Destination Caribbean

The leading hosted-buyer event for top-level, pre-qualified meetings and incentive professionals looking to book business in the Caribbean. Participants will meet with the leading hotels, CVBs, DMCs and venues from the Caribbean for three highly productive days at The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba.


NOTICE: Please click here to read our statement regarding COVID-19.



Destination Caribbean—Northstar's destination-specific hosted-buyer event—brings together the most highly-qualified meeting and incentive buyers with top destinations, hotels/resorts, cruise lines, DMCs, DMOs and tourism offices from the Caribbean. Attendees participate in one-on-one pre-scheduled appointments, gain industry insights from our guest speakers and network with this exclusive group, all while enjoying Aruba. This unique event is hosted by Northstar Meetings Group’s leading brands—Successful MeetingsMeetings & Conventions, and Incentive magazine.

Check out photos from Destination Caribbean 2019:


Follow along on Instagram: #DestinationCarib
Follow along on LinkedIn: #DestinationCarib




Learn from, and be inspired by, our guest speakers who will provide targeted education specific to your needs as a meeting and incentive planner.



Connect with premier suppliers from the Caribbean during pre-scheduled one-on-one business appointments and unique experiential activities.



All qualified buyers will be fully hosted by Northstar Meetings Group, including airfare, accommodation, meals and planned activities.

Craig Dooley

Craig Dooley

President, SDI Meetings & Incentives

Craig Dooley leads incentive solutions, travel programs and corporate meetings built on the simple truth that experience matters. Craig has worked in incentive travel and gifting, special events, corporate meetings, conferences and trade and consumer shows over a 29-year career; his prior leadership roles include president and CEO of Clarion UX, senior vice president of Emerald’s eCommerce group, and senior vice president of Vornado Realty Trust’s events division. SDI produces programs around the world, for groups ranging from 10 to 1000-plus participants, combining the exact right elements driven by its clients’ goals to reward, motivate and inspire their attendees.

Jonathan T. Howe

Jonathan T. Howe

Howe & Hutton Ltd.

Jonathan T. Howe, Esq., is president and senior and founding partner of Howe & Hutton Ltd., headquartered in Chicago. The longtime legal expert and columnist for Meetings & Conventions, he has written hundreds of articles and papers on hospitality and meetings, and has spoken to organizations all over the world. He is also general counsel to Meeting Professionals International, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Association Committee of 100, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association and the International Live Events Association, as well as special advisor to the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Meetings and Travel. Howe was named the inaugural recipient of the Hospitality Industry Attorneys of the Year by the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys. As an adjunct professor, he has taught courses in association management and hospitality industry law at Roosevelt and DePaul Universities.

Diane Murray, CMP, CIS

Diane Murray, CMP, CIS

President, Options4Meetings

Diane Murray is an accomplished meeting and incentive manager with global experience in business and strategic development, corporate and program management, sales and marketing. She shares her personal experiences from traveling to  45 states and 60-plus countries with her clients and is  skilled at finding the pinnacle of each buyer-supplier negotiation to create the win-win balance that forms long-lasting relationships.

Her areas of expertise include end-to-end meeting planning; travel management; project management; brand management; customer relations and strategy; marketing, and sales coordination.

Melanie Sell

Melanie Sell

Senior Program Manager, First Incentive Travel

Melanie Sell, an Australia native, worked in tour wholesaling before venturing into the hospitality industry at five-star hotels and resorts across many departments — front office, concierge, sales & marketing and catering — over a 10-year span. After moving from Adelaide to Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef, she moved to the United States to embark on new adventures, develop her career and travel. She “jumped ship” from hotels back into planning, joining First Incentive Travel six years ago.

Lori Thomas

Lori Thomas

Global Accounts Manager, HPN

Lori Thomas has been in the  hospitality industry, with a background in luxury hotel sales, for more than 20 years. She loves working with her clients to find the perfect destination and property for their unique needs and values the ability to work with any global hotel. Building relationships is one of the most important parts of her role, allowing her to truly understand clients' needs, as well as allowing her to work with hotel partners to get the best fit for clients, so everyone is happy.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

All Day

Transfers sponsored by our premier DMC sponsor – Eco Destination Management Services ARUBA/CURACAO

2:00pm 5:30pm
COVID Testing by appointment for early departures
5:30pm 6:00pm
Planners: Site Inspection of Ritz-Carlton Aruba
6:00pm 8:00pm
Welcome Reception

Hosted by The Ritz-Carlton Aruba

Sunday, July 18, 2021

7:30am 8:15am

Hosted by Ritz-Carlton Aruba

8:30am 9:50am
Opening Remarks & General Session: Ask the Attorney: New Legal Concerns for Events
More Detail
As in-person meetings and incentive travel programs return, new legal issues are arising. Renowned industry attorney Jonathan T. Howe, Esq., will address timely topics of concern to meeting and incentive planners and suppliers, including health safety, security, cancellation terms, contract clauses, and liability, as well as special considerations for Caribbean events. Audience questioned are encouraged during this moderated Q&A session and group discussion.
Attendees will learn how to:

• Prepare for contract negotiations by understanding today’s business climate
• Revise contract clauses to be more relevant for Covid-era events
• Apply best practices to minimize health and safety risks – and avoid liability
One-on-One Meetings (6 appointments)
Gather for Lunch Departure
Site and Lunch

Sponsored by Hilton Aruba

3:00pm – 4:30pm
One-On-One Meetings (6 appointments)
4:30pm 6:00pm
COVID Testing by Appointment
Gather for Transfer to Dinner (wheels roll 6:00pm)
6:15pm – 8:45pm
Dine-Around or Dinner (advance selections required; space is limited)
Sponsored by Aruba Convention Bureau
More Detail

Monday, July 19, 2021

7:45am – 8:15am

Breakfast hosted by The Ritz-Carlton Aruba

8:15am 9:30am
Educational Session: The Plain Truth: A Planner Panel Discussion

Sponsored by Maui Jim and ECO DMS

More Detail

Lisa Grimaldi, Editor of Incentive, will moderate a panel discussion on the current challenges meeting professionals are facing as the pace of business picks up. Among topics to be covered: what has changed in supplier negotiations, health-safety protocols, staffing challenges, business recovery and more. Audience participation will be encouraged.


  • Craig Dooley, President,SDI Meetings & Incentives
  • Diane Murray, CMP, CIS, President, Options4Meetings
  • Lori Thomas, Global Accounts Manager, HPN
  • Melanie Sell, Senior Program Manager, First Incentive Travel

One-on One Meetings (8 appointments)
COVID Testing by Appointment
Gather for Walk to Lunch and Activities
Site and Lunch
Sponsored by: Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
2:15pm– 5:00pm
Activities/Free Time (advance selections required; space is limited)
More Detail
  • “Jeep” Tour - Sponsored by: DePalm Tours
  • Snorkle Yacht Sail - Sponsored by: EPIC (40pax max)
  • Made In Aruba Adventure - Sponsored by: ECO DMS (24pax max)

Planners Gather for 6pm Transfer to Site Inspection and then Dinner
Suppliers Gather for 6:40pm transfer to Dinner
7:00pm – 9:30pm
Casual Dinner at the Beach
Hosted by Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino


Tuesday, July 20, 2021


Transfers sponsored by our premier DMC sponsor – Eco Destination Management Services ARUBA/CURACAO




Those who are selected to attend will participate in:

  • Two productive days of pre-scheduled one-to-one meetings with suppliers from the Caribbean
  • Insightful educational presentations from inspiring speakers
  • Great meals, receptions, and numerous networking opportunities with other elite buyers
  • Unique experiential activities showcasing Aruba as a premier meetings and incentive destination

Follow along on Instagram: #DestinationCarib
Follow along on LinkedIn: #DestinationCarib


To learn more why past buyers say this event is the best networking and education experience in the incentive industry, please contact Cindy Binder at [email protected].



"GREAT job! It was a wonderful event and I look forward to next year :) for myself or another colleague as I found it very valuable and extremely worthwhile (which is a high bar for meeting planners). I just wanted to tell you what a terrific time everyone had and commend you for the flawless execution of you and the team!"

- Missy Madden, East West Connection

"Thank you for your gracious hospitality at Destination Caribbean. I had a great time at the event and found it very informative and a good use of my time. I met some great suppliers that I would like to work with on future programs. The Northstar team always does a great job and I welcome every opportunity to attend the events knowing that I will be able to connect with supplies that could be a good fit fo my clients."

- Molly Sampson, Down to the Details

"I've been to a few other hosted buyer programs but this is one of the best. The quality of the attendees, planners and suppliers alike, was superb. I will highly recommend this to my colleagues and other planners."



Individual Package

INDIVIDUAL - Limited Availability (Fee for Additional Suppliers)


  • Display table for one-on-one pre-scheduled appointments with heavily vetted buyers
  • Experiential networking activities, off-site functions and meals
  • All supplier expenses covered (excluding airfare & accommodations) 


    Enterprise Package

    SPONSORSHIPS - Limited Availability


    • Display table for one-on-one pre-scheduled appointments with heavily vetted buyers
    • Experiential networking activities, off-site functions and meals
    • Half-page or full-page ad package
    • All supplier expenses covered (excluding airfare & accommodations) 


    Exhibitor Package Rates & Premium Sponsorship Opportunities

    For exhibitor package rates and premium sponsorship opportunities, please contact your business development director or: Claudia Davila at [email protected].

    Request Info Destination Caribbean


    • AMResorts
    • Aruba CVB
    • Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
    • Atlantis Paradise Island
    • Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts
    • Casa de Campo
    • Cayman Islands
    • Club Med
    • Curacao
    • Delta Airlines
    • DePalm Tours
    • Discover Puerto Rico
    • ECO DMC
    • Epic DMC
    • French Saint Martin Tourism Board
    • Hard Rock AIC
    • Haven Riviera Cancun
    • Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino
    • Hoteles Xcaret
    • Iberostar Hotels and Resorts
    • Jamaica Tourism Board
    • Ocean Properties
    • Opal Collection
    • Puntacana Resort & Club
    • Marriott Cancun Collection
    • Maui Jim
    • Norwegian Cruise Lines
    • Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
    • The Curacao Marriott Beach Resort
    • The Ritz-Carlton Aruba
    • Royal Caribbean
    • Sandals
    • SLS Baha Mar
    • Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten
    • SXM Vacances



    At The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, fiery sunsets and calm, turquoise water are the backdrop for an enticing array of luxury hotel amenities. Guests enjoy direct access to a pristine beach and the resort’s adults-only and family pools. The casino offers entertainment around the clock with table games and slot machines. And the expansive spa incorporates aloe and other indigenous ingredients into transformative treatments.

    The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba
    L. G. Smith Boulevard #107
    Palm Beach, Aruba

    Hotel Website


    Buyers: We will make your reservations for you.

    Suppliers: Please check back for updates.

    Advisory Notice Regarding Outside Solicitations

    Please be advised that numerous companies have been emailing and calling our attendees attempting to book them into hotels for Northstar events.

    Here are the companies and their representatives that we have been made aware of:

    • CBS International
    • Corporate Booking Services 
    • EHRS 
    • Exhibition Housing Services 
    • Global Housing Corporation 
    • World Wide Travel 

    Be advised that these companies and individuals have no relationship with our events. Our attendees are encouraged to disregard any communication received from these companies or any others that are not affiliated with Northstar Meetings Group.



    Buyers Contact:

    Cindy Binder

    Manager of Buyer Development

    [email protected]

    Suppliers Contact:

    Claudia Davila

    Business Development Director

    [email protected]

    Event Logistics Contact:

    Angela Cox

    Senior Director, Meetings & Events

    [email protected]