The Grand Hyatt, Baha Mar in Nassau, The Bahamas played host to 300 incentive travel professionals attending the 13th annual SITE Classic, who collectively raised more than $250,000 for SITE Foundation’s research, education and advocacy efforts.
“We’ve had Baha Mar on our radar for some time now so anticipation amongst our attendee community was almost at a fever pitch,” said John Iannini, CIS, CITP, president, SITE Foundation. “Hurricane Dorian did cause problems but once it passed, and the health and safety of our attendees was secure, we were determined to be part of the solution by bringing SITE Classic here and channelling the good news that The Bahamas is very much open for business.”
From Monday, October 14 to Thursday, October 17, attendees connected and built their professional networks, learned career-enhancing new skills, and discovered and gave back to the host destination.
“Hurricane Dorian was a prime example of how a threat can be turned into an opportunity. We left The Bahamas personally and deeply enriched as a result of being able to play a small part in the hurricane relief program,” explained Anne DiGregory, CITP, vice-president, Fundraising and Events. “Our DMC partner in The Bahamas, Cacique International used their unparalleled local connections to create an extensive, meaningful CSR activity where our attendees could get involved and make a difference. We feel privileged to have had this opportunity.”
Besides a full afternoon of activities in support of hurricane relief efforts on day three of the event, attendees benefited from a range of activities, including the opportunity to take the Certified Incentive Travel Professional (CITP) designation, and take part in a “flexing with the flock” yoga session that had attendees doing asanas in the presence of the resort’s graceful pink flamingos.
From a fund-raising point of view, the events live and silent auctions were resounding successes. “Site Classic is our flagship fundraising event. Its success is down to our incredible sponsors who donate amazing bucket-list travel packages and our patrons and supporters who dig deep to buy them! It’s fitting too that we raise money in and through extraordinary travel experiences—that is, of course, the essence of incentive travel,” said Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP, CEO of SITE and SITE Foundation.
The 2020 edition of SITE Classic will take place in Seattle, Washington.