Neringa: re-thinking business trips

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Neringa: re-thinking business trips

It is time for CMW to delve deep into the sense-tingling experiences of an unexplored corner of the world as special as Lithuania’s Curonian Spit. This Baltic resort haven is now delivering a truly unforgettable business events and conference experience too.

Global MICE opportunities have long moved on from the exclusive privilege of senior executives, to an accessible option for employees of all ranks and experiences.

So, while corporate travel may be stressful at times, and, indeed, one World Bank study revealed that almost 75% of employees reported high or very high stress related to business travel, one answer to de-stressing corporate travel might lie in choosing an off-beat destination for your next event.

Consider, therefore, Neringa, in western Lithuania, which boasts mesmerising, otherworldly scenery of unspoilt sand dunes, pine groves, sea and lagoon waters. Neringa sits on the Curonian Spit, an UNESCO World Heritage site and is an elegant strip of white sand swept up from the amber-rich Baltic Sea from the West, and the tranquil Curonian Lagoon from the East.

One of the most popular and unique resorts in Lithuania, the peninsula’s exceptional landscape lends itself perfectly to a calm getaway for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of busy life, away from the crowds, and find space to re-group and clear the mind. It is a place from which to draw inspiration for organising a new project or venture, perhaps.

Four distinctive settlements, initially established as traditional fishermen’s villages – Nida, Juodkrante, Preila and Pervalka – offer world-class resort amenities and genuine coastal culture.

The serene setting and protected environment of the resort lend themselves perfectly to MICE tourism and conferences in particular.

The resort has well-developed tourism services, with accommodation, business venues and high-tech facilities to suit a variety of budgets.

There are venues able to accommodate large-scale groups and more compact spaces which can be customised for smaller-scale meetings.

The range of hotels and homestays also caters to a wide variety of tastes and budgets, from four-star hotels, authentic guest houses to cosy 19th Century homesteads.

Going the extra mile

With some of the most scenic views in Europe, the pearl of Western Lithuania, Neringa presents a hard-to-beat and balanced offer of modern business amenities, world-renowned nature, sincere hospitality and exceptional value.

Lithuania has become of the leading European countries in terms of business growth, internet speed, science innovation and higher education levels. The offer has the best of both worlds, as Neringa is still able to keep costs low compared to Western or Northern Europe, which all adds up to an easily reachable and fantastic option for any visit.

Neringa is within easy reach of Klaipeda-Palanga airport, Klaipeda international port, as well as other major transport routes. The locals are known for their warm demeanour and openness – with every visitor valued like a friend.

Take a (salty sea air) breather

A study by Scott Barry Kaufman, a cognitive scientist and co-author of Wired to Create, stated that 72% of people get creative ideas in the shower. The finding highlights the importance of relaxation for creative thinking: a calming, solitary environment induces creative thinking by allowing the mind to wander freely, and helping us to be more open to our inner stream of new ideas.

Cue Nature, a well-known de-stresser: Neringa is full of perfectly poised, peaceful locations for those special moments of serendipity, right on the doorstep of your business venue.

There is distinctive flora and fauna as well as white sand Blue Flag beaches offering water sports and landsailing. Moreover, Neringa’s landscape is 75% pristine forest, where ‘forest bathing’ is quite a trend.

Dive deep into the culture of Neringa

The village streets are filled with attractive eateries luring the visitors in with the smells of the morning’s catch, seasonal delicacies as well as crafted traditional beverages. There are also a number of festivals and exhibitions, including jazz, folklore, classical and religious music, as well as film, fishing and regatta events that unveil the fabric of the remarkable local culture.

The summer 2020 introduces a new attraction to the array of Neringa’s sights – the lighthouse of Nida. Built shortly after World War II, a 29-metre tower rewards visitors with a spellbinding view of the Curonian Spit. The hill of Urbas nearby has an adventurous web of pedestrian routes, perfect for Nordic walking and viewing points to take in the fresh sea air and admire the picturesque scenery.

Other sights include Parnidis dune, Raganu Sculpture Park, Nagliai natural reserve and Nida’s port.

Neringa’s resort life is synonymous with fun on the water and visitors can pursue activities such as windsurfing and yacht sailing, catamarans, or try out an ancient local wooden sailing vessel that is locally known as ‘kurėnai’.

Taking a ferry to nearby historical places of interest in mainland Lithuania in Minge, Uostadvaris and Ventes Ragas offers an extra chance to reconnect with colleagues and socialise with a difference on the gentle waves of the Lagoon.

A flexible choice

Wellness features heavily in most employee retention discussions, however, it can mean different things to different individuals. Some find zen in endorphin-boosting adventures such as hiking, kitesurfing or cycling (and the area has 52 kilometres of EuroVelo accredited routes).

Whether it is a straightforward meeting or an elaborate workation, there are many outdoor pursuits to get blood racing while bonding with colleagues in an informal environment, such as beach volleyball, tennis, trekking, sailing and canoeing.

Others may prefer the slow life in one of Neringa’s spas or a mindful meditation in the stillness of Nature.

Baltic Sea amber beauty therapies and traditional saunas are to be tried (are you brave enough to try it with the locally-sourced birch switches).

Why not feast on Neringa’s exceptional hospitality and fairytale surroundings for your next business travel or incentives project. Neringa has all the credentials to become the amber-hued crown jewel of any MICE tourism endeavour. Be among the first pioneers to try it, you may just get a taste for it!

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Conference & Meetings World is published for the international conference and meetings industry. It tackles the issues facing organisers of international events. The editorial is independent, fresh and news driven, with a global reach.

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