For meeting planners around the world, it’s important to familiarize yourself with potential destinations, which is why professional trips for that specific purpose used to be called FAM trips. Nowadays, however, they’re called Destination Reviews for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) planners. The Aruba Convention Bureau organizes at least two Destination Reviews each year in which a select group of meeting planners are brought to the island so they can find out first-hand how potential destinations, properties, venues and tour operators might interact with their clients during a meeting, incentive or other event. Think of it as a “due diligence” process for incentive travel planners to make sure they’re making the right choice if Aruba is on their short list of potential destinations.
Because ECO DMS is the only destination management company on Aruba that offers the fullest range of services possible, we’re often deeply and happily involved in pulling off these Destination Review events. After all, we’ve been doing this on One Happy Island for more than 25 years. We know how to impress, which is important when you’re on an island where 75% of the gross national product comes from the tourism industry.
During the last Destination Review, in addition to the key roles we played throughout the event, we were also hired to host the final night celebration. We made it a night the participants will remember for a long, long time! We also decided that we should do something different with the fees generated from that event – something really special that speaks to our desire to make ECO DMS a part of not just the tourism industry but the everyday lives of Arubans.
We decided to donate the fees to School Dununman, a primary school on the island where the teachers truly care for all their students. But we especially like how hard they work to make sure special needs students aged 6-16 years old get the extra love and attention they need to become successful in school and life. The photo at the top of the page is headmaster Sharline Geerman-Rodriguez with some of the students. Wichita Villacres, CEO of ECO DMS, along with other staff visited the school and presented it with the donation.
This is just one of the many ways ECO DMS demonstrates its commitment to giving back to the island it serves. If you’re ready to partner with a company that cares for your next incentive travel program to Aruba, then contact us now for a consultation!