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Company Trip

Incentive Planning, Budgeting, Activities, Team Building, Entertainment, Dining Experience, Accommodation, Transportation, Fun Tour, Company Visits

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

Isn't incentive travel just frivolous corporate spending used by giant organizations with more money than sense?


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

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

What is incentive travel?

Incentive travel motivates or incentivizes a group of people by rewarding top performers with an all-expenses-paid trip. Organizations can 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 to win a place on the trip.

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

4 Incentive travel program examples

Companies can use incentive travel programs to achieve various desired outcomes, from improved employee engagement to client spending incentives. Let's look at four possible uses of corporate incentive travel programs.

Employee motivation

One of the best ways to overcome organizational 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 will bring your workforce together and inspire group interaction through an itinerary of teamwork exercises and experiential activities. This isn't a free holiday; instead, it's a purposeful team-building retreat with clear desired outcomes.

Example: Your technology scale-up has snowballed, and you now have a large workforce with employees working remotely across the globe. Daily tasks run smoothly, but your team needs to be more motivated, and the company culture could be more active.

So, you reach out to a third-party retreat planner to help organize a three-day team-building retreat in Hamburg full of unique team-bonding activities and carefully selected team-building games. We design the itinerary specifically to strengthen interpersonal relationships and improve communication.

Rewards and recognition

You can use incentive travel to exemplify desirable behaviors 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 a reward or recognition for exemplary behavior, 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 want to generate more positive online reviews. At the beginning of the year, you announced that the top five servers with their names mentioned in the most five-star reviews would win a trip to Vienna, Austria.

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

By the end of the year, your company rewarded five top-performing servers with an all-expenses-paid trip to the vibrant city of Vienna, Austria.

Sales incentives

Sales incentive trips work similarly 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 higher than your employees would typically achieve.

These incentive travel programs are a reward. The agenda should include pleasurable activities, like 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 that 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 Zell am See, Austria, for anybody who achieves them.

The employee incentive travel program successfully motivates your team to push for more sales, improving your revenue.

Customer loyalty

You can use incentive tours 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, an important 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 one team member can later cash in for an incentive travel award.

The reward 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 with a free holiday. After all, we design incentive trips to be desirable and reinforce certain behaviors.

They wouldn't work if the itinerary were 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 plan a trip with an itinerary that supports your goals.

S-E-T-T has over 30 years of experience planning fully customized work retreats for influential organizations such as Volkswagen, Microsoft, Mærsk, and more. If you're looking to organize a motivational team-building retreat, we'd be delighted to hear more about it!

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