The sun has been shining unabated in Ireland since Coronavirus came to town in mid March. It’s been the best Spring / early Summer in living memory with endless sunny days and temperatures hitting 20 degrees plus (that’s around 70 for our US friends). Perfect weather, you might say, for delivering the ultimate incentive travel reward in one of the world’s most magnificent and popular destinations.
Except, of course …
Becky Hargrove is Manager of award winning, Kerry Convention Bureau (KCB), the regional destination marketing organisation (DMO) that promotes Dingle, Kenmare, Killarney, Tralee and Sneem to the MICE market globally as a key element in the overall Meet in Ireland brand. With its super-concentration of world class, 5 star properties, its stunning landscape and scenery and the unique warmth and friendliness of its legendary welcome, KCBs business model relies heavily on incentive travel.
“It was heartbreaking”, said Becky. “Picture postcard scenery under an azure blue sky. Endless days of sunshine. And no incentive qualifiers to appreciate it! I thought about our wonderful members and wondered how we could use this downtime to upskill. Then it occurred to me: if we were able to give our members the chance to become CIS accredited, this would be a really tangible and positive activity for people to engage in. In my role as Regional Ambassador for SITE Ireland, I am also tasked with raising awareness of the organisation and its benefits so being able to call on the SITE family and work with my SITE colleagues to make this happen has been an extra bonus.
“Meet in Ireland had organised CIS training last year for all the regional bureaux in Ireland and I found it extremely useful, both in terms of personal and professional development. The training also really helped shape my wider understanding of what the incentive planner is looking for, both at the destination selection and program delivery stages and I’ve been able to feed this through to our members, when discussing our incentive offering in Kerry.
“The team at SITE Global were just fantastic. We approached them with a suggestion that KCB would fund a significant portion of the cost to complete the online course with the remaining portion with the remainder to be paid by the member as part of their 2021 membership fee. They could therefore avail of the training now but with their contribution deferred until later.
It is has been so straightforward to organise – we had everything set up through a couple of emails and we were ready to go.
After going out to our members and receiving a fantastic response, we confirmed the names to Marie-Claude, CIS Administrator and she had their registration emails sent out the same day. As a result, we even had two people complete the course within two days of confirming their place which was just fantastic. The remainder are working through the modules now and we hope to have everyone completed by the end of July.
A big heartfelt thanks to SITE Global and also to SITE Ireland for their support in making this happen.”
Why not avail of the downtime to upskill? If you're a DMO and would like to have a conversation about how you can avail of special terms for CIS certification contact SITE's Head of Business Development, Samantha Nicastro.
“I have worked In the incentive travel market for many years. After an initiative lead and supported by KCB I am thrilled to have completed my SITE exam and be recognised as a certified incentive specialist.
The CIS exam has been on my “to do” list for some time although finding the time was difficult. Lockdown has given many of us time to reflect and learn and CIS is now one of the many tasks I have removed from my to do list!
Incentive travel is an integral part of our business and is so important to tourism both locally and nationally”.
David Cronin, Group Sales & Marketing Manager, Killarney Hotels Ltd; The Europe Hotel & Resort, The Dunloe Hotel & Gardens & Ard na Sidhe Country House
“I was delighted to complete my CIS Training recently in conjunction with Kerry Convention Bureau & SITE. It was a superb program that trained, tested and certified me in the world of Incentive Travel Business.
I would highly recommend this to anyone eager to be part of The Global Incentive Travel industry as it gives a good foundation and understanding of the Incentive chain.
I have worked for many years in the Travel Industry and I am deeply committed to the Incentive market so I was very pleased to get the opportunity to achieve my CIS badge and to become a recognised member of this global community. I look forward to my continued journey with SITE”.
Laura Tangney, Director, Killarney Jaunting Cars