Incentive - January/February 2010 - (Page 22)

TRAVEL A City in Vegas PA G E 2 4 Bermuda Beckons PA G E 2 9 MGM Mirage rolls out long-awaited CityCenter entertainment and civic hub on the Strip The idyllic island destination is more serene than other islands and boasts new and renovated resorts SERVICER MAKES VOLUNTEERING IN NEW ORLEANS THE BIG EASY oluntour Gumbo, a new partnership between the New Orleans Marriott and two local volunteer agencies, Contemplatives in Action and Bayou Rebirth, launched in December with the goal of matching incentive and other group volunteers with customized community projects in the region. The idea for the collaboration came about last January, when the Marriott started noticing greater demand for housing for volunteers, says Melissa Thiele, senior sales manager for the hotel and one of Voluntour Gumbo’s three founders. “We created a ‘build and bond’ package with a special rate for volunteers, but [participants] wanted to do something different every day and had a difficult time finding resources,” she says. Voluntour Gumbo assigns a coordinator to a planner. The coordinator goes over community needs and types of projects available that best fit a group. Opportunities V Cancun Beaches Return In midst of a $70 million-plus restoration, Cancun’s eroded white-sand beaches are wide once again By Leo Jakobson ast Spring, Cancun was hit from all sides: Swine flu had scared off many corporate groups and leisure visitors, a drug cartel was spreading violence throughout the region (though not in the tourist areas), and the beach—painstakingly restored after Hurricane Wilma in the late ’90s—had dramatically shrank again after a series of lesser storms. Now, swine flu is largely over (and not as associated with Mexico as it had been), and the safety issue has “receded a bit,” L says Phil Mullins, president of Deerfield, IL-based incentive travel management company Windward International. “If anything, it’s been safer,” he says. For the beach, the government is in the final stages of a $71 million restoration project that began last September. It has delivered more than 65.7 million square feet of sand to the hotel-zone seashore. Mullins adds that even back in November, the project had made “a substantial difference” to the beach. “It’s a very extensive restoration,” he notes. range from working with animals, to replanting wetlands and marshlands, to museum and rebuilding projects. The coordinator arranges all project details, is on site for the entire time of the program, and can add tours or educational sessions to enrich the experience. The service is not limited to groups or Marriott guests, but volunteers staying at the property do get a price break. Voluntour Gumbo’s per-person fees are $25 for individuals and $50 for groups. It offers an inclusive rate of $84 for four people, bringing the per-person fee to $21. Go to for details. “In New Orleans, we’ve seen a lot of groups add volunteering as a teambuilding activity,” says Thiele. “The demand is there, especially with people trying to keep budgets down. It’s a great way to see a city and also give back without spending very much money.” —Donna M. Airoldi 22 | Incentive | January/February 2010 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Incentive - January/February 2010

Incentive - January/February 2010
Editor’s Note: Shift Happens
Cover Story: Incentive’s 2009 Grand Motivation Master Winner
7 Steps for Running a Non-Sales Program
Original Research: Incentive’s 2010 Reader Forecast Survey
Primer: 3 Tips for Getting Through Airport Security
Strategies: Calculations and Conversations
Travel News: Where to Go
CityCenter Opens, Aiming to Redefine Las Vegas(Again)
Bermuda Still Works
Potentials: Here and Now
Electronics: The Revolution Will Be 3D!
Online Gift Cards Make It Easy

Incentive - January/February 2010