Various segments of the incentive
still are scrambling to cope with the fallout
from Hurricane Katrina, which took popular New Orleans out of the
running for incentive travel programs this quarter and perhaps well
Sandi Porter, right, director of industry relations for Maritz
Travel, the incentive firm based in Fenton, Mo., said no clients
had trips scheduled in New Orleans when Katrina hit on Aug. 29, but
several combination incentive/meetings were to be held through the
end of 2005.
At press time, one program had been moved to Orlando and
another to the Phoenix area, while a group set to hold its program
in the Big Easy next March had not yet decided whether to switch
to another destination, said Porter.
USA Hosts, one of the New Orleans’ largest destination
management companies, had some clients move their programs to other
destinations that have USA Host offices, according to Jim Germain,
president, corporate, for the DMC.
All business booked at the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, has been
canceled through March 2006. A spokesperson for the chain said many
of those events have been moved to other Ritz-Carlton properties,
mainly in Florida, where the chain has nine hotels.
The Chicago-based Society of Incentive & Travel Executives
will donate half of the charity funds collected during its annual
conference, to be held next month in Toronto, to the relief effort
(last year, the organization collected $10,000). At press time,
SITE was planning a special fund-raising event during The
Motivation Show, Sept. 27-29 in Chicago.
SITE also is waiving its annual membership dues for industry
professionals from areas affected by the storm.
For other industry initiatives, including job banks and
fund-raising efforts, go to the Breaking News page at