Top 5 Benefits of Using Incentive Travel

Posted by Jo Kelly

It’s hard to imagine a more desirable reward than the opportunity of a vacation to an exotic destination. Incentive travel is a fantastic form of employee rewards that is not only extremely appealing to staff, but also a reliable business option to offer as motivation.

If a specific set of sales results or business goals are required, then the promise of a vacation is a huge incentive providing a realistic and very attractive reward.

As part of a designated loyalty or reward program, travel can act as a powerful motivator towards obtaining a whole host of objectives including:

  • Sales incentives – focusing on sales teams to champion a select product.
  • Employee recognition – galvanizing staff, to improve output.
  • Channel partner incentives  enhancing reseller relationships to ensure that your product is on the top of their minds.

While some may feel that travel is an unjustified expense, the obvious benefits that this sort of rewards activity can deliver, both for the business and the employee, are significant. Here are our top five reasons why you should consider this strategy:

1. Smash your targets

In its simplest form, incentive travel gives staff a reason to improve their performance. It inspires staff to strive towards a specific goal and highlights exactly what they must to do to reach it. In short, employees have to work hard, win sales and meet targets, all of which have a positive impact on business, if they want to win their reward.  The overall effect is that morale and team spirit are given a boost, resulting in happy staff and a positive workplace.

Incentive travel can also be used to develop team or business building techniques, depending on how your program runs. If an entire team has the potential to win a trip, then teamwork and mutual support become indispensable in the run up to it, as everyone has a shared goal. Then celebrations and team bonding in the relaxed setting of a vacation will have additional and long-lasting impact.

No matter how you position your incentive travel, the ultimate promise of a vacation provides individuals with a break from work and the opportunity to relax and re-charge, especially valuable if the break follows an intense period of work.

A further benefit to your business is that an employee who feels rested and happy as they return to work, will be energized and ready to win again.

2. Something for everyone

We all love vacations, so as a reward, travel is a seriously effective motivator. You could have the most engaged workforce in the world, but each and every individual would still look forward to their vacations and time off with family or friends.

There is a wealth of research to prove that while a cash bonus is appealing, travel is the most popular reward option. Cash can be easily frittered away, but a vacation equals an experience and the memories will last forever. And for some, reward travel may be their first or only opportunity for an exotic getaway, making them all the more likely to strive and work hard to achieve it.

3. Thanks for the memory

We touched on this before, but it’s worth emphasizing that a vacation experience will not only make the recipient feel valued and rewarded, but it will also help them to feel that their hard work was worth the effort. The memories created will last long after they return to work, and vacation stories will no doubt be shared among colleagues, encouraging others to work hard for their chance at this reward.

In this way your own staff can promote your rewards program internally for you, encouraging peers to join in and work towards their targets – word of mouth provides powerful marketing.

4. Loyalty matters

Reward travel feels valuable, which is likely to generate greater sense of loyalty in employees on the receiving end. Recognition and appreciation leads to staff loyalty, which improves engagement, motivation and, consequently, productivity.

This explains why travel rewards provide an excellent return on investment. They are not a standalone investment, because the resulting enhanced productivity will drive ongoing sales, which then increase profits.  Plus it optimizes staff retention, as the reward is viewed by staff as a significant perk.

5. It’s flexible

Another great feature of using reward travel as part of your rewards program is that it is flexible and scalable. There are vacations to suit any budget, whether it’s a weekend getaway for two or an exotic vacation of a lifetime.

The best reward programs offer flexible rewards, so that they can suit achievements large and small, and travel fits these requirements perfectly. With diverse destinations and different styles of vacations, there is almost certainly something for everybody.

Jo has worked at CR Worldwide as Events Operations Director since 2004. She is responsible for scoping and delivering all types of events, for clients of all sizes, globally. She manages the division’s team who organise and execute award-winning events – ranging from one-off sales floor days, corporate hospitality events and incentive travel trips, to annual conferences and partner summits.