All-inclusive (AI) resorts have zoomed in popularity for group incentive travel and business meetings. As major hotel brands like Starwood, Marriott and Hyatt have started to add more all-inclusive product, these resorts have become even more appealing to budget-minded planners. Not only can these ‘all-in’ packages offer budget savings, but they also allow the planner to better control costs and eliminate surprises.
Mike May, President of Spear One, provides insight, “With varied cuisine options, meeting planners can easily create dine around events on property, which eliminates transportation costs and simplifies planning. Additionally, the CEO hosting the President’s Club trip appreciates that the recognized employees never pull out their wallets.”
But, here’s a cautionary word. Some all-inclusives provide weaker service for groups and meeting planners. Many all-inclusives cater, instead, to honeymooners, leisure travelers, and heavy-drinking revelers. Some properties may rely heavily on buffets with few restaurant-style options, leading to inferior food quality and boredom with choices.
“Groups impact resorts differently. They arrive in big waves, so the resort needs a group arrival desk to process arrivals quickly. Receptions and dinners occur in large groups, which can tax an AI, if it is not prepared for mass service in a small time period,” says May.
Incentive travel hosts desire a high-level of “incentive quality” service to attendees. Corporate meeting planners often question which resorts really understand group business. “Our list of top 36 AI’s have a brand commitment to the group meeting and incentive business,” says Genny Castleberry, Director of Meetings & Incentive Travel at Spear One.
Which all-inclusive will best fit your next group incentive travel program?