Incentives: News from around the world

With the new year upon us, there’s never been a better time to reward groups with an international trip.
With the new year upon us, there’s never been a better time to reward groups with an international trip. Here’s what’s new in some of Australia’s favourite incentive destinations and how travelling there looks today.

K-Pop culture in Korea

Deoksugung Palace in Seoul, South Korea.
Deoksugung Palace in Seoul, South Korea.


With K-Pop taking the world by storm and Korean film and television earning global accolades, Korea is well on its way to becoming a top incentive travel destination. This has resulted in a range of exciting new programs related to Korean pop culture as well as those that align with the global trends of environmental, social and governance (ESG) and wellness tourism.

To foster attractive incentive tour programs in these areas, Korea Tourism Organization (Korea MICE Bureau) hosted distinguished MICE destination management companies for the ‘Korea Outstanding Incentive Tour Program Competition’ in Korea in June 2022.

The 19 winning programs for incentive groups include a Squid Game-themed culinary tour, a ‘Time Capsule Tour’ exploring retro and modern Korea, an information and communications technology industry tour, and wellness tour, to name just a few.

Korea MICE Bureau also offers K-Incentive Fun-Up & ValueUp Programs for groups of at least 10 international delegates visiting Korea and staying at least two nights. Fun-Up Programs offer great benefits such as an airport welcome party.

Pay it forward in Hawai’i

A group participating in Malama Hawai’i at Papahana Kuaola on O’ahu, Hawai’i. Photo credit: Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) / Heather Goodman.
A group participating in Malama Hawai’i at Papahana Kuaola on O’ahu, Hawai’i. Photo credit: Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) / Heather Goodman.


Tourism recovery within the MICE sector is recovering and growing and Hawai’i expects to welcome an increased number of corporate groups in 2023. With excellent hotels and conference venues and a deeprooted connection to Australian visitors, Hawai’i remains a top location for everything from corporate functions to incentive rewards, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and vibrant island lifestyle that appeals to both business and leisure at the same time.

When it comes to unique and memorable experiences, Hawai’i provides exceptional “Aloha” service that is authentic and heartfelt, and suppliers have a strong commitment to ensuring that group events are transformational and not transactional. Organisers have a deep kuleana (responsibility) to those that come to Hawai’i, and guests are treated as ohana (family).

In addition to a range of premium incentive experiences, groups also have the special opportunity to pay it forward by partaking in the Malama Hawai’i Program, where they’ll learn about Hawaiian culture and natural resources while volunteering in a range of projects for the local community.

So much in store in Singapore



One of the most accessible and significant cities in the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore is also increasingly recognised as an excellent destination for unique incentive travel experiences.

While most of the world ground to a halt during the pandemic, Singapore continued to innovate and transform. New hotels, tours, attractions, restaurants, and bars opened, while existing establishments took the opportunity to revamp, and now the whole city is primed and waiting to be rediscovered by visitors from all over the world.

Singapore is world-renowned for its food culture. For an intimate dinner for up to 20 guests, Pangium is an upscale, tasting menuonly restaurant located with sweeping views of Singapore Botanic Gardens. Helmed by chef-owner Malcom Lee of Michelinstarred Candlenut, Pangium presents a journey to better understand Singapore’s Peranakan culture through its unique cuisine.

To escape the city, an unforgettable experience awaits at the Night Safari’s An Evening in the Wild, in Singapore’s first tipi tent for up to 40 guests. Meanwhile, large groups can choose various team-building options at Sentosa island’s Scentopia, including a hands-on workshop to make your own personal scent.

Singapore welcomes all international travellers quarantine-free, with unvaccinated travellers subject to a negative pre-departure test result and proof of having purchased COVID-19 insurance with at least $30,000 medical coverage. Mask-wearing is only mandatory in medical facilities and on public transport.

Adventure awaits in Canada

Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls. Photo credit: Alan Brutenic.


From the west coast of British Columbia to the eastern Atlantic provinces, Canada is teeming with surprising destinations and experiences, ideal for creating memorable meetings, conferences and incentive rewards.

Teams can venture into the heart of Niagara and stand in the mist where the mighty Horseshoe Falls tumbles from 13 storeys above; stay in a wilderness lodge deep in the forest of British Columbia and lock eyes with a grizzly bear (from a safe distance); or marvel at the northern lights in Canada’s northern regions as they shimmer and dance across the inky sky.

For more urban experiences, an exclusive performance by the world-famous Cirque du Soleil in its home city of Montreal can be booked as a private group function.

Meanwhile, Canada’s rich intellectual capital Ottawa, international organisations and world class universities make it easy to enrich corporate event programming with innovative speakers, immersive localised tours and networking opportunities.

As of October, there are no mandatory COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirements, but travellers must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) prior to enter Canada via the Government of Canada website.

Experience omotenashi in Japan

The historic Higashiyama district in Kyoto.
The historic Higashiyama district in Kyoto.


Having spent the last two years upgrading and improving its tourism facilities, including opening a slew of new hotels with more in the pipeline, Japan is now more accessible than ever is excited to welcome back international visitors with its signature ‘omotenashi’ hospitality.

Japan’s eclectic blend of ancient culture, modern cities, breathtaking natural landscapes, incredible resort and wellness experiences, and world-renowned cuisine, including Michelin-starred restaurants, spoils for choice when it comes to rewarding and memorable incentive itineraries.

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is keen to help groups explore the whole of Japan. From the ancient capital of Kyoto and the bustling metropolises of Tokyo and Osaka, through to the exciting satellite and emerging cities of Sapporo, Yokohama, Kobe and Fukuoka, every town and city across Japan provides a true smorgasbord of plenty to discover and experience.

Japan fully opened to international travellers in October, but travellers that are not fully vaccinated are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours prior to departure. Masks should still be worn indoors and many people choose to still wear them outdoors – wearing masks to ward off the common cold and even hay fever was commonplace in Japan even before the pandemic.

Britain is calling

London, England.
London, England. Photo credit: VisitBritain/Antoine Buchet.


Since Australian travel restrictions lifted earlier in the year, there’s been an exponential rise in the pace of recovery for travel from Australia to the UK with flight bookings frequently exceeding pre-pandemic levels and continuing to accelerate.

With loads of new openings, one-of-a-kind experiences and a year-round calendar of events, including the Coronation of King Charles III in early May, Britain is open and well placed to continue to welcome back corporate and incentive travellers.

London will see a boom of new luxury accommodation openings throughout 2023. One of the city’s most anticipated regeneration projects recently made its debut almost 40 years after its closure, with the reopening of Battersea Power Station in October as an innovative retail and leisure destination which also includes the new 164-room art’otel

England’s northern gateway is also celebrating ‘reinvention’, with Manchester set to welcome several brand new and refurbished music venues, new cultural and green spaces, a major museum reopening and a wave of new hotels.

Away from the city centres, groups can embrace the outdoors with several new and revamped properties launching in 2023. The Bracken Hide will open as a luxury wilderness hotel in Portree, Scotland, while The Tawny Hotel in Staffordshire will soon unveil its new treehouse-style accommodation.

Groups seeking adrenaline-pumping experiences can check out the new 270 Climbing Park coming to Gloucestershire in 2023, take a dip with stingrays and sharks at Plymouth’s National Marine Aquarium’s new snorkelling experience, or embark on stargazing safaris, kayaking and ziplining at Dark Skies Festivals happening across the country in February. London, England.

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