• Incentive Travel

25 / 09 / 2023

What Is Incentive Travel? (Explained With 7 Examples)

What Is Incentive Travel? (Explained With 7 Examples)

In today's competitive business landscape, organizations are continually seeking innovative ways to motivate their employees and drive success. One such strategy that has gained immense popularity in recent years is incentive travel. Let’s delve into the world of incentive travel, explore what it is, how it compares to cash bonuses, its impact on employee motivation, and its significance for organizational goals. We'll also discuss the different types of incentive travel, the target audience for such programs, their frequency, and whether you should create a plan in-house or collaborate with an agency like MICEHospitality. Additionally, we'll provide you with a useful checklist for creating an effective incentive travel plan and share some inspiring examples of successful incentive travel programs.

What is Incentive Tour?

Incentive tour is a powerful motivational tool used by organizations to reward and recognize their top-performing employees. It involves offering a travel experience as a reward for achieving specific performance goals or targets. Unlike cash bonuses, which often get absorbed into routine expenses, incentive tour offers a memorable and highly motivating experience that employees can cherish for a lifetime.

The concept of incentive tour is rooted in the idea that employees who feel valued and appreciated for their contributions are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and committed to their work. It goes beyond the traditional approach of monetary compensation and taps into the fundamental human desire for experiences, adventure, and personal growth.

Incentive Tour vs. Cash Bonus

The debate between incentive tour and cash bonus is a common one in the realm of employee motivation. While both approaches have their merits, incentive tour stands out for several reasons. First and foremost, it provides a tangible and exciting reward that goes beyond monetary compensation. When employees are offered a chance to embark on an all-expenses-paid trip to a dream destination, it creates a sense of anticipation and excitement that money alone cannot match.

Moreover, incentive tour offers a unique opportunity for team building and bonding among employees. When colleagues travel together, they form stronger connections and develop a deeper sense of camaraderie, which can positively impact workplace dynamics. Cash bonuses, on the other hand, do little to foster such relationships.

In addition to the tangible rewards, incentive tour offers intangible benefits that can have a lasting impact on employees. Travel experiences often lead to personal growth, cultural enrichment, and the creation of cherished memories. These aspects contribute to an employee's overall well-being and happiness, which, in turn, can enhance their job satisfaction and performance.

When employees return from an incentive trip, they often bring back newfound energy and enthusiasm to the workplace. This boosts their morale and leads to increased productivity and a more positive work atmosphere. In contrast, cash bonuses, while appreciated, may not have the same long-term effect on employee motivation and engagement.

Why Incentive Trips Are Important: Impact on Employee Motivation and Organizational Goals

Incentive trips play a pivotal role in boosting employee motivation. They serve as concrete milestones that employees strive to achieve, knowing that their hard work will be rewarded with a remarkable travel experience. This anticipation can fuel increased productivity, engagement, and overall job satisfaction among employees.

From an organizational perspective, incentive travel aligns employee efforts with company goals. By setting specific performance targets tied to the trip, businesses can channel their workforce's energy towards achieving strategic objectives. Whether it's increasing sales, improving customer satisfaction, or enhancing productivity, incentive travel programs can be tailored to support various organizational priorities.

Types of Incentive Travel

Incentive travel programs come in various forms, each catering to different employee preferences and organizational budgets. Here are the most common types:

All-Expense-Paid Trips: These are the most extravagant incentive travel programs, covering everything from flights and accommodation to meals and activities. They offer employees a worry-free experience, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the destination.

Just Stay Incentives: In this type of program, employees are rewarded with a complimentary stay at a luxurious resort or hotel. While it doesn't include travel expenses, it still provides a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

Just Travel: Here, the focus is solely on the travel aspect. Employees receive travel vouchers or points that they can use to plan their dream vacations. This option offers flexibility and allows individuals to choose destinations that resonate with their interests.

Adventure-Based Incentives: For employees seeking thrill and adventure, organizations can offer incentive programs that include activities such as zip-lining, hiking, or water sports. These programs appeal to those with a sense of adventure and a love for the outdoors.

For Whom Should You Run an Incentive Travel Program

Incentive travel programs are versatile and can be tailored to suit various industries and roles. They are particularly effective for:

Sales Teams: Rewarding top-performing salespeople with incentive trips can drive revenue growth and motivate others to excel.

Customer Service Teams: Recognizing outstanding customer service representatives can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Managers and Executives: Providing leadership with incentive travel opportunities can strengthen their commitment to the organization's success.

Cross-Functional Teams: Incentive travel programs can also be designed to encourage collaboration and teamwork among employees from different departments, fostering a more cohesive and innovative workplace culture.

How Often Should You Run an Incentive Travel Program

The frequency of incentive travel programs can vary depending on your organization's goals and resources. Some companies offer annual trips to maintain consistent motivation, while others may opt for quarterly or biannual programs for more frequent rewards. The key is to strike a balance that keeps employees engaged without overextending the budget.

Annual programs work well for organizations with stable financial resources and a larger workforce, as they can spread the costs over a longer period. Quarterly or biannual programs, on the other hand, are suitable for smaller companies or those with budget constraints.

When determining the frequency, it's essential to consider the nature of your industry and the typical sales or performance cycles. For example, in industries with seasonal fluctuations, it may be more meaningful to schedule incentive trips during off-peak periods to maintain motivation year-round.

In-House Planning vs. Agency Collaboration

When it comes to planning your incentive travel program, you have two primary options: handling it in-house or partnering with a specialized agency like MICEHospitality. Each approach has its advantages.

In-House Planning

Advantages:

Greater Control: Planning in-house allows for complete control over every aspect of the program, from destination selection to itinerary planning.

Customization: You can tailor the program to align with your company culture, values, and employee preferences.

Cost Control: In-house planning can sometimes be more cost-effective, as you have direct control over expenses.

Considerations:

Resource Intensive: Planning incentive travel programs can be time-consuming and require significant resources, including staff time and expertise.

Logistics: Managing the logistics of travel, accommodation, and activities can be complex, especially for large groups.

Agency Collaboration

Expertise: Specialized agencies like MICEHospitality have industry-specific knowledge, contacts, and experience to ensure a seamless and memorable travel experience.

Streamlined Logistics: Agencies handle all the logistical details, from negotiating with vendors to managing travel arrangements.

Time Savings: Partnering with an agency frees up your internal resources, allowing your team to focus on other critical tasks.

Cost: Agency services come at a fee, so it's essential to weigh the cost against the convenience and expertise they provide.

The choice between in-house planning and agency collaboration ultimately depends on your organization's resources, expertise, and specific goals. Whichever route you choose, meticulous planning and attention to detail are crucial for a successful incentive travel program.

Checklist for Creating an Effective Incentive Travel Plan

Creating a successful incentive travel plan requires meticulous planning and attention to detail. Here's a comprehensive checklist to guide you through the process:

Define Clear Goals: Begin by clearly outlining the performance targets and metrics that employees must meet to qualify for the incentive trip. These goals should align with your organization's broader objectives.

Select the Right Destination: Choose a destination that aligns with the interests and preferences of your employees. Consider factors such as travel time, cultural appeal, and accessibility.

Budget Wisely: Determine a budget that allows for a memorable experience without straining your resources. Consider all costs, including travel, accommodation, meals, activities, and incentives.

Engage Employees: Involve employees in the planning process to ensure their preferences and needs are considered. Conduct surveys or focus groups to gather input on destination choices, travel dates, and activities.

Design an Engaging Itinerary: Craft an itinerary that strikes a balance between work-related activities (e.g., recognition events, meetings) and leisure activities (e.g., sightseeing, team-building exercises). Ensure that the itinerary caters to various interests and preferences.

Consider Logistics: Pay meticulous attention to travel arrangements, including flight bookings, airport transfers, and ground transportation. Additionally, carefully select accommodations that offer comfort and convenience.

Safety and Health Measures: In the post-pandemic world, prioritize the safety and well-being of your employees. Implement health and safety protocols, and stay updated on travel advisories and restrictions.

Communication: Clearly communicate the program's goals, rules, and rewards to all eligible employees. Maintain open lines of communication throughout the planning process and provide regular updates.

Recognition and Awards: Plan recognition events during the trip to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of participants. Consider awards or certificates to commemorate their success.

Feedback Mechanism: After the trip, solicit feedback from participants to evaluate the program's effectiveness. Use this feedback to make improvements for future incentive travel programs.

Evaluate ROI: Assess the return on investment (ROI) of the incentive travel program by measuring its impact on employee performance, engagement, and organizational goals.

By following this comprehensive checklist, you can create an incentive travel program that not only outranks competitors but also elevates your organization's performance and employee satisfaction.

Successful Incentive Tourism Examples

To inspire your incentive travel planning, here are some real-life examples of companies that have executed remarkable incentive travel programs:

Reliance Industries Limited

Program Highlights: Reliance Industries, one of India's largest conglomerates, runs incentive travel programs for its employees to recognize exceptional performance. The company offers all-expense-paid trips to both domestic and international destinations. These trips often include luxury accommodations, cultural experiences, and team-building activities.

Tata Motors

Program Highlights: Tata Motors, a subsidiary of Tata Group, is known for its innovative incentive travel initiatives. The company organizes trips for top-performing employees, which include visits to manufacturing plants, international auto shows, and adventure getaways. These programs align with Tata Motors' commitment to recognizing and nurturing talent.

Program Highlights: Infosys, a global IT services company, conducts incentive travel programs for its employees in India. These programs typically feature a mix of professional development, such as training sessions and conferences, along with leisure activities at picturesque destinations. Infosys emphasizes the holistic development of its workforce through these initiatives.

Program Highlights: IBM India, a subsidiary of IBM Corporation, offers incentive travel opportunities for its employees. These programs often include participation in international conferences, workshops, and recognition events at exotic locations. IBM India's incentive travel initiatives align with its commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and excellence.

Program Highlights: Accenture, a global consulting and technology services company with a significant presence in India, runs incentive travel programs for its Indian employees. These programs may involve global recognition events, conferences, and networking opportunities held in desirable international locations. Accenture's incentive travel initiatives aim to reward high performance and promote career growth.

Microsoft India

Program Highlights: Microsoft India, a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, operates a variety of incentive travel programs for its employees. These programs offer opportunities to attend international conferences, recognition events, and leadership development seminars in attractive destinations. Microsoft India emphasizes employee engagement and professional growth through these initiatives.

HCL Technologies

Program Highlights: HCL Technologies, a leading IT services and consulting company based in India, has implemented incentive travel programs as part of its employee recognition strategy. These programs often include global forums, seminars, and recognition events that allow employees to network with international counterparts. HCL Technologies values employee empowerment and growth through these initiatives.

These incentive tourism examples illustrate how both Indian companies and multinational corporations operating in India prioritize incentive tour as a means of recognizing and motivating their employees. By providing employees with opportunities to travel, learn, and bond with colleagues, these companies not only boost performance but also foster a positive work culture that values achievement and personal development.

In conclusion, incentive travel is a potent tool for enhancing employee motivation, aligning organizational goals, and ultimately driving success. Whether you choose to offer all-expense-paid trips or travel vouchers, the key is to create a program that resonates with your employees and inspires them to excel. By following the checklist and drawing inspiration from successful examples, you can craft an incentive travel program that not only outranks competitors but also elevates your organization's performance and employee satisfaction.

User Image

  • Conference Organizer
  • Event management
  • Team Outing
  • Travel Planner
  • Wedding Planning
  • Partner with us

Copyright © 2022-2023 Mice Hospitality. all rights reserved.

Get a quote

  • Home (current)

Please enter your email address

incentives for travel business

What is incentive travel? (4 Incentive travel program examples)

incentives for travel business

Free holidays for your staff—what’s that all about?

Isn’t incentive travel just frivolous corporate spending, used by giant organisations with more money than sense?

Although corporate incentive travel can be expensive and difficult to deliver, it is still one of the most effective ways to motivate individuals , reward desirable behaviour and boost performance.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about incentive travel and how it can help you reach your company goals. ‍

What is incentive travel?

Incentive travel motivates or incentivises a group of people by rewarding top performers with an all-expenses-paid trip. Organisations can decide to offer the travel perk to individual employees , departments, partners, or VIP clients.

You can use travel incentive programs to achieve your core business objectives like boosting quarterly sales figures, improving the quality of interactions between employees and executives, or nurturing relationships with high-spending or loyal customers. This is done by setting clear and attainable objectives that your target group will strive to achieve in order to win a place on the trip.

So what are some examples of incentive travel programs and what they can achieve? ‍

4 Incentive travel program examples

Incentive travel programs can be used to achieve a variety of desired outcomes from improved employee engagement to client spending incentives. Let’s take a closer look at four possible uses of corporate incentive travel programs. ‍

1. Employee motivation

One of the best ways to overcome organisational challenges such as low productivity, employee turnover and poor customer service is by developing travel incentives for staff. Motivating your employees with attractive travel rewards is an effective strategy for boosting employee engagement , altering attitudes, fostering teamwork, building morale and embedding new company values.

An employee motivation travel program is designed to bring your workforce together and inspire group interaction through an itinerary of teamwork exercises and experiential activities. This isn’t a free holiday, rather, it’s a purposeful team-building retreat with clear desired outcomes.

Example: Your technology scale-up has grown rapidly and you now have a large workforce with employees working remotely across the globe. Daily tasks are running smoothly, but your team isn’t motivated and the company culture is stagnant.

So, you reach out to a third-party retreat planner to help you organise a five-day team-building retreat in Honolulu full of unique team-bonding activities and carefully selected team-building games . The itinerary is specifically designed to strengthen interpersonal relationships and improve communication. ‍

2. Rewards and recognition

Incentive travel can be used to exemplify desirable behaviours and reward top achievers. Actions like bringing in big clients, promoting company values and going the extra mile should be encouraged by offering incentive awards.

Because these trips are offered as a reward or recognition for exemplary behaviour, the itinerary focuses more on pleasure and leisure activities rather than workshops and training events. After all, the idea is to motivate other employees to perform better, not deter them.

Example: You run a successful restaurant franchise and you want to generate more positive online reviews. At the beginning of the year, you announced that the top five servers to have their names mentioned in the most five-star reviews would win a trip to Tuscany, Italy .

The trip sounded fantastic, with relaxing vineyard tours, delicious cuisine and a luxury hotel. Excitement for the trip started to build and soon enough, the five-star reviews started rolling in. 

By the end of the year, five top-performing servers were rewarded with an all-expenses-paid trip to the picturesque region of Tuscany, Italy. ‍

3. Sales incentives

Sales incentive trips work in a similar way to rewards and recognition, but in this case, they’re geared towards more quantifiable corporate objectives such as increased sales and revenue.

Before planning the incentive group travel, you must first establish the requirements for attendance. To drive better sales figures, you should set goals slightly higher than what your employees would typically achieve.

These incentive travel programs are designed to be a reward, so the agenda should be made up of pleasurable activities including relaxing dinners, unique experiences, evening entertainment and free time to explore the destination.

Example: You own a company that sells renewable energy contracts door-to-door. You notice that your sales figures have started to drop and you want to do something to inspire your sales team to up their game.

You consider offering a cash bonus, but quickly decide a once-in-a-lifetime experience is more likely to resonate with the whole team and inspire them to make more sales.

You set new speculative yet attainable sales targets and announce a free employee holiday to Mammoth Lakes, CA , for anybody who achieves them.

The employee incentive travel program successfully motivates your team to push for more sales and your revenue starts to improve. ‍

4. Customer loyalty

Incentive tours can equally be used to cement relationships with loyal and high-paying clients. They sweeten the professional relationship and offer an incentive for the customer to continue doing business with you.

These are usually luxury trips, with plenty of time to relax, explore and enjoy unique experiences.

Example: You own a company that provides catering for corporate events. One of your clients, a major event planner, has been enlisting your services for a long time and you want to give them a reason to continue working with you.

You decide to create an incentive travel program. Each time the event planner books your catering company, they earn points that can later be cashed in for an incentive travel award.

This could be a relaxing spa weekend in Helsinki or a sunny beach holiday in Gran Canaria . ‍

What’s the objective of your incentive travel program?

It’s easy to see why incentive travel is often confused for a free holiday. After all, incentive trips are designed to be desirable and reinforce certain behaviours.

They wouldn't work if the itinerary was full of meetings, product demos and feedback sessions.

So when you’re designing your travel incentive program, consider your desired outcomes. Do you want to encourage your top clients to spend more? Do your new hires need help integrating with the rest of the team? 

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can go about planning a trip with an itinerary that supports your goals.

Surf Office has almost 10 years of experience planning fully customised work retreats for major organisations such as Google, Shopify, Hotjar and more. If you're looking to organise a motivational team-building retreat , we’d be delighted to hear more about it!

incentives for travel business

free course

How to plan your first company retreat

free course partners logos

Retreat Budget Spreadsheet

Are you organising a company retreat and want to make sure you have all the costs under the control?

Get a copy of our free Budget Calculator spreadsheet.

Nail the Zoom boom: 25 Virtual employee appreciation ideas

Nail the Zoom boom: 25 Virtual employee appreciation ideas

7 Modern personal appraisal methods to level up motivation

7 Modern personal appraisal methods to level up motivation

14 Creative ways to embrace International HR Day

14 Creative ways to embrace International HR Day

Retain talent: 10 Causes of high employee turnover rate

Retain talent: 10 Causes of high employee turnover rate

Reward loyalty with our 31 Customer Appreciation Day ideas

Reward loyalty with our 31 Customer Appreciation Day ideas

Organize your next company retreat with surf office, 💌 join 17,000+ managers receiving insights on building company culture that people love., stay in touch, work with us.

  • Why GoGather
  • All Our Services
  • Corporate Event Planning
  • All Event Solutions
  • Conferences
  • Corporate Meetings
  • Incentive Trips
  • Sales Kickoffs & National Sales Meetings
  • Preferred Properties
  • Success Stories
  • Buying Guide
  • Pricing Guide

logo

What is Incentive Travel? (With 4 Examples + Top Locations)

More and more companies are considering incentive travel for their internal teams to reward employees and even external partners to incentivize sales.

But what is incentive travel? What are some examples of incentive trips? And is an incentive travel program right for your team?

This article breaks down everything you need to know.

What is incentive travel?

Let's start with incentive travel meaning: Incentive travel is the use of an all-expenses-paid trip to reward and motivate employees or channel partners for achieving specific business goals. Incentive trips can be given to individuals to use independently or designed as a group travel experience.

Incentive travel group trips can include a range of activities, from luxury cruises and beach vacations to adventure travel and cultural tours.

Most companies use incentive programs to create a memorable and unique experience that inspires participants to work harder and feel more connected to their company and colleagues. By offering these programs, businesses can boost employee morale, retention, and productivity, while also increasing loyalty and sales.

Incentive travel trips typically include a luxury hotel or resort, exciting itineraries, white-glove service, and networking opportunities that reward and connect top performers.

group of people enjoying incentive travel dinner by the pool

Who is incentive travel best for?

Incentive travel is best for companies looking to motivate, reward, and inspire employees or partners. It's typically considered a "VIP access" event.

It’s especially effective for businesses that are focused on boosting sales team engagement, improving retention rates, reducing employee turnover and burnout, and increasing productivity. Sales incentives are great ways to encourage your teams to hit their sales targets as well.

These types of attendees are typically given a qualification period to hit their target number and then selected for the trip based on their performance.

Incentive travel programs are also great for companies looking to create a stronger sense of community and teamwork within their organization.

Corporate incentive travel programs don’t just have to be for big businesses with a ton of money. With the right budget, incentive programs can be a perfect opportunity to connect your teams and inspire success.

Incentive travel is also not limited to any particular industry, as any business can benefit from incentivizing its employees to achieve specific goals. Neither is it limited to a department (though most programs focus on sales teams).

Analyzing your business needs will help you decide whether group travel incentive programs are best for your company.

group of people enjoying wine during incentive travel program

What are the benefits of incentive travel? Why incentive travel works.

There are several benefits to incentive travel. It’s a highly effective way to motivate and reward employees for their hard work and dedication. As companies implement travel incentive programs in their business, they begin to realize the importance of incentive travel.

For businesses that are still on the fence, here are some of the key benefits of incentive travel :

1. Increased employee motivation and engagement

Incentive travel provides employees with a tangible goal to work toward and the promise of a reward to achieve it. It also creates competition and a sense of scarcity among employees, as not everyone gets to partake. This can help increase motivation and engagement levels, leading to improved performance and productivity, including hitting a specific sales target or quota.

2. Improved retention rates

Employees who feel valued and appreciated are more likely to stay with their company. Incentive travel programs are an especially effective way to show that appreciation, which can in turn help improve retention rates.

3. Enhanced team building and communication

Incentive travel trips often involved team-building activities that can help improve communication and collaboration among employees. They also offer a more relaxed environment in which to connect, as well as an opportunity to connect with executive leaders. All of these combine to form a better sense of community, which can help with business performance.

4. Increase company culture and brand reputation

Offering incentive travel programs can help create a positive company culture. This can make the company more attractive to potential employees, customers and partners, leading to increased success and growth.

5. Increased customer loyalty and sales

Incentive travel programs can also be used to reward channel partners or customers, which can help improve loyalty and drive sales.

Overall, there are many benefits to incentive travel trips. They offer a unique opportunity to inspire, engage and motivate attendees, and can be more effective than cash rewards or other gifts. Compare the incentive travel to cash rewards in our latest article.

various people enjoying networking during incentive travel at a resort pool

What are some disadvantages of incentive travel?

Although incentive travel can be incredibly effective for some teams, there are also a few disadvantages to consider.

Incentive travel can be expensive to plan and execute, requiring substantial financial resources. Companies need to allocate budgets for travel expenses, accommodation, meals, activities, and other related costs. This expenditure can strain the company's finances, particularly for smaller businesses or during periods of economic uncertainty.

2. Perceived inequity among employees

Offering incentive travel may create a sense of inequality among employees. Those who don't qualify for the incentive or are unable to attend due to personal circumstances may feel demotivated or undervalued.

3. Distraction from work

Planning and participating in incentive travel programs can temporarily divert employees' attention away from their regular work responsibilities. While the intention is to reward and motivate employees, excessive focus on the trip itself can lead to decreased productivity and potentially impact overall business operations. Companies should carefully balance the benefits of incentive travel against the potential disruption it may cause.

Overall, we've seen the benefits of incentive travel majorly outweigh the drawbacks, but it's important to evaluate the program for your own business.

an incentive travel example includes singers at an incentive travel program play for group of people networking

Examples of Incentive Travel Programs

Here are some ideas for your next trip:

Luxury beach vacations

A trip to a luxurious beach resort in a place like Cabo, Mexico, or Bali can be a great incentive option. This type of incentive travel program offers the chance to relax, enjoy the sun, and participate in activities like snorkeling, sailing, paddle boarding, and beach games.

Adventure travel

For more adventurous teams, an incentive travel program that includes activities like hiking, rock climbing, or white-water rafting can be a great motivator. This type of program offers unique and memorable experiences to build teamwork.

Cultural tours

A cultural tour can be a unique opportunity for teams to immerse themselves in a local culture they may not otherwise be able to. This type of program might include visits to historical sites, museums and local markets, as well as opportunities to sample local cuisine.

Wellness retreats

A wellness retreat can be a great way to help employees relax and reset, both physically and mentally. This type of program would include activities like yoga, meditation, spa treatments and healthy eating workshops.

These are just a couple of examples of the many types of incentive programs available. We encourage you to think beyond the typical go-to destinations to find an incentive program structure that works best for your team.

For more ideas, check out our top incentive travel trends for 2024.

hammock in Mexico incentive travel destination

What are the best locations for incentive programs?

The best location for your incentive travel program depends on your team, the structure of your event, and your budget. We recommend starting with those three pillars and selecting several options to compare before you select a destination.

These programs can happen in any location, whether domestic or exotic locations.

With that said, here are some of our favorite incentive travel destinations from recent years:

Perfect for adventurous souls, Costa Rica offers several activities like zip-lining, hiking and water sports. The country also has a strong focus on sustainability and eco-tourism, making it a great destination for companies with a green focus.

Hawaii offers a multitude of options for those looking to relax, explore, or a little of both. Activities like surfing, hiking, and snorkeling are popular, as well as cultural experiences like hula dancing and lei making. Those looking to unwind also have the option of simply relaxing on the beach.

Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany offers stunning landscapes, historic architecture, and world-renowned cuisine. Activities like wine tasting, cooking classes, and visits to historic sites are popular.

Northern California

Northern California offers a multitude of resorts catering to those looking to escape for wellness retreats. With great weather year-round, this is a great option for companies looking to stay closer to home while still offering an escape.

With its mix of Mediterranean culture, pristine water, and gorgeous landscapes, Mallorca offers groups an amazing escape just off the coast of Spain. As one of our top-performing locations, Mallorca always offers that "wow" factor.

Not sure where to start when looking for the right destination for your team? Check out our guide to selecting the best destination for your incentive trip.

incentive travel location featuring resort looking over the hills of the Mediterranean

How is an incentive program typically structured?

To create an effective incentive trip program, organizations should start by defining clear goals and objectives. This involves determining the behaviors or outcomes they want to incentivize and the desired results they hope to achieve.

Next, consider factors such as timing, eligibility criteria, and performance metrics. Some companies choose to select the top percent of employees to include in their trip, some select specific departments, and others choose to bring their whole company. Whatever the selection criteria, make sure it's clearly defined and communicated to everyone involved, so they can understand how they can become a part of the group selected to go.

From there, your company can structure your incentive program by selecting destinations and activities that align with your goals, interests, and budget. Decide whether it should be a group trip or an individual reward trip.

fire dancer performs at incentive travel program

Example Incentive Trip Agenda

According to the Incentive Research Foundation, 3 - 5 day trips are ideal for incentive trips. This agenda is created around that recommendation and designed in a group travel format.

As you build your agenda, consider what mix of leisure and business activities you want, or how much free time to provide guests. Develop activities related to group interests instead of just what's available. And considering leveraging local knowledge to find cultural activities throughout.

  • Arrivals at destination, hotel check-in and welcome reception
  • Group dinner
  • Morning casual activities, such as yoga, spa, pool, or other
  • Afternoon small groups activities on site, such as sailing, golf, kayaking, or horseback riding
  • Evening cocktail reception and dinner
  • Full-day excursion or private tour to nearby cultural or natural attraction (e.g. city tour, national park)
  • Group lunch at local restaurant
  • Evening time to explore destination or attend optional activity (e.g. cooking class, wine tasting)
  • Morning volunteer event, such as school supply drive, beach cleanup, etc.
  • Afternoon time to explore destination or participate in optional activity (e.g. spa day, painting class, team-building exercises)
  • Evening awards dinner and celebration

This itinerary is just an example and can be customized to fit the specific goals and preferences of the group. The key to a successful trip agenda is to provide a balance of team-building activities, cultural experiences, free time for exploration, and leisure activities for relaxation. Learn how to make your sales incentive trip a success here.

incentive travel includes relaxing yoga sessions in beautiful locations

Is incentive travel right for my company?

Incentive travel may or may not be right for your company. There are several areas to consider as you decide if you should plan an incentive program.

Consider whether your team would benefit from a luxury trip with some rest and relaxation. Are your teams feeling burnt out or overwhelmed? This may be a good opportunity to reset.

Are your teams not hitting their sales targets? An incentive program might be the nudge they need to perform better -- beyond just getting a cash bonus.

Or, on the flip side, are your teams hitting certain achievements beyond expectations? Maybe it's time to reward those top performers with a little incentive travel trip.

Whatever your team looks like, it's important to understand if your budget and the outcomes are right for your company. Dive further into how to plan a successful incentive trip here.

Can I get help planning my incentive trip?

Yes, absolutely. Destination management companies and event planning companies are your ideal partners to help plan your event.

GoGather is your go-to event planner for your next incentive program. We have developed and planned travel incentives across the world, from Bali to Mexico to Mallorca. We help you design VIP trips to reward your top achievers and inspire success. Let's review your company goals and develop an amazing incentive trip specifically designed for your company. Start planning with us now.

Plan Your Next Incentive Trip with GoGather

Katie Moser

Related articles.

incentives for travel business

  • Virtual Experiences
  • In-Person Experiences
  • Hybrid Experiences
  • Social Calendar [New]
  • Experience FAQ
  • Features & Benefits
  • How Pricing Works
  • Client Testimonials
  • Happiness Guarantee
  • Blog Articles
  • Video Library
  • View Experiences

15 Corporate Incentive Travel Program Tips

By: Angela Robinson | Updated: May 01, 2023

You found our list of the best corporate incentive travel program tips !

Corporate incentive travel programs are initiatives that offer all-expenses paid trips and experiences in exchange for extraordinary performance. For example, a trip to Thailand or Mexico. These programs aim to motivate employees and raise morale, loyalty, and productivity.

Travel incentive programs are one example of employee incentives and employee engagement ideas , and can be a popular employment benefit .

This article includes:

  • incentive travel examples
  • incentive trips for employees
  • group travel incentive programs
  • corporate incentives besides travel

Here is the list!

Incentive travel examples

When it comes to destinations and trip experiences, possibilities are endless. Here are a few examples of incentive travel programs to give you inspiration:

  • A stay in the British countryside complete with castle tours
  • A food tour through Italy or France, or through your home city
  • Museum crawl through New York City
  • Hotel and tickets to a Broadway or West End show
  • A Seine River expedition through Germany
  • Weeklong country-hopping tour
  • Hiking excursion in the mountains
  • Wildlife interaction at a sanctuary
  • Wine country visits
  • Behind the scenes tour of a nearby brewery
  • Weekend stay at a local bed and breakfast
  • Tropical beach escape
  • Historical tour of a prominent city
  • Hot air balloon rides
  • Passes and accommodation to a cultural festival
  • Company cruises
  • Glamping or camping
  • Team building retreats

The items on this list provide a solid baseline for program structures, but there are many possibilities for irresistible trips that will drive employees to perform at their best.

Corporate incentive travel program tips

From soliciting suggestions from staff to leveraging social media, here are the steps for creating an effective corporate incentive travel program.

1. Ask your staff for ideas

A travel program is only an incentive if your staff wants to take the trips you choose. Instead of outright guessing, or stealthily scanning your staff’s Instagram vacation posts, ask your staff for destination and activity ideas.

First, gather plausible options for countries, cities, accommodations, excursions, and activities. Then, distribute a survey, and use the feedback to inform your selections. Consider including a write-in option on your questionnaire so employees can point you towards any useful travel resources or discount programs.

2. Determine the goal of your program

The point of an incentive program is to achieve a particular result or encourage a certain behavior. Thus, when designing your incentive trips for employees, it is important to outline the goal.

Corporate incentive travel program objectives may include:

  • Specific sales targets
  • Increased client satisfaction scores
  • Decrease in paperwork errors
  • Shorter customer wait times
  • Quicker production turnaround time

The goal of the program may include multiple aims, and targets may vary by position or department.

Trips are a significant investment, and organizations expect a worthwhile return on such a weighty investment. By outlining clear goals when introducing the program, you justify the expenditure and link the reward to a clear result.

Get our free team building toolbox

  • icebreaker games
  • bingo cards

heart

3. Provide clear guidelines to staff

Higher management are not the only parties that benefit from having accurate expectations for the program. When announcing the initiative, provide clear guidelines to the staff so employees understand how to earn the rewards. For best results, communicate the necessary targets, performance period timeline, methods of measurement, and ultimate prizes.

You may also want to mention:

  • The level of date flexibility for trips. Can attendees choose from multiple months or weekends, or will there only be one date for the trip? If the latter, then disclose the date upfront.
  • Whether or not family members and guests can join the trips.
  • Included amenities vs add-on options.
  • Accommodations the company can make for staff with special circumstances.

Misunderstanding requirements could lead to staff missing out on the opportunity, causing disappointment. Employees want to feel that managers are upfront and honest, and clear communication fosters trust.

4. Consult a travel expert

Corporate travel programs require a great deal of planning and logistics management. Coordinating such a program alone can feel overwhelming, but travel and events companies that specialize in running incentive programs can simplify the process.

Here are some recommended travel incentive companies:

  • American Express Meetings & Events
  • Creative Group Inc.
  • First Incentive Travel
  • Peak Performance Meetings & Incentives
  • Bishop McCann
  • Bi Worldwide
  • Fox World Travel
  • Maritz Global Events
  • George P. Johnson Experience Marketing
  • World Travel Inc

Even if you decide not to hire a third-party vendor to manage incentive trips, consider consulting a travel agent or other professional who has experience planning and executing group trips. If nothing else, then read HR blogs for advice. You do not need to reinvent the wheel; you can rely on the guidance of professionals who have seen success with incentives to shape your program.

5. Research multiple vendors

While destination management companies often advertise packages that remove the hassle from corporate travel planning, these all-inclusive offerings are not always the best options for your needs. Working with multiple event providers may be a more cost-effective solution that results in better experiences for your employees.

Consider branching out and enlisting different companies for transportation, accommodations, catering, and experiences such as museum tours or adventure sports outings. At minimum, research and compare multiple destination management companies to ensure you find the best deal and optimal level of service.

6. Negotiate exclusives

Most travel incentive companies work with organizations to create tailored, customized plans. When designing trips, securing exclusive amenities and activities can make the experience even more attractive. For instance, booking an illustrious restaurant for a private party with a special menu, or receiving an after-hours, behind-the-scenes tour of a historical site with an expert. Planning experiences that attendees cannot replicate during personal visits makes the experience feel more unique, which compels employees to work harder to secure their spots on the trip.

7. Use organizational resources

While a travel incentive trip differs from a business trip, branches in other geographical regions can be a great help to your planning process. Offices in other states or countries might be able to make an introduction to a contact such as a travel coordinator, local guide, restaurateur, or hospitality professional that can help you coordinate your trip. You might even take advantage of special corporate discounts or offerings thanks to your relationship with the sister site.

Even if your organization does not have locations worldwide, you may employ a teammate who has previously worked, traveled, or lived in your destination and can offer recommendations. Tapping into your company’s internal resources improves the journey.

8. Stick to a budget

Travel programs are rarely low-cost perks. Expenses like transportation, accommodation, meals, and entertainment add up quickly, even if your group remains local. While increases in worker output and performance often justify the price of the program, it is still important to stick to a budget to ensure a balanced return on investment.

Researching beforehand helps avoid overspending. Before you commit to a destination or travel package, ensure you understand the total cost, including any additional expenditures such as insurance, service fees, non-included meals, transportation between venues, and tips for service staff.

Remember that if employees show interest in pricey experiences that the company cannot cover, then you can compensate by scheduling free time and allowing attendees to purchase optional activities.

Here is a list of ways to spend your budget at year-end .

9. Be liberal with options

Your group is a diverse bunch with a wide range of interests. One employee’s dream trip might not be another’s. To guarantee that all travelers enjoy the experience, arrange an array of activities that suit many tastes. For example, plan a bar crawl one evening and an open mic the next. Or, give attendees the choice between wine tasting, rock climbing, or touring a museum.

When planning activities, keep in mind:

  • Physical ability
  • Level of socialization
  • Dietary needs
  • Non-alcoholic options for non-drinkers
  • Price, if members pay out of pocket
  • Cultural sensitivity and inclusivity

Keep these considerations in mind not only when planning activities, but also when booking trip details. For instance, steer clear of destinations with recent human rights violations or recent racial tensions in favor of diverse and inclusive locations where all guests feel welcome.

10. Focus on the experience more than the destination

While the ability to travel to a foreign country or a lively city is a major draw, the location is not as important as your team’s overall happiness. Instead of fixating on the destination, focus on the experience. You do not need to pick a flashy locale to garner interest in the program. Attendees can have fun in a neighboring town or an off-the-beaten-path destination if you plan meaningful and engaging activities.

When choosing a venue for your trip, explore unconventional options and open yourself to interesting possibilities. Aim to connect your staff meaningfully with the local culture and with each other. Keep an eye out for experiences unique to your host city, and aim to be travelers rather than simply tourists. In essence, unlock the full potential of each city, neighborhood, or business instead of relying on the allure of the destination to do the heavy lifting.

11. Offer resources and assistance

Assuming that every trip member is an experienced traveler is a mistake. Travel programs generate interest among a wide range of attendees, from globetrotters to folks who have yet to step foot in an airport. Because there may be a discrepancy in the travel knowledge within your group, offering resources and assistance is helpful. Even if your package includes transportation, members may need to book plane tickets individually, in which case you should designate a helper to answer questions and resolve issues.

Consider also providing:

  • Passport and visa application assistance
  • Packing tips
  • Applicable CDC advisories and vaccine information
  • A guide to cultural norms in your destination country
  • Travel medical and insurance resources
  • Currency exchange services
  • Safety recommendations and emergency contact information

You can equip the group with helpful literature, hold informational sessions, and create online forums where attendees can ask and answer questions, too.

12. Use trips as an opportunity to expand employees’ worldviews

While the trip acts first as an incentive and reward, the vacation can serve as an educational tool, too. By incorporating cultural experiences, you expand teammates’ worldviews, teach empathy, and develop soft skills that enhance employees’ abilities to interact with clients and colleagues.

To capitalize on the effects of the trip, select a destination that pushes staff out of their comfort zone and introduces new viewpoints and experiences. To achieve this end, the destination does not have to be a foreign country. Every country is culturally diverse, and workers benefit from visiting a new region, or even connecting with a distinct subculture close to home. The trip can be an opportunity not only for employees to relax and have fun, but also to grow.

13. Maximize team bonding

Being in an unfamiliar place together can bring a group closer together. Shared experiences are the root of team building, and group trips establish common ground and memories that form a foundation for continuing relationships. Group travel incentive programs can not only save companies time and money, but also supercharge group development. One of the best approaches to travel programs is to maximize team bonding potential by planning group excursions and team building activities and scheduling time for group reflection.

By dedicating Slack channels, social media groups, team chats, pre and post trip sessions, and shared online photo albums to the trip group, you can further fuel interactions between members.

Here is a list of team building ideas to try.

14. Leverage employee testimonials and social media

Organizations devote significant resources to travel programs. One way to optimize return on investment is to leverage employee testimonials and social media as a way to market company culture and motivate colleagues to strive for future travel incentives.

A few suggestions:

  • Distribute a survey at the end of the trip. Make the survey completion a scheduled activity, or incentivize feedback by holding a prize drawing in tandem.
  • Ask employees to submit photos and captions to the marketing team for the company social media page
  • Coordinate a social media takeover campaign where trip attendees schedule content for company social media channels
  • Encourage attendees to tag posts on personal accounts with the company handle and a specific hashtag.
  • Dedicate blog posts to the experience
  • Compile a highlights reel of the trip by editing together video clips
  • Allow participants to speak about the trip on a company podcast
  • Invite attendees to speak at information sessions for future trips

Most folks appreciate having a platform to share their stories and experiences. This user-generated content has many uses both internally and externally, such as in recruitment materials, marketing projects, and employee engagement campaigns .

15. Offer alternatives to travel

Although travel is an enticing incentive, it is not a universal motivator for all employees. Familial obligations, health complications, fear of flying, or a distaste for travel are examples of conditions that might prevent staff from reaping the rewards of the program. To better suit the needs of your entire organization, offer alternatives to trips, such as material bonuses or more localized experiences. Examples might include a chartered day at a nearby winery, tickets to the hometown sports team game, or extra paid time off. Read the next section for more suggestions on non-travel incentive rewards.

Other corporate incentives besides travel

Travel is not viable to every employee’s circumstances. For a more universally appealing incentive program, consider offering alternatives to travel. The following list offers a few suggestions.

Bonuses are the most common employee incentive. Monetary rewards give employees more autonomy over their winnings, since staff has the discretion to use the extra cash as they see fit. Not to mention, a financial award sends the message that the organization shares extra profits with staff, thus compelling employees to generate more revenue for the company.

When introducing financial incentives, it is important to explain a clear bonus structure so that the staff has a solid understanding of expectations and performance metrics.

2. Extra paid time off

Instead of scheduling a trip for employees, you could offer extra paid time off so that employees can travel when, where, and with whom they prefer. Through this method, your staff may opt for a staycation instead, choosing to use the extra time to catch up on errands, develop side hustles, spend time with family members, or relax at home. This approach signals that the company values employees’ personal time and appreciates work life balance. Plus, offering extra time awards employees more freedom to customize their prize.

3. Concerts

Concerts are close-to-home adventures. Music and nightlife enthusiasts love the chance to attend live performances. Access to sold-out or exclusive events, good seats or entry into VIP areas, and other perks like complimentary food or merchandise sweeten the deal. Partnering with a corporate-facing event company or local concert venue can help you net discounts and special offers for your employees.

4. Sporting events

Tickets or company box seats at a sporting event are an enticing prize for sports fans, salespeople, and anyone who relishes the energy of a live game. Best of all, since seasons consist of many games, you can divide the performance period into multiple benchmarks, and employ ticket giveaways as an ongoing motivator. Also, sports inspire attitudes of camaraderie and teamwork which you can channel into your workplace.

5. Technology

New gadgets and upgrades hit the technology market daily. Keeping all gadgets updated can be a challenge, so technology rewards are tempting incentives.

A few suggestions for technology incentives:

  • smartphones
  • video game systems
  • action cameras
  • smartwatches and fitness trackers
  • wireless earbuds
  • 3-D printers

Consider offering technology upgrades for personal use, work use, or a mix of both. For example, promise to buy high-tech printers for the winning department.

6. Parking spots

Parking can be a surprisingly effective employee motivator, especially if you work in a city with scarce or expensive parking options. Even if the office building houses a company garage, employees may eye a desirable spot. Winning a prized parking spot or a complimentary pass checks one box off of the proverbial to-do list and makes the morning commute less hectic. If parking is not part of your employee benefits package, then consider offering the amenity as a prize.

7. Fitness classes

Fitness is important, but not always inexpensive. While many companies offer wellness credits, gym memberships, or exercise classes as perks, bonus fitness services can make attractive prizes.

Here are some ideas for fitness incentives:

  • Home gym equipment
  • Subscription to online Yoga classes or Peloton
  • Personal trainers
  • Workout wardrobes
  • Fitness trackers and smart devices
  • Unusual exercise classes like parkour or circus aerobics

Even if your company provides regular exercise options, an upgraded fitness experience can serve as extra motivation.

8. Charity donations

Monetary gain is not a universal motivator, and at times philanthropy can drive efforts more effectively than cash rewards. One alternative to material prizes is to donate an agreed amount to a charity of the awardee’s choice.

Pro tip: Allow employees to suggest charities that fall within prescribed guidelines instead of picking from a limited list to ensure that workers can raise money for a cause they are passionate about.

9. Task management services

While you may not be able to give your employees extra hours in the day, gifting task services is the next best option. Hiring professional errand-runners frees up time in your employees schedules for relaxation, self-care, and self-improvement.

Suggestions for task services:

  • Grocery deliveries
  • Laundry and dry cleaning services
  • Cooks or professional meal preppers
  • Cleaners or organizing consultants
  • Childcare services

Consider gifting credit towards multiple-service providers like TaskRabbit and Thumbtack so awardees can choose the most useful options.

10. Meals with executives

Lunch or dinner with a member of the C-suite serves the dual function of providing a complimentary meal along with quality time with higher management. For best results, offer one-on-one meetings or small group experiences so that every awardee has ample opportunity to interact with the executive. Similar bonding opportunities include golf games, tennis matches, hikes, creative classes, winery or brewery trips, or video game showdowns.

11. Massages and self-care

Some workers might not treat themselves to massages, spa-days, and other self-love splurges, but will indulge if gifted an activity. Pampering experiences inspire employees to achieve a goal while emphasizing the importance of self-care.

Here are some examples of self-care incentives:

  • Manicures and pedicures
  • Salon appointments
  • Meditation session
  • Career consulting or meeting with a life coach

These prizes send the message that companies care about employee wellbeing as well as performance.

12. Extraordinary events

Though some folks use the term incentive events interchangeably with incentive trips, at-home events can offer the excitement of travel minus the forms, transportation costs, or downtime at the airport. Extraordinary events give employees opportunities to socialize, participate in new experiences, and make memories with colleagues.

Some examples of event incentives include:

  • Improv or standup comedy shows and workshops
  • Cooking classes with renowned chefs
  • Laser tag tournaments
  • Winery or brewery tours
  • Cocktail party at the CEO’s house
  • Amusement park trips
  • Early access to a new venue
  • Special sales or product trials

Limiting the number of spots at these events and awarding entry only to high-achieving employees makes the occasion feel more special and motivates staff to strive towards a goal.

Final Thoughts

Travel is one of the most common bullet points on bucket lists, which means that trips serve as a powerful motivator. By affording employees opportunities to travel, you expand their world views and supercharge their relationships with teammates, all while rewarding extraordinary efforts and results and assigning great value to your workers’ contributions.

Next, check out this list of employee wellness program ideas and this list of incentives to return to the office .

Book wildly fun team building events with expert hosts

team building event banner

FAQ: Corporate incentive travel programs

Here are answers to the most common questions about corporate incentive travel programs.

What are corporate incentive travel programs?

Corporate incentive travel programs are motivational campaigns that reward top-performing employees with trips or special experiences. The aim of these programs is to increase staff loyalty, morale, and productivity. Incentive programs typically target specific goals such as fulfilling sales quotas, meeting product development deadlines, or raising customer satisfaction scores.

What are some good corporate incentive travel program tips?

Some good corporate incentive travel program tips include:

  • Ask your staff for ideas
  • Determine the goal of your program
  • Provide clear guidelines to staff
  • Consult a travel expert
  • Research multiple vendors
  • Negotiate exclusives
  • Use organizational resources
  • Stick to a budget
  • Be liberal with options
  • Focus on the experience more than the destination
  • Offer resources and assistance
  • Use trips as an opportunity to expand employees’ worldviews
  • Maximize team bonding
  • Leverage employee testimonials and social media
  • Offer alternatives to travel

Though travel programs require extensive planning and organization, following the proper steps can ensure that your program pays off by raising employee output and morale.

What are good companies to use for corporate incentive travel programs?

There are many providers who offer and arrange trips and engaging events for corporate incentive programs.

Here are some recommended companies to use for corporate incentive travel programs:

When selecting a partner organization, research multiple providers and choose an option that fits your company’s budget, company culture, and particular needs.

Do corporate incentive travel programs work?

Travel programs can be powerful motivators. Employer-sponsored trips are an attractive reward, especially when the experiences include exclusives such as exclusive tours, private accommodations, and company parties. Travel programs are an especially compelling incentive for sales teams, though the perk can motivate a vast variety of positions and departments.

Though travel is a hefty investment for organizations, the corresponding rise in productivity is significant. Plus, funding trips signals that employers value their workers efforts and personal growth.

What makes incentive travel programs effective?

Clear goals and benchmarks, measurable metrics, smart internal marketing, meaningful experiences, and attractive awards are all factors that make incentive travel programs effective. The best determinant of the operation’s success is the level of foresight, consideration, and communication that goes into the planning and execution of the program.

Besides travel, what can employers offer in incentive programs?

Some non-travel incentive program rewards include:

  • Extra paid time off
  • Sporting events
  • Parking spots
  • Fitness classes
  • Charity donations
  • Home services
  • Meal with an executive
  • Massages and self-care
  • Extraordinary events

Not every team member is able to travel, yet providing alternate rewards allows dedicated employees to reap the rewards of their efforts.

What is the difference between a corporate incentive program and an employee benefits program?

Organizations offer employee benefits across the board to all workers, although benefits packages might vary depending on position and band level, and individual candidates may be able to negotiate a more attractive package. While benefits programs are ongoing, built-in rewards, incentive programs are auxiliary, often limited-time offers. Corporate incentive programs exist to motivate employees to hit specific targets within a particular time frame.

Author avatar

Author: Angela Robinson

Marketing Coordinator at teambuilding.com. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

Leave a Reply Cancel

Your email address will not be published.

incentives for travel business

Marketing Coordinator at teambuilding.com.

Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

  • 45,000+ clients including Apple, Amazon, Google and NASA
  • 50,225+ five star reviews on Google
  • #15 on Inc 5000's List of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America for 2022
  • 80+ happy remote employees

We lead wildly fun experiences for teams with 1,000,000+ players to date.

event cards

4.96 / 5.0 rating on

50,225 Google Reviews

Get our free team building tool box

$49 value at no cost..

  • May as well check it out?
  • 100+ tested icebreaker questions
  • 24+ themed Bingo generators
  • 5+ PDFs (including the 8% Rule)
  • 2024 team building calendar and more...

Tool Box

Enter your email for instant access

J.Shay Event Solutions

What is Incentive Travel? Planning, ROI, & More

by J.Shay Team | May 4, 2020 | Incentive Travel

Incentive travel

A Comprehensive Guide to Incentive Travel Programs

Get this:  93% of top-performing companies’ executives believe that non-cash incentives grant their business a competitive advantage.

You read that right!

Almost every business leader of any company in the top 20% of their vertical has said they depend on  non-cash  incentives to out-win their competitors. And by far the most effective non-cash incentive is a travel incentive program. Why? Because incentive travel programs increase production from your staff, lower attrition rate, keep your top performers humming and attract top talent from your competitors.

If your business is not in the top 20%, you should be thinking of how you can launch and sustain an effective incentive travel program. And if you are already a top-performing business, you should be asking yourself how you can  improve.

Table of Contents

What is Incentive Travel?

Incentive travel, also known as an incentive trip, or incentive trip program, is  one of the most popular non-cash awards  that’s used by organizations to motivate sales staff, partners, and even customers to greatly increase sales, keep their best reps from leaving, and motivate the remaining sales staff to pick it up.

Every company names their incentive travel program differently, but common names you have likely heard are:

  • President’s Club
  • Winner’s Circle
  • Achiever’s Club

These incentive travel programs are based on annual goals. For most organizations, it means achieving production that is significantly higher than what’s expected (or average). For sales, it could mean that your representatives must achieve 115% or 120% of their annual quota before qualifying for the trip.

Incentive travel involves a getaway trip lasting more than 3 days where (almost) everything is funded by the company. The trip is often hailed as the ultimate reward experience for your top performers within any department, although Sales is the most common department leveraging any incentive travel.

Now you may be thinking, “Sending X number of top performers on a 3-day all-expenses paid trip must cost a fortune!” But think of this: by requiring employees to significantly surpass their quota to qualify, your bottom line experiences a MAJOR boost. Incentive travel allows for a huge return on your investment !

What Kind of ROI Can You Expect from a Travel Incentive Program?

A professionally planned and executed incentive trip has an almost 20% increase in productivity  in the short term (<6-month mark) , creating an ROI of 112%!!

In the long term, the IRF has proven that productivity increases by  44-48% in the long term (> 6-month mark), f urther pointing to incentive travel as the most lucrative form of rewards.

Every year C-levels huddle together to talk about how they can improve sales by 3, 5, or possibly even 10%. If you aren’t already leveraging incentive travel, it can be one of the most straightforward ways to hit your annual goals, and then some.

What’s Included in Incentive Travel?

Incentive Trip Cabo 2

Most incentive trips are fully funded by the company – end to end. This includes:

  • Lavish destination
  • Luxury hotel
  • Included allowance
  • Nightly dine-around options
  • Air travel & transportation
  • Awards ceremony
  • Central theme
  • On-site staffing
  • Entertainment

Incentive travel programs are an enormous amount of work to plan and execute, many times beginning over a year in advance of the trip… but the awards are enormous.

Why Host an Incentive Travel Program?

The  Incentive Research Fund (IRF) , through extensive study, has found that  non-cash rewards significantly increase production , lower attrition rates, and build a company’s culture.

When looking specifically at non-cash incentive methods, incentive travel stands out as the most lucrative option.

Tangible non-cash rewards, on the other hand, can linger in in a reward earner’s memory for years. Experiential travel rewards, for example, create lasting memories and positive associations with the organization that provided the reward (Jeffrey, 2017).

Lower Attrition Rate

If you haven’t seen our  master class video on the value of internal events , attrition rates are lowered by over 30% with a professionally planned travel program.

The average cost to replace an employee is 150% of their first year’s salary and is one of the most expensive costs for any organization: losing tenured top performers. A 30+% decrease in attrition is huge!

Build a Company Culture

Don’t let your company be known for the cubicles, the clock-in, clock-out 9-5 hustle, and year-end plastic trophies. There are plenty of others that already have that reputation locked up, and it’s not a label that employees are proud of. Implementing an annual incentive trip is one of the top events you can leverage to build a company culture!

An incentive travel program gives your employees an annual goal to strive for, creating teamwork and dedication from January through December. Additionally, it creates memories that extend beyond the 4 walls of your business, affecting your employees on a personal level.

Types of Incentive Travel Programs

Presidents Club case study

While incentive travel programs are usually targeted towards sales teams, companies can offer the incentive to top individuals in other departments to create healthy motivation throughout the organization.

Sales Programs

Over 50% of companies that use non-cash incentives use a sales incentive travel program to boost revenue. Organizations will usually announce their destination and resort at the tail-end of their  sales kickoff , and set forth the requirements. This caps off  a rally event  with a powerful and motivational sales goal that a sales team will strive for over the next 12 months.

Channel Programs

Channel incentive travel programs are experiences provided by a manufacturer to a retailer for meeting their predefined goals. While a sales staff is an in-house source of income, a business often depends on a large source revenue from channel sources.

Channel partners often have multiple products or services in their portfolio,  even from competitors;  offering non-cash-based incentives are an amazing way to ‘move the needle’ in your favor.

Why Incentive Travel Works

incentive trip cabo

A professionally executed program alters human behavior. As we all know, motivation is a powerful thing. It can completely change our perspective on why something is important and how bad we want it.

The benefits of an incentive travel program are numerous, and affect behavior through several angles:

Recognition & Trophy Value

As a sales guy, making the club is the ultimate goal. Everyone’s quotas and associated ‘earnings packages’ usually vary, so hitting the qualifying mark for President’s Club is universal for all sales staff (ex. 115% of quota).

This creates a competitive nature that reps, as well as management, actively discuss. It doesn’t matter what level you are as a sales rep, on the lead generation team, inside sales, field sales, or management. Because of this, almost every salesperson trying to hit the qualifying mark for their incentive trip thinks of the actual status first, and the money comes after.

Sentimental/Memories

Cash evaporates quickly, but trips create memories as well as bonds. Those memories and bonds get tied to your business creating loyalty, motivation, and appreciation.

This is a large reason why top earners tend to stick around longer at companies that provide incentive programs.

Incentive Travel Program Mistakes to Avoid

Not all incentive travel programs get rave reviews from your attendees. If you’ve been a part of even just a couple, you are aware that top-performers can be hard to please. There are high expectations and if you want to meet and exceed them, it’s important you avoid making some common mistakes.

Here are the 3 of the biggest mistakes we see organizations make with their incentive travel programs:

  • Incorporating Too Many Work Functions

In our experience, the most negative feedback from trip attendees is the number of work programs that are inserted into a trip. Companies need to remember that while you absolutely should incorporate key company get-togethers, they should not involve actual work, and be  extremely  limited.

  • Ignoring Group Dynamics

10 of your sales team members hit it out of the park and qualified for your annual incentive trip. Awesome! What’s not awesome, or very helpful, is assuming all 10 people will want to go on a golfing trip to the Dominican Republic or an Alaskan cruise.

Before you put a deposit down and start booking rooms, it’s a good idea to take the temperature of your attendees before making any concrete plans. Simply send out a survey providing a few choices to understand the needs and preferences of your group.

  • Not Choosing the Right Destination

When adding those potential destinations to your survey form, be sure you brainstorm to come up with good ones. What makes a BAD destination? A couple of things:

  • A) It’s one that’s not easy to travel to for most participants (multiple stops and long travel days required), or…
  • B) The destination isn’t exotic or unique. The entire goal of an incentive travel program is to  motivate  your staff to perform better than they ever have. You can’t send your top performers to San Diego or even London and expect it to have the same revenue-boosting effects as if you had chosen Iceland or Argentina!

Having said that, domestic incentive trips still produce a positive ROI because the overall expense of your company is lower.

Speaking of great incentive travel destinations…

Top Incentive Travel Destinations

It can feel overwhelming trying to decide which destinations are worthy enough for your top earners. What should you do, throw darts at a map?

From our experience, here are the top incentive travel destinations that appeal to a majority of people:

West Ireland

Rugged coastline, friendly locals and rustic pubs, Ireland has a charm all its own. While Dublin is a top tourist destination, cities on the Western coast such as Galway and Clare offer a more authentic feel.

Lisbon is breathtaking, there is no denying. Incentive travel programs we’ve planned that sent their teams to Portugal were wildly successful. From touring rugged mountains to stunning palaces and quaint wineries, Portugal has something for everyone.

How can you send your team to another planet but not have them leave this one? Send them to Iceland. The landscape is other-worldly. Blue lagoons, Northern lights, geothermal baths, an incentive trip to Iceland is a trip your team won’t soon forget!

West Indies

From Antigua to St. Kitts & Nevis, the West Indies are glorious. We’ve never met one person that didn’t say yes to a trip to an absolute tropical paradise, replete with 5-star luxury accommodations!

Final Thoughts on Incentive Travel Programs

If your company is not already in the top 20% of your business vertical, incentive travel should be one of the first items your sales leadership discusses for their annual goal-setting meetings.

A professionally planned trip produces 112% ROI on average, and an increase in almost 20% of productivity.

Don’t be the company that has the mindset of, ‘We can’t afford to have a President’s Club this year’.  Based on study findings , your business should be asking,  ‘How can we afford not to have an incentive travel program this year?’

If you are looking for assistance with in creating the perfect incentive travel program, we’d love to wildly impress your executives and sales team!  Click here to get a call scheduled  with our expert incentive travel team to discuss further.

Corporate Event Management

You might also like…

Hot Destinations for Incentive travel in 2024

Hot Destinations for Incentive travel in 2024

There are certain priorities every incentive travel program should include: luxury accommodations,...

Top US Cities for SKOs in 2024

Top US Cities for SKOs in 2024

Choosing the right destination is important for any corporate event, but it’s particularly vital...

Best European Destinations for Presidents Club 2024

Best European Destinations for Presidents Club 2024

Planning your 2024 President’s Club getaway? Wondering where in the world to send your team that...

Domestic vs International – Which is Best for Incentive Travel?

Domestic vs International – Which is Best for Incentive Travel?

One common question we often get from event planners is, “Should we host our incentive trip...

Risk Management for Incentive Travel Programs

Risk Management for Incentive Travel Programs

The world can be a dangerous place. Natural disasters, contagious outbreaks, political upheaval,...

7 Common Questions when Planning a President’s Club

7 Common Questions when Planning a President’s Club

Incentive programs are a great way to motivate employees and reward top performers. These...

J_Shay for author pic

J.Shay Team is the generic alias for our event staff that want to submit work anonymously.

About Author

Make your next event your best event 2020

Subscribe for the Weekly!

Connect with us, looking for something.

incentives for travel business

Privacy Overview

Onward Travel logo.

What Is Incentive Travel? Definition & Benefits

What Is Incentive Travel?

It’s no secret that offering an incentive to employees is a key factor in boosting performance, sales, and engagement.

So with that in mind, we answer the question, “What is incentive travel?” with a definition and the top benefits of offering an incentive trip program.

What Is Incentive Travel?

Incentive travel is a specific trip or tour offered to top-performing employees as a way to motivate them to make more sales, gain more customers, and/or improve overall performance. By offering an incentive trip, companies are able to drive their business goals and recognize top performers.

An incentive trip can be taken as a group or an individual vacation for the employee and their families.

Benefits of Offering an Incentive Trip

Offering an incentive trip has plenty of benefits, so we’ve outlined the top reasons why your company should start an incentive trip program today.

1. Company growth and increased sales

To reiterate, people like rewards. Employees respond to incentives and, in return, target sales are more likely to be met and there could be an increase in business growth. By giving employees a goal to strive for, it promotes productivity gains that could potentially be seen across the board.

The increase in sales and productivity driven by the workforce will far outweigh the cost of offering an incentive trip. Additionally, by making employees feel valued, this will also likely increase sales and overall performance.

2. Stronger relationships and increased loyalty

Not only will employees be incentivized to sell more or boost their overall performance, but companies that offer incentive travel are also able to build stronger relationships with their employees.

Everyone wants to be rewarded for their hard work and employees recognize when companies offer those rewards. Offering an incentive trip will not go unnoticed.

Additionally, employees may be more likely to stay with a company that offers these rewards. Company loyalty is extremely important in long-term employee retention and incentive travel can help with that.

3. Extra professional development time

During an incentive trip, many companies opt to use some of the time to promote additional professional development through workshops and seminars.

Certainly, one of the most important parts of an incentive trip is to allow employees to relax and reap the benefits of their hard work, but by setting aside a couple of hours for professional development, employers are given the opportunity to blend leisure and learning.

4. Family time leads to a better support network

Many companies offer incentive trips for employees and their families. By allowing their families to join, companies are also promoting a healthy family support system.

Travel creates long-lasting memories and hard-working employees deserve to take some time out with their families to enjoy these memories together. This will hopefully promote high productivity for years to come.

5. Company bonding

Some companies treat incentive travel as more of a retreat for their employees to get to know each other, network, and team build. Whether you are getting the entire team together or a select few of the top sellers, this is an excellent opportunity to allow for some intercompany bonding.

This could also lead to higher sales or company growth because employees are able to get to know each other better on a much different level than they normally would in the office.

This is especially beneficial for companies spread out across the country or those that mainly work remotely. There’s nothing like an in-person connection and an incentive trip does just that. And it’s a lot of fun for everyone!

At the end of the day, offering incentive trips for employees is a win-win for everyone. Employees are encouraged to grow their productivity while they are also shown that their company values them and rewards them for their hard work. The company benefits from this hard work by hopefully seeing growth in the bottom line.

As a travel agency specializing in incentive travel, contact us and let us help you plan an incentive trip to motivate your employees and bring your company to a whole new level!

You may also like...

Planning a Company Retreat.

5 Things to Consider When Planning a Company Retreat

Best River Cruise to See Castles.

What Is the Best River Cruise to See Castles?

Which Universal Hotels Include Express Passes?

Which Universal Orlando Hotels Include Express Passes (2024)?

Onward Travel logo.

Request a Free Quote

See how Cvent can solve your biggest event challenges. Watch a 30-minute demo.

incentives for travel business

Incentive Travel: the Best Way to Motivate Your Employees

woman sits by a pool at a tropical resort

Business travel isn’t quite back to pre-pandemic levels the way it’s complement, leisure travel, is. But there is a growing realization among senior level executives that the strategic use of employee rewards can increase profitability . And with much talk the past few years about increasing travel by outlets like Forbes , it’s no surprise that incentive travel is on the rise in the corporate sector. But does your organization really need one? Keep reading to learn the basics of incentive travel with tips and tricks from professional incentive travel planners you won’t find anywhere else.

What is incentive travel?

Incentive travel is any trip paid for by a company as a reward for employees with stellar performance. It’s often used to motivate and reward employees or partners.

Getaways typically last three or more days. Activities include everything from team-building exercises to networking opportunities to and free time to explore the destination.

And while they can be given to any department, incentive travel is most commonly used to motivate sales teams. As for who pays the bill, the company typically funds the majority of the expenses. Some incentive trips are offered separately or in combination with other perks.

Cvent interviewed Susan Shure of Susan Shure Travel who gave us some more thoughts on incentive travel.

“Incentive travel is also known in a lot of companies as employee reward programs,” she told us. “Companies can reward employees for years of service, employee of the month or year, and more. These rewards can include trips abroad [to places like] Europe, Caribbean all inclusive, [and] Hawaii, cruises and more.” They may include corporate meetings or some work-related events in addition to the vacation-like itinerary.

Incentive travel has been around since the 1970s, but it is often misunderstood due to the wide variety of forms it can take. But as non-monetary rewards, such as increased paid PTO, are becoming more prevalent in the corporate world, it’s no surprise that there’s a newfound interest in creating programs like these.

DMO technology CTA

The incentive travel industry as a whole is rebounding from its recession years ago, largely due to the backlash it received from the media and politicians, and from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the 2019 Incentive Research Fund index, 84% of U.S. businesses used non-cash incentives to retain and motivate their employees, with incentive travel being a popular option before the pandemic. Now with the looming economic recession, non-cash incentives can be a great way to retain employees.

And it’s clear why.

Incentive programs offer a lot of benefits

Like other perks, incentive travel is used to boost employee engagement and productivity. It works by encouraging employees to improve their performance and reach goals. This is especially motivating for younger and mid-career employees.

As of 2020, Millennials make up half of the world’s workforce . And if there’s one thing Millennials love, it’s travel. They’ve reportedly made travel more of a priority than any generation before them . So it’s easy to see why incentive programs are a great fit for most organizations.

Not only that but a travel program helps organizations create a culture of collaboration and commitment to a shared mission. Unifying teams through experiences rather than monetary incentives alone promotes better relationships with the company and positive associations with the business they work for.

This level of customization is one of the most attractive benefits of incentive travel. Not only do businesses have control over what activities they offer but they can also stay within budget and book for their specific party size.

Ni Wayan, Editor and Contributor at Balipedia , adds that the benefits for employers don’t stop there. “I believe that incentive travel is one of the most famous non-cash prizes that’s used by companies to motivate sales staff, partners, and even consumers to greatly improve sales, keep their best reps from going, and motivate the remaining sales staff to pick it up,” says Wayan.  

Incentive travel is also a great way to tie in your company’s values. Christopher Hill of Hands Up Incentives told Cvent via email that his company “specializes in sustainable incentive trips that include a CSR component in order to engage employees, bring them closer together, and enhance their reputation.”

There are many examples of incentive travel

Shure shared with Cvent the following examples of incentive travel packages she has organized:

● An all-expenses-paid trip to Bungalows Key Largo ● All-expenses-paid trip to Maui for a week ● A three-day cruise to the Bahamas ● Four nights at an all-inclusive hotel or resort

And Hill provided another example of a Hawaiian incentive travel package they arranged recently. It “included two days of building a community cultural center in a low-income part of Honolulu.” They also booked a luxury hotel and gala dinners for the group.

As for activities, Hill said they enjoyed everything from “cage shark swimming to mountain biking to a private tour of Pearl Harbor”.

Is incentive travel really worth the investment?

Annual incentive travel spending averaged $4,260 per employee in the U.S. before the pandemic. The return on investment that companies see in their travel programs is often measured in terms of profitability. This method helps determine if the program is working and, in turn, generating higher profits.

Many business owners are not convinced that paying for a perk is worth the intangible value it brings. Nevertheless, companies that choose to create incentive travel programs gain increased employee engagement, satisfaction, and profitability.

These can be measured through various metrics by department or by employee survey. So it is, in fact, more substantial than most executives believe.

And according to the IRF's Anatomy of a Successful Incentive Travel Program , “Examining the tenure and company performance ratings of 105 of the employees who earned the incentive trip, researchers found that 55% of incentive travel earners had top performance ratings and tenure of four years or more, showing a very real correlation between incentives, longevity and quality.” In other words, not only are incentive travel programs fun, they’re also impactful at a high level.

In a nutshell: incentive travel is an investment that's made to maximize business results.

Get to know the bleisure traveler

Wondering how to plan an incentive travel program employees will love?

It takes a little planning and forethought, but the process is relatively straightforward.

1. Have a vision

Set clear, achievable goals that are aligned with strategic business objectives. These goals should be measurable and specific. Even if your company isn’t ready to develop an entire program, you could still offer smaller perks such as plane tickets and a hotel voucher.

2. Know your team

Planners will also need to have a strong understanding of what motivates their employees. It should feel like an award that employees wholeheartedly respond to, so much so that they feel encouraged to develop new skills and ideas to unlock this achievement.

3. Make everything trackable

Adhere to a consistent communication style. Whether it's through a software system or an interactive leaderboard, employees must be able to follow their progress and prove it through detailed records.

4. Promote it often

Supporting the travel program is an integral part of a company's strategy. It should be promoted regularly and celebrated at all levels. During this qualification period, team members will work hard to reach their goals. The continuous effort and excitement management puts into building up the anticipation for the trip will motivate employees even more.

5. Evaluate your program

Continual evaluation of your program rewards and structure is key to sustaining this strategy long term. Use a combination of KPI data linked to goals and an end-of-event assessment to determine if the program is meeting its intended purpose. Simply by asking attendees to rate the events and their overall experience, companies can easily measure the program's success.

6. Reap benefits long term

In that same study conducted by IRF, employees who earned an incentive getaway continued to perform at an elite level after they returned which was inspired by their trip.

Why should you partner with a professional to create your program?

Companies like Shure’s help businesses organize, book, and manage incentive travel. “Susan Shure Travel can put together any kind of employee incentive you want,” says Shure. “We can even arrange for you to charter a cruise ship as a company incentive.” As you can tell by now, the only limit to incentive travel is your imagination.

Follow the road less traveled to secure deals

In an email to Cvent, Broke Backpacker Founder and CEO Will Halton said that there is one often overlooked department of any travel brand you should contact directly when looking for affordable incentive trips. “If you are passionate about travel, look to speak to the marketing team of certain companies to see whether you can work together. Please note that this does[n’t] mean free stays or travel. It means creating a relationship which will help you explore the destination but also help the company to attract new audiences. A relationship is way more valuable in the long term [than] a discounted stay for one or two nights.”

In other words, this long-term strategy is great for securing travel incentives as long as you develop a network of hospitality marketers.

Up next, check out these fabulous venues and destinations for your next travel incentive getaway in The Palm Beaches .

Cvent Guest

Cvent is a market-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider with more than 4,000 employees, ~21,000 customers, and 200,000 users worldwide.

incentives for travel business

More Reading

Congratulations to the 2024 cvent excellence awards finalists, how to market to corporate event planners, what is a hotel business plan, and why you need one.

Subscribe to our newsletter

  • Business Travel
  • Home Inspiration
  • Sustainable Living
  • Wellbeing & Wellness
  • Area Guides
  • Whitepapers

incentives for travel business

Business Travel Guide

Business travel incentive trends, benefits, and ideas.

Business travel incentive

Business travel incentive programs are a popular way for companies to motivate, reward and meet the needs of their employees. These programs offer all-expenses-paid trips and experiences in exchange for extraordinary performance.

The purpose of these programs is to motivate employees and raise morale, loyalty, and productivity. Incentive travel programs help to create a positive work environment and encourage staff to work harder and achieve more.

Incentive travel programs can be a valuable tool for companies looking to improve employee retention, increase productivity, boost morale, and meet business travellers needs . By offering employees the opportunity to travel to exciting destinations and experience new cultures, companies can help to create a sense of excitement and adventure in the workplace.

What is a Business Travel Incentive?

Business travel incentive is a type of reward given to employees in recognition of their hard work and dedication to their jobs. These incentives can take many forms, including free or heavily subsidized travel to exciting destinations.

The goal of these incentives is to motivate employees to perform at their best, increase employee engagement, and improve company culture. One of the most common types of business travel incentives is incentive trips.

Business travel incentives can also take the form of team-building activities. These activities can include everything from outdoor adventures such as hiking, camping, or kayaking to indoor events such as cooking classes, wine tastings, or escape rooms.

Types of Business Travel Incentives

Here are a few types of business travel incentives that companies can offer:

Monetary Rewards

One of the most common types of business travel incentives is a monetary reward. This can come in the form of a bonus, commission, or lump sum payment.

For example, a company might offer a sales team a bonus for reaching a certain target or a project team a commission for completing a project on time and within budget.

Travel Upgrades

Another popular type of business travel incentive is travel upgrades. This includes upgrades to first class or business class flights, premium hotel rooms, or exclusive airport lounges.

These upgrades can make business travel more comfortable and enjoyable and can be a great way to motivate employees.

Paid Time Off

Paid time off is another type of business travel incentive that can be effective in motivating employees. This can include additional vacation days, personal days, or even sabbaticals.

By offering paid time off as a reward for hard work, companies can show their employees that they value their contributions and are willing to invest in their well-being.

Personalised Experiences

This can be a unique and memorable way to incentivise employees. This can include things like a private tour of a city or attraction, a cooking class with a local chef, or a team-building activity like a scavenger hunt.

By tailoring the experience to the individual or team, companies can create a truly special reward that will be remembered for years to come.

Benefits of Business Travel Incentives

Here are some of the benefits of implementing travel incentives in the workplace:

Employee Motivation

Travel incentives are a great way to motivate employees to perform better. When employees know that they have the opportunity to travel to a new destination as a reward for their hard work, it can be a powerful motivator.

It gives them something to work towards and can help to increase their productivity. According to a study conducted by the Incentive Research Foundation, travel incentives are the most effective motivator for employees.

Enhanced Performance

Travel incentives can also enhance employee performance. When employees are motivated to work harder, they are more likely to achieve their goals. This can lead to increased sales, improved customer service, and better overall performance.

In addition, travel incentives can help to build teamwork and collaboration among employees. When employees travel together, they have the opportunity to bond and build stronger relationships.

Retention and Loyalty

Travel incentives can also help to retain top talent and increase employee loyalty. When employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to stay with the company.

Furthermore, travel incentives can help to attract new talent to the company. When potential employees see that the company offers travel incentives, it can be a powerful selling point.

Company Culture

Travel incentives can also help to improve company culture. When employees feel valued and appreciated, it can create a positive work environment. In addition, travel incentives can help to build a sense of community among employees.

When employees travel together, they have the opportunity to build stronger relationships and create lasting memories.

Planning and Budgeting for Travel Incentives

When planning and budgeting for travel incentives, it’s important to consider various factors to ensure that the program is successful. These factors include cost analysis, choosing the right incentives, and logistical considerations.

Cost Analysis

Before setting a budget, it’s essential to conduct a cost analysis to determine the overall cost of the travel incentive program. This analysis should include all expenses such as transportation, accommodation, meals, and activities.

It’s important to consider the number of participants, the duration of the program, and the destination.

To keep the program within budget, it’s important to negotiate with vendors and suppliers to get the best deals. It’s also essential to have a contingency budget for unexpected expenses that may arise during the program.

Choosing the Right Incentives

Choosing the right incentives is crucial to the success of the travel incentive program. The incentives should be attractive and appealing to the participants.

It’s important to consider the demographics of the participants and their interests when choosing the incentives.

Incentives can include anything from a luxury hotel stay to a cultural experience. It’s important to choose incentives that are relevant to the program’s objectives and the participants’ interests. You can choose from our curated gift ideas for business travellers ; providing a range of incentives to choose from can also increase participation and engagement.

Logistical Considerations

Logistical considerations are essential to ensure a smooth and successful travel incentive program. It’s important to consider transportation, accommodation, and activities that are suitable for the participants.

The logistics should be well-planned and organized to avoid any disruptions or delays.

It’s also important to consider the safety and security of the participants. Choosing a reputable travel agency or vendor can help ensure that the logistics are well planned and executed.

Legal Considerations and Compliance

When designing a business travel incentive program, it is essential to consider the legal implications and compliance requirements. Failure to comply with the relevant laws and regulations can result in significant financial and reputational damage to the company.

One of the key legal considerations is duty of care . Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of their employees while on business trips.

This includes providing adequate travel insurance, ensuring safe and secure accommodation, and taking measures to mitigate any risks associated with the destination. Employers should also have a clear emergency response plan in place in case of any incidents.

Another important legal consideration is data privacy. Businesses are required to comply with data protection laws when collecting, storing, and using personal data of employees and customers.

This includes obtaining consent for data processing, ensuring data accuracy and security, and providing individuals with access to their data upon request.

To ensure compliance with these legal and regulatory requirements, businesses should establish clear policies and procedures for business travel. This should include training for employees on their responsibilities and obligations, as well as regular reviews of the program to ensure ongoing compliance.

Measuring the Success of Travel Incentives

Here are some key ways to measure the success of travel incentives:

Key Performance Indicators

Tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is essential to measure the success of travel incentives. KPIs can include sales targets, customer satisfaction ratings, and other metrics that align with the company’s goals.

By setting KPIs before the incentive program begins, businesses can measure the impact of the program on their bottom line.

Employee Feedback

Employee feedback is another crucial way to measure the success of travel incentives. Surveys and feedback forms can be used to gather employees’ opinions on the program.

Businesses can use this feedback to improve future incentive programs and ensure that they align with employees’ needs and preferences.

Return on Investment

Assessing the return on investment (ROI) of travel incentives is also critical to measure their success. Businesses can calculate the ROI by comparing the cost of the program to the increase in revenue or other KPIs achieved during the program.

By tracking the ROI, businesses can determine whether the program was worth the investment and make data-driven decisions about future incentive programs.

Trends and Innovations in Business Travel Incentives

Here are some of the most notable trends and innovations in business travel incentives:

Personalization

Personalization is becoming increasingly important in business travel incentives. Companies are tailoring their incentive programs to suit the individual needs and preferences of their employees.

For example, some companies are offering a choice of destinations, so employees can choose a location that suits their interests. Others are offering a choice of activities, so employees can select an activity that they are interested in.

Personalization not only makes the incentive program more appealing to employees, but it also shows that the company values their individuality.

Sustainability

Sustainability is another trend in business travel incentives. With climate change becoming a pressing concern, more and more companies are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

This includes incorporating sustainable practices into their incentive programs.

For example, some companies are choosing destinations that are easily accessible by public transport, or offering eco-friendly activities such as hiking or cycling tours.

Technology is also playing an increasingly important role in business travel incentives. Companies are using technology to streamline the booking process, provide real-time updates, and offer unique experiences.

For example, some companies are using virtual reality to give employees a preview of their destination, or offering augmented reality experiences to enhance their travel experience.

Thus, offering a seamless and engaging experience for their employees.

Case Studies and Best Practices

Here are some best practices and case studies to consider when implementing an incentive travel program:

Set Clear Objectives

Before planning an incentive travel program, it is important to set clear objectives. The objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

For example, the objective could be to increase sales revenue by 10% within the next six months. By setting clear objectives, it is easier to measure the success of the program and make necessary adjustments.

Choose the Right Destination

The destination is a critical component of an incentive travel program. The destination should be attractive, safe, and offer a range of activities that appeal to the participants.

It is also important to consider the seasonality of the destination and avoid peak travel times to keep costs down.

Case Study: Arvato Business Solutions

Arvato Business Solutions worked with Good Travel Management to improve its business travel program.

The objectives were to reduce service fees by 30% through online adoption and reduce travel costs by 15% through best practices, a structured hotel program, and stricter travel policy adherence.

The program was successful, with online adoption increasing by 40% and travel costs decreasing by 17%.

Case Study: ITA Group

ITA Group implemented an incentive travel program for a pharmaceutical company. The objectives were to increase sales revenue and improve employee morale.

The program included a trip to Hawaii, with activities such as snorkelling and a luau. The program was successful, with sales revenue increasing by 20% and employee morale improving.

Provide Unique Experiences

To make the incentive travel program memorable, it is important to provide unique experiences that participants cannot get elsewhere.

This could include exclusive access to attractions, cultural experiences, or behind-the-scenes tours.

Overall, incentive travel programs can be an effective way to motivate and reward employees.

How do business travel incentives benefit employers?

Business travel incentives can result in increased employee satisfaction and loyalty, improved productivity and performance, enhanced team cohesion, and a positive impact on recruitment and retention efforts. Additionally, they provide opportunities for professional development and skill enhancement.

How do business travel incentives benefit employees?

Business travel incentives offer employees the opportunity to explore new destinations, experience different cultures, and engage in networking opportunities. Additionally, they serve as a form of recognition and appreciation, boosting morale and motivation among employees.

Are business travel incentives tax-deductible for companies?

In many cases, business travel incentives may be considered tax-deductible for companies as employee rewards or business expenses. However, companies should consult with tax professionals or legal experts to ensure compliance with relevant tax laws and regulations.

How can companies address environmental sustainability concerns in their business travel incentive programs?

To address environmental sustainability concerns, companies can promote eco-friendly travel options, encourage carbon offsetting, and prioritize destinations and accommodations with strong sustainability practices. Additionally, businesses can explore virtual alternatives to in-person travel when feasible and incorporate sustainable practices into their overall travel policies and procedures.

Read more Business Travel Guide articles

incentives for travel business

10 Ways to Optimise Your Corporate Travel Budget

incentives for travel business

Open Flight Ticket: Everything You Need to Know

incentives for travel business

Different Types of Business Travel and Accommodation

incentives for travel business

Comino Island Malta Best Eco-Friendly Travel Tips

ITA Group continues global expansion, acquires Sydney-based Performance Incentives Learn More

Alert banner message text goes here... Text CTA >

A Guide to the Top Incentive Travel Destinations For 2 0 2 2

man watching sunset on tropical coastline

Incentive travel remains a top motivator, and many reward earners are eager for a new adventure (or just a change of scenery).

For some top performers, an upcoming incentive trip could be their first time traveling since the pandemic began—a trip they’ve been dreaming about for ages. Our experts are excited as ever to craft once-in-a-lifetime experiences to make travel dreams a reality, as well as help travelers navigate evolving safety guidelines.

Related: There are a lot of reasons to be excited about incentive travel in 2022. See our top 5 . 

Your top performers deserve the very best, a destination that will motivate them to keep putting in all that hard work. A destination that is memorable, distinctive, and perhaps not-so-traditional.

Whether it’s tropics or bustling cities, these are the 10 most attractive destinations our buyers are booking right now for incentive travel. Any of the 10 experiences will make your hard-working trip qualifiers feel appreciated and re-energized.

Classic European Sites

parque del retiro in madrid spain

Madrid, Spain

Art, cuisine, nightlife, architecture—the capital city of Madrid has it all, along with a rich history to impress.

Highlights:

  • Tour the Paseo del Arte museums, including the world-famous Prado, with works by the Impressionists and Pablo Picasso
  • Wander the Parque del Retiro , an expansive urban park
  • Listen to street musicians at Plaza Mayor , the grand central square

Hotel recommendation:

  • Stay at Four Seasons Madrid , a brand-new property in the heart of the city. Walk to key attractions then return to a restful, modern retreat.

small street in dublin ireland

Dublin, Ireland

A small capital city with big personality, participants love Dublin for its friendly people, rich cultural heritage and happening nightlife scene.

  • Enjoy the lively Temple Bar area with its many pubs and live music
  • Tour the Guinness Storehouse brewery for the history of the iconic beverage
  • Visit Trinity College , the oldest college in Ireland and alma mater of many literary greats, including Jonathon Swift and Oscar Wilde
  • The Westbury , located in the center of town, is a destination itself because of its gorgeous central stairway and private art gallery.

view of loche lomond

Loch Lomond, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland 

Seek out the “bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond, an inland lake made famous by the Scottish folk song of the same name, and take in the beauty of the surrounding Lowlands and Highlands.

  • Explore Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park , which became Scotland’s first national park in 2002
  • Journey through Dumbarton Castle in the ancient capital of Scotland
  • Spend a day at the Loch Lomond Shores shopping district, which includes outdoor activities, boat trips and an aquarium
  • Built in 1700 and renovated in 2020, the castle-like Cameron House is one of the most sought-after hotels in Scotland.

Sunny Tropic Locales

view of san jose del Cabo

San José del Cabo, Mexico 

San José del Cabo offers a more relaxed atmosphere than its better-known counterpoint Cabo San Lucas. Enjoy shopping, an enchanting plaza and dining experiences, all with plenty of sunshine and miles of beaches.

  • Amble through the Art District for unique shopping and live music opportunities
  • Scuba-dive the coral reefs of Cabo Pulmo National Park , a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Swim with dolphins at Dolphin Discovery
  • Zadun, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve opened in 2021 and boasts ocean views and indoor/outdoor living spaces in each guest room.

boats along coastline of nassau bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

For a tropical experience with a healthy dose of urban energy, check out Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. Originally home to pirates and hustlers, the streets are always bustling.

  • Witness the pirate history of the Bahamas with the wax recreations at the Pirates of Nassau Museum
  • Delve into the past at Fort Charlotte , a British-colonial fort constructed in the late 18th century
  • Walk through the natural wonderland of Ardastra Gardens & Wildlife Conservation Centre
  • For large group travel, stay at the accommodating Grand Hyatt Baha Mar (it has 1,800 rooms on property!). Be sure to take advantage of its new Baha Bay water park, which opened July 2021.

palm beach aruba

Palm Beach, Aruba 

One of the most popular islands in the Caribbean, Aruba is known for its white, sandy beaches and all-inclusive resorts. Don’t be afraid to wander off the beaten path here!

  • Stroll through the cozy capital, Oranjestad , for shopping and restaurants
  • Observe magnificent waves beat against the rocky coast at Conchi “Natural Pool”
  • Climb the landmark California Lighthouse for 360° views of the island
  • The Ritz-Carlton Aruba includes its own casino and is currently refurbishing all its suites.

waterfall in Costa Rica

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Costa Rica has incredible biological diversity. Discover all the beauty of its unspoiled beaches, fast-flowing rivers and national parks in Guanacaste.

  • Engage in outdoor adventures such as zip-lining and rock climbing
  • Take a day trip to iconic Arenal Volcano for horseback riding and hiking
  • Investigate local fauna by partaking in activities like bird watching
  • The Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo underwent renovations in 2021 for an extra luxurious feel. Guests staying in Peninsula Papagayo can sign up for exclusive small group eco-activities .

U.S.-Based Adventures

skier in big sky montana

Big Sky, Montana

For fresh air and wide-open skies year-round, escape to the natural splendor of the mountains of Montana. Outdoor enthusiasts praise Big Sky for its variety of activities.

  • Ski the famous slopes at Big Sky Resort
  • Hike Yellowstone National Park , one of the most popular national parks in the U.S.
  • Learn fly-fishing at some of the best rivers for the sport in the world
  • For a combination of lodge living and modern comfort, book rooms at Montage Big Sky .

sky view of nashville tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

While best known for its country music, Nashville is a destination spot for its revived downtown, festivals, shows and nightlife.

  • Sample the best of downtown Nashville in the Lower Broadway District , an area popular for live music, honky-tonks, restaurants and shops
  • Attend concerts at the Ryman Auditorium , the original home of the Grand Ole Opry
  • Go behind the scenes of country music at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Hotel recommendations:

  • The soon-to-open Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville Downtown will be adjacent to the Music City Center convention center. The hotel promises a rooftop pool with bar and easy access to downtown attractions.

beach in Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay, Princeville, Hawaii

Hanalei Bay, a picturesque setting on Kauai, the Garden Island, offers several pristine beaches for surfing, paddleboarding, swimming or simply relaxing.

  • Play golf on courses designed to wrap around the spectacular coastline at Makai Golf Course
  • Study nesting seabirds and marine mammals at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
  • Shop for authentic carved wood souvenirs from local artisans in Hanalei Town
  • 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay , formerly the St. Regis Princeville is undergoing a full renovation that will infuse it with authentic details such as native greenery and reclaimed materials. It will be accepting group business beginning in October 2022.

Mandy Espey

Mandy joined ITA Group in 2005, serving in operations before transitioning to the purchasing team as a Buyer and Supervisor. In her current role as Lead Buyer, Mandy leads the internal presale process for financial and insurance brands, conceptualizing events, building program budgets, negotiating supplier partner contracts, and maintaining client and supplier relationships. She works closely with internal sales and operations teams to bring strategic recommendations to each program. Mandy enjoys traveling, attending concerts, cheering on her beloved Iowa Hawkeyes and Kansas City Chiefs, and spending time with family and friends, especially her two sons.

You Might Also Like

Incentive Travel

Guide, help, costs, ideas, and tips for incentive trips, planning an incentive trip.

So you’re thinking about hiring an incentive travel agency? Good for you and better for your audience! Incentive travel is a tried-and-true tactic for nearly half of all businesses in the United States. Whether you want to boost sales, retain your top-performers, or simply build a more cohesive corporate environment, incentive travel will be the catalyst that moves your goals to the finish line.

With US businesses spending over $22.5 billion on incentive travel annually, you can rest assured that an investment in a top-class incentive trip is going to pay off. However, like everything in life, there is a right way to plan and execute incentive trips, and a lot of wrong ways.

Spent on incentive trips from US companies per year

Of US businesses have an incentive travel program

courtesy of The Incentive Research Foundation

Who am I motivating?

There is no one-size-fits-all incentive trip. Understanding your target audience is the first step in designing an effective set of program rules and selecting a destination that will keep your participants excited.

It’s time to put your personal preferences aside and take the time to examine who you’re motivating. Start with the demographics (the data) and psychographics (the feelings) of your audience to focus your thoughts keenly.

It’s easy enough to collect data on gender, age, and income to form a demographic profile, but it’s only one half of the full picture. Psychographics are the often overlooked attributes of an audience that play into deciding how to properly incentivize and delight your group. On average, are your participants more intrinsically or extrinsically motivated? Do they have the capability to improve their performance? What’s their current level of motivation without the possibility of winning a trip?

Once you have a better understanding of not just who your audience is, but how they think, you’re ready to start organizing them into what the marketing world calls “personas.”

“Probably no aspect of program design has a greater impact on outcomes than understanding the audience.”

Rodger Stotz

Incentive Research Foundation

Who is your target audience?

Demographics

Gender Age Income Job Role Location

Psychographics

Motivations Capabilities Attitudes Interests Aspirations

Crafting Personas

Personas are fictional profiles of a standard member of your target audience created using the most common demographics and psychographics from the group. Using these personas helps those managing and executing the incentive trip get a feel for who they’re trying to reach.

From the below three personas, we can see the differences in what it takes to motivate them, how they’ll each take advantage of a trip, and the impact it would have in their everyday performance. Most importantly, we have a better grasp of what destination would serve as a prize worthy of their aspirational goals.

Abel is a sales rep for a tech start-up.

Income: $120,000

Abel wants some free time but also loves any type of high adrenaline activity. Don’t waste your budget on $300 centerpieces and unidentifiable hors d’oeuvres. Abel’s good with a buffet. But throw in a great band at the after-party, and he couldn’t be happier.

Destination preference: Los Cabos

Gifting preference: Maui Jim Sunglasses

Karen sells beauty products, and lots of them!

Income: $60,000

Make sure there’s a dance floor, because she and her team are going to live it up at the award’s ceremony. A spectacular venue and gorgeous décor will make them all feel special and appreciated.

Destination preference: Paris

Gifting preference: Local artisan shopping experience

Paul is an Inside Sales Rep at a telecom call center.

Income: $45,000

He’s looking forward to a fancy hotel and looking like a rock star to his +1 at the awards ceremony. Throw in a welcome gift and a day-pass for the local hop-on hop-off tour bus, and you will have Paul’s loyalty (for at least another year).

Destination preference: San Francisco

Gifting preference: Room credit for a nice dinner at the hotel

Destinations

Selecting an incentive travel destination.

As you’ve seen from understanding your audience, selecting a motivational destination can be a delicate mix of both science and art. This is where the expertise of an experienced incentive travel professional can be extremely valuable.

Professional incentive travel managers and meeting planners are well-versed in matching audiences with the right destinations, as well as flight options, “incentive-quality” hotels, and activities that are crafted specifically for the trip.

They’ve traveled all around the globe, seen plenty of resorts from the inside-out, vetted amazing experiences, and built strong local partnerships. They know the hot-list of new openings and the properties with not-so-hot service.

according to Incentive Travel Index from The Incentive Research Foundation , Society for Incentive Travel Excellence , and Financial & Insurance Conference Professionals

Hot Spots for Incentive Trips

Keeping up with the top incentive travel destinations is a part-time job in it itself. Knowing the trends, risks, and value of each destination is just another strong reason why hiring a professional incentive travel planner is worth the line in the budget.

Here is a list of the top 20 incentive travel destinations for 2022, 2023, and beyond to draw inspiration and provide fresh ideas.

incentives for travel business

Umbria & Puglia

Undiscovered Italy

incentives for travel business

Castles & Green Countryside

incentives for travel business

Good Value for your Euro

incentives for travel business

Second-Tier Europe

incentives for travel business

Northern Lights & Geothermal Baths

incentives for travel business

Muy Mucho 5-Star Resorts

incentives for travel business

Rebuilt, Renovated, Reopening

incentives for travel business

West Indies

Secluded Island Luxury

incentives for travel business

3 Resort Options in 1

incentives for travel business

Sub-Sahara Safaris

incentives for travel business

New Zealand

Fantastic Scenery

incentives for travel business

Machu Picchu & Peruvian Culture

incentives for travel business

Journey the Malacca Strait

incentives for travel business

Bucket-list Bungalows

incentives for travel business

Deep South, USA

Lowcountry Hospitality

incentives for travel business

Say Aloha to Hawaiian Renovations

incentives for travel business

Whistler & Banff

Great Outdoors of Canada

incentives for travel business

Festival Spots

Local Extravaganzas

incentives for travel business

Wild West Glamping

5-Star Tents

incentives for travel business

Euro River Cruise

Explore Villages

Avoiding Common Mistakes

NOT a CEO Getaway

Many CEOs are avid golfers, so the 4-handicapper thinks the most motivational destination would be Pebble Beach or last year’s British Open . However, golf is on the decline with Millennials and Gen-X. It can be difficult to steer the ship away from the boss’s favorite course, but always keep the true purpose of the trip in front of everyone’s mind.

NOT an Executive Committee Retreat

The Sales VPs love the 5-star brands of Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton , but the rank-and-file folks live on 3-star budgets and feel uncomfortable with $40 breakfast buffets, $30 cheeseburgers, and $20 drinks. Sometimes there’s no need to use up the budget on high-end accommodations or dining options, especially when it comes to the comfort of attendees.

NOT the Meeting Planner Favorite

If you’re the corporate planner tasked with choosing destinations, avoid projecting your personal preferences too – whether it’s beach or mountain, historical or metropolitan, Mexico or Europe, etc. Always hold your audience’s preferences above your own (as difficult as it may be.)

golfer negative

Typical Agenda

Incentive trip itinerary at-a-glance.

Staying on schedule can be one of the most difficult parts of managing an incentive trip.  Providing itineraries that foster relationship-building, celebrate accomplishments, and offer some freedom and flexibility of choice will keep your group happy and organized.

historic tour 640

Arrivals Welcome Reception Dinner

Group Activity Dine-arounds

Choice of Activity Award Dinner

Day at Leisure Dinner at Leisure

Choice of Activity Farewell Reception Farewell Dinner

Building a Budget

How much should we spend on our incentive trip.

Recent research from both SITE ( Society of Incentive Travel Excellence ) and the IRF ( Incentive Research Foundation ) pinpoint the average incentive travel budget per person at $5,193.

However, the number of nights and locations will drastically impact the budget. For example, $2,000 per person might be enough for a domestic 3-night trip to Miami, San Diego, or Las Vegas for retail managers or call center reps. But, a budget of $6,000+ per person would be necessary for a Hyatt resort in Hawaii or a 6-night trip to Italy to motivate a six-figure sales audience.

The average cost of an incentive trip per person

Budget Drivers

Number of trip qualifiers (and guests) Destination 3, 4, or 5-star Hotel Duration – # of Nights Airfares Ground Transportation

Events, Receptions, and Gala Dinners Decor & Entertainment Other Meals or Meal Allowances Number of Activities Gifts & Giveaways Promotional Communications

Zero Net Cost

Some may be intimidated by reaching out to incentive travel companies fearing cost or long commitment contracts. Rest assured that incentive travel companies work diligently to keep your business year-over-year by adding fresh ideas, impeccable service, and stringent negotiating to meet your bottom line.

In fact, when most clients ask if hiring an incentive travel company is more expensive, they discover that the ~15% agency fee is offset by savings generated by an incentive agency’s expertise in finding better rates on lodging and events, local partnerships with the best discounts on activities and dining, and avoiding hidden costs and fees ahead of time.

More often that not, clients realize there’s zero net cost overall by hiring an incentive agency due to these advantages, and that doesn’t include your valuable time as the owner of the program internally. Freeing yourself from having to plan an entire incentive trip alongside your day-to-day responsibilities can prove to be invaluable for both you and your team.

Calculate your Budget

The budget drivers are helpful in realizing what factors will need to be considered before making your cost projections, and ultimately, what your incentive trip will include and what will be left out.

But how much does each budget driver affect your bottom line?

Luckily for you, we have a handy incentive trip budget calculator that gives you a decent starting point. Play around with different “what-if” scenarios, like increasing your number of winners or choosing a domestic over international.

Unique Events

Creating unforgettable events.

Extraordinary, memorable events are what separates a top-notch incentive trip from a mere corporate-funded vacation. For new trips, experienced planners can be a huge help in crafting superior, and budget-friendly, events.

A typical schedule will open with a welcome reception on-property to facilitate new relationships and keep the schedule light after a day of travels. Creative planners will highlight the best venues, whether it’s poolside, on the beach, or on a patio or lawn with jaw-dropping views. Don’t be afraid to ask resorts if you can utilize space outside of the ballroom.

Mid-trip evenings are often filled with “dine-arounds” to take winners off property to experience popular restaurants. Or, incentive planners will tap unique local venues for a creative group dinner experience, like a Napa wine cave dinner or renting a celebrity’s private estate. You can dive even deeper into local authenticity by finding dining club parties where locals prepare a meal for guests in their own homes.

The final night is traditionally a gala dinner filled with recognition of top achievers, step-and-repeat photos, a refined menu, and upscale décor and entertainment. Creative planners will recommend the best spot, whether it’s on the beach, dressing up a ballroom, or a unique venue nearby. 

wine cave dinner

Activity Options for Incentive Trips

Unique, local, and authentic experiences are becoming the biggest trend of successful incentive trips. In years past, activities usually included golfing, spa days, and a catamaran sail. Today, it seems every destination has a zip line tour, a snorkel sail, and an ATV excursion!

Incentive travelers crave new experiences, especially the up-and-coming Millennials. Many travel planners are adding new twists to the traditional tours to stray from the beaten path and keep participants excited.

CMPs ( Certified Meeting Planners ) will collaborate with destination partners to offer activities that are unique to the location – such as cenote cave swims in Riviera Maya, Napali coast boats in Kauai, or Lord of the Rings tours in New Zealand.

african safari

Gifts that "WOW"

Incentive travel gifting is an art.

Room gifts, or “pillow gifts,” are a fun way to surprise and delight newer winners. They are simple to administer because everyone gets the same item, and they are often less expensive at $25 to $50.

Individualization   was the first trend in gifting by engraving or monogramming the standard pillow gift, such as a monogrammed bathrobe, an embossed leather item, engraved wine glasses, or a Waterford crystal bowl.

Choice   became the next trend in personalization. Maui Jim pioneered gifting experiences by bringing 12 styles of their high-end, polarized sunglasses and letting attendees pick their favorite pair of shades. Recent entrances to the gifting category include other sunglasses brands, Bose headphones and Bluetooth speakers, watches, shoes, sandals, handbags, and more.

One word of caution : executing a gifting experience in a foreign country or small island is not as easy as shopping your local megamall. Adequate inventory, shipping challenges, and high import duties can create headaches quickly.

Localization   is the most recent trend where gifts are sourced locally with artisans, which can be unique and cost-effective in foreign countries. One of our all-time, most popular gifts were custom-fitted, Italian-leather gloves in Florence.

incentives for travel business

Communications

Don't let your trip be the best-kept secret.

Far too often, the incentive promotion strategy is an afterthought. Like any successful marketing effort, an effective incentive program needs a comprehensive campaign strategy, creative theme, and rhythmic messaging to create top-of-mind awareness.

In today’s world, people are bombarded with media. Emails stuff inboxes at the rate of 200+ per day. Users glance for a nanosecond, with their index finger on the delete-key, rapidly clicking like a teenage video gamer.

It’s vital that your promotional strategy does not depend solely on a few emails. Your message must break through the clutter.

Create a Trip Website

A trip website offers dual benefits – good promotion during the qualifying period and an efficient registration form after winners are announced. A pretty web design can be easy because travel is visually engaging. A microsite serves as a central portal for the schedule, hotel info, activities, rules, and a contact page.

During registration, the online form automates data capture of the winner’s information including guest name, flight departure airport, passport numbers and expiry dates, activity selections, food allergies, and dozens of other preferences. While a microsite provides pull communications, motivational push communications must be sent too.

A clever, attractive theme can go a long way. Use the natural attraction of the travel destination for visual interest. Here’s a quick list of communication recommendations:

Teasers .   Before officially announcing the program, distribute a teaser — something that hints of events to come. It might be a small promotional item or a visually-appealing mailer to pique interest. We recommend one giveaway at kickoff and another at program mid-point to serve as an effective reminder.

Kickoff Announcement.   Custom design a promotional flyer to generate excitement and share high-level details. Promote the trip and direct everyone to the incentive website for full details.

Sales Kickoff.   If you have an SKO (sales kickoff), put together a video or PowerPoint slides. One client rolled in iced buckets of Jamaican Red Stripe beer to announce a Caribbean trip.

Graphical Email.   Create an HTML email template for year-long use.  

Postcards.   Direct mail postcards are making a dramatic comeback. Email marketing is over-saturated with declining open rates and click-through. Mail an inexpensive postcard each quarter. Mail it to their home, and you catch the attention of the family too!

Posters.   18×24 sized posters are super billboards in large offices.

Leaderboards.   Track achievements, promote competition, and give recognition with regularly-updated, online leaderboards. 

Winners’ Kits. Make your qualifiers feel like VIP’s before the trip begins with a themed winner’s kit that has some destination-specific gifts and information on what’s to come. 

incentives for travel business

High-Touch Logistics

On-site management is key.

While we focus on on-site logistics and hospitality services, it would be a big mistake to overlook the many, many more hours of pre-trip meeting planning. A globe-trotting incentive planner gives valuable advice, manages the hundreds of pre-trip planning details, and guarantees your program goes off without a hitch.

An on-site, travel manager serves as a single point-of-contact, ensuring the highest level of service. The experienced manager will coordinate transportation to the hotel, host the hospitality desk, and supervise support staff and suppliers. Additional “TDs” (Travel Directors) will ensure your winners are treated like VIPs and oversee all functions and activities.

CAUTION!  Be careful when sending internal corporate employees to manage the trip as a perk. Not only will they lack the expertise, but more importantly, if their travel was presented as a perk, they will not want to stay up until midnight waiting for delayed flights, advance breakfast preparation at 6 a.m., or sweat with vendors on event décor setup.

Just how much needs to be managed on-site?

Attendee Flight Arrivals Transportation and Pickups Hotel Room Check-Ins Hosting the Hospitality Desk Food & Beverage Management Arranging Room Drops and Pillow Gifts

Directing Support Staff Security and Emergency Planning Setting Up and Checking Audiovisual Enforcing the Schedule and Itinerary VIP Services for Winners and C-Suite and so much more…

Risk Management

The ultimate responsibility of any meeting planner or incentive travel director is safeguarding the health and safety of their travelers. Incentive travel companies are certified experts in preparing for all possibilities because they’ve seen everything that can impede on your incentive travel plans.

Work with a professional agency to create contingency plans for everything: What if a participant gets sick or hurt onsite? What if transportation breaks down en route to an activity? What about if a weather catastrophe forces a cancellation?

There are seemingly endless questions to ask yourself when preparing ahead of time to   manage your incentive travel program’s risk . Hiring an incentive pro will take the guesswork out of the equation and insure you and your group focus on having an amazing experience rather than worrying about what could go wrong at any moment.

Hire an Incentive Pro

How to hire an incentive travel agency.

If your incentive travel group is larger than 40 people (usually 20 qualifiers and 20 guests), we highly recommend that you hire an incentive travel company to take the reigns and work with you on creating an unforgettable trip.

Take Your Learning to the Next Level

incentives for travel business

This site is an informational resource for companies starting an incentive trip or looking to improve their trip with new ideas, travel trends, or tips from the experts. If you have any questions or want to discuss program needs, feel free to reach out!

gobrightspot.com

972-661-6000

[email protected]

Incentive Travel Made Easy

Reward and retain your most valuable employees with luxury travel from Inspirato.

Bringing More Joy, Loyalty, and Productivity to Your Workforce

Give your employees the gift of incentive travel when you partner with Inspirato for Business

At Inspirato for Business, we offer a customizable incentive travel program tailored to your company’s specific needs. Give your employees an Inspirato vacation of their choosing or a luxury Inspirato membership, or plan your next corporate event in one of our stunning homes.

Three Ways to Partner with Inspirato for Business

incentives for travel business

Reward Trips

Let your employees choose an Inspirato luxury trip from a list of thousands.

incentives for travel business

Corporate Access

Give complimentary Inspirato corporate memberships to your top performers.

incentives for travel business

Corporate Events

Host your next corporate event or retreat at an Inspirato luxury home.

Do incentive travel programs work?

Incentive travel programs have been shown to increase employee productivity up to 44% , as well as improve employee retention and engagement, according to a recent survey from the Incentive Research Foundation.

incentives for travel business

Our most popular employee travel incentive, Reward Trips, are a way to show gratitude to your top-performing colleagues. We’ll create a custom website for your company, allowing your employees to choose from a list of thousands of Reward Trips to our luxury vacation homes and partner resorts in 75+ iconic destinations around the world. Each incentive trip includes personalized service from start to finish as our team takes care of all the details. All incentive trips are priced at a flat rate, providing easy budget and incentive travel management for you.

What to Expect from an Inspirato Vacation

incentives for travel business

Luxury accommodations

Their choice of luxury accommodations—such as incredible luxury vacation homes and five-star hotels and resorts—in 75+ destinations, from Los Cabos to Nantucket. ‍

incentives for travel business

Personalized service

Personalized service from our team of in-house travel experts, including pre-trip planning, daily housekeeping, and on-site concierges.

incentives for travel business

Peace of mind

The peace of mind you experience when traveling with Inspirato, knowing everything will be taken care of.

What Our Partners Are Saying

incentives for travel business

INSPIRATO FOR BUSINESS CLIENT

See how inspirato for business can help you reward and retain your most valuable employees, partners, and customers..

Inspirato® is a luxury hospitality company that provides luxury vacations and experiences, and includes a private travel subscription that requires payment of applicable fees, including nightly rates and other applicable fees. Travel is subject to acceptance of the applicable Inspirato terms and conditions and other eligibility requirements. Travel with Inspirato may include taxes, if applicable, such as for sales and use, transient and/or hotel occupancy, room, excise, value added and/or other related taxes. The amount payable to the applicable taxing authority may vary based on the jurisdiction in which the residence is located. Some jurisdictions may also require payment of local taxes and fees which are not included in the cost of travel with Inspirato and will be the individual’s responsibility for paying. Availability is limited during peak or holiday travel dates and may vary by trip list, accommodation, dates, applicable membership or subscription, or travel option selected. See website (Incentive Travel Made Easy | Inspirato For Business ) for complete details. The operator of Inspirato® is Best of 52, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, a subsidiary of Inspirato LLC. Operator’s address, email address and telephone number are 1544 Wazee Street, Denver, Colorado 80202, [email protected], (303) 586-7771. Best of 52, LLC is registered with the Delaware Seller of Travel License No. 2022700082; State of Florida as a Seller of Travel - Registration No. ST38403; Washington Seller of Travel Registration No. UBI 603086598; Virginia Seller of Travel; California Seller of Travel Registration No. CST 2107465-50 (registration as a seller of travel in California does not constitute approval by the State of California and Operator is not a participant in the California Travel Consumer Restitution Fund). Pursuant to Haw. Rev. Stat. § 468L-1 et. seq., operator maintains a Hawaii travel agency trust account named "Best of 52, LLC Client Trust Account" at First Hawaiian Bank, 215 Papalaua Street, Lahaina, Hawaii 96761. Operator and its authorized agents, representatives, vendors, successors or assigns may perform Operator’s obligations and exercise its rights hereunder. ©Copyright 2023 Best of 52, LLC. All rights reserved.

incentives for travel business

  • January 3, 2024
  • Team Building

Post: Employee Incentive Travel Programs

Employee Incentive Travel concept photo with man dressed in a suit typing on laptop with a travel bubble to the left of his head

Employee motivation is a cornerstone in the overall performance of any organization. Besides monetary compensation, it has been proven that employees respond positively to the added benefits that their workplace brings them. That’s why many organizations are adopting Employee Incentive Travel (EIT) Programs to keep the spirits up. How do you design an incentive travel program? Why should organizations consider the option? What are the benefits of a travel incentive program? These are some of the questions we will cover in this article.

What is an Employee Incentive Travel Program?

An Employee Incentive Travel Program is a recognition program for rewarding exceptional employees with an all-expenses-paid trip to their favorite destination. The essence of the travel incentive program is to reward high-performing employees and motivate the rest to reach the desired standards. 

Some organizations also offer these incentive programs to employees for their loyalty and years of service. 

Benefits of the Travel Incentive Programs

Incentive travel has many benefits, mainly impacting the company’s overall performance. According to Forbes , employee recognition is vital to improve performance and work ethics. Besides improving overall morale, employee appreciation makes them feel they’re part of the company, creating a hospitable working environment that boosts productivity. Here are some common benefits of incentive travel Programs:

Increases Employee Engagement and Motivation

A travel incentive program helps improve focus and motivation, with employees knowing they can earn a well-deserved vacation based on their performance. It creates a serene environment that boosts engagement, with every worker performing at their best. 

Improves Satisfaction and Morale

Job satisfaction is critical to employees’ performance and work ethics. Having something positive to look forward to improves the workers’ morale, which reflects on their performance. A company can reach its objectives and desired goals promptly when everyone executes their roles as required. 

Increases Brand Loyalty

In a world where many workers feel unappreciated and undervalued, brand loyalty is becoming a rare virtue. However, introducing a travel incentive program could counter this feeling by creating a positive workplace culture of inclusivity. Employees tend to be loyal to a brand that appreciates them, with some even bringing in new clients. 

Strengthening Team Relationships

Besides being a getaway, corporate incentive travel programs may also act as a team-building exercise that helps create and strengthen worker bonds. Vacationing together and experiencing new things establishes long-lasting relationships between colleagues, translating to a positive working environment. 

How do You Design an Effective Employee Incentive Travel Program?

Any effective workplace policy should consider inclusivity and fairness when creating it. The same applies to designing an incentive travel program. As a rule of thumb, you should clarify what employees need to do to earn a spot. You could use a point-based system, where workers earn points for every workplace achievement. 

Choosing a preferred destination also boosts morale and motivation. Although a tropical destination is ideal, always consider employees’ needs and interests when picking a spot. 

Make it clear whether the program applies company-wide or targets specific departments. Picking a target audience also helps to tailor the program to their specific needs. In most cases, many companies have multi-department incentive programs to boost morale and motivation. 

It’s proven that having a company-wide incentive program might discourage some from participating due to the increased competition. However, targeting departments narrows down the competition, making everyone believe they can win. 

A budget is also crucial as it determines the destination and the overall experience. Budgeting in advance allows for determining the trip’s length and the activities included. 

Planning for logistics, like accommodation, traveling plans, activities, and meals in advance eliminates the pressure of last-minute cancellation. Only work with the best incentive travel program logistics agency. 

Types of the Incentive Travel Programs

Corporate incentive travel programs take different forms depending on the company’s goals and objectives. However, here are some common incentive travel programs found in many organizations today:

Performance-based Incentive Travel Programs

Every company has predefined performance metrics and awards this program to high-performing employees or teams. Some objectives include meeting project milestones, achieving sales targets, or surpassing key performance indicators (KPIs). It is the most common incentive trip in many organizations. 

New Product Launch Incentive Travel

Companies are known to launch new products regularly and offer this program to a team that helps to launch the product successfully. Market impact is crucial to any new product launch, and motivating employees responsible for this throughout the entire process translates to a successful project.

Sales Incentive Travel Programs

The program is commonly offered to outstanding sales teams and individuals in sales-driven companies for reaching or exceeding the pre-determined sales quotas. The travel incentives might include taking a holiday to a desired destination, staying in a luxury hotel, fine dining, or spa treatments, depending on the company’s budget. Sales incentive trips are usually recommended to motivate employees and achieve desired goals.

Customer Service Incentive Trips

Customer service employees might receive these incentive rewards for their outstanding work helping clients with queries or technical problems. The employee with the most positive client feedback receives the incentive trips, which might include water sports activities or theme park tickets. Doing so improves the customer service department, which helps to retain clients and even get referrals for outstanding work. An all-expenses paid trip eliminates the poor customer service record as everyone is focused on the travel incentives for top-performing employees.

Years of Service Incentive Travel

By offering work anniversary incentives , companies can show employees who have been committed to the company for many years. It’s meant to recognize their years of dedication and hard work during that period. Many companies go overboard to show how they appreciate the veterans by offering incentives like staying at a luxury cruise ship or a vacation to an exotic destination. 

Leadership and Management Development Travel Incentive Programs

The program is reserved for executives, like managers and supervisors, for their outstanding work guiding their teams to reach the objectives. Awarding employees who show initiative and stand out in their roles is also common.

Why Should Organizations Consider Incentive Travel Programs?

Besides motivating employees to perform at their best, travel incentive programs also create a harmonious working environment, especially when the incentive is aimed toward a team. In this case, collaboration and teamwork is the key to getting the reward. In return, the company experiences growth and progress as everyone works together toward a common goal. 

Workplaces can be stressful, especially when trying to reach objectives and goals. Creating an incentive travel program can spice things up, making employees look forward to working days. It also helps them develop the mental resilience to deal with everyday workplace stressors, knowing there is a reward once the project concludes. 

Which Program Works Best for an Organization?

Every organization is different, with varying objectives and projects. Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the type of incentive travel program to offer, it helps target departments, as this helps increase competency and performance. 

In this case, members of these departments will have to perform exceptionally to get a chance at winning a spot. 

However, it’s crucial not to alienate any department, as this will be seen as favoritism and generate opposite effects. If an organization cannot afford to sponsor multiple travel incentive programs, it should have one where everyone is eligible to participate. Alternatively, an organization can rotate the programs yearly, with each department receiving a fair shot. 

Keep Employees Motivated

Employee Incentive Travel Programs are crucial for rewarding outstanding workers and motivating others to perform at their best. The programs aim to recognize rising talent and exceptional performers and appreciate long-serving employees. It’s a way of creating a hospitable working environment and alleviating pressure from everyday work. 

Before setting up an incentive travel program, it’s best to consider logistics, budget, a desired location, and the target audience. A successful incentive travel program promotes inclusivity and a fair chance for every employee to participate. It could be awarded to an individual or a team based on the company’s policies and objectives. 

Table of Contents

Latest articles.

concept picture of a girl working from home showcasing the importance of staying connected while working remotely.

Staying Connected While Working Remotely

The best wfh productivity tips for remote workers in 2024 .

An individual engaged in asynchronous work on a laptop at an outdoor wooden table, with a warm, sunlit garden in the background. They are holding a white mug, suggesting a relaxed, remote work setting.

Asynchronous Work – Build a Robust Company Culture Environment

It’s party time.

Are you ready for virtual team-building that’s more exciting than a unicorn riding a rainbow? WOYAGO is here to make your team-building experience one to remember by taking your team to travel virtually.

You may also be interested

concept picture of a girl working from home showcasing the importance of staying connected while working remotely.

Despite competing interests in the battle for employees to return to the office, remote work is here to stay. Telework

Staying productive while working remotely can be challenging, especially when deadlines draw closer and tasks pile up. Some individuals turn

An individual engaged in asynchronous work on a laptop at an outdoor wooden table, with a warm, sunlit garden in the background. They are holding a white mug, suggesting a relaxed, remote work setting.

In today’s ever-evolving work landscape, asynchronous work has redefined how companies operate and teams collaborate. As the traditional 9-to-5 office

Fill the form to see the demo, get excited and be the team’s hero for bringing the joy!

Woyago logo

Your Architects of Unforgettable Parisian Journeys and Engaging Team Experiences

PARISIAN PRIVATE EXPERIENCE

  • Craft Your Parisian Itinerary
  • Parisian Private Tours
  • Once in a Lifetime Experiences

TEAM EXPERIENCE

  • Virtual Team Building
  • Parisian DMC

USEFUL LINKS

  • Stock images by Depositphotos

Woyago 2024 © All Rights Reserved

Privacy Policy   |  Terms of use

This website uses cookies

This site uses cookies to improve the user experience. If you continue to use the site we will consider that you agree with our terms of use and privacy policy .

Incentive Travel Solutions

How To Enrich Company Culture With Business Travel Incentives

Business travel incentives are great tools for cultivating and fostering company culture which is an essential part of retaining employees and building successful teams. Using business travel incentives can help to make employees feel valued as team contributors, and even encourage some healthy competition. When it is time to plan your business travel, using a capable corporate travel management company can make a huge difference with every aspect of the planning and execution. 

For instance, arranging business travel incentives to locations that can accommodate the team members for lodging, group activities, excursions, and meetings will help assure that the team can focus on being fully immersed in their company’s culture while enjoying team building activities designed to support their common goals and celebrate their achievements. 

The services of a corporate travel management company are a valuable part of an individual’s experience when participating in incentive travel programs. Being completely taken care of, from booking flights and accommodations, to planning itineraries and providing real-time customer service at every point of the trip, ensures stress-free productivity. Let the professionals handle the fine details while you simply enjoy your time and participate in trip activities. If you are looking for a corporate travel and event management company that can provide you with all of this and more, Incentive Travel Solutions can help!

Advantages of Partnering With Incentive Travel Solutions:

  • Expert Global Travel Knowledge and Planning Experience
  • Easy Online Travel Registration
  • Flight and Hotel Booking
  • On-Site Travel Management Services
  • Business Travel Incentive Program Development and Tracking
  • Event and Theme Planning

Ready to Learn More About How Business Travel Incentives Can Improve Your Company’s Culture?

If you are interested in learning more about business travel incentives or need help with enhancing your current program, c ontact Incentive Travel Solutions here ! The dedicated team at Incentive Travel Solutions can plan and provide exciting business travel incentives that will enhance your company’s culture and promote productivity and team building.

You might also like

corporate travel management

Recent Travel Articles

Incentive Event Management

IMPORTANT PAGES

  • The WOW Factor
  • Airline Contract Negotiation
  • Hotel Contract
  • Intriguing destinations
  • On-Site Travel Staff
  • Flawless Web Registration
  • Rewards & Recognition
  • Travel Articles
  • Executive Team

incentives for travel business

  • English (UK)
  • English (CA)
  • Deutsch (DE)
  • Deutsch (CH)

The benefits of a business travel incentive program

What strategies do companies employ when it comes to business travel incentive programs, why are travel incentives more impactful, what benefits do corporate travel incentive programs bring, they increase motivation and collaboration., great incentives lead to higher job satisfaction and employee retention., envy-inducing perks make it easier to attract quality candidates., they give you a competitive edge., how can an organization establish an effective business travel incentive program, five-step checklist for creating a successful corporate travel incentive program..

  • Decide on your metrics and motivators.
  • Plan a grand prize that will excite your team!
  • Incorporate into your company culture by marking major milestones.
  • Assign hosts and capture the highlights so you can build excitement next year!
  • Collect feedback from your winners. Analyze alternative targets you could measure and adapt for a new destination for the next cycle!

1. Choose clear metrics.

2. design a memorable incentive trip, 3. make a moment out of the milestones, 4. assign hosts for the trip., 5. establish space for feedback., did you find this article useful.

Train Plane Travel

Make business travel simpler. Forever.

  • See our platform in action . Trusted by thousands of companies worldwide, TravelPerk makes business travel simpler to manage with more flexibility, full control of spending with easy reporting, and options to offset your carbon footprint.
  • Find hundreds of resources on all things business travel, from tips on traveling more sustainably, to advice on setting up a business travel policy, and managing your expenses. Our latest e-books and blog posts have you covered.
  • Never miss another update. Stay in touch with us on social for the latest product releases, upcoming events, and articles fresh off the press.

Inefficient Processes In Companies Jason Goodman Oalh2mojuuk Unsplash

5 inefficient processes affecting your business and how to fix them

Piotr Chrobot M0wbgfrtxqu Unsplash 1

Duty of care in the workplace: everything you need to know

Thought Catalog Uk78i6vk3sc Unsplash 1

CEO Roles and Responsibilities: conquer your role as CEO

  • Business Travel Management
  • Offset Carbon Footprint
  • Flexible travel
  • Travelperk Sustainability Policy
  • Corporate Travel Resources
  • Corporate Travel Glossary
  • For Travel Managers
  • For Finance Teams
  • For Travelers
  • Thoughts from TravelPerk
  • Careers Hiring
  • User Reviews
  • Integrations
  • Privacy Center
  • Help Center
  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookies Policy
  • Modern Slavery Act | Statement
  • Supplier Code of Conduct

What is Incentive Travel?

Making the business case for incentive travel.

Reward and Recognition – why use incentive travel?

In its purest sense, Incentive Travel is a performance enhancement tool used to inspire outstanding workplace behaviours against clearly defined goals.

It’s a key part of the reward and recognition programs that organisations offer to motivate, incentivise and inspire outstanding performance amongst their workforces.

Cash bonuses, premium merchandise, memberships and flexible benefits are other types of reward typically offered by organisations:

Cash bonuses are widely deployed in organisations to reward performance. They have the advantage of being easy to implement and everyone understands the value of cash.

That said, they are ephemeral, here today, gone tomorrow. Cash often gets absorbed into a qualifier’s regular expenses so there is little to associate the reward with the organisation that offers it and the reward can be easily forgotten.

Merchandise is often used as a reward instead of cash and this is usually for fiscal reasons. The merchandise used in incentive programs is usually high end or luxury, ie, something a qualifier would not normally purchase on their own behalf.

However, no matter how high-end or premium, the merchandise has a known price so it places a finite value on the reward. It may be validating for the qualifier to have an over-sized TV screen, but the sense of validation may be short lived as there will always be bigger and better TV screens.

Some organisations offer memberships (golf club, gym, yoga etc) and benefits tailored to the specific needs and interests of the qualifer.

These rewards are already more enduring in their value to a qualifer than cash and merchandise, but they still have a finite value and place a specific price on the extraordinary effort that a qualifier made to get them.

Winning a place on an incentive travel program, however, has clear advantages over all the other tried and tested rewards. The principal advantage is that it’s “priceless”, offering an extraordinary travel experience, comprised of experiences not available in a tourist brochure. When planned well, these travel experiences can be deeply impactful, even transformational for the qualifier.

There are other benefits, too. Incentive travel is usually offered to a qualifier PLUS a significant other. Thus the sponsoring organisation is facilitating an outstanding shared experience for two people – both can look forward to the trip together (significant other acts as a performance catalyst) and both can treasure the memories it generates.

There are benefits to the sponsoring company too in that the incentive travel experience facilitates relationship building between qualifiers and officers in an organisation and can be a tangible way to put express, and get buy-in to, company culture.

MICE: Incentive Travel = the “I” in MICE

There is no universally agreed category header to describe the industry and marketplace variously known as The Meetings Industry, MICE, Business Tourism, The C & I sector, Business Events, The Meetings and Events Industry.

Different Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) favour different category headers and, moreover, argue vehemently against the use of others.

MICE, an acronym meaning Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events is widely used in Asia and Europe but often disliked in North America and Australia where Business Events has gained currency.  The UK prefers The Meetings Industry.

Incentive Travel is the “I” in MICE. While corporate meetings usually seek to inform or educate participants, incentive travel seeks to motivate and inspire them. Incentive travel is described by the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) as

“... a powerful business tool to reward and unlock human potential to achieve corporate objectives.”

Incentive travel, therefore, is about reward and recognition – rewarding team members with an extraordinary travel experience for delivering outstanding results, recognising these high achievers before their peers and publicly validating their achievements.

For incentive programmes, the “appeal” of the destination is crucial as an all expenses VIP trip to this destination is the prize or the reward awaiting the qualifiers (those who exceed the targets set for qualification for the trip). Unless the destination is truly attractive and appealing, it will not trigger the emotional reaction necessary to motivate the employee to qualify for the trip .

The objectives of an incentive travel programme are many and can include:

  • increasing sales
  • building morale and loyalty
  • increasing market share
  • encouraging teamwork and better customer service

Incentive travel is used as a motivational tool across many industry sectors but is used particularly by the following ones:

  • Financial and Insurance
  • Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)
  • Direct Selling Companies (sometimes known as Network Marketing)

The supply chain for incentive travel starts with the organisation that decides to launch an incentive travel program (often called the “end user” or corporate planner) and includes a plethora of suppliers including specialist agencies in both the source market and destination, airlines, transportation companies, hotels, venues, restaurants, visitor attractions, speaker bureaux and AV / Production companies.

Of all the MICE segments, Incentive Travel is accepted as the segment that deploys the most touch points in both a source market and a destination.

Often the supply chain is divided into Buyers (corporate end user, agencies in source market) and Suppliers (airlines, agencies in destination, hotels, venues etc).

SITE Installation Dinner Speaker

Making the Business Case for Incentive Travel

As the leading voice for the incentive travel industry, SITE & SITE Foundation are embarked upon an ongoing advocacy campaign to demonstrate the value of incentive travel as an effective marketing and business tool.

By providing education and certification programs, networking opportunities, industry research, and advocacy for its members and the incentive travel industry at large, SITE and SITE Foundation work to promote the value of incentive travel to businesses; emphasizing the positive impact that incentive travel can have on employee motivation, performance, and job satisfaction.

We need your help to collect the case studies that illustrate that effectiveness.

Why should you get involved?

By harnessing the experiences of incentive travel users, our campaign’s goal is to prove that incentive travel means business results; therefore increasing your incentive business, and its perceived value.

How can you get involved?

Submit a statement and brief case study by filling out the  Campaign Brief Form ; both sections #1 and #2. Submit completed forms via email attachment to  [email protected] .

SITE Crystal Awards

Considered the highest honor in our industry, the SITE Crystal Awards recognize creative, practical and truly memorable incentive travel programs that keep employees engaged, drive business results and improve the bottom line for global corporations.

The awards are aimed at incentive travel professionals all over the world. Winners represent excellence in their profession and offer inspirational examples of how incentive travel experiences benefit qualifiers, their companies and the destinations where they are hosted.

crystal awards

Surely the most compelling examples of the business case for Incentive Travel are SITE’s annual Crystal Award winners? Selected by our global panel of experts, the winners of a Crystal Award embody in their program design and delivery undisputed examples of excellence illustrating, convincingly, why incentive travel is THE most effective reward in a company’s reward and recognition initiative.

Foundation Research

SITE Foundation was established by SITE to raise funds and support research, education and advocacy projects on behalf of the incentive travel industry.

Monies raised by SITE Foundation enable us to make the business case for incentive travel and highlight the transformational potential of travel experiences on individuals, enterprises and communities.

Since 2017 SITE Foundation has invested over $1.25million to drive the business case for incentive travel and support professional development within the industry.

research

Evidence-based research is crucial when it comes to making the business case for Incentive Travel. That’s why it’s a core tenet of SITE Foundation’s vision and mission. Each year SITE Foundation commissions original research on various aspects of Incentive Travel to equip Incentive Travel professionals all over the world with data to underpin their important work on behalf of national, regional and global corporations.

incentives for travel business

SITE offers a number of options for individual and group membership

Go to Membership

incentives for travel business

Register for in-person and virtual events organised by SITE HQ and our Chapters

Go to Events

incentives for travel business

Check out SITE’s rich portfolio of webinars, online courses and educational resources

Go to Learn Hub

incentives for travel business

Since its formation in 1987, SITE Foundation has invested over USD$10M in our industry

Learn about the Foundation

Connect with us

Search Travel Market Report

incentives for travel business

  • Packaged Travel
  • Hotels & Resorts
  • Destinations
  • Retail Strategies
  • Niche & Luxury
  • Training & Resources
  • Brian Israel
  • Briana Bonfiglio
  • Dan McCarthy
  • Dori Saltzman
  • Jennifer Arango
  • Kelly Fontenelle
  • Keri-Anne Slevin
  • Louis Intreglia
  • Sarah Milner
  • Tom McCarthy

incentives for travel business

How to Crack the Incentive Travel Market

Selling incentive travel business differs from other types of travel, but for corporate or leisure agents who are willing to learn the ropes, this is a profitable niche, with potentially high returns. “Historically it’s been the highest spend per person of any type of group travel,” said Bruce Tepper, vice president of Joselyn, Tepper & Associates, a travel industry consulting and training firm. “This is also a business that has never been driven by commission. Agents, not the suppliers, set the margins. It’s lucrative.” Incentives also may appeal to agents looking for a new challenge. “It’s something new and different and makes you learn new things and new ways of doing things,” Tepper said. Staffing is step one The first step after deciding to pursue incentive business is being willing to dedicate staff  to the effort, whether it’s existing staff who will be trained or new hires dedicated to incentives. Once that decision is made, agents need to get training. Now may be a good time to do that. SITE, the Society of Incentive Travel Executives, plans to launch a new Certified Incentive Specialist program by the end of the year. The two-day program will be designed for incentive travel newcomers and will not require membership in SITE nor any minimum experience. Incentive travel sellers need to understand companies and their motivational goals, whether that’s inspiring staff to sell more or moving customers to buy more products and services. Court current clients Once agents understand how incentives work, they should start seeking incentive business from existing clients. A primarily leisure agency might mine its client base for executives or company owners. Agents who are country club members can also use that as a good source of potential clients. Incentive travel is a natural for corporate travel agents. “Use your own client base to identify possible leads and then find out about their employee rewards program,” said Tim Smith, president of GlobalPoint Travel Solutions, a $70 million agency in San Diego, which does about 3% of its business in meetings and conventions. “It's much easier to sell a program to an individual or company with whom you have an existing relationship as opposed to chasing a vaporous potential customer. Love the one you're with and you'll expand your influence,” Smith said. Identifying prospective clients Those who want to go after new clients won’t find it hard to find prospects. “An industry in everyone’s backyard that uses incentives quite often is car dealers,” said Tepper. “Even a small dealer has 20 or 30 salespeople. “Look for distributors of anything, like Coca Cola and Pepsi bottlers. You don’t have to be in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles to start,” Tepper said. New supplier contacts Working with incentive groups requires both a new mindset and new set of contacts. “You’ll be dealing with an entirely different network of suppliers,” Tepper added. “Even with the airlines and hotel companies you’ll be dealing with different people. “And, you’ve got to come into this thinking forget commission. We do everything from net. What pricing we use will determine what we sell for.” Potential partnerships Agents seeking incentive business also have to decide on their agency’s level of involvement. They can designate a dedicated team to designing, managing and implementing incentive programs or seek help from meeting and incentive planners. Operating the incentive business directly is, of course, more lucrative. It also means agents can not only take over the incentive business of clients with existing programs but can seek out companies that have never had an incentive program. Another way to get involved in the business is to team up with a meeting planner or meeting and incentive house. “It might be the perfect thing to do. There are thousands of one- or two-person meeting planning firms that might want to pair up with an agent.” said Tepper. Another option is to partner with a company like Oyster Bay, N.Y.-based Acclaim Meetings, which works with agents on negotiations, bookings, commission collection and technology. (Editor’s note: Owned by American Marketing Group, Acclaim Meetings is a sister company to Travel Market Report .) Understanding the business is crucial Either way, the key to success is understanding  incentive programs and how they operate, according to Anne Marie Moebes, executive vice president of Acclaim Meetings. “An agent first needs to understand why the company is offering the incentive; what their goals are and why the employee is motivated to win the incentive,” she said. “If you understand what’s in it for all parties, the agent can make an educated decision on what to offer as the travel product,” she said. “It must meet the budget and requirements of the sponsoring company but at the same time entice the winner/employee and their spouse or guest if they are part of the program. Many times the spouse can be the driving influence.” Vendor relationships As in all areas of travel, developing relationships is crucial not just for clients but for vendors. “You need to work very closely with vendors. Use preferred vendors so you know they will go all out,” said Wendy Burk, CEO of La Jolla, Calif.-based Cadence Travel. “Use those you have a longtime relationship with, because in the end it’s all about relationships,” Burk added. “The danger of handling corporate, leisure and meetings is the domino effect. If you screw up one you’ll screw up all three.” Advice for smaller agencies Although larger agencies with dedicated incentive travel staff may be more likely to handle incentive programs without outside help, even smaller agencies can go it on their own.       Carol Horner created the Virginia Beach, Va.-based Horner Incentive Group in the mid-1900s after several years as an agent and agency owner. She and her husband still own a travel agency but were advised early on to create a different name and identity for the incentive business. “That’s what we did and thank goodness, because we changed our agency’s name three times. With my incentive business the name stayed the same from the beginning,” she said. All-inclusives for incentives As a smaller agency with annual sales of $8 million, Horner finds it easier to use all-inclusives in her programs. She used to create cruise incentives but now prefers programs featuring Mexican and Caribbean all-inclusives. “You have more flexibility with land-based programs. You can do more team-building activities,” she said “A cruise is too restricting for some people in terms of the dining. The VIP feels obligated to be with the employees every night. And it’s much more lucrative to do an all-inclusive than a cruise.” Make it unforgettable The job of an incentive planner is to create unforgettable experiences for participants. “The single most important thing is the wow factor – the wow factor when it comes to the venue, the entertainment, the graphic design and the theme to thank their customers or top employees,” said Cadence Travel’s Burk. “It can even be ordinary London or Paris, but it will be something they can’t buy off the shelf. Every aspect will be unique.”

incentives for travel business

MOST VIEWED

  • Report: Delta Air Lines Plans to Drop Baggage Recheck on Arrival to U.S.
  • Catering Strike Causes Delays at Toronto Pearson Airport
  • U.S. State Department Updates Warnings for Two European Destinations
  • Hawaii Set to Ban Airbnb and Short-Term Rentals State-Wide
  • California Bans Drip Pricing: What It Means for Travel Advisors
  • Op-Ed: Why I Won’t Use Costco for Travel Again
  • Travel Industry Acronyms Advisors Need to Know
  • DOT Imposes Unsustainable Refund Obligations on Travel Advisors
  • American Airlines Pushes AAdvantage Change for Travel Agencies
  • Roundup of Global Travel Advisor Day Appreciation Promotions
  • One Year Out, Americans Need to Get Serious About REAL ID
  • 9 Apps or Tools that Can Help Travel Advisors Work Better and Faster

Up to $200 off ENFs. ALG Vacations

Subscribe today to receive daily in-depth coverage, analysis of industry news, trends and issues that affect how you do business. Subscribe now for free.

Subscribe to TMR

Brownell Names David Harris as President, Troy Haas as Chairman and CEO

Brownell Travel on Monday made two major moves in its executive team.

incentives for travel business

Newly expressed but unchanged in sentiment, ALG Vacations has placed its relationship with advisors at the forefront by declaring, “Together, We Move People.” 

Alarm Bells Ring in Canada Over Advisor Shortage and Talent Shortfall

Travel agencies across Canada are looking to expand, but finding “quality” candidates continues to pose a challenge.

Oceania Cruises Launches Co-Branded Website Tool

Oceania Insider Connect can help advisors boost their Oceania-related marketing and sales efforts.

Business Mostly As Usual Despite FAA Reauthorization Bill

Most individual travel advisors and agencies will remain unaffected by the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Bill.

Expedia Unveils Romie, an AI-Powered Travel Planner

The question of whether AI can (or will) replace travel advisors has just taken a step forward.

How to Sell Villas

incentives for travel business

The Hidden Cost of Helping Friends Earn More Credit Card Rewards

T hanks to travel rewards credit cards, you summer like a celebrity for the cost of a staycation, and your friends are starting to notice. There’s no reason to gatekeep your travel secrets — the more friends know about how to earn valuable rewards, the more who will join you on epic and deeply discounted adventures.

Not only do you take the time to answer their credit card questions, but you also send referral links if you carry a card they’re interested in applying for. If they end up getting a card with your referral, they can earn a generous sign-up bonus by meeting the card’s spending requirement, and you get “paid” for your time and expertise by getting a referral bonus.

But there might be a catch. That referral bonus can come with a tax bill.

How the IRS looks at credit card rewards

You may owe taxes on some credit card rewards, depending on how you earn them and the dollar value of what you redeem.

“If you have to spend money for it — for example, you get a bonus after spending $3,000 within a certain time frame — then, it 's not taxable ,” Luis F. Rosa, a certified financial planner and enrolled agent in Las Vegas, said in an email. “However, if no money was spent and it was just an incentive, then, the income is taxable.”

According to the IRS, rewards earned through spending count as rebates, which aren’t taxable. But you don’t have to spend anything to earn a referral bonus, so it’s potentially taxable, especially if you earned at least $600 in value.

Credit card issuers’ fine print spells this out, though some issuers provide more information than others. Citibank’s terms and conditions are quite specific, stating that you may owe taxes on rewards in the year in which you redeemed them, and Citibank determines the value of those rewards. Chase and American Express also include language on taxes in their terms and conditions, but it’s more vague, basically stating that you may earn taxable income and, if so, you’re responsible for the tax liability.

If any of your credit card rewards earnings meet the qualifications to count as taxable, you’ll receive a 1099-MISC form from your card issuer, which will contain information to include on your tax return. Rosa says that even if your earnings from referral bonuses amount to less than $600 and you don’t receive a 1099-MISC, you should still report those earnings to the IRS.

When in doubt, consult a tax professional for guidance on your specific situation.

Should you refer friends for credit card offers?

Any taxes you may have to pay will, of course, be a percentage of the value of the bonus. So it may still be worth it to you to refer friends and deal with the sting of a slight increase to your taxable income later on.

There is another instance, however, where you might want to hold off for the sake of your friendship. Sometimes a card’s welcome offer is larger if you apply through the card’s website or at a bank branch location. In cases where your referral yields a smaller bonus for your friend, the decent thing to do would be to steer them toward the bigger bonus.

Sure, you won’t get that financial incentive, but you’ll win your friend’s respect and avoid potential taxation.

More From NerdWallet

  • How to Use Credit Cards to Save Money on Gas
  • At Risk of Missing a Credit Card Payment? Act Now to Lessen Impact
  • Your 2024 Credit Card Checklist for Summer Travel

Sara Rathner writes for NerdWallet. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @sarakrathner.

The article The Hidden Cost of Helping Friends Earn More Credit Card Rewards originally appeared on NerdWallet.

While credit card rewards earned through your spending aren't taxable, you may owe taxes when you refer friends to a card and earn a bonus.

These are the top 10 countries for travel and tourism

A plane flying across Miami Beach, United States.

The US retains its prime position in the World Economic Forum's latest Travel & Tourism Development Index. Image:  Unsplash/EveLazco

.chakra .wef-1c7l3mo{-webkit-transition:all 0.15s ease-out;transition:all 0.15s ease-out;cursor:pointer;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;outline:none;color:inherit;}.chakra .wef-1c7l3mo:hover,.chakra .wef-1c7l3mo[data-hover]{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.chakra .wef-1c7l3mo:focus,.chakra .wef-1c7l3mo[data-focus]{box-shadow:0 0 0 3px rgba(168,203,251,0.5);} Charlotte Edmond

A hand holding a looking glass by a lake

.chakra .wef-1nk5u5d{margin-top:16px;margin-bottom:16px;line-height:1.388;color:#2846F8;font-size:1.25rem;}@media screen and (min-width:56.5rem){.chakra .wef-1nk5u5d{font-size:1.125rem;}} Get involved .chakra .wef-9dduvl{margin-top:16px;margin-bottom:16px;line-height:1.388;font-size:1.25rem;}@media screen and (min-width:56.5rem){.chakra .wef-9dduvl{font-size:1.125rem;}} with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale

  • Pent-up demand after the pandemic is expected to drive passenger numbers back up to pre-pandemic levels in 2024.
  • The recovery of the travel and tourism sector since the pandemic has been uneven, however, and some nations are better placed than others to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the future.
  • The top three best-placed countries for travel and tourism are the US, Spain and Japan, according to the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index.

If you were desperate to get away after the restrictions and enforced staying at home of the pandemic years, you were far from alone.

Global international tourist arrivals are expected to meet pre-pandemic levels in 2024 driven by this pent-up demand. But, the recovery of the travel and tourism sector since the pandemic has not been without challenges. Add to that macroeconomic, geopolitical and environmental factors, which have added pressures on the industry.

These pressures will amplify and evolve over the coming years and, along with the growth of digital technologies and AI, may well force the travel industry to adapt.

Some economies are better placed than others to make these changes, respond to future risks and ensure that travel and tourism is a driver of economic growth and prosperity.

With this in mind, the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) aims to serve as a benchmark for stakeholders to gauge progress, inform decisions and policies, and encourage sustainable and resilient growth.

A mixed recovery in challenging conditions

Europe dominates the top 10 economies for T&T, as ranked by the 2023 index, although the top spot is clinched by the US.

List showing the countries on the overall rankings in the Travel and Tourism Index.

But the index also shows that while 71 of the 119 economies it ranks improved their scores between 2019 and 2023, the average improvement is just 0.7% above pre-pandemic levels.

On the one hand, the rebound in travel and tourism has coincided with rising global air route capacity and connectivity, improved international openness, and increased investment in natural and cultural resources driving tourism. On the other hand, non-leisure demand is still lagging, there are ongoing labour shortages, and air route capacity and connectivity, capital investment and productivity have struggled to keep pace with demand.

This has created a supply and demand imbalance which, along with inflationary pressures, has led to reduced price competitiveness and service disruptions.

Charts showcasing the scores for Travel and Tourism Index.

Europe and Asia-Pacific have the most favourable conditions

Of the top 30 TTDI scorers in 2023, 26 are high-income countries. Nineteen of them are based in Europe, and seven in Asia Pacific.

These countries benefit from favourable business environments and labour markets, open travel policies, advanced technology adoption, excellent transport and tourism infrastructure, and rich natural, cultural and non-leisure attractions.

As a result, this group of 30 accounted for more than three-quarters of T&T industry GDP in 2022, and 70% of GDP growth between 2020 and 2022.

Map showcasing the scores for Travel and Tourism Index.

But although this group is leading the way, many of the above-average improvements in scores come from low- to upper-middle-income countries, including sub-Saharan and North Africa, Eurasia, South America, South Asia, and the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

While many have shown improvements, these less affluent countries still make up the vast majority of below-average scorers in the index. More investment is needed to help increase their share of the market and improve their readiness for future risks and opportunities.

Progress needed on resilience and equality

The ability of the travel and tourism sector to grow is limited by challenges like tight labour markets, growing fiscal constraints and concerns around health and security conditions. Labour market resilience will be an increasingly important factor for the sector, but issues like equality of job opportunities, workers’ rights and social protection are holding many economies – particularly low- and middle-income ones – back in this area.

As other sectors proceed to decarbonize, the aviation sector could account for a much higher share of global greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century than its 2%-3% share today.

Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) can reduce the life-cycle carbon footprint of aviation fuel by up to 80%, but they currently make up less than 0.1% of total aviation fuel consumption. Enabling a shift from fossil fuels to SAFs will require a significant increase in production, which is a costly investment.

The Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow (CST) Coalition is a global initiative driving the transition to sustainable aviation fuels as part of the aviation industry’s ambitious efforts to achieve carbon-neutral flying.

The coalition brings together government leaders, climate experts and CEOs from aviation, energy, finance and other sectors who agree on the urgent need to help the aviation industry reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The coalition aims to advance the commercial scale of viable production of sustainable low-carbon aviation fuels (bio and synthetic) for broad adoption in the industry by 2030. Initiatives include a mechanism for aggregating demand for carbon-neutral flying, a co-investment vehicle and geographically specific value-chain industry blueprints.

Learn more about the Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition's impact and contact us to find out how you can get involved.

Another major hurdle for the sector is balancing growth with sustainability. Although there has been broad progress in areas like energy sustainability, some progress – like the fall in emissions seen during the pandemic – is likely to only be temporary.

Have you read?

What is overtourism and how can we overcome it , rising global temperatures are already affecting the tourism industry - here's how, don't miss any update on this topic.

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

The Agenda .chakra .wef-n7bacu{margin-top:16px;margin-bottom:16px;line-height:1.388;font-weight:400;} Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

.chakra .wef-1dtnjt5{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;-webkit-flex-wrap:wrap;-ms-flex-wrap:wrap;flex-wrap:wrap;} More on Energy Transition .chakra .wef-17xejub{-webkit-flex:1;-ms-flex:1;flex:1;justify-self:stretch;-webkit-align-self:stretch;-ms-flex-item-align:stretch;align-self:stretch;} .chakra .wef-nr1rr4{display:-webkit-inline-box;display:-webkit-inline-flex;display:-ms-inline-flexbox;display:inline-flex;white-space:normal;vertical-align:middle;text-transform:uppercase;font-size:0.75rem;border-radius:0.25rem;font-weight:700;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;line-height:1.2;-webkit-letter-spacing:1.25px;-moz-letter-spacing:1.25px;-ms-letter-spacing:1.25px;letter-spacing:1.25px;background:none;padding:0px;color:#B3B3B3;-webkit-box-decoration-break:clone;box-decoration-break:clone;-webkit-box-decoration-break:clone;}@media screen and (min-width:37.5rem){.chakra .wef-nr1rr4{font-size:0.875rem;}}@media screen and (min-width:56.5rem){.chakra .wef-nr1rr4{font-size:1rem;}} See all

incentives for travel business

India facing record power shortfall for June, and other top energy stories this month

Roberto Bocca

May 21, 2024

incentives for travel business

Critical minerals demand has doubled in the past five years – here are some solutions to the supply crunch

Emma Charlton

May 16, 2024

incentives for travel business

How wind energy is reshaping the future of global power and politics

Rishabh Mishra

May 14, 2024

incentives for travel business

Boosting renewable energy growth through responsible value chains: A case study from China

Vee Li and Zhang Xun

May 13, 2024

incentives for travel business

4 strategies to decarbonize existing buildings

Jesse Saldivar, Alaina Ladner, Marc Starkey and Brittany Syz

incentives for travel business

Why realism is key as we balance the energy transition with global growth

Fahad Al-Dhubaib

May 10, 2024

Emburse Adds Notifications of Better Hotel Rates for Business Travelers

hotel

Emburse  now enables business travelers to receive automated notifications when  there is a better rate  available at their hotel or  at  a comparable hotel.

These  notifications  are delivered within the  Emburse Go Premier  travel companion app and enable travelers to rebook without  having to leave  the app, the  provider of  travel and expense software said in a Tuesday (May 14) press release.

“Enterprise travel leaders are facing increasing pressure on their travel budgets, so are looking for new ways to make their budgets go further, without degrading the traveler experience,”  Steve Reynolds , general manager of Emburse’s travel division, said in the release.

The hotel and flight reshopping solution constantly scans travel providers, looking for better rates on booked itineraries , according to the release .

When a lower rate  is found , notifications  are sent  regarding rates at the hotel at which travelers have an existing reservation and hotels that are in-policy, of the same chain and class, and near their destination, the release said.

Travelers can also set hotel parameters with the Emburse Go Premier app, ensuring that any reshopping offers they receive meet their requirements in terms of amenities, chain or category, and walkability of the property’s location, per the release.

When business travelers rebook, the reservation details flow from the travel provider to the organization’s expense management system , the release said .

Emburse’s hotel reshopping capability  is powered  by  Tripbam , which the company acquired in 2023.  It joins Emburse Go Premier,  which is  a mobile travel companion  used by companies  to provide information directly to travelers, according to the release.

“By combining these two solutions, we can drive additional savings while at the same  time,  increasing traveler satisfaction,” Reynolds said in the release.

When Emburse announced its acquisition of Tripbam in July, the company said the Tripbam technology had already tracked  more than  30 million  corporate travel  bookings, representing over $30 billion in spending, and helped more than 2,000 customers save $500 million.

Companies are seeking  innovative solutions to gain insight into  employee spend  and ensure compliance with policies,  Emburse Chief Financial Officer  Adriana Carpenter  told PYMNTS in an interview posted in August.

“ There are so many different types of technology that you want to leverage in order to streamline financial processes and gain real-time visibility into employee spend, ” Carpenter said.

For all PYMNTS B2B coverage, subscribe to the daily B2B Newsletter .

Recommended

Trending news, the big story, featured news, partner with pymnts.

We’re always on the lookout for opportunities to partner with innovators and disruptors.

  • Credit cards
  • View all credit cards
  • Banking guide
  • Loans guide
  • Insurance guide
  • Personal finance
  • View all personal finance
  • Small business
  • Small business guide
  • View all taxes

You’re our first priority. Every time.

We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free.

So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Here is a list of our partners .

Auto-Owners Insurance Review 2024

Isabel Contreras

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

insurance-product-card-logo

Auto-Owners

Discounts Ratings are based on the number of discounts a company offers in comparison to other insurers.

Ease of use Ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim.

NAIC complaints Ratings are based on complaints to state regulators relative to a company’s size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC.

  • Offers a wide variety of products with the opportunity to bundle.
  • Fewer complaints than expected for auto insurance.
  • Only available in 26 states.
  • Online quotes aren’t available.

Auto-Owners earned 5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

Auto-Owners Insurance Company serves a lot more than just owners of automobiles. The company offers over a dozen types of insurance through independent agents in 26 states. People who need several insurance policies may benefit from the convenience and discounts of bundling them with Auto-Owners, which has many coverage options.

» MORE: Best Car Insurance Companies

In our auto insurance reviews, our editorial team considers both the customer and the insurer. These are some of the factors we take into account:

Financial strength. We use A.M. Best ratings to confirm an insurer’s long-term financial stability and ability to pay claims. NerdWallet does not recommend companies with a rating lower than a B. 

Complaints. These ratings are based on complaints to state regulators relative to a company’s size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The best auto insurance companies have fewer than the expected number of complaints.

Ease of use. This category looks at how easily consumers can interact with an insurer through its mobile app and website. This includes how much coverage information is offered online, whether a user can start and track a claim online and get a quote and mobile app scores based on the Apple and Google Play store ratings.

Discounts. We look at both the kind of discounts a company offers and the total number of discounts available.

Where Auto-Owners stands out

Deductible benefits. If you have both home and auto insurance through Auto-Owners and need to make a claim due to the same covered loss, Auto-Owners will either reduce your auto insurance deductible or waive it completely, depending on how much your homeowners deductible is. Your collision deductible is also waived if you get into a crash with another Auto-Owners customer.

Rental car coverage. If you’re renting a car, Auto-Owners will pay any fees the rental car company may charge you if you have an accident. Like most other insurers, it will extend your personal auto insurance coverage to a car you rent.

Where Auto-Owners falls short

No online quotes available. Users who prefer to do everything online may find it frustrating that there are no online quotes available through Auto-Owners. Instead, you need to contact an independent agent to get a quote.

State availability. Although Auto-Owners is a great choice for many drivers, it's offered in only 26 states throughout the country.

Compare to other insurers

Current Product

Auto-Owners insurance coverage

When you're shopping for car insurance, it's important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. For instance, most states require a minimum amount of car insurance to drive a vehicle. Alternatively, if you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Read about the most common types of car insurance coverage to see how they work.

Auto-Owners offers all the usual coverage types, including liability, other state-required coverage, roadside assistance and comprehensive and collision . The company also offers several add-on coverage types and options:

Gap coverage can come in handy if you have a loan or lease balance and your car is totaled or stolen. Comprehensive and collision coverages pay out only up to the value of your car, which might be less than you owe on a loan or lease. Gap insurance pays the difference.

Diminished value coverage is similar to gap insurance, but for less extreme situations. If your car is damaged (rather than stolen or totaled), this add-on will compensate you for the reduced value of your car.

Additional expenses insurance goes further than traditional rental car coverage. In addition to paying for a rental car if your car is in the shop for a covered claim, this optional coverage also pays for food, lodging and other incidentals if you’re stranded.

The Personal Automobile Plus package has more than 10 perks and coverages, including identity theft coverage, cell phone insurance and coverage for replacing lost or stolen keys.

Accident forgiveness. Forgives your first at-fault accident, which means your rates won’t go up after a crash. Available only to drivers with no at-fault claims or major traffic violations in the past 36 months.

Auto-Owners also may include a few benefits in its auto policies that other major insurers don’t.

Common loss deductible . This benefit applies if you have your home insurance through Auto-Owners in addition to an auto policy with comprehensive coverage. If you need to make a claim to both policies for the same event — such as a bad storm or a tree falling on both your house and car — the company will reduce your auto deductible by the amount of your property deductible. If your homeowners deductible is higher, the company will waive your auto deductible.

Collision coverage advantage . If you’re in a collision with another customer of the company, your collision deductible will be waived. 

Rental car insurance . When you rent a car, your Auto-Owners policy covers as much as it does for your personal car, as well as any fees from the rental company associated with an accident. Some auto policies have lower coverage limits when you rent a car and don’t pay those fees.

» MORE: Compare car insurance rates

Car with shield on road

See what you could save on car insurance

Auto insurance discounts.

You may be able to save on your auto insurance policy by:

Buying multiple insurance products from Auto-Owners.

Paying premiums on time for a 36-month period.

Paying your premium in full, upfront.

Opting for paperless billing and online payments.

Insuring more than one vehicle.

Owning a vehicle with safety features like anti-lock brakes and airbags.

Having few or favorable (not-at-fault) claims.

Being a new customer and getting a quote at least one day before starting a policy.

Maintaining good grades as a student.

Being a student and leaving your car at home while attending school more than 100 miles away.

Monitoring teen drivers with GPS.

First time shopping for auto insurance? Unsure of where to start? Check out our guide on how to shop for car insurance .

Auto-Owners life insurance

You can get term, universal and whole life insurance policies from Auto-Owners Insurance.

For most families, term life insurance is the best mix of price and protection. From Auto-Owners, term life insurance comes in 10-, 20- or 30-year terms and can be extended to age 95.

Consult a financial advisor if you’re considering permanent life insurance.

» MORE : The best life insurance companies

Complaints and customer satisfaction

Auto-Owners had far fewer than the expected number of complaints about auto insurance to state regulators relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Auto-Owners’ customer satisfaction ratings are mixed.

More about Auto-owners insurance

Website : Auto-Owners has a user-friendly website with information on policy options and discounts. Policyowners can log in to view policy information, select paperless billing, make payments and more.

Mobile app : Android and Apple users can download the Auto-Owners app and track claims, pay bills and view documents and insurance ID cards.

Auto-Owners homeowners and renters insurance 

Auto-Owners offers all the standard homeowners coverage, plus add-ons you can choose. To learn more, read our Auto-Owners home insurance review .

Auto-Owners also offers renters insurance through independent agents. To read about this coverage, see NerdWallet’s Auto-Owners renters insurance review .

Other insurance from Auto-Owners

Other types of insurance from Auto-Owners include:

Condo insurance.

Motorcycle insurance.

Motor home and RV insurance.

Business insurance.

Boat insurance.

Farm insurance.

ATV and off-road vehicle insurance.

Flood insurance.

Commercial auto insurance.

Umbrella insurance.

Mobile home insurance.

Auto-Owners can also provide pet insurance through a partnership with Figo.

You will need to contact an independent agent to get a quote. Auto-Owners does not offer online quotes.

Contact your independent agent to file a claim. If you need to file a claim outside of normal business hours, call 888-252-4626. After you submit a claim, you can track its status in the Auto-Owners app or website.

Phone number: 800-346-0346.

Email: Auto-Owners doesn't provide a direct email, but you can fill out a form on its website.

Phone number:

800-346-0346.

Auto-Owners doesn't provide a direct email, but you can fill out a form on its website.

Methodology

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019-2021. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

Auto insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines and full ratings methodology for auto insurance .

ON A SIMILAR NOTE...

Dive even deeper in insurance, compare car insurance rates, best car insurance companies of may 2024, cheap car insurance.

incentives for travel business

Explore INSURANCE

IMAGES

  1. Benefits of Incentive Travel

    incentives for travel business

  2. Why You Need to Invest in Travel Incentive Programs

    incentives for travel business

  3. 5 Essentials for Incentive Travel Programs

    incentives for travel business

  4. Choosing The Right Travel Incentive Program

    incentives for travel business

  5. Travel Incentives and Why They Should be Encouraged!

    incentives for travel business

  6. 6 Ways to Design an Incentive Travel Program

    incentives for travel business

COMMENTS

  1. What Is Incentive Travel? (Explained With 7 Examples)

    When it comes to planning your incentive travel program, you have two primary options: handling it in-house or partnering with a specialized agency like MICEHospitality. Each approach has its advantages. In-House Planning. Advantages: Greater Control: Planning in-house allows for complete control over every aspect of the program, from ...

  2. What is incentive travel? (4 Incentive travel program examples)

    Incentive travel programs can be used to achieve a variety of desired outcomes from improved employee engagement to client spending incentives. Let's take a closer look at four possible uses of corporate incentive travel programs. 1. Employee motivation. One of the best ways to overcome organisational challenges such as low productivity ...

  3. The complete guide for incentive trips for employees

    Tailor the incentive trip program to match your business and its needs. Use an online travel company to help you plan successful, customized, hassle-free experiences. Communicate the program details to generate excitement and participation. Regularly evaluate and adjust the program based on feedback and results.

  4. Top 7 incentive travel companies

    7. Brightspot. Brightspot is an incentive travel company that specializes in designing and managing incentive programs and trips. Their experts are CMPs (Certified Meeting Professionals) that have deep knowledge of the travel industry and extensive experience in designing corporate events and meetings.

  5. What is Incentive Travel? (With 4 Examples + Top Locations)

    What is incentive travel? Let's start with incentive travel meaning: Incentive travel is the use of an all-expenses-paid trip to reward and motivate employees or channel partners for achieving specific business goals. Incentive trips can be given to individuals to use independently or designed as a group travel experience.

  6. 15 Corporate Incentive Travel Program Tips

    Corporate incentive travel program tips. From soliciting suggestions from staff to leveraging social media, here are the steps for creating an effective corporate incentive travel program. 1. Ask your staff for ideas. A travel program is only an incentive if your staff wants to take the trips you choose.

  7. How to plan an incentive trip: a step-by-step guide

    Setting clear goals for the trip. The first step in planning incentive travel trips is defining what outcomes your organization wants to achieve by delivering such a memorable experience. As much as incentive trips are designed to reward top performers, you'll also want to keep your company goals in mind. When rewarding employees with travel ...

  8. How to Use Incentive Travel to Motivate Your Team

    An incentive is anything that entices a person to complete a task. We all work for the incentive of our paycheck and benefits. Yet, sometimes, going above and beyond the primary rewards can increase motivation and appreciation.That's where incentive travel benefits your company. In a nutshell, it's rewarding productivity and/or loyalty with ...

  9. What Is Incentive Travel? Planning, ROI, & More

    A Comprehensive Guide to Incentive Travel Programs. Get this: 93% of top-performing companies' executives believe that non-cash incentives grant their business a competitive advantage. You read that right! Almost every business leader of any company in the top 20% of their vertical has said they depend on non-cash incentives to out-win their competitors.

  10. What Is Incentive Travel? Definition & Benefits

    Incentive travel is a specific trip or tour offered to top-performing employees as a way to motivate them to make more sales, gain more customers, and/or improve overall performance. By offering an incentive trip, companies are able to drive their business goals and recognize top performers. An incentive trip can be taken as a group or an ...

  11. Incentive Travel: the Best Way to Motivate Your Employees

    Business travel isn't quite back to pre-pandemic levels the way it's complement, leisure travel, is. But there is a growing realization among senior level executives that the strategic use of employee rewards can increase profitability.And with much talk the past few years about increasing travel by outlets like Forbes, it's no surprise that incentive travel is on the rise in the ...

  12. Business Travel Incentive Trends, Benefits, and Ideas

    Business travel incentive programs are a popular way for companies to motivate, reward and meet the needs of their employees. These programs offer all-expenses-paid trips and experiences in exchange for extraordinary performance. The purpose of these programs is to motivate employees and raise morale, loyalty, and productivity.

  13. Benefits of a Business Travel Incentive Program

    12 Benefits of a Business Travel Incentive Program. 1. Employee Engagement. Engaged employees are an asset to the company. However, increasing employee engagement is a tricky business as you want to keep the employees happy, motivated, dedicated, and productive, all at the same time.

  14. Incentive Travel Programs & Services

    Let's Talk See Our Expertise. An incentive travel program is about more than just a cool vacation or hot-spot destination. For stakeholders, it's about inspiring peak performance. For attendees, it's about the reward and recognition they strived for. It's about creating personalized, authentic experiences all over the world and ...

  15. A Guide to 2022's Top Incentive Travel Destinations

    Incentive travel remains a top motivator, and many reward earners are eager for a new adventure (or just a change of scenery). ... It will be accepting group business beginning in October 2022. Mandy Espey. Mandy joined ITA Group in 2005, serving in operations before transitioning to the purchasing team as a Buyer and Supervisor. In her current ...

  16. Incentive Travel

    Good for you and better for your audience! Incentive travel is a tried-and-true tactic for nearly half of all businesses in the United States. Whether you want to boost sales, retain your top-performers, or simply build a more cohesive corporate environment, incentive travel will be the catalyst that moves your goals to the finish line. With US ...

  17. Employee Performance Incentive Programs with Travel Benefits

    A travel incentive is a means for companies to reward top-performing employees with a vacation paid for in full by the employer. Unlike a travel reward program, which hinges on continued spending with a travel brand, a travel incentive is based on workforce productivity. Discover how to leverage travel as an employee performance incentive to ...

  18. Incentive Travel Made Easy

    Bringing More Joy, Loyalty, and Productivity to Your Workforce. Give your employees the gift of incentive travel when you partner with Inspirato for Business. At Inspirato for Business, we offer a customizable incentive travel program tailored to your company's specific needs. Give your employees an Inspirato vacation of their choosing or a ...

  19. Employee Incentive Travel Programs: A How and Why Guide

    An Employee Incentive Travel Program is a recognition program for rewarding exceptional employees with an all-expenses-paid trip to their favorite destination. The essence of the travel incentive program is to reward high-performing employees and motivate the rest to reach the desired standards. Some organizations also offer these incentive ...

  20. Business Travel Incentives

    Business travel incentives are great tools for cultivating and fostering company culture which is an essential part of retaining employees and building successful teams. Using business travel incentives can help to make employees feel valued as team contributors, and even encourage some healthy competition. When it is time to plan your business ...

  21. The benefits of a business travel incentive program

    They increase motivation and collaboration. Travel incentives are a remarkable display of employee recognition and offer staff well-deserved credit for their hard work. As well as boosting employee motivation, they can inspire and foster idea-sharing as others want to emulate the success of top performers.

  22. What is Incentive Travel?

    Incentive travel is described by the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) as. "... a powerful business tool to reward and unlock human potential to achieve corporate objectives.". Incentive travel, therefore, is about reward and recognition - rewarding team members with an extraordinary travel experience for delivering ...

  23. How to Crack the Incentive Travel Market

    Selling incentive travel business differs from other types of travel, but for corporate or leisure agents who are willing to learn the ropes, this is a profitable niche, with potentially high returns.

  24. News

    The 2023 Incentive Travel Index from the Incentive Research Foundation reported that 53% of senior leaders consider incentive travel a "need to have," 48% call it an "essential strategic ...

  25. The Hidden Cost of Helping Friends Earn More Credit Card Rewards

    T hanks to travel rewards credit cards, you summer like a celebrity for the cost of a staycation, and your friends are starting to notice. There's no reason to gatekeep your travel secrets ...

  26. 5 tips for using travel rewards for summer vacation

    According to Kayak — a popular online travel agency — the cost of summer travel is down this year. Here in the US, the average cost of a domestic flight is lower by 13% when compared to last ...

  27. These are the top 10 countries for travel and tourism

    The travel and tourism industry was hit hard by the pandemic. Pent-up demand is driving up passenger numbers again - but the recovery across economies hasn't been even. ... These countries benefit from favourable business environments and labour markets, open travel policies, advanced technology adoption, excellent transport and tourism ...

  28. Austin's El Arroyo restaurant to be built in New Braunfels soon

    Importantly, the Business Journal asked Holliday if the viral sign at El Arroyo in New Braunfels would bear the same quips as the restaurant's Austin location. "It sounds silly, but that's ...

  29. Emburse to Notify Business Travelers of Better Hotel Rates

    When Emburse announced its acquisition of Tripbam in July, the company said the Tripbam technology had already tracked more than 30 million corporate travel bookings, representing over $30 billion ...

  30. Auto-Owners Insurance Review 2024

    Travel View all travel Best travel credit cards Reward optimization Travel insurance. Investing. ... If you need to file a claim outside of normal business hours, call 888-252-4626. After you ...