This Year, Hurricanes Aren’t Going to Stop Incentive SeasonOctober 1, 2019
As a hotelier, I sometimes get frustrated when I read news websites or watch national news on TV and the hospitality industry is the victim of incorrect reporting. The latest example: After Hurricane Dorian came through the Caribbean last month, all the headlines and on-the-ground reporting made it look like the Bahamas were completely destroyed.
But the Bahamas are more than 250 miles long from north to south, and the hurricane only affected the northernmost islands of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama. And while the devastation in those places was indeed terrible, the other places in the Bahamas where most of the inhabitants live and where most of the resorts are—Paradise Island and New Providence Island, which has the city of Nassau on it—were virtually untouched. In fact, they were reopened just 24 hours after the hurricane passed.
Unfortunately, concerned travelers, meeting planners, and incentive travel planners had to conduct their own research to find an accurate picture of how the Bahamas were affected by the hurricane. The truth is that for meetings and incentives booked for early 2020, there will be no problems for groups going to the resort islands of the Bahamas because of that September storm.
The reason I bring this up about another tropical destination is because sometimes, the places where we at AIC Hotel Group have our all-inclusive resorts—the eastern and western coasts of Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Miami—also get negative media coverage that is not accurate. To planners who are our clients and also those who are not (yet) our clients, the only thing I would ask is that when you see negative coverage about a destination where one of our hotels are located, is that you do a little more digging on your own to find out the entire story. Most of the time, you will find out that a situation is not the same as what the headlines make it out to be—and the chances of any local situation affecting our guests’ on-property experiences are just about zero.
Okay, my rant is over. We look forward to seeing our early-2020 meeting and incentive clients enjoying our tropical destinations in high season, when most of North America is really cold.
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