Planners turn to safe Mediterranean havens

As security rises quickly up the destination agenda, incentive planners are turning towards traditionally 'safe' Mediterranean havens including Italy, Greece and Cyprus.

Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece

The Mediterranean region has long been a haven for corporate meetings and incentives, but with terrorism-related security fears meaning the likes of Turkey and Morocco are currently off the pitch list, brands are turning to the Med's idyllic and safe shores more than ever.

Spain, Portugal, Croatia and Malta have all seen a spike in visitor numbers in 2016, according to figures collated by travel research group Euromonitor. This resurgence of traditional favourites is also being reflected in event bookings, according to agency BI Worldwide.

"Security fears mean a lot of business is shifting out of North Africa and Egypt to southern Spain or Portugal," claims Shaun Casey, head of events, BI Worldwide. "Greece is also coming back again. We are regularly quoting Athens for clients now."

One of the Med's best selling points is its abundance of island retreats, from the Balearics to the Italian isles of Sicily and Sardinia. Not only are they brimming with top hotels, stunning scenery and exciting activities, but most importantly, they are perceived as safer and less risky destinations for corporate groups in the current climate.

NCH Europe recently visited Sardinia and Iceland Foods treated top store managers to a trip to Ibiza last year. But lesser known islands such as Malta's sister Gozo, which has hosted Peugeot, as well as Corsica and Santorini also offer the perfect backdrop for inspiring incentives.

C&IT highlights five of the best Mediterranean havens for incentives:

Mediterranean Incentives: Sicily, Italy

Mediterranean Incentives: Corsica, France

Mediterranean Incentives: Limassol, Cyprus

Mediterranean Incentives: Gozo, Malta

Mediterranean Incentives: Santorini, Greece

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