Incentive Travel – The Revolutionary Word
Incentive travel is starting to make a comeback and demand is strong, with more organizations opting for international destinations and content-rich programs. The greatest challenge incentive planners are facing is convincing decision makers to commit further ahead in order to get their top choices for hotels and resorts. Booking two or three successive programs at once either at the same property or at properties managed by the same hotel company can help planners secure their first-choice properties.
Exotic destinations are gaining popularity for incentive travel: Europe, Dubai, Australia, and New Zealand, just to name a few. While these destinations may mean longer flights, they are truly incentivizing. Organizations are eager to try new destinations, and there seems to be a particular interest in the Caribbean. All-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean are growing in popularity for incentive trips as they offer good value for clients with mid-range budgets.
Statistics show that 42% of all incentive planners are increasing their budgets, and 47% of planners are including corporate social responsibility in their incentive programs. (Incentive Research Foundation, 2014 Trends in Engagement, Incentives and Recognition, Incentive Research Foundation.)
Another trend is younger qualifiers. The under-35 age group is making up a larger portion of incentive travelers than ever. Incentive planners are looking for new ways to design programs, venues, activities, and gifts with a younger crowd in mind. Trips are being planned with the purpose of creating that “wow” experience that attendees could not experience on their own and is totally unexpected. Clients are also interested in knowing about what is unique to the region they are in and the local culture they can experience.
While incentive trips used to be planned down to the actual minute, attendees are enjoying their free time and programs are being constructed to allow for a day of leisure, which also helps with the budget’s bottom line.