An organization is just as strong as its weakest link. This phrase has been thrown around many team meetings and corporate events, and even though it’s true, most companies ignore it. There are many methods for strengthening and motivating a corporate team, and some have found that incentive travel programs can fulfill that task.

Corporate incentive trips are a reward system for employees and teams gave when they have achieved a goal or completed a specific task. These rewards are used as motivation or to increase productivity and teamwork. An incentive will ensure growth for the company and the individuals that pursue these incentive rewards.

Incentives are more than an expense most corporations can not afford. Incentives showcase the care companies have for their employees and provide growth for individuals and teams within the business. These incentives can be used in a variety of ways, all leading to different benefits and advantages.

Types of Corporate Incentive Trips

As corporations open the idea of incentives they will quickly come to realize that there are multiple options and a set of benefits to each and every incentive program. Certain incentives can be a local trip, while other explores international waters.

Domestic Corporate Incentive Trips

Domestic incentive travel is a trip planned and scheduled in and around the U.S. Companies will determine a specific location based on its attraction and activities. The employees will enjoy these activities. Domestic travel is budget-friendly, and with transport all over the United States, company managers have much to choose from.

International Corporate Incentive Trips

A more exotic experience can be added to the incentive trips in the form of international travel. These locations will provide travelers with new experiences, both culturally and physically. These trips will allow the attendees to relax and recoup in a foreign country.

New experiences can build creativity which may provide the team with new solutions or ideas when the attendees return to the organization after their incentive travel. These are great examples of incentive travel that can lead to a strong program for the team.

Adventure Corporate Incentive Trips

There is an incentive for each member of the team. While some enjoy the calm and recouping trips, others will find adventure within every incentive program. The management team must ensure that every incentive trip includes some sort of adventure. This can include hikes, swimming in the big blue ocean, or other thrilling activities.

The adventure will not be for every individual, however, by adding an easy hike or some form of adventure, the staff will return with more motivation and insight that can be used to build creative solutions to any problem.

Luxury Corporate Incentive Trips

A luxury corporate incentive travel plan includes expensive hotels, meals, and other items that will only be found at a luxury resort or hotel. These incentives can be used when an employee achieved one of the big goals set by the company.

These incentives do not occur often and can be seen as a reward to a team or individual that completed a business task. An incentive trip will show the company’s appreciation and gratitude to the team. Not only will the individual experience a luxury resort, but they will also know what to work for next, to experience that exact feeling and destination again.

Benefits of Corporate Incentive Trips

There are many benefits a company can access by allowing incentive trips as a reward system. Moreover, not all incentive trips provide the same benefit. The company must clarify what goals they want to achieve and determine the best incentives to suit that goal.

Boosting Employee Motivation and Morale

A team’s motivation and morale determine the period it will take to complete certain levels of tasks that managers or company leaders set. If low morale and motivation occur, the team will struggle to finish simple tasks. Any goals set by the company leaders will not be achieved and the corporation will stagnate or move backward.

There are many different incentive programs that can motivate a team, but some companies have found that an all-expenses paid trip to a new city or country works really well. A travel incentive will provide the team members with a tangible reward that can be accessed, thus motivating them to achieve the goal. The morale in the office will increase due to the desire and pursuit of a reward.

Rewarding Employee Performance

Rewards can motivate most teams to improve their performance and increase their productivity. The key, however to an excellent reward is based on the employee’s desire to achieve and gain access to the reward. Sales incentive trips to locations that the employees desire to visit are a great method to boost performance. These programs can reward employees for improving their poor customer service.

Performance-based rewards can be misleading due to the capacity and capabilities of different employees and teams. Thus setting a standard to ensure that every member has an even chance of obtaining the reward is key. The incentive must reward positive employee performance and not solely any performance.

Check Out Incentive Travel – Reward your Employees:

Building Team Cohesion and Collaboration

Strong teams build and create a well-functioning corporation. Without teamwork and collaboration between different teams, a business will not be able to grow. The sales team must work with the marketing and customer service team to ensure that the sales are increasing day by day. A strong team depends on cohesion and communication.

Team-based travel incentive programs will ensure that the entire team works together to pursue a goal. The incentive will provide the team with motivation to work together. This will assist all members to understand their role in the team, and with a reward in mind, the team will need every partner within the team to do as required. The team will motivate and work with each other, cohesing and collaborating to chase down the reward.

Increasing Employee retention

Retention is one of the biggest struggles big corporations struggle. Providing in-depth training to an employee to ensure that they are on par with the team and occupation role takes time and investment. However, when the employee decides to quit, the managers and team must train and educate a new individual, which will take time and energy, which will lead to slowing down progress and tasks that must be finished.

Rewarding teams and staff members for their hard work will ensure increase employee retention. The employee’s hard work will not go unnoticed, and the reward will add value to the individual and other members that did not receive the reward.

Every individual will witness the employee being rewarded, thus motivating them to work harder, knowing they will receive an appreciation and reward for their hard work.

Planning a Corporate Incentive Trip

Planning a corporate incentive travel program will take time and dedication. The team must evaluate the goals and the reasoning behind the reward as well as administrative detail to ensure that the traveler is well taken care of.

Defining Trip Goals and Objectives

Without a goal, the incentive trip will waste the company’s money and the individual’s time. Thus setting clear goals and objectives for the incentive trip will ensure that both parties understand what the reward holds. This will put the traveling employee at ease because they know what is allowed and what objectives must be completed.

Identifying Target Audience

Creating an incentive program without the target audience in mind will lead to an unsuccessful trip. Companies must identify the target audience to ensure that the planned trip will be suited to the audience. Employees will not pursue a reward that does not excite them. Advertising a beach holiday to a group of people that enjoy the woods will not add any value to their performance, thus selecting a suitable trip for the audience is a key part of the planning department.

Setting a Budget

An all-inclusive travel package sounds amazing and will motivate any employee, however, once the funds run dry on the trip, the traveler will be upset. Creating a realistic budget will display the company’s financial backing for the incentive. The budget will provide clear guidelines of what the team or individual can spend money on. This will ensure that the company does not spend extra money that they do not have.

Choosing the Right Destination and Activities

A destination and the activities on offer are what most individuals chase. The feeling of exploring a new destination, or partaking in an activity that they love, can be a great motivating tool behind an incentive. This however can only be done if the company decides on a location that motivates the entire team. A location that is new and has a variety of activities will be the best suited. Any employee must be able to enjoy the different activities of their choice.

Planning Logistics and Accommodations

Planning all the administrative detail and logistics beforehand will allow the employee to relax and enjoy the journey the location provides. Pre-booking different accommodations, and buying all traveling tickets will allow the team or individual to enjoy the destination and activities without stressing about unnecessary administrative tasks. They only have to be present and enjoy the journey.

Managing Communications and Itinerary

There must be clear communication with the traveler at all times. This is especially difficult for international traveling. This is important for both parties. Clear communication will allow the travel to feel safe and taken care of at all times. They will know where to go and what to do at all times.

And while communication plays a key role, a set itinerary that includes the entire trip’s transport, activities, and accommodation will leave the travel at ease at all times. Companies must ensure that they have a set itinerary for the team and a form of communication in the case of emergencies.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Destination

Determining the destination might take some research. Sending any employee on a paid holiday sounds great; however, there are factors to consider. Employee safety must be a priority, whether through traveling or the destination’s activities.

Accessibility and Transportation Options

The final destination the company decides to send the winning employee or team must have accessible transport throughout the trip. Transport can be in trains, airplanes, trams or taxis. This will give the team access to tourist attractions and activities they can visit.

Local Culture and Customs

It is an exquisite experience to witness different cultures. A quick visit to a holiday destination that allows the team to experience different cultures can lead to a creative return to the office. The team might have new ideas and solutions to expand marketing techniques or ensure an increase in sales.

Customs accompany most cultural experiences. This is a service that will allow entrance to a country based on passports and documents. It is the company’s responsibility to have all documentation ready for the entire traveling team. The communication of what is allowed within a country must be provided with clear instructions for what they can return if they purchase any specific products.

Safety and Security

The team’s safety is of utmost importance. Security must be in check to ensure the team is always safe. There are many different methods to provide security to traveling individuals. The planning team can focus on security measures that must be taken at all times.

Or they can dot down all the secure and safe locations around the destination to ensure every traveler can identify them. Another form of security will be to provide the team with potential threats. This will allow the attendees to avoid certain areas or activities with prior knowledge of safety and security.

Seasonal Weather Patterns

The world is a beautiful place, and all areas of the world have seasons. Thus investigating and determining the best time to visit a location based on the time of year is a must. Summer in Europe and winter in the U.S. are all at different times.

The idea is that the team must experience the best destinations; thus, planning according to the destination season plays a crucial part in the success. Some destinations provide snow and winter activities that can only be enjoyed in the winter; thus, seasonal weather patterns must be considered.

Available Activities and Attractions

Many destinations have tourist attractions or cultural activities that lead people to travel from far destinations to come and experience. These attractions will be activities in which the team partakes. The planning team must ensure that all attraction activities are available.

Some attractions are seasoned-based, and not all activities are year-round; thus, ensuring that all activities the team wants to enjoy are available is key. The team planning the entire trip must be advised to include the activities the traveler wants to experience.

Not all members enjoy the same activities; thus, ensuring employee-specific activities can lead to great success. Experiential exercises and life experiences can add value to the employee’s unforgettable experiences, which will have an even more significant impact on how they will solve problems in the future. 

ROI and Measuring Success of Corporate Incentive Trips

Defining ROI for Corporate Incentive Trips

The return on investment on corporate incentive trips can be calculated by observing the goal and measuring whether the trip assisted in obtaining the goal. There are multiple metrics to make use of. Companies must determine the ROI because it will confirm whether the trip had a positive or negative impact on the business.

Measuring the Success of Corporate Incentive Trips

Successful corporate incentive travel programs can only be successful if the company measures the trip. There are multiple methods to measuring a trip; simply asking the traveler or team is a great start. Measuring the success of a trip can be done by comparing the goal set beforehand and the feedback they received afterward from the employees.

Analyzing Data and Feedback

Data analysis and feedback evaluation are essential ways to identify flaws in an incentive program. This procedure can highlight the difference between an event planner and an event coordinator in a business setting. Managers and leaders can confer with former prize recipients as event planners, digging into their experiences and obtaining suggestions for areas the organization can improve.

Concurrently, the event coordinator’s responsibility entails using this feedback to modify and correct any detected faults in the incentive program. As these responsibilities converge and the incentive scheme matures, its success is unavoidable.

Common Challenges in Planning Corporate Incentive Trips

Budget Constraints

Creating a budget to ensure that the employees have the best experience on a trip can be a difficult task. The pieces of traveling or activities can rise due to seasonal traveling. Some destinations will raise their prices, tapping into the tourist flocking toward the destination.

Other budget constraints can be in the form of unplanned emergencies. As rewards are a luxury, the team might adjust and lower the budget to ensure that all emergencies and necessities are handled. The company can create two separate budgets to ensure the trip occurs. The first is with all luxury items and accommodation, while the second is a trip that ensures resting without all the activities included.

Logistics and Travel Arrangements

Traveling arrangements and logistics can be planned upfront. This, however, must be subject to change due to unknown situations or problems that can occur. The team can arrange taxis as transport; however, on arrival, the traveler can identify a better mode of transport or accommodation.

Change arrangements can come at a loss to the company but enhance or ensure the safety of the employees. If this is the case, the small loss can be justified, and the team must change the logistics and arrangements accordingly.

Cultural Barriers

Communicating with others can be a difficult task. This is even more so when considering cultural differences and language barriers. While employees must navigate a diversified foreign country, language can be a stumbling block. This can be countered by providing the team or traveler with apps such as google translate to ensure they can communicate in their own language.

Health and Safety Concerns

The company’s main objective is to ensure that the team is always safe and healthy. This can be a daunting task and difficult to execute; however, prior arrangements and documentation can be filed and completed to ensure that the attendees are taken care of if an accident occurs.

Best Practices for Successful Corporate Incentive Trips

Communication and Transparency

Clear and transparent communication will ensure a successful trip. This communication is necessary for both the traveling and home base teams. With continuous and concise communication, the team will know where and what to do. The communication will leave both parties at ease.

Personalization and Customization

Every individual in a team is different. This is true with attractive travel rewards as well. The incentive trip must be customized to fit the needs and wants of the team or traveler. By personalizing the trip, the attendee will benefit most from the reward, returning with a great sense of energy to the office.

Adding Value Beyond the Trip

The employee will add more value to the company if they feel validated and taken care of. An incentive trip is a great method to reward them for working hard; this, however, is not the only method of validating and showing appreciation to the team. The company must add value to the team on a daily basis to ensure that the employee and team grow within the company. Cash rewards can be used for reach sales goals. However, the use of all-inclusive offerings will add more rewarding experiences for the employees.

Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility

The corporate business must ensure that their incentive trips are sustainable. These trips must grow year by year and not stagnate or reduce. The company must start at a comfortable level and determine a reward best suited for the company. This, accompanied by their social responsibility to ensure great teamwork and cohesion, is paramount.


Are Company Incentive Trips Tax Deductible?

These trips are only deductible if there is proof that the individual or team is traveling for work, even if it only accounts for a small portion of the time in the holiday destination. Companies can include business meetings with these trips; however, this will impact the incentives’ success rate.

What Is An Employee Incentive Announcement Sample?

This is a letter that will be sent to the individual or team that is awarded the reward of an incentive trip. The letter will congratulate and define the trip. The individual will be able to see what they have been rewarded with for the exact task or goal that they achieved.

Final Thoughts

There are many benefits for the company and the team when incentives are used. Boosting sales and increasing productivity will be two of the first benefits, while teamwork and employee retention are other benefits that can occur at a later stage Incentives will provide more value and appreciation to the company’s employees.

The planning, creating, and building of an incentive can take time, energy, and financial support. However, this is a small price to pay when all the benefits are considered. The company will grow with and through the employees and their incentive programs.

Sabine Ghali

Kelly Murphy


Certified Meeting planner with 20+ years of event management experience, founder of ConferenceSource, expert in meeting facility sourcing & contracting in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Kelly will manage your budget as if they were her own, negotiating the best possible rate and hotel contract to benefit and protect every client and exceed all expectations for all planning aspects for sales meetings, educational meetings, product launches, incentive trips down to a small board of directors meeting. We make meetings easy understanding your meeting objectives and delivering meeting matched components.