September 18, 2019
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Fall evokes thoughts of cooler weather, cozy sweaters, and...stress.

This month we talk about how to deal with transitional stress, tradeshows, and an exciting new travel industry ideology, "under-tourism". So sit back, unwind, and read on.
FIND YOUR BALANCE
The month of September and the Fall season are transition periods. Kids return to school, teachers gear up for a new curriculum, and parents try to get everyone, including themselves, back into routines. Even Mother Nature gets ready for cooler days and evenings by bringing out her best colors. With transition there can be stress and anxiety. Change isn’t always easy, so it’s important to stay focused on daily schedules, making organization a priority, and relying on our support systems to help get us where we’re going.
 
In the rewards and incentive travel industry, this is a time of year for tradeshows, like IMEX in Vegas, and re-connecting with established business partners and clients, while also cultivating new connections. This is an area our team thrives on; connection. We keep telling our clients how important it is to bring their own teams together on various levels, to build and strengthen ties that result in good business down the line. Instead of focusing on the stress and anxiety of attending or participating in all these events, in addition to current work loads, we recommend seeing corporate events as opportunities for growth, learning, connection, and yes, fun. The key is organization. By pre-booking meetings and structuring times at events, attendees are less likely to feel overwhelmed and get completely exhausted. We’ve learned the hard way how vital it is to ensure simple things like footwear is appropriate to lots of walking and standing at tradeshows and possibly moving between a host hotel and event venue. Likewise, it’s important to ensure you get enough restful sleep and that you eat healthy, regular meals, so your body doesn’t become run down. Nothing is worse than sore feet or back, being overtired, and feeling horrible due to lack of nutrition, all of which diminish the experience and lessen the possibility of maximizing the benefits of attending events. Our word to the wise; be prepared!
WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO?
September 10, 11, 12 th we were at IMEX 2019 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Las Vegas. We attend this important event every year because we know what a fantastic opportunity it is to connect with others on multiple levels; from exhibitors on hand showcasing exciting new venues and destinations, to industry colleagues. Listening to keynote speakers on topics of interest, learning new industry trends and talking points, and attending after hours gatherings means we stay plugged in to what’s important in our industry. People think we’re just in the incentive travel industry, and we are, but we’re really all about relationship-building, which is where we’re able to leverage those relationships and our extensive knowledge base when talking to our clients about their incentive programs.
REWARD CHAMPIONS

Featured JustRewards Package of the Month
The New York City Food Tour
A trip for two to New York City for three nights at the Grand Hyatt New York Hotel in Manhattan with your choice of one of 3 different New York City food tours

New York City offers diversity, culture, and style like no other U.S. city can. Stay in the very heart of the world's most exciting city and take in world-famous gourmet dining, all within easy walking distance. Come along with expert guides to explore the delicious foods and beverages in Manhattan’s most interesting neighborhoods. Savor the flavors of New York on one of three guided tours, which will take you to the historic East Village, the Lower East side, or Nolita. The choice is yours!

Package highlights include:
• 4 day/3 night Four Star accommodations for two at the Grand Hyatt New York Hotel in Manhattan anytime within 36 months of date of issuance (no blackout dates – based on availability)
• Breakfast daily
• Your choice of a Flavors of New York Food Tour, Lower East Side Artisan Food Tour, or NOLITA: Eat a bite of ethnic NY tour
• All hotel taxes
• Package inclusions may be customized to include additional nights, guests, or activities.
To learn more about this package or book one today, please contact us
DESTINATION SHOUT OUT!
What could be better than an adult only all-inclusive spa resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico? The Le Blanc Spa Resort offers lavish accommodations and a “luxury standard” with every stay that’s hard to resist.
 
Rated Cancun’s #1 all-inclusive resort by the Trip Advisor community, The Le Blanc is absolutely the venue of choice for meetings and events that deliver the ultimate in opulence, top-shelf liquor, and gourmet cuisine. Overlooking the Sea of Cortez, the Le Blanc is situated a mere 35 minutes from the Los Cabos International Airport and only 15 minutes from downtown Los Cabos, making it the ideal destination for groups seeking an exemplary experience.

With 373 luxury rooms, each boasting a private balcony, over 14,000 sq feet of meeting space, stately banquet spaces with seating for up to 520 guests, ocean view outdoor terraces to beckon gatherings outside, four pools, seven gourmet restaurants and six bars, and of course, their celebrated state-of-the-art, 25 treatment room spa, it really is the ultimate choice for large and small groups who are looking for something “more”.

For more information, or to book your group at this or other venues of interest, please contact Stephanie .

INDUSTRY NEWS WE'RE EXCITED TO SHARE
Marieskop Mountain, South Africa (photo credit Charlie Lynam )

Over-tourism can be a real problem for many of the world’s most iconic tourist destinations. Essentially, it’s a situation where a tourist attraction, especially nature-based attractions like beaches, parks, lakes, etc., experiences far too many people in one place at one time. The issue is the potential damage that can be caused to natural elements, wildlife habitats, and ecosystems by humans. So while a destination or tourism group might want to promote these places, they also have to consider more effective ways of managing large groups of people, and in some cases, come up with alternatives. One way to do this is via “under-tourism”, whereby groups are encouraged to visit in shoulder seasons, or by promoting other, equally beautiful and exciting nearby attractions that may have been overlooked in the past. A major bonus to off-season or less “touristy” destinations is that the experience becomes far more authentic, something more travelers, and millennials, are actively seeking.
 
The fact that the World Tourism Organization predicts that tourism will grow from 1.4 billion in 2018 to approximately 1.8 billion by 2030 is a real concern for conservationists and tourism boards around the globe. There is a remedy though. For example, instead of doing the usual African safari, intrepid new organizations, such as Soul Safari in Hoedspruit, South Africa, are focusing on wildlife education, luxe safari-style accommodations, safari explorations, hot air balloon excursions, and pairing it with health and wellness through mediation, Zen bush walks, and yoga, to bring a customized, personal experience for each guest and group. As a bonus, exciting adventures to new destinations means travelers, destination and venue hosts, and planners, are on the cutting-edge of experiential tourism, which is something the S.I.S. team is extremely excited to share with our clients.

A WORD FROM STEPHANIE
It can feel as if stress is a way of life. Sometimes I don’t even realize just how stressed I’ve been, until I finally slow down and unwind. Many of you are the same. With Fall quickly approaching, the S.I.S. team is ramping up into high gear for our busy season, which is exciting. Personally speaking, the key, and the balance, is to to take time for me, my family, and the personal things that matter most to me. When I re-charge, I come back stronger and even more energized. I’m ready to slay dragons!
 
That’s why I gravitate to places and experiences that offer the opportunity to revel in nature, get off the beaten track, and connect with others who share my love of life and sense of adventure. Whether it’s a cowboy cookout at a dude ranch, a walk through history in Ireland, or a Zen retreat in a fabulous new, yet to be experienced destination, I look for ways to invite clients to join me in my explorations. It’s kind of like exquisite chocolate; it’s always better when shared.
Stephanie McVeigh, CEO & Founder of Strategic Incentive Solutions Inc.

Strategic Incentive Solutions is committed to Supplier Diversity. S.I.S is a certified diversity supplier as a woman-owned business enterprise (WBE) that can assist with your diversity spend requirements.
“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” – Unknown