by Leo Jakobson | September 02, 2015
Many incentive industry associations hold silent and even live auctions to raise funds at their various educational and networking trade shows. Now the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) Foundation is taking its fundraising auction out of the shows and opening them to everyone.

Opening today, the SITE Foundation Auction 2.0 (hashtag #bidforit) offers participants the ability to bid on travel packages donated by hotels, cruise lines, and other hospitality providers. Along with multi-night stays, these usually include extras such as meals at fine restaurants, golf and spa activities, or airport transportation. The packages encompass urban experiences, beach vacations, exotic adventures, and cruise packages, and are grouped into three geographic regions: the Caribbean, Mexico, and United States.

Aimed at supporting the SITE Foundation's mission of raising awareness of the value and benefits of motivational travel programs, the first round of Auction 2.0 closes on Sept. 27 -- the day the SITE Classic event begins in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The online auction is open to anyone, not just SITE members or incentive industry insiders, and new regions, destinations and packages will continue to be added. A second round will coincide with the sold-out SITE Nite North America, which takes place in Las Vegas on Oct. 12, right before IMEX America.

"In past years, participation in the SITE Foundation auctions has been limited to those who attended the SITE Classic and/or SITE Nite," says Rhea Stagner, SITE Foundation vice president of fundraising, who is also vice president of supplier relations at Maritz Travel Company. "This year we are opening the auction to the public and have extended the auction dates to enable people time to explore the exciting travel packages and share the opportunity to bid with their friends and families."

Among the packages currently up for bid are "Chic at the Cosmopolitan," which includes four nights in a wraparound Terrace Suite (including resort fee) at the luxury Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas resort, limo transfers to and from the airport, a $500 credit for dinner for two at any of the property's 13 restaurants, and two spa treatments (up to $300 value). The package has a $4,000 value. The "Your Casa is Casa de Campo" package, value $5,548, provides a three-night, all-inclusive stay at the Casa de Campo resort in the Dominican Republic (pictured above). It includes unlimited horseback riding, non-motorized water sports, tennis, and an on-resort touring cart, as well as all meals and unlimited drinks in the bars and lounges.

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