Editor's Blog

Incentives on the trail of two cities
Mon 4 Mar, 2019 at 12:00 am

When giants embrace, the earth shakes. In an unprecedented and exciting initiative, London and Paris have joined hands to launch a unique two-in-one incentive trip to beat them all.

The landmark agreement between the London Convention Bureau and the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau will see two of the world’s most iconic cities work together to offer a new range of exciting incentive travel products, primarily aimed at inspiring North American incentive buyers but immensely attractive for all markets.

A variety of specialised itineraries have been created that will allow delegates to take in the best cultural attractions, hotels, restaurants and ‘money-can’t-buy’ experiences across both London and Paris. The itineraries have been curated to showcase how easy it is to enjoy both cities in one amazing incentive trip and includes an official partnership with Eurostar for a seamless journey from city centre to city centre in just over two hours.

London and Paris are two of the world’s most visited cities and can offer over 3,600 hotels, over 2,000 venues, nine international airports, up to 16 Eurostar trains connecting the two cities, departing daily, 192 Michelin-starred restaurants, 325 museums, 62,753 restaurants, 506 theatres, five UNESCO heritage sites and 635 parks and gardens.

Joshua Novick, vice president Business Tourism at London Convention Bureau, said: “London and Paris are two of the world’s top business and leisure travel destinations, making this a really powerful offer for incentive planners. London is open to collaboration with other like-minded, global cities and by working together as we are doing in this way, we can offer a once-in-a-lifetime incentive travel experience that allows delegates to experience two amazing cities in one epic trip.”

Corinne Menegaux, general manager of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, added: “Paris and London are an ideal two-in-one destination to hold a conference or an incentive. These cities are internationally renowned for numerous reasons such as the quality of their infrastructures, their trendy hotels and innovative activities. Both cities combine leisure and business attractions that are the keys to successful events and they have a constantly evolving offer to make the ‘Old World’ very attractive!”

Some of the top new incentive experiences to look out for across both cities include:

  • Live like a Rock Star (London) – stay at the Hard Rock Hotel London (opening April 2019) with exclusive rock royalty rooms, rock ‘n roll cocktails and Fender guitars complete the experience.
  • Illucity (Paris) – groups can become immersed in incredible multiplayer hyper-reality experiences at Illucity, the first virtual reality adventure park of its kind in Europe.
  • Borough Market (London) – personalised chef tour with the Shangri-La Hotel’s executive chef. From street food to artisan chocolate, this sustainability-focused market offers some of the tastiest dishes in London.
  • Spa trip and behind the scenes tour of Palace of Versailles – offers exclusive access at Spa Guerlain in the Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace Versailles with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Palace of Versailles.
  • Wine tasting in the Crypt at Fortnum & Mason, London – for an intimate wine-tasting experience which is only available for small private bookings.
  • Exclusive tour with a Beefeater at Tower of London – get a behind-the-scenes look around the Tower of London with a Yeoman Warder, on an exclusive Secrets of the Tower tour. See the crown jewels sparkle on an after-hours visit, followed by dinner in the White Tower.

Is this the road less travelled? Will it make a difference for both cities if they continue to collaborate and offer value and strength of their respective destinations and offers? Could the example set by this incentive plan encourage other destinations to cooperate? Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Dubai and Muscat, New York and Toronto, Hong Kong and Shanghai, St Petersburg and Helsinki or even Munich and Innsbruck? This is one of the most cheerful and positive developments in the tourism industry in a long time. For the incentive traveller, it is win-win all the way.

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