Executive Group Travel Blog

10 Hot Destinations for Incentive Travel in 2018

Thankfully Zika concerns have regressed in the last 9 months but we still have seen companies moving their focus outside of the Caribbean in 2017 and 2018 when it comes to Incentive Travel Planning.
    1. Dubai - "Low Investment $$" Dubai continues to be a new, hot player in the incentive market.  The Dubai Tourist Board has invested in increasing Incentive Travel over the last 4 years with continued focus going forward.  Over 71,000 new hotel rooms are expected to be built by 2020.  There are many direct flight options from major cities all over the world so great solution for worldwide companies.  The activities options are vast and unique from spending the night glamping in the desert to skiing indoors to sand boarding and even extensive camel tours.  Obviously the travel time and cost of F&B are two of the drawbacks.  CIT touches upon the increase of travel in mid-range locations in January's report on Incentive Travel Report: Top destination trends for 2017.

Incentive Travel in Lisbon, Portugal

 This location is emerging as one of the top destinations in Europe as tourism is booming in Portugal. Incentive travel is especially on the rise in this memorable European Destination.  One of the biggest draws to Lisbon is the value for your money and ease of travel.  There is so much to experience in Lisbon and the surrounding areas that you will be planning your next trip back before you even leave.  You are able to explore the unique culture, amazing food, lively nightlife, world-class golf and tranquil beaches while not breaking the bank. 

Great Gifts for the Modern Traveler


Quality mobile technology is useful for personal and professional use, and we thought we would show off some of our favorite gadgets of 2016. The products we selected had to be useful, practical and portable to be considered. The modern business traveler should be well-equipped to be able to work and play hard and smart, and deserve tech that does the same. Here are our 5 favorite gadgets of 2016

Event Planning Options

Event and trip planning can often be a long, tedious and complicated process that causes a great deal of stress. With so many variables, from managing flights and hotels to keeping track of RSVPs, staying on top of responsibilities can be a challenge. Planning for a large group only makes this even more complicated. Fortunately, there has never been more thorough event management systems than there are available today. Here is a quick breakdown of a few of the most popular options!

Branding Your Next Incentive Trip

Branding at an event is considered necessary for any incentive trip. Many companies spend anywhere between 5%-10% of their budget on branding, depending on the scope of the event.

Here are some way to cut that budget by using technology and social media.  Some of the old school branding will never change and is important at Gala dinners and in meeting rooms.  But there are a few new branding techniques that are very low budget but can have a big impact on your next incentive trip.

Don't be Afraid to Modify your Incentive Program


Strategy:

Many software/tech companies host their first incentive trip when they are in the midst of an aggressive growth stage.  During this time one qualification strategy might make sense given the overall headcount and trip budget.  Over time and company growth you might find that qualification strategy no longer makes sense for your long-term corporate incentive strategy (See blog post on qualification strategies). 

Don't be afraid to continually look at your current incentive program and analyze the ROI of the program and how to increase that ROI.  Each company chooses different ways to measure the ROI of their incentive program but here is a good in depth research report on the topic:  Determining the Return on Investment of Incentive Travel Programs.  For those looking for a lighter read: Why You Should Measure Incentive ROI

St. Lucia & Incentive Travel


Transfer Distances:

As beautiful and exotic as St. Lucia is, it's unfortunately a tough fit for a typical incentive trip (3-4 nights).  The main reason behind this is the distance between the airport and the hotels.  There are only a few hotels who would be a good fit for any incentive trip over 50 rooms.  These hotels are within a one hour drive to the airport, have over 75 rooms, have multiple dining options, and can be accessed by boat to provide day activities.  Also due to the topography and roads within St. Lucia it makes transportation for dinners, activities very cost prohibitive.  Pricing for transfers can be almost 60% more than most Caribbean islands. 

The island does boost an impressive collection of boutique hotels that target honeymoon and romance travel but these are high budget experiences with only a limited number of rooms.

5 Rules to Perfect Your Next Incentive Trip


Incentive Travel:

Each year thousands of companies host an annual corporate incentive trip to help reward their employees for meeting and/or exceeding expectations.  Companies can either plan these trips internally or use a third party to help with the planning but at the end of the day there are a few important factors that are relevant across the board. 


Punta Cana Incentive Travel - New Player to the Game


All Inclusive Focus - Four Five Star Property Comparisons

Secrets Cap Cana (Set to Open Nov 2016):

This is a brand new capstone property scheduled to open mid November of this year with approximately 450 rooms.  The breakdown is expected to be 55 tropical view (Run of House) with another ~50 with partial oceanviews (these are NOT oceanfront, think very small oceanview).  This property is planning 14 different room categories so it will be interesting to see if this changes in the upcoming year.  The location on Cap Cana is secluded and breath-taking.  The white sand beach, crystal blue waters and feeling of seclusion will blow you away for a Dominican Republic product.  Similar to Paradisus Palma Real the infinity pool is again the centerpiece of this hotel and will be the perfect gathering place for incentive trips. 

  • Few Highlights
    1. Size - Small Horse shoe feel that incentive trips are looking for
    2. Location - Cap Cana
    3. Brand New - chic clean South Beach design
    4. Meeting Space ~10,000 Square Feet
    5. 15 minutes from airport
    6. Golf & Scape Park ~5 minutes away
  • Few potential drawbacks
    1. Couples/Honeymoon Focus
    2. Lack of Double Bed Rooms
    3. Service TBD (could take awhile to get organized and experienced)
    4. Food TBD (bar is set high with Paradisus Palma Real)

Incentive Gifts - Life After Maui Jim


Gifting Experience:

An important aspect of every incentive trip is the gift process.  Many companies provide a thank you gift for each attendee and others only for the internal corporate qualifier who attends the trip.  It's an additional way to show your appreciation for your employees' hard work and leave them with a memento from the trip.  

Maui Jim has become the leader in this category and provides a top notch on site experience.  The product is around $200 in budget per attendee, it's easy to transport, has low minimums (~24 pairs of sunglasses) and usually fits within the beach and/or tourism theme.   Their display and experience is simple and quick to setup but leaves a lasting impression on each attendee.  They have the ability to custom the cases and cleaning cloths to provide a branded look.  And the best part is they handle all of the customs, taxes, and shipping proocess!

Unfortunately its usually not a product you can offer each year to the same group of attendees.  Some clients choose to work with Maui Jim every other year, some every three years.  Fact is people lose sunglasses so its easy to keep Maui Jim in rotation for your President's Club.  Maui Jim does run into a few competitors in the sunglasses market with on site experience but we have found Maui Jim is a step above the competition.  Most of the rest of the competitiors on site experience is performed by a third party, not the brand itself.