Incentive travel has long been a way for organizations to drive sales and reward employees with opulent trips to exotic destinations. But today, it encompasses even more.
It’s no longer just about a luxurious location or an event ticket; it's about enabling employees greater flexibility to select among activities, enjoy curated events, and partake in distinctive local experiences that positively influence the communities they visit.
Incentive travel has also evolved into a strategic approach for companies to attract talent, inspire loyalty, boost employee retention, incentivize job performance, foster team connections, and reinforce a common culture.
Here are some factors to consider when crafting an effective incentive program.
Expanded Choice and Flexibility: employees appreciate the freedom to tailor travel plans to match their preferences.
- Practical tip: During the planning phase, seek input from employees on their preferred types of locations, accommodations, and activities.
- Recommendation: Travelers today appreciate cultural immersion, enhanced by hotel stays that resonate with the area's history. For example, each Regent® hotel or resort mirrors its rich local heritage.
Prioritizing downtime: Employees value work-life balance and welcome personalized adventures. This includes the flexibility to engage in either individual or group activities, prioritize self-care, and participate in activities.
- Practical tip: Select destinations that offer amenities, such as wellness spas, modern fitness facilities, and engaging workshops that can be customized to meet your organization's preferences.
- Recommendation: Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants provides guests with complimentary custom-designed PUBLIC Bikes to explore the local community at their leisure.
Authentic Experiences: Incentive travelers increasingly value authenticity and seek meaningful connections with their destinations.
- Practical tip: Discuss options with your hotel partner to develop activities tailored to your group's preferences.
- Recommendation: Each InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts destination has a unique history and a deep connection to its locale.
Wellness Focus: Wellness has become a greater focus for incentive travelers who want to maintain their well-being when they travel. The concept of wellness covers aspects ranging from nutritious meals to soothing spas and calming meditation sessions.
- Practical tip: Keep the many dimensions of wellness in mind when considering travel options for incentive travelers. Look for hotels that weave wellness into their daily offerings.
- Recommendation: With a core focus on wellness and sustainability, Six Senses® allocates .5% of its profit to local environmental programs. They offer holistic and locally inspired therapies in their spas and have introduced initiatives to promote better sleep and healthier eating.
Sustainability Commitment: Incentive travelers are increasingly conscious of the impacts of their journeys and seek to minimize their environmental footprint.
- Practical tip: Evaluate a hotel company's long-term commitment and specific actions in local properties to ascertain their ongoing dedication to environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and ethical operations.
- Recommendation: Iberostar Beachfront Resorts have ingrained sustainability into the very core of their brand. Their actions and goals encompass a commitment to enhancing coastal health surrounding Iberostar’s properties by 2030, implementing AI to reduce food waste within the resorts, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. Iberostar has already completed the transition from single-use plastics to biodegradable and reusable materials in all hotels.
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