Incentive Travel: Perfect Picks for a Picture Perfect White Christmas

Business meetings, conferences and all your hard work are all over for 2011. Even the most dedicated event planners take time to relax at Christmas. With global warming, snow is getting harder to find. We haven't seen  much in Toronto this year. I saw a CNN report a few weeks ago indicating that, at the time, there wasn't much snow in the Swiss Alps. That was a shocker since there was an early snowfall on September 20th. Alpentouer live webcams show that the situation has been rectified in some areas.

If you're in search of a picture-perfect snowy Christmas, here are some places that you're virtually guaranteed to have one.

Quebec City

Quebec City Christmas
Enchanting and magical are no exaggeration: This UNESCO World Heritage site, has a historical charm that you'll never forget. Explore Old Quebec and the area inside the historical fortifications. (They're hundreds of years old.) There are concerts, parties, art galleries and museums (including a Maple Syrup museum). QuebecAdabra! will light up the city and dazzle you with unforgettable projections. If you stick around until January 6th, you can see the Ice Hotel.

The 14-day trend is forecasting snow on Wednesday, Friday and every day next week. VIA Rail First Class from Montreal is the way to go. Travel through picturesque, snow-covered rural villages. At your destination, it won't be hard to find a cozy fireplace to keep you warm in this dreamland setting.


That's where I have spent Christmas for all but 3 years. (I spent those 3 years in Jamaica). During that time, Montreal has never been without snow at Christmas. (I'll file a report from Montreal next week).

Temperatures are mild this year but the 14-day weather trend is forecasting snow flurries tomorrow. With 30-year historic average temperatures of 10°F, Montreal is always a safe bet for a white Christmas.

Haliburton or The Muskokas, Ontario

When I want to ensure that my client has snow for a retreat, we head to Haliburton or the Muskokas. There are a number of resorts and is even a wonderful property that used to be a hunting lodge. It's owned by a real French count and operated by his son.  Snowshoeing, dogsledding and cross country skiing are some of the adventures that await attendees. Every morning, deer make their way across the lake.


Hakuba, Japan (Kitaazumi, Nagano Prefecture)

You'll remember this small mountain village, set against a rugged backdrop of snow-covered mountains, as the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics (hosted at Hakuba Happo). Select a ski resort with an onsen in this area that is a favorite of backcountry enthusiasts. Spend your days skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. Be sure to take in a backcountry tour. Then, soak your cares away in a hot spring.

The current snow depth is 8 inches in the village and more than a foot deep in the mountains.

Sapporo White IlluminationSapporo, Japan (Hokkaido Prefecture)

In 1972, Sapporo welcomed the world when it hosted the Winter Olympics. It's also famous for the Sapporo Brewery, an incredible annual snow festival and a delightful chocolate factory.

There is no shortage of lights and dazzling Christmas decorations. Every year, there is a glorious Munich Christmas celebration inspired by Germany's famous Christmas markets. The White Illumination continues until Christmas Day.

Starting on Thursday, they're forecasting snow every day for over a week (except Tuesday).

Sapporo and Hakuba have not been affected by the 2011 earthquakes.


If you're in the U.S. and you've given up all hope for a white Christmas, think again. Despite global warming, Colorado and Vermont have lots of snow. They're also expecting snow for Christmas in the Pocono Mountains and New Hampshire.

Where's the Snow?

If prospects for a white Christmas are dim in your area, it's not too late. Pick your favorite snow destination, pack your suitcases and head off for a wonderful snow adventure.

Photo Credit: Steve LeClerc

Photo Credit: sakura_chihaya+

For snow destination in the U.S. or Canada, use this handy Snow Forecast tool. No matter which destination you select, the Cvent Supplier Network will find a range of 5 Star hotels, boutique hotels, lodges and luxury resorts in winter wonderlands.


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