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With our July Special, you can receive complimentary sourcing for TWO destinations simply by submitting an RFP to us online! You can access the form by clicking “request info” via our website.

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The end of July is quickly approaching, so don’t wait!

Innovative Iceland

Andrew Evans of National Geographic Traveler recently tweeted a very interesting fact about an Icelandic city as follows: “All houses in #Reykjavík are heated w/ geothermal energy (hot water flowing thru pipes). Means this is one of the cleanest cities on Earth.” As a sustainable travel enthusiast, it immediately caught my interest. I thought, what’s a better place to plan for a green incentive trip? Talk about off the beaten path…

A large portion of Iceland is sourced by renewable energy, making it one of the greenest locations worldwide to visit. In fact, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability notes how “Reykjavík is home to the largest geothermal heating system in the world.” Impressive, huh? On top of this accomplishment, the energy that isn’t geothermal is hydropower. This city ultimately screams sustainable living, which is why it’s the perfect destination for your next eco-minded incentive adventure.

A quiet island with a breathtaking environment that boasts an entirely efficient way of living; what are you waiting for? Iceland isn’t necessarily the first place that comes to mind, but it certainly is worth considering.

On Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): What, how, & why we love it

CSR is the talk of the town of recent, and slowly but surely businesses are jumping on board to this new trend. With that said, the term is thrown around a whole lot, and while you may contribute to it’s reach, are you entirely aware of the meaning and what it involves?

Allow us to briefly elaborate. CSR incorporates social consciousness that extends from personal aspects like corporate citizenship to environmental means such as “going green”. In an effort to achieve this recognition, businesses may encourage team volunteer projects, green meetings, and sustainable incentive trips. Now, this is where we come in, and why we love CSR so much.

Successful companies promote employee involvement. By that we mean team bonding, efficient meetings, and friendly events beyond the professional field. And, we are here for just that. The planning. The nitty-gritty details that make many cringe. We do that. And guess what. We enjoy it. But, there’s more. What’s so special about your next corporate meeting or incentive trip if it’s not eco-conscious? In this day and age, with the extent of knowledge that people have acquired over the years, we owe loads of respect to our natural environment. It sustains us, so why shouldn’t we sustain it?

Not sure where to start? Well, the first step would be to come to us. From there you can let us know what you’re looking for – the destination you’re dreaming of, the type of team engagement your seeking. Below are a few examples of what we mean here at A&M.

Remember that culinary incentive trip to Italy featured on the blog several months back? Well, that option certainly still exists. Or how about taking a volunteer trip in South America? Talk about rewarding. If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxation in the sun, head to the Virgin Islands; St. John has some serious green thinking on their minds that we are thrilled to work with.

Rooftop solar panels in St. JohnThe options are endless, and that’s what makes incorporating CSR into planning so exciting! For more information on what we mean and how we promote our own social consciousness, visit our website!

What an Incentive!

Italy. Food. Bonding. What’s not to like?

A major part of being an effective team is maintaining the ability to cooperate with one another both inside and outside of the workplace. Bonding over fun and stress-free activities help to aquaint coworkers as well as develop relationships beyond the professional arena.

So that’s bonding, but what about Italy and food? They are both relevant, I promise. According to Flavor of Italy, cuisine related team building helps to boost morale, foster solidarity and collaboration, break down barriers, build new relationships at work with both customers and colleagues, improve time management skills, stimulate problem solving skills, as well as enhance creativity. Think about it: tradition has it that meals are not solely about the food, but also the social aspect of sitting down with others to enjoy a shared delicacy.

Italy Countryside

Now, let’s talk the real fun stuff. Flavor of Italy offers Corporate Culinary Team Building that facilitate this social sharing. The options? Try out the “Fusion Cooking Team Building” which divides participants into teams that will create an Italian fusion meal with international ingredients. If this doesn’t strike your appetite (yes, pun intended), look into the “Recipe & Meal Creation Event”. Teams gather their own ingredients to make a meal that will be rated based upon originality, taste, presentation, speed of preparation, cost, and sustainability (bonus!). Not into the cooking idea? Opt for the wine tasting event that provides various samples of reds and whites to participants, which are then randomly resampled by the same group in an attempt to identify the most correctly. Have a different event in mind? Flavor of Italy notes how if that’s the case, simply ask them about it! They are more than happy to accommodate specific interests.

Wine

These options are among the activities offered by Flavor of Italy to foster both team building as well as the enhancement of an equally amiable and professional work ethic. “Getting the job done” is no more important than setting time aside to create relationships with coworkers. In fact, the latter is often necessary for an effective completion of the former.

It’s also vital to recognize that Flavor of Italy promotes and practices culinary responsibility in each of their programs. They state, “Culinary sustainability is an increasingly important part of our lives as the world we live in becomes more global, resources become more scarce, and we face important issues such as recycling of our ever-increasing waste and GMOs.” Despite indulging in some of Italy’s finest, Flavor of Italy’s policies can alleviate your team’s concerns about leaving the “green”.

Check out Flavor of Italy’s blog for some more information and updates!

Where to: Retirement destinations

Aside

Retirement.

This may be a daunting term for some, so allow me to rephrase: Retirement abroad.

Talk about moving on to bigger (or smaller, perhaps) and better things. Recently, TopsRetirement.com posted an article sharing their thoughts on the 10 best international places to retire. Whereas the typical creation of such a list is built upon affordability and beauty, TopsRetirement.com focused on, “stable governments; low crime rates; the ability to mix with ordinary people; great food, wine, and culture; and 1st world dependability and bureaucracies.” What I find the most appealing about each of the following places in that there is an appreciation for a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of life.

1. Ireland. Land of (understood) language, culture, and countryside activity.

2. France. It would be nice to start off the day with a platter of renowned cheeses and fresh baguette, wouldn’t it?

3. Spain (coastal). Warm and sunny winters, anyone?

4. Italy. The great outdoors, food, and some more food.

5. Costa Rica. The picturesque hub of eco-tourism.

6. Croatia. Affordable and (in my opinion) underrated.

7. New Zealand. A perfect mix of ultimate adventure and quaintness. Oh, and The Lord of the Rings.

8. Panama. Lunch break on the beach in the middle of January, sure thing.

9. Mexico. Perhaps a surprise for some to see on the list, but you must remember: this beautiful country is not all bad!

10. Ecuador (Ceunca): Why not take to a lower-cost and friendly environment?

I mentioned how each of these locations may appeal to our ecofriendly senses. How so? Skip the car and hop on a bike to cruise Ireland’s quiet towns, Tuscany’s lush countryside, or for some sustainable exercise before delving into France’s fresh market delicacies. Off to the sunniest of destinations? Inquire about solar panels on your Spanish villa or Latin American beach house. Or, how about opting for open windows to allow for a natural cross ventilation in lou of constant air conditioning? An added bonus: a calming (and free) beach aroma.

The options are endless for outdoor activity in these 10 countries. Seeking to truly live your life to its fullest? This list includes places that encourage individuals to get onto their feet for a happier, healthier, and environmentally-conscious lifestyle.

For more on each location, check out the article on Topsretirement.com or Marketwatch.com (photo source).