The Benefits of Incentive Travel and More

6 February 2023

Incentive travel is on the rise again. With restrictions being loosened or lifted across the globe there aren’t many countries you can’t visit now, meaning the world is your oyster. At Inconnection, we have managed incentive travel events abroad and in the UK with some of our highlights including Las Vegas, Nice, New York, Tenerife, and many more. If you haven’t considered incentive travel yet for your business or aren’t sure where to start, we will break down the types of incentive travel trips and how best to utilise them for your strategies.

What are the different types of incentive travel?

When it comes to incentive travel there are several different types of trips you can run to suit your needs and budget. They all come with their own unique pros and cons, and even the venues or suppliers you use in each location can influence the experience for your delegates. The budget you allocate to an incentive travel trip plays a massive role in what type of travel incentive is most suitable for your brief.

Stay Local

Staying local with your travel incentive can help keep costs down but it doesn’t mean it can’t be just as exciting. The UK is filled with towns and cities all with their own charms and attractions. Define what experience you want your guests to experience, and you’ll find you have options available to you up and down the country at a range of price points.

This doesn’t mean that local stays are only for saving on budget. There are countless high-end options that will save on travel time and simplify the logistical aspects of your incentive travel.

Take your business trip abroad

Alternatively, you can organise an overseas incentive trip. The price range of a business trip abroad will vary massively depending on location, time of year, and group size. Every country will have a wide range of tourist-friendly locations, eCommerce and business centric areas, and rural getaways to choose from.

With the entire globe to choose from you can make an incentive trip that fits any brief. Whether you want sun, snow, or adventure, you can craft the trip of a lifetime for your group. The fantastic part of travelling abroad is that it has that extra wow-factor, making it more memorable for your guests.

City Breaks

We touched on this briefly, but we will take a deeper look into the benefits of city breaks. Regardless of whether you have stayed in the UK or flown abroad there are countless cities to choose from to make home for the duration of your trip.

The great thing about cities is they are filled with fantastic amenities, nightlife, and leisure hotspots. You’ll never be short of activities, restaurants, or bars to pick from if you settle on a city break. The wide range of amenities also makes them great for mixing business and pleasure, with board rooms and bistros only a short walk from each other.

Private Countryside Retreat

If relaxation is what you are after, swap out the city for a countryside retreat. There is a wealth of options both in the UK and abroad that can give you tranquillity whilst also offering everything you need for a successful business outing or incentive trip.

Being away from the city also gives you or your team the opportunity to get involved in an outdoor adventure. These types of expeditions help build bonds and can promote leadership skills, as well as being a strong memory they’ll bring back into the office with them. Or you can just focus on letting the team sit back and relax, with a spa break and luxury activities like wine tasting.

Bring Work With You

If leaving work behind for the week makes your skin crawl, try a business city break. That way the team can be treated to a new skyline without being too far away from their work responsibilities. There are many cities that boast a wealth of meeting and conference spaces to meet all business needs. Then pair these with top class restaurants and rooftop bars and you have the perfect blend of incentive travel and business needs in one place, guaranteed to boost productivity and engagement. Popular picks for business travel includes London for the UK, Lisbon, or Brussels for mainland Europe, or even New York.

But why would companies choose to use incentive travel over other rewards?

Incentive travel is a large investment when compared to other incentives you could use, but there are a few reasons why they make fantastic rewards for your partners and salespeople.

A gift card is quickly spent, and it can be tricky to pick the perfect physical rewards. But a trip together as a group makes a truly memorable event and, depending on the scale of your trip, it can be a once in a lifetime experience for them. They feel more gratitude towards the organiser, and especially if they are a partner or employee, it can be shaped into brand advocacy by fostering connections between your guests.

How can incentive travel be used?

Incentive travel is a great motivator, best utilised for large scale rewards. This could be a long running competition for individual salespeople or for a whole team, part of a one off, quarterly, or annual reward programme, or a way to incentivise your B2B partners.

Alternatively, you can take away the competitive aspect and gear them toward employee engagement. This could be done as part of a summer party to make it even more memorable, or a getaway sales kickoff.

What are some of the benefits of incentive travel?

There are so many benefits when it comes to incentive travel for businesses and those who get the pleasure of being taken on a trip. For companies though, the main bonuses are the loyalty and advocacy it increases, as well as the ways it can be used to boost sales performance and revenue. If you utilise incentive travel correctly it can provide a huge ROI for companies that invest into it.

What things to consider before running an incentive travel trip?

When deciding to run an incentive travel trip there are several considerations to take into account before you book anything in. The first thing you’ll need to nail down is a budget for the trip, and this will be heavily linked in with your goals and, if you are running one, the potential revenue from your competition. If you are running a large incentive trip you might want to put a minimum target that has to be hit to protect the ROI on your incentive.

Once you have those details figured out, you can look at destinations. Even with a small budget, you don’t necessarily have to stay in the country as there are many short haul destinations that can be reasonably priced. But having a budget will let you get a better idea of what options are available to you. Other considerations to take into account when deciding include the travel and facilities at your potential destination.

When you’ve chosen a destination, you can start finalising the specifics. Where you stay will be the heart of your incentives, and in some cases will even provide a variety of facilities, such as restaurants and bars, you’ll use throughout the duration of your stay. Alternatively, dining out or doing local activities and excursions can add variety and excitement to your trip, but you’ll want to ensure that the travel between venues isn’t too excessive.

What are the steps to organise an incentive travel trip?

You’ve decided on your budget and goal. The reward is all planned out. Now you’ll need to communicate it with your intended audience. This can be done through a variety of methods including emails, calls, and meetings. If no-one knows you have an incentive running it’ll flop, resulting in taking a loss on your investment.

If you are running a competition, it is vital to keep communication running throughout, and the addition of regular leaderboard updates can help increase excitement and competitive spirit in the build-up to the event.

Finally, follow through with your trip and what you’ve promised. Nothing is more disheartening than being promised the trip of a lifetime and it falls through. So, if last minute adjustments need to be made, communicate this clearly and honestly with guests to avoid disappointment and see what can be offered in replacement. If your guests see that you are trying it’ll be appreciated, even when issues do crop up.

You can opt to handle your incentive trip in house to save on management fees. Alternatively, you can hire professional event planners who are adept at negotiating the ins and outs of an incentive travel trip and planning contingencies for any unforeseen issues.

Once you’ve finished your incentive travel trip, it’s a good idea to start working on the next one to keep the momentum and excitement going!

Where to go?

We’ve touched on a few locations for incentive travel trips, but we will share some of our top picks. If your main focus is the destination, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Every country and even city has its own unique draw, making each incentive trip completely different from the next.

European Destinations

If you want to stay in Europe we can’t recommend Florence enough, the beautiful architecture and the delicious cuisine is enough to make this a great choice for summer picks but it has so much more to offer.

A rising star for European destinations is Dubrovnik. This Croatian city was used in Game of Thrones for its iconic landscape and historic Old Town, but it boasts a whole range of attractions to keep visiters busy throughout their stay.

American Destinations

Or you might want to push the boat out with a once in a lifetime incentive trip. If that’s your aim, then America is a great choice. All the major cities have one, if not more airports, making them easily accessible and they are all filled with amazing, larger than life experiences for you and your team to get involved in. Whilst we could talk about New York, or Las Vegas, which are both popular destinations, we wanted to shine a light on some of the other stars in the states.

Miami is an amazing incentive destination is you want world class entertainment, some of the finest food and drink available, all paired with the best beaches in you’ll find America.

Alternatively, if you want to have the ultimate island retreat try Hawaii, this tropical getaway is best enjoyed for longer incentives due to the longer travel time. However, once you arrive you and your guests can enjoy the amazing landscape paired with luxury resorts, and, if you plan your trip for one of the many festivals, breath-taking culture and entertainment as well.

Activity Destinations

You might want to do more than enjoy the sights of a destination though, and if you fall into that category, activity destinations are the way to go. You can add activities into any incentive destination but there are some that stand above the rest when you want to make that the highlight of your trip.

If you don’t mind the cold, Iceland is a spectacular country which gives you access to some of the best winter sports and activities available including husky sledding, snow mobile tours, and even whale and dolphin watching.

But, if the cold is too much for you we’d recommend Cape Town. This destination blends luxury hotels, amazing food, whilst being a stone’s throw away from amazing safari experiences.

Something a little closer to home but filled with activities for you and your partners to enjoy is Disneyland Paris.

Not just for children, this resort is enjoyed by people of all ages and as the largest theme park in Europe there are plenty of rides and roller coasters to choose from.

Hospitality Destinations

But if you prefer to sit back and watch sports rather than getting involved, a hospitality destination is the one for you. There is always an exhilarating sporting event happening somewhere in the world and knowing where they are is the key to a great hospitality incentive trip.

France is hosting the Rugby World Cup 2023, with matches taking place all over the country, letting you watch the game and enjoy the spectacular country. You can also add a regional wine tasting session and sample the local produce.

If you want to stay closer to home, Manchester might be the perfect choice. With two iconic football stadiums, home to two top level teams, it’s no surprise to find the calendar filled with some of the best games you’ll see in the Premier League.

For something more high speed, the F1 returns to Abu Dhabi, giving you the chance to enjoy some of the fastest racing in the world and, if that isn’t enough speed, you can visit Ferrari Land for more thrills and excitement. 2023 also sees the F1 returns to Las Vegas for the most iconic track of all time – straight through the Las Vegas Strip.

Choosing the right destination for your business aims can be hard, but that’s why we can help find the best location to suit your needs, aims, and budget. If you are looking to book an incentive travel trip, go to our contact page, or hit the button below and one of the team will help you build your dream incentive.