Meeting and Incentive Gifts Just Got Much More Expensive. Will It Last?

May 22, 2019 Kevin Edmunds

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Here’s a headline that will give you a headache: “New Round of $300 Billion in Tariffs Includes Just About Every Promotional Product,” according to Promo Marketing magazine. In mid-May, President Trump announced not only that current tariffs on Chinese-made products are going from 10 percent to 25 percent, but also that many more products will be included on the tariff list.

In other words, most items provided by the promotional-product and business-gifting industry—from flash drives to leather padfolios to shirts to sunglasses to watches and clocks and much more—will be noticeably more expensive for meeting and incentive planners looking to give their attendees something memorable to take home from an off-site program.

Hopefully, a trade agreement between China and the U.S. can be worked out and this situation reversed as soon as possible. In the meantime, though, planners who use hotels and resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean—such as the ones operated by AIC Hotel Group—gain yet another advantage versus hosting their programs at U.S. properties.

You see, the locally-made products found in and around our resorts on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Mexico as well as in the Dominican Republic are not only authentic—making for a great take-home memory for event attendees—but their costs are even more competitive now versus items made in China, especially with high-end products.

What’s more, when a meeting or incentive comes to one of our all-inclusive properties, we create great events around gift-giving that really reinforces the impact of what attendees receive. Set around our pools or on the beach, these gifting receptions are high-end themselves, and add so much value to what attendees receive or choose from a nice selection. We’ll bring local artists and craftspeople on property to set up their wares at the reception so that attendees get a real taste of local culture and a customized lifelong memento of the event. It’s a great experience, one that sets us apart from most other group-focused properties in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the U.S.


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