JNR Spotlight: Planning an Incentive Trip to Australia

Although the plane flight can be long (14 hours from Los Angeles International Airport to Sydney Airport) an incentive trip to Australia can be worth the while with dramatic beauty, hidden gems and modern cities.

Organizing an incentive trip to Australia starts with deciding where to visit. Australia is huge. There is no way to ‘see it all’ with less than six months there. If the trip is between one and four weeks it is best to choose one or two or three from the list below so that participants really enjoy their time without feeling rushed.

Top Cities to Choose From:

Sydney

Sydney is an obvious choice. While not the capital of Australia (that’s the often missed city of Canberra), it is the largest. Situated on the Eastern coast with a population of 4.7 million, Sydney is a magnificent mix of art, heritage and relaxation. As soon as participants get off the plane they will notice that the rush of everyday American life is lost and people seem to enjoy a more leisurely pace.

What to see

There is no shortage of things to see in Sydney but there are some standouts not to be missed. Optional activities for participants should include climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, an afternoon at Luna Park or Bondi Beach and a jet boat cruise around Sydney Harbour. With over 40 shows a week, a night at the Sydney Opera House is a perfect highlight to an incredible trip.

Where to stay

Pier One Sydney Harbour features Federation-style architecture with a contemporary feel. This hotel is built on and over the water of the Sydney Harbour and suites and guest rooms feature original timber and ironwork from the historic Pier One Wharf.

Where to host an event

The Taronga Center boasts a location like no other. Built on the magnificent Taronga Zoo grounds, this venue had magnificent views of Sydney Harbour (including the bridge) and the event space was recently refurbished and now includes exclusive on-site caters with menus designed by head chef Sean Connolly. This location also allows for participants to share some time with local and unique Australian animals.

Where to eat

Café Del Mar in Darling Harbour possess a breathtaking view of Darling Harbour with its third story, waterfront location.

The Winery in Surry Hills is not to be missed with its fantastic ambience and even better food.

Quay is known throughout Australia for its culinary endeavors and perfect location nestled between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

Mr. Wong showcases some of the magnificent Asian food that Australia has become known for. Enjoy authentic, steamed dumplings or peaking duck in the timeless colonial furnishings of this venue.

Special Events

There is always something happening in Sydney. One if the most extraordinary is Vivid Sydney – an annual celebration of illumination, color and art that transforms Australia’s largest city into the world’s biggest outdoor art-gallery.

Melbourne

This cultural hub of Australia is brimming with spectacular architecture, festivals and hip cafes.  One of the city’s most memorable tourism campaigns was “Lose Yourself Melbourne” and this is easy to do with magnificent laneways to explore and hidden art around every corner. Melbourne is known for having amazing transportation which makes it easy to see much of what Melbourne has to offer.

What to see

The Melbourne Cricket Grounds (MCG) is a spectacular sporting venue that will leave participants in awe.  Whether watching a cricket match or an Australia rules football (AFL) game here or simply taking a tour of the structure, the MCG will surely impress.  A walking tour of Melbourne’s famous arcades and laneways will take participants through fabulous street art, chic cafes and great venues for shopping. The Royal Botanic Gardens are the perfect destination for an afternoon picnic and the Eureka Skydeck 88 will offer you 360-degree views of this magnificent city.

Where to stay

Park Hyatt Melbourne features world-class design and a central location. It sits 13 miles from the airport and in close proximity to the city’s attractions.

Where to host an event

Crown Melbourne is a great venue for events, meetings and conferences with a central location and onsite expertise.

Where to eat

It is common in Melbourne to find “Feed Me” menus at high end, cutting edge restaurants.  Here groups can pay a set amount per head and enjoy a range of dishes distinctive to that restaurant. This is a unique way to experience all that these fabulous eateries have to offer. If a venue has this option, take advantage of it.

Union Dining in Richmond focuses on fresh and local produce and has a distinct Melbourne identity. They are known for their flexibility and open-mindedness when it comes to organizing dinners for any group size with the wine room opening out onto a roof top terrace with views of the city.

Bluestone sits in the heart of Melbourne’s city and is dedicated to drinking and dinning. It is named after the bluestone used to construct this heritage listed building and has a charming and rustic atmosphere. The food is market driven with an Australian feel – participants can even try emu and kangaroo!

Special Events

Melbourne has festivals showcasing food, film, art and music throughout the year. Anytime is a good time to visit Melbourne as there is sure to be something unique on.

Adelaide

Adelaide is one of Australia’s best-kept secrets. Over the past decade this sleepy city has turned into a top destination for international and domestic tourists. With beautiful beaches, great shopping, a magnificent wine region and some of the best events in Australia, this city deserves a spot on your itinerary.

What to see

The newly redeveloped Adelaide Oval is a great stop for all sports fanatics. This historic venue hosts cricket and AFL matches and dates back to 1871. Participants can find a huge range of retail stores in the beautiful pedestrian mall, Rundle Mall, in the city centre – make sure to grab some Haigh’s Chocolate which is local delicacy. Cleland Wildlife Park is set amongst the gum trees in the Adelaide hills and gives participants a chance to get up close and personal with local wildlife including kangaroos, koalas and pythons. An afternoon at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens and Adelaide Zoo showcase the city’s beautiful parklands that coat the city center with an emphasis on being ecologically responsible. The Adelaide Central Markets are a must-see that caters to foodies with fresh, local produce.

Where to stay

Crown Plaza Adelaide is a beautiful, modern hotel set in the heart of Adelaide city. It is one of Adelaide’s newest hotels and is sure to please all participants.

The Playford Adelaide is a continually evolving, Art Nouveau property that combines classic style with contemporary luxury.

The Majestic Roof Garden Hotel combines elegance with spacious rooms and boasts a beautiful rooftop garden with unrivaled views over the east end of the city.

Where to host an event

The Adelaide Town Hall is one of the most charming and historical venues in Adelaide and has a range of rooms to suit different attendance rates. The atmosphere is enhanced in this heritage building by the regal clock tower and imposing Victorian era presence stands. With its prime location in the heart of the city, your guests will be thoroughly impressed by this venue.

The Adelaide Convention Centre overlooks the visually stunning River Torrens and Park lands and has rooms to suit all numbers and styles of events. This is the more modern option for venues in Adelaide.

Where to eat

Situated in the Adelaide hills is the charming German town of Hahndorf. Participants can enjoy a leisurely morning exploring the hidden gems and tasting the fresh fruit before finding one of the many gorgeous bistros and cafes to have a bite to eat.

Set in one of Adelaide’s beautiful laneways is Chef Jordan Theodoros’ newest venture: peel st. The venue radiates a warm atmosphere with exposed brick and beams, recycled wood panels and floor to ceiling windows and the food will make you fall in love with Adelaide dining.

Auge Restaurant boasts some of Adelaide’s best Italian food and can create the perfect mood and ambience for a corporate function of up to 140 people.

Special Events

The Fringe Festival is like nothing you will experience anywhere else. This event takes over the city of Adelaide every year in February and March and is so popular that cities all over the world are trying to replicate the model. The Fringe draws international comedians, musicians, circus acts and actors but also allows anyone with a show, exhibition or cultural event to register and be a part of the largest art event in Australia. Pop up venues are everywhere across the city including parks, warehouses, laneways, hotel rooms, cafes, theatres, art galleries, town halls and empty buildings. Every night, the parklands come alive and people descend upon ‘The Garden of Unearthly Delights’ to enjoy the summer air, the amazing food, the lively music, carnival rides and a cocktail in a double-decker bus.

The Clipsal 500 Adelaide is an annual motor racing event held each March with the race taking place through the streets of Adelaide. V8 Supercars are watched by over 250,000 people in hotly contested races.

 

Top Experiences to Choose From:

The Great Barrier Reef, Port Douglas

The Great Barrier Reef makes it onto many people’s bucket list and for good reason. The reef hosts some of the most vibrant fish and corals in the world and takes home the award for being the largest living thing on Earth.

When not exploring the reef participants can enjoy a truly unique experience at the Wildlife Habitat’s Breakfast with the Birds. Guests will enter a giant aviary to share a breakfast of fresh fruit with colorful macaws, parrots and other native birds.

Uluru

Sometimes referred to as Ayers Rock, Uluru is a great place to visit not only because of the grandeur of the rock but also to give guests a true experience of the spectacular Australian Outback.

Kakadu National Park and Katherine Gorge

Kakadu National Park is located in the Northern Territory and is home to crocodiles, kangaroos and over 280 species of birds. The park is surreal in its beauty and sure to please participants.

The Barossa Valley

For the wine connoisseurs in your incentive travel group, the Barossa Valley is a must see! Located 40 miles from Adelaide, the region produces some of the best wines in the world. Explore some of the stunning vineyards and take in the beauty of this area.

If you would like more information on how JNR can organize a truly spectacular incentive program to Australia, please call us at 949.476.2788 or email info@jnrcorp.com.





More Information




By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

JNR Spotlight: Prepaid Card Incentives

The idea of developing a prepaid card incentive program has been around for many years but now with new generations and demographics adopting prepaid cards in their personal life, the advantages of cards over cash are becoming easier to see.

A paper released in September, 2014 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia titled Millennials with Money: A New Look at Who Uses GPR Prepaid Cards highlighting the increased uses of general-purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards brought to light some of the main reasons for increased adoption of these financial tools as well as some of the advantages of them.

As consumers continue to become disenfranchised by the financial industry, companies and organizations need to find a way to distribute money to individuals who do not have bank accounts. Reloadable prepaid cards create a means to do this. There is now a large group of individuals who have taken to using reloadable prepaid cards as a substitute to direct deposits into traditional checking accounts.

As is expected, there is a direct relationship between a person’s age and usage of these cards, with younger people adopting the technology more rapidly.  However, there is a large segment of middle and high income households that already employ a range of traditional banking services now adding reloadable prepaid cards to their wallet. Combining conventional banking services with prepaid cards creates a hybrid tool that is easy to manage and even easier to use.

Key Findings:

  • More than 73% of respondents stated that they expect their usage of prepaid cards to stay the same or increase in the coming year
  • 53% of respondents that currently have a prepaid card agreed that owning a prepaid card is a good alternative to a checking account
  • 42% of respondents indicated that their prepaid cards offered a significant advantage over cash
  • 59% of respondents agreed that prepaid cards helped them “manage money better/ spend less”
  • 62% of respondents stated that prepaid cards helped them avoid overdraft fees

As the demand for reloadable prepaid cards increase, so too does the demand for prepaid card incentive programs. It is becoming clear to companies that sales goals, employee engagement and loyalty are easier to reach when rewards are given on a reloadable prepaid card rather than with cash or merchandise. A 2013 survey of more than 1,400 people revealed that respondents preferred prepaid cards as rewards for a purchase.

To learn more about how JNR can create a custom prepaid card program for your organization and leverage the higher perceived value of card over cash, please call us today at 949.476.2788 or email info@jnrcorp.com.  You can also find additional information on our website.





More Information




By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

 

JNR Spotlight: The 10 Best Australian Incentive Travel Destinations

Australia is a perfect incentive travel destination that provides a range of activities and an abundance of breathtaking sights. With its variety of vibrant and bold cities, this country has become a worldwide phenomenon that leaves visitors coming back for more.

1.Sydney, Australia by Christopher ChanPhoto: “Lighting The Sails, Vivid Sydney 2011” by Christopher Chan is licensed by 2.0

Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, is an ancient gem bursting with historic landmarks and rich culture. The spectacular Sydney Opera House is a must see attraction that gets approximately 4.5 million visitors per year. With visitors from all around the globe, this city is a tourist paradise.

 

2. Melbourne, Australia by Hai Linh Truong

Photo: “Melbourne, Australia by night” by Hai Linh Truong is licensed by 2.0

With a population of over four million residents, Melbourne is the largest city in Australia. Check out the city’s colorful skyline by exploring bars, cinemas and restaurants across several rooftops as you listen to live music beneath the shining stars. This stylish and sophisticated city has become known to be as “Australia’s cultural capital”.

 

3.

Brisbane's city skyline with the Story Brodge lit up purple. All images creative commons non commercial. www.ashmolephotography.com

Photo: “Pretty In Purple, Brisbane, Australia” by Ben Ashmole is licensed by 2.0

Captivating the heart of Queensland culture, Brisbane explores a variety of different centuries. Take a step back to the past and visit the historic Windmill and Old Commissariat Store or leap forward to the future with a tour of the new Gallery of Modern Art. This vibrant city offers a diverse range of activities, restaurants and scenic landscapes that appeal to all ages.

 

4. Cairns, Australia by Gregg RegulaPhoto: “002-Cairns, Australia” by Gregg Regula is licensed by 2.0

Cairns is gateway for adrenaline junkies, daredevil divers and active nightlife adventure.  This city offers an array of exploration that will keep you wanting more.

 

5. DSCF3016

Photo: “Port Douglas Town and Beachview” by Michael Zimmer is licensed by 2.0

With its laid back ambience and perfect sunshine, Port Douglas, is a soothing paradise that will bring you luxurious leisure. Sunbathe on the golden sands of Four Mile Beach or indulge in five-star cuisine, this destination is a treasure you don’t want to miss.

 

6. IMG_1396Photo: “Hobart, Australia” by Joe Brockmeier is licensed by 2.0

The sparkling city of Hobart presents a fascinating voyage of adventure. Explore all that this city brings from its waterfront cafes and restaurants that overlook a harbor swarming with unique yachts and fishing boats to its extravagant nightlife that captivates the city’s charm.

 

7.Margaret River, Australia by Gord McKennaPhoto: “Sunset at Margaret River, Australia 2007” by Gord McKenna is licensed by 2.0

Margaret River is one of Western Australia’s most famous food and wine regions. This destination produces some of the best cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and merlot in the country. Just a short drive from the wineries gives you surf, snorkel and gorgeous stretches of secluded beach.

 

8. Noosa, Australia by eGuide TravelPhoto: “Noosa Australia” by eGuide Travel is licensed by 2.0

Noosa is a world famous surfing travel destination, known for its spacious beaches and near-perfect waves. The laidback ambience creates a place where you can truly relax and let go.

 

9. Adelaide, Australia by Duncan RawlinsonPhoto: “Adelaide Australia” by Duncan Rawlinson is licensed by 2.0

Adelaide, the heart of the world’s opal industry is an enchanted treasure collection of shopping, fine arts and outdoor activities. Soak up the city’s elegance in the vividly green parks, vigorous Central Market and rich cultural museums and libraries.

 

10. Tallavera grovePhoto: “Tallavera grove” by John Jones is licensed by 2.0

With over 100 wineries, Cessnock holds one of the oldest and most diverse wine regions in the world. Tour the vineyards and cellars, indulge in gourmet restaurants or play a round of golf on some of the country’s most pristine, world-class golf courses.

 

Check back next week as we take a closer look at how to plan an incentive program to make the most of Australia.

If you would like to learn more about incentive travel destinations, please contact JNR Incorporated. We are happy to set up a time to talk about creating an incentive program that fits your organization’s needs. Give us a call at 800.343.4546, or email us at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com.

 

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Tatum Dumont

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

JNR Spotlight: Fastest Growing Caribbean Destination

The Turks and Caicos Islands, located 550 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, are known for their year round warm temperatures and soft, white sandy beaches. Until recently these islands were not well known but in the past year the number of visitors traveling to Turks and Caicos have grown by 50 percent. Most of these tourists arrive by cruise ship while some came in by air accounting for a record high of 1,407,313 total travelers in 2014. Most of these visitors are U.S. citizens rounding up to about 80 percent of all total guests to the islands. So why is this destination suddenly in high demand?

Director of the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, Ralph L. Higgs believes that accessibility to the islands is a huge contributing factor to the rapid growth in 2014. These islands located just beyond the Bahamas are an easy two and a half hour flight from Miami and offer travelers a new tropical destination to consider.  Getting there has become extremely convenient with a direct flight from many major gateways in North America such as JFK in New York and Logan International Airport in Boston. Travelling by cruise ship to Turks and Caicos was ranked fourth out of 28 Caribbean destinations with an increase of 24.8 percent.

In addition, the unusually cold weather in much of the U.S. last year may have played an important role in the increase in visitors. In an average year these islands have 350 days of sunshine, perfect for lounging by the pool or taking a nice stroll along the beach.

Typically, Caribbean cuisine is not at the forefront of decision making when booking an island escape.  Turks and Caicos are changing this perception though now offering over 20 restaurants featuring world-renowned and award-winning chefs.  The islands have also become host to the Caribbean Food & Wine Festival, which offers epicurean delights and draws in visitors from around the world.  This festival is designed to host dinners and tasting events on a small scale allowing the guests a chance to interact directly with top chefs and winemakers.  Typical to the Turks and Caicos relaxed reputation, this boutique festival keeps the focus on culinary talent while keeping the scene at a manageable size.

Some say the 230 miles of ivory sand on the islands are home to the best beaches in the world.  This laid back destination offers crystal clear waters and colorful coral reefs for beachgoers to enjoy as well as spectacular limestone caves and diving and snorkeling opportunities.  The Turks and Caicos are not the place for a lively nightlife but if you are in the mood for evening bonfires and an overall relaxing atmosphere, these islands are a tropical paradise destination leaving visitors with lifelong memories and experiences.

Now midway into 2015, Higgs anticipates continued growth while incorporating stronger and better marketing strategies. He believes the destinations strong branding and location keep Turks and Caicos on track for another solid yearly performance.  We would love to bring your group to these lovely islands.  If you would like to learn more about Turks and Caicos please contact JNR. We are happy to set up a time to talk about your organization’s needs. Give us a call at 800.343.4546, or email us at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Tatum Dumont

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

 

Photo: “Regent Palms Turks and Caicos” by C.C. Chapman is licensed by CC by 2.0