It's the end of the year and time for planners to look for inspiration for events in 2019 and beyond. For professionals looking for unique destinations for company retreats and incentive travel, or even for a personal trip to use up all those air miles, one strategy is to scan one of those “hottest destinations of next year” stories and then remove every “hot” destination on that list. However, when Mount Everest qualifies as overcrowded you know you’re going to have to look a little further to accommodate your most well-traveled clients.
Hot destinations are often the most expensive because when rooms are in demand, prices typically go up. Those places can also be quite crowded, which is a problem when your participants are looking for some quiet relaxation.
Last week, The Washington Post published a handy guide to overbooked versus overlooked destinations. It turns out there are good alternatives for the current hottest cities, such as Barcelona and Amsterdam, and even a Moroccan alternative for Mount Everest.
It is also worth keeping in mind some of the more diverse lists from 2018, such as this one, from Ranker, which collected information from both travel professionals and adventurous vacationers. It covers a wide range of destinations for different types of events. Sure, you probably don’t want to host an annual meeting in Havasu Falls, Ariz., but it might be a good spot for a retreat for overworked executives. Belgrade, Serbia, on the other hand, has a large conference center and international airport and is a modern city that very few Americans have visited.
If the trip you are planning is your own and you want to let loose with some live bands and then recover amidst great natural beauty, the Faroe Islands host five festivals a year—and it's almost guaranteed you won’t run into anyone you know.