Incentive - August 2008 - (Page 52)

TRAVEL The Magic of Hong Kong Feng shui, tai chi and fabulous feasts await incentive groups The view of Hong Kong's waterfront is spellbinding as millions of lights captivate the senses By Harriet Edleson iny Hong Kong—426 square miles or six times the size of Washington, D.C.—has been a much sought-after incentive trip for more than 25 years. And while it’s still hot, it faces the challenge of newer Beijing and Shanghai, as well as Bangkok and other Asian destinations, as its competitors. The newest twist for Hong Kong is to pair it with Beijing or Shanghai, or both, and make the incentive a power-packed double-header or even a triple play, adding Bangkok to the mix. However, stand-alone Hong Kong incentives command their share of the spotlight. “In the early- to mid-Eighties Hong Kong really boomed,” says Los T Angeles–based James LaValle, manager, conventions, exhibitions and corporate events, for the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB). “Now, we don’t get as many mono-destination incentives.” He estimates that 50 percent are Hong Kong only; the other half, combinations. “Very popular are Beijing/Hong Kong and Bangkok/Hong Kong, he says. Another way Hong Kong incentives have evolved is that today they are more than simply “shop and dine,” says LaValle. Incentive travelers, like all globe-trotters, are taking more time to expose themselves to the culture of a destination, to learn more about its intricacies. “It’s a real immersion into the stories and legends of the place.” Typically, single-destination incentives to Hong Kong are four to five nights, whereas multi-destination incentives might do three nights Hong Kong and three nights Beijing. Certainly, variations abound. Incentives are likely to include themes, for example, “living healthy the Chinese way,” with perhaps a tai chi class in the park, a tea appreciation session or tasting, a visit to a Chinese apothecary and a class in feng shui. “This is a bit of an immersion into the Chinese lifestyle,” says LaValle. “These little cultural programs are really growing. [Incentive travel is] not just about luxury and pampering. We always have to re-imagine our product to meet the trends.” Because world-renowned shopping is 52 | Incentive | August 2008 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Incentive - August 2008

Incentive - August 2008
Editor's Note
In the News
Cover Story: Amgen and Avnet, a Pair of Fortune 200 companies, are taking two very Different Approaches to Rolling out a Global Recognition Program
Incentive Interview: Author, Speaker, Professor, Refugee; Steve L. Robbins’ many hats have led him to ask, “What if ... The World isn’t as We Think It Is?”
Case Study: Rudi’s Organic Bakery Found that an incentive trip with a Strong Social Responsibility Component Works Wonders
Gift Card IQ
Banking on Relationships
Corporate Comics Make Serious Points
Incentive Primer: Tom Miller
Gas Incentives Rev Up
Legal Ease: Pitfalls Beyond Taxes
My Turn: Airline Frequent Flier Programs
Travel News: Where To Go and What To Do
Amalfi Coast: A Classic Italian Destination
Hong Kong: The Original Chinese Incentive
Ireland: South, East, West, and Now North
potentials Here and Now
Electronics: Top Tech Trends
Luxury Goods: Exceptional Awards
Corporate Gifting: Rules and Ideas
Excite and Incent: Spot Rewards
Advertiser Index
Off the Cuff: Hollis H. Malone

Incentive - August 2008