Why Asheville is a Top Incentive Destination


Asheville tops many lists for its culinary and craft beverage culture, music scene, energizing outdoor recreation, and expansive arts - and is one of Travel + Leisure's Top 50 Places to Travel in 2023. With an uptick of incentive planner interest in second-tier cities, Asheville is also widely recognized by the industry as a great location to host a reward trip for top performers, including being among the top trending incentive destinations for 2023.

Aerial shot of Biltmore EstateIncentive planners know that once-in-a-lifetime experiences can be a powerful differentiator, and Asheville experiences like Biltmore, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the world-famous spa at The Omni Grove Park Inn help up the wow-factor. Combine one or more of these bucket-list activities with opportunities for guests to immerse themselves in authentic experiences and amazing food offered in our scenic mountain city, and you can deliver a top-notch reward experience.

And with the Asheville Regional Airport that has 27 non-stop destinations and connections to major hubs, plus our proximity to major Southeast cities, it’s easy to get here.

Bonus: When you send your RFP to Explore Asheville, you can take advantage of our “Have More Fun On Us” incentive program, good for up to $5,000 toward unique Asheville experiences and vendors like these local gems we’ve highlighted below.

Incentive Travel in Asheville

Asheville offers luxurious resorts, stunning natural surroundings, inspiring interactions with local artists and only-in-Asheville dining experiences. Watch the video for insights from local industry leaders and a success story from an incentive planner, showcasing what makes Asheville extraordinary.

Asheville Offers Inspiring Awards to Incentive Groups
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Asheville Offers Inspiring Awards to Incentive Groups

ActivitiesOmni Grove Park Golf

The Omni Grove Park Inn, with 513 rooms and 86,000 square feet of meeting space, not only offers a world-famous spa, it also has a legendary 18-hole Donald-Ross designed golf course. America’s largest private home, Biltmore, sits on a spectacular 8,000-acre estate and hosts a slew of specialty tours and unique outdoor activity options like horseback riding, fly fishing, and clay shooting - just as the Vanderbilts did 125 years ago - and features on-site lodging at the Inn on Biltmore and the Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate. Western North Carolina is also known for its whitewater rafting, ziplining, and of course, miles and miles of hiking made even better when guided by a Blue Ridge Hiking Company expert.

Dinner at PosanaTo immerse attendees in the Asheville lifestyle, be sure book an art studio tour with Art Connections or Asheville Art Experience or a glass blowing class at NC Glass Center -- these are a great way to treat incentive winners to something they haven’t done before while interacting with knowledgeable artists and local arts experts. Asheville's food scene, known as Foodtopia, offers many options for culinary adventures like a farm to table tour, a foraging tour or a world-class dining experience at one of our James Beard nominated restaurants. With 50+ craft breweries in the region, consider booking a private brewery tour or tasting or a guided pub crawl. Does the group deserve a little pampering? Asheville has unique wellness options like salt caves, guided hikes combined with yoga, sensory deprivation tanks, plus amazing spas.


Inn on Biltmore Estate + Biltmore VenuesBooking rooms at the impressive Inn on Biltmore and The Omni Grove Park Inn always make for a splash with visitors, but we’ve got plenty of other four-diamond properties too, including Haywood Park Hotel, a downtown department store-turned-historic boutique hotel; Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park, appreciated for its convenient location near great shopping, dining, and movie theater; and the Tudor-style Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection located in Historic Biltmore Village.

Plus, our downtown accommodations include modern and boutique properties and a growing inventory of options for incentive groups. Downtown properties include the modern AC Hotel Asheville Hotel; the The Foundry Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, a boutique property comprised of three historic buildings; the Kimpton Hotel Arras, a four-star luxury property; The Restoration, a luxurious, all-suite hotel has 60-rooms and several private event spaces, including a rooftop bar featuring a terrace and unobstructed views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as a private bowling alley.

New Lodging

Three newly opened hotels are all adaptive reuse projects, whose buildings harken back to the Roaring Twenties – the city’s golden era as a creative mountain escape.

  • The Radical – Grit meets glamour in this boutique hotel that transformed a once abandoned factory into an unexpected work of modern art. The Radical’s richly layered interiors – by Suomi and Kris Moran, set designer for Wes Anderson – features vibrant graffiti in every guestroom, both from decades past and modern additions.
  • The Flat Iron – The Big Apple got a flat iron building, so Asheville got one, too. This 71-room, Prohibition-themed hotel features a rooftop bar, and fitting with the era, a hidden speakeasy. The historic building speaks to Asheville’s period of creative and economic wealth in the 1920s and a desire to be more modern and “citified,” as a local historian explains.
  • Zelda Dearest – An ode to Asheville’s ties to Zelda Fitzgerald, this bespoke hotel connects three historic Victorian-style homes. The venue features inviting outdoor spaces and interiors, inspired by the Fitzgerald’s lives and literary works.

More openings in 2024:

  • Embassy Suites by Hilton – This new hotel features a rooftop Italian restaurant with a backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains and includes 7,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space.  
  • Autocamp – Guests will soon have the chance to fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the French Broad River. Autocamp’s first luxury airstream campsite in the Southeast debuts this spring. The site, about 15 minutes north of town, includes an on-site bar and general store, and will also feature luxury cabins.
  • Moxy Hotel – 115-room hotel in the heart of downtown, will include a rooftop bar and interiors that incorporate work from local artists.

Plan Your Incentive Trip with Explore Asheville

The team at Explore Asheville is your best first point of contact to find the right fit for your incentive trip. We’ll save you time and effort by sending your RFP to the hotels that fit your criteria, coordinating your site visits, and will provide insider knowledge into the best activities for your group. You also receive exclusive perks when working with us including amenity gifts for meeting VIPs, and when you send your RFP through Explore Asheville, you may be eligible for our Have More Fun on Us incentive program.

Ready to get started? Contact our team today.

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Asheville offers a bountiful array of hotel properties, from historic hotels and grand resorts to elegant inns and modern downtown hotels.

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We’ll save you time and effort by sending your RFP to the hotels that fit your criteria, coordinating your site visits, and will provide insider knowledge into the best activities for your group.