diverse coastline; coves tucked away from the open Pacific provide calm waters for swimming and water sports, while sprawling golden beaches showcase the power of the sea. 

Nestled within a 3,000-acre private nature reserve, the Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo promises an unparalleled luxury experience. Visitors can enjoy cliffside suites, infinity pools with breathtaking ocean views, afternoons spent unwinding on pristine beaches, and tee time at the resort's stunning 18-hole golf course.

Only 2% of the reserve where the resort is located will ever be developed, reflecting a deep respect for the environment. Guests can embark on guided hikes with resident biologists, learning about conservation efforts and the reserve's unique ecosystem. 

Culinary workshops led by the resort's Culinary Director offer a unique opportunity to learn about Mexican cuisine and traditions using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.  For a truly special experience, groups can embark on a sustainable fishing adventure with local fishermen, gaining a deeper appreciation for the region's rich culture and delicate ecosystem.

Manzanillo offers a unique blend of natural beauty, authentic Mexican culture, and a commitment to sustainability, making it a rewarding destination for incentive trips. The Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo elevates the experience further, providing luxurious accommodations and immersive activities that connect your group with the destination in a meaningful way.

Photo: Golf Course, Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo
Photo: Cliffside Architecture, Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo
Photo: Majahua Beach, Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo

Glacier Country, Montana

Where breathtaking landscapes awaken the adventurer spirit. 

In Western Montana's Glacier Country, incentive travel transforms into an unforgettable adventure on a backdrop of majestic mountains and untouched lakes. 

This region, encompassing Glacier National Park, offers more than breathtaking scenery. It's a place where authenticity reigns, and genuine Western experiences await around every corner. Unlike other remote destinations, Glacier Country boasts convenient accessibility.  International airports in Missoula and Kalispell offer easy connections from major hubs, making it an achievable escape for even the busiest teams.

Towering mountain peaks decorate the blue skylines, and crystal-clear lakes reflect the grandeur of the landscape. Glacier Country offers a sense of remoteness and a unique feeling of having discovered a hidden gem.

Treat your team to an unparalleled experience at The Resort at Paws Up. This expansive working ranch, nestled on 37,000 acres of pristine Montana wilderness, embodies the spirit of luxury adventure. Choose from luxurious glamping tents with plush furnishings and stunning views or rustic-chic homes that offer all the comforts of a five-star hotel nestled amidst the breathtaking scenery.

After a day of skiing, horseback riding, and canoeing, visitors can unwind by the fire pit on their private decks. In the evenings, they can indulge in gourmet meals prepared by talented chefs using only the freshest local ingredients. Whether it's a massage in the spa or a soak in a private hot tub, The Resort at Paws Up redefines relaxation in the wild.

Photo: Elk Creek, Paws Up
Photo: Horseback Riders, Paws Up
Photo: Homes, Paws Up

Leverage new trends in travel and sustainability with these hidden gem destinations. Victoria, Manzanillo, and Glacier Country offer unique experiences that cater to every taste while minimizing your environmental impact. 

Ready to embark on your next great adventure? Start exploring with our team, and stay tuned to see where in the world we’re headed next.

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