Greece Incentive Travel is on the Rise
As we begin the exciting entrance into 2020, I feel compelled to showcase Greece as an incentive travel destination that has grown in popularity and is continuing to show up in our RFPs time and time again. So much so that it has us saying, “there are two kinds of destinations, Greece, and everywhere else that wishes they were Greece.” Eh? Ehhhhh…? Please play along with my long-reaching stretch to work in reference to one of my favorite films, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, into this post. But Greece’s growing popularity as an incentive travel destination is no joke; Global DMC Partners placed Greece at #1 on their 2020 Hot List for incentive travel groups!
Why Greece for Incentive Trips?
It was not too long ago when the only news we heard about Greece was regarding its plans to bounce back during an 8-year recovery from the economic crisis of 2008. However, the hardship is beginning to fade, and the country is proudly announcing its reemergence with a big splash in the MICE industry. With 300 days of sunshine, golden beaches, picturesque islands, exquisite Mediterranean gastronomy, and deep-rooted Grecian traditions, any visitor will depart with memories of a lifetime.
Where in Greece should we take our incentive trip?
For the sake of brevity, I’ll just focus on the first (and likely most obvious) place to visit while in Greece: Athens. Don’t worry; I will follow up in a few weeks with a blog post about the Greek Islands, so be sure to subscribe and check back in! However, you can’t come to this country without spending time in the beautiful capital. This city serves as the center of Greek history, culture, and mythology with monuments, ancient ruins, and frescos at seemingly every turn. Also, believe it or not, there are lovely beaches that guests can enjoy and experience without having to travel outside of the city limits.
Are there Incentive-Quality Hotels in Athens?
If you are hosting a 5-star level group, there are two ideal hotels that offer an unforgettable experience regardless of your group’s demographics. The first is the Grande Bretagne Hotel located just minutes from the famous Plaka shopping area where guests can easily walk and explore the marvelous shops and quaint cafes. This property caters to those who can appreciate the elegance and tradition of the Grecian culture with its ornate architecture and a fantastic view of the Acropolis from the main onsite restaurant.
The other 5-star option is the Four Seasons Astir Palace, located on a peninsula just 30 minutes outside the city center. This property undoubtedly offers the perfect blend of high-class service with the relaxing seaside escape your guests will enjoy. If the group is not able to make it out to the Greek islands during their trip, this property is just secluded enough to offer them the feeling of being on an island while still giving them the convenience of being so close to all the activities and city life of Athens.
What Makes Athens Incentive Travel so Unique?
The Acropolis and Olympic stadium alone will hook any history buff, but match that with the fantastic scenery and beautiful offsite venues, and you have yourself an extremely diverse location to create unique experiences for your group. Looking to move outside of the city? Take a boat trip out to the island of Hydra to see the stone mansions and roads only accessible by foot (or donkey!). You can also bring your group to the Athens countryside to enjoy a private evening at Laas Estate. They will experience a traditional Greek village re-creation complete with catering that highlights locally-sourced food and products so guests can try the many flavors of Greek cuisine!
What time of year is best to travel to Greece?
It depends on what type of experience your group is looking for, but if you want the “Sun and Sea” type of trip, the best times to visit are Mid-April through June and then again in September or October. However, Athens is easily an all-year-round destination versus it’s neighboring islands, which only operate seasonally.
All in all, it’s exciting as a Sourcing Manager to see different destinations rise to the surface and open new possibilities for us to create compelling and memorable experiences for our clients. Please check out my blog post in a few weeks, which will focus more on the Greek islands and what opportunities they offer for groups! A huge shoutout to Horizon Travel DMC for all their help in answering my questions and providing additional information for my research on this blog post. With 73 years of experience in the area, they bring invaluable knowledge on their destination and what makes it unique. Give them a ring if you have any additional questions or are interested in exploring the idea of bringing a group to Greece!
Check out our list of Top 20 Incentive Travel Destinations for even more ideas of where top-tier programs are heading to in 2020, 2021, and beyond.