The Regent Palms Turks & Caicos // © Paradise Photography
When Cindy Wheaton, a life sales event manager for a Columbus, OH-based insurance company, brought a group of approximately 110 incentive recipients to the Regent Palms Turks & Caicos
in June 2013 for a four-night, five-day program, she had these things in mind: rest, relaxation, and wellness.
“It was a huge success,” Wheaton said. “What our attendees loved most was that it was just a nice, relaxing trip. They loved the fact that they could relax and not have too much to have to commit to.”
Year after year, the Caribbean ranks as the No. 1 international region for incentives in Incentive’s annual “Travel IQ Survey” thanks to its sun and sand, and opportunities to unwind. Wheaton says that because her attendees are particularly well traveled, she wanted to find a warm-weather destination that would be new and cater to groups.
“What sold me on Turks & Caicos, in general, is that not a lot of people have been there before, and Providenciales is a great group destination,” she says. “Also, the Regent Palms seemed the best qualified for group business — that was the deciding factor.” Wheaton says that one winner told her, “I loved the intimacy of the island; it wasn’t crowded or overly commercialized.”
Wheaton’s attendees, each of whom earned their spots in the company’s President’s Club program, relished the chance to enjoy an incentive trip that didn’t have a packed agenda, too. One participant, when asked what he loved most about the trip, said, “Relaxing: We weren’t kept too busy. We get enough business at home.”
Last year, Wheaton also incorporated optional wellness activities for the first time — a private morning boot-camp workout session one day, followed by a private group yoga class the next day. “I wasn’t sure how many people would take to it, but we had an overwhelming response and a good turnout,” Wheaton says. “I think we’ll continue to do something like that going forward.” She also notes that healthy options are always incorporated into the food-and-beverage menus for the incentive trip.
Another activity that brought the attendees together included a day trip to the nearby island of Half Moon Bay. “Everyone sailed out there at their leisure, doing different activities as they pleased, like snorkeling. On the island, we set up lunch and beach games and beach chairs so that from about 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., they just hung out on the beach and had fun.” One recipient, Wheaton recalls, told her that the trip to Half Moon Bay was the “greatest day ever.”
Other activities that incentive participants could do during the trip included kayaking, horseback riding, and golf, Wheaton notes.
For other incentive planners considering bringing a group to Turks & Caicos, Wheaton advises that they be aware of high-traffic days at the airport. “I know they’re supposed to building a new airport terminal there but until that happens, you need to be aware of the high/low seasons because it can be very crowded in the terminal on some days.”