The 2022 IRF Destination Preferences Study paints an optimistic picture for incentive travel as a potent tool for motivating sales teams. In the wake of the pandemic, the allure of incentive trips has never been stronger. The study, which focused on 405 full-time sales professionals in the U.S., conducted between March and April 2022, reveals compelling insights into the evolving landscape of incentive travel.
The findings indicate an overwhelming endorsement of group incentive travel, with a staggering 91% of participants considering it 'extremely' or 'very' motivating. This represents a notable increase from the already substantial 80% reported in the 2021 study. These figures underscore the universal appeal of group incentive travel, with only a marginal 1% expressing indifference.
Furthermore, individual incentive travel emerged as an even more potent motivator, garnering an impressive 96% approval rating, up from 84% in the previous year. The data leaves no room for doubt – both group and individual incentive travel hold a profound sway over sales professionals, with nearly unanimous endorsement.
A positive trend was also observed in perceptions of fairness regarding the award selection process. A significant 85% of respondents felt that the process at their respective companies was either 'extremely' or 'somewhat' fair. This newly included question in the 2022 survey indicates that companies are actively striving to maintain transparency and equity in their incentive programs.
The study delved deeper into what makes an incentive travel truly compelling. Among the attributes assessed, ample relaxation time emerged as the paramount consideration, deemed 'extremely' or 'somewhat' important by an overwhelming 89% of participants. This speaks to the growing recognition of the need for rest and rejuvenation, especially after the stresses induced by the pandemic.
Other crucial factors included the ability to bring a companion, luxury accommodations and experiences, and provision for spending money to cover out-of-pocket expenses. Notably, the opportunity for public recognition in front of peers saw a significant surge in importance from the previous year, indicative of a return to larger group events conducive to peer-wide acknowledgment.
Destination preferences also exhibited intriguing trends. Participants were asked to rank 12 types of experiences in order of preference, revealing that beach/sunshine destinations, adventure travel, and mountains remained the top choices, consistent with the previous year. However, there were noteworthy shifts. Wellness spa visits, which ranked low in 2021, climbed to the fourth position, while cruising, previously at the bottom, witnessed a substantial rise in popularity.
This shift suggests that safety concerns are gradually diminishing, allowing people to feel more at ease in crowded environments. Conversely, visiting smaller cities, primarily English-speaking areas, and wooded/nature areas ranked lower in preference, indicating a preference for more vibrant and bustling locales.
When it comes to the ideal length of an incentive travel, 50% of respondents deemed a trip lasting between 4-6 days as 'ideal', while only 8% preferred a shorter duration of 1-3 days. This preference aligns with the current trend in trip planning, where 23% of trips are scheduled for three days or less.
Finally, in terms of destination choices, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Western U.S., and Western Europe remained at the top, indicating a consistent appeal for these regions. Notably, Mexico made a significant comeback in preference, marking it as the 'biggest riser' among the destinations. However, some regions, particularly in Asia and Africa, ranked lower, reflecting a relative lack of interest.
In summary, the 2022 IRF Destination Preferences Study paints a vivid picture of a resurgent interest in incentive travel among sales professionals. The data showcases a universal appeal for both group and individual incentive travel, coupled with a growing emphasis on fairness in the award selection process. As companies continue to refine their incentive programs, the study provides valuable insights into the evolving preferences and priorities of sales teams.
Contact Incentivetravelgroup.com to start planning your 2024 Incentive trip
Are you looking for some inspiration for your next President's Club or sales incentive destination? Look no further than this list of the top 10 bucket list destinations around the world. These destinations offer a combination of breathtaking natural wonders, historical and cultural landmarks, and upscale amenities that will make your incentive trip unforgettable.
These are just a few of the many bucket list destinations around the world that are perfect for an executive travel incentive or sales incentive trip. Each destination offers its own unique experiences and memories, so start planning your next incentive trip today!
The incentive travel industry, also known as motivational travel, is a type of travel that is offered as a reward or incentive for achieving a specific goal or performance target. According to the 2022 Incentive Travel Index, released by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), the incentive travel industry is a growing and vital part of the overall travel and hospitality industry.
One of the main benefits of travel is that it can be used to motivate and engage employees, partners, and customers. Companies and organizations use incentive travel as a way to recognize and reward top performers, build stronger relationships with key stakeholders, and drive business results. For example, an organization may offer a trip to a luxury resort as a reward for meeting or exceeding sales targets. This not only recognizes the hard work of the individual or team but also serves as a motivator for others to strive for similar success.
Incentive travel also plays an important role in building and strengthening relationships between companies and their key stakeholders. This can include employees, customers, and partners. For example, a company may offer an incentive travel program for their top customers as a way to show appreciation and strengthen those relationships. Similarly, companies may use incentive travel as a way to build stronger relationships with their partners by inviting them to exclusive events or destinations.
The index also highlighted some key trends in the industry. One trend is the increasing popularity of domestic destinations, as companies and organizations look to support the recovery of their own domestic economies. This is particularly relevant in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has greatly impacted the travel industry. With more focus on domestic destinations, companies and organizations can still offer exciting and luxurious experiences for their incentive travel programs, while also supporting local economies and communities.
Another trend is the use of virtual and hybrid formats for travel. With the advent of new technologies, it has become increasingly possible to offer virtual or hybrid incentive travel experiences that are just as engaging and effective as traditional, in-person programs. This allows for more flexibility and cost-efficiency for companies, as they can reach a wider audience and eliminate the need for expensive travel and accommodation costs.
The travel industry is also becoming more sustainable, with more companies and organizations incorporating environmental and social responsibility into their incentive travel programs. This includes using eco-friendly accommodations, promoting local culture and heritage, and supporting local communities. For example, a company may choose a destination that is committed to sustainable tourism practices, or they may plan activities that allow participants to give back to the local community. By incorporating sustainability into their incentive travel programs, companies and organizations can demonstrate their commitment to these important issues, while also creating more meaningful and impactful experiences for their participants.
In conclusion, the industry is a valuable tool for companies and organizations looking to motivate and engage employees, partners, and customers, and drive business results. With more companies and organizations focusing on sustainability, domestic destinations, and virtual and hybrid formats, the industry is poised for continued growth in the coming years. It is a way to reward, motivate and engage employees, partners and customers, while also promoting and supporting sustainable tourism, local cultures, and communities.
Incentive travel rewards are the best ways to show your leadership team that you appreciate their hard work and dedication to your company's success.
However, many sales teams struggle with how to sell incentive travel programs to their leadership, especially when competing with other companies offering highly competitive perks like merchandise or cash bonuses.
Here are a few tips to help you successfully sell incentive travel to your leadership.
Making your sales reps travel across a country or a continent can be daunting, but it's also an effective way to drive business growth.
If you are considering incentive travel to push your salespeople over that revenue-growth hurdle, there are some things you should know first. What is incentive travel? Who travels on incentive trips? How do I make sure my sales team enjoys their rewards trip instead of dreading it? And how do I keep costs under control? We have answers to all these questions and more.
Let us dive in!
Why do we have incentive travel?
We might have a few ideas. The first is that people love rewards and recognition.
Even if you never get on a plane, just thinking about some fun activity—and all those business-related incentives—can be motivating.
When it comes time to sit down and work, your brain is excited by everything that awaits you at your destination.
And as anyone who has done an incentive trip knows, there are plenty of ways to make sure that everyone stays focused while away from home.
But even if there were no such thing as an incentive trip, it would still be essential to recognize top performers with something tangible.
A simple thank-you note can go a long way; so, can lunch with your boss or dinner out with colleagues.
What are our organization's priorities?
It's important to remember that incentive travel is a tool, like all rewards and recognition. If you don't have clear sales goals at your organization, it will be hard to argue why you should invest in an incentive trip or program.
So, before you start selling your ideas internally, make sure your top leadership understands what they want out of an incentive trip—is it better performance? Better business relationships? A more significant share of the wallet?
Have their support behind using incentive travel as a key part of getting there. Then show them how incentives align with those priorities and ask them if they think that might be something they want in their plan. Chances are, they will.
How can incentive travel align with our goals?
To determine whether incentive travel is a good fit, ask yourself how it aligns with your goals. If you're trying to bring a team together and encourage collaboration, incentive travel can be a great way to do that. Are you trying to help leadership become more aware of what's happening on their teams? That's a good reason for incentive travel, too. Does your organization have specific goals tied in with revenue or financial targets? You might find that making corporate-level leaders experience first-hand why hitting those goals is essential could be an effective strategy. The key is to make sure incentive travel complements your overall goals—if not, it may not be worth doing.
How will incentive travel benefit my business area?
Whether you're trying to grow sales or improve customer retention, incentive travel can drive positive change.
This is especially true if your business area has never used incentives before. Remember that it's in your company's best interest to sell your leadership on incentive travel.
It would help if you had their support—and, ultimately, their money—to pull off a successful event. Before approaching them with an incentive trip idea, explain how incentives benefit your business area and why it's worth investing in it now.
For example, say you have an underperforming sales team that makes up 20 percent of total revenue—incentives could be an excellent way to boost those numbers without spending much money.
Use these ideas as inspiration to help your leadership understand incentive travel benefits:
Understanding and Assessing Risk Section
The first thing you have to understand about incentive travel is that it's a significant expense, but it can reap huge rewards if executed correctly.
Assess your company's risk tolerance before making any decisions. Some companies don't allow incentive travel; others take advantage of it, implementing tighter controls on spending and documentation.
If your company doesn't enable incentive travel, keep an eye out: Policies change over time, and they may loosen up to keep employees engaged and committed.
If there's resistance from management, suggest an experimental project with a small number of employees first.
This will allow everyone involved to see how incentive travel impacts performance without risking too much money or too many resources.
It also gives you time to get feedback from participants to make changes ahead of larger projects. And remember: Everyone has their own opinion on incentive travel—but only yours matters when trying to sell them!
Be prepared with data and statistics showing why incentive travel helps productivity, retention rates, and other essential business metrics. Even better?
Show them how their employees feel about incentive trips—many managers are surprised by how much positive feedback they receive after sending their teams away for work!
Just like the name suggests, a President's Club refers to one of the highest levels of ranks one can receive.
This achievement showcases the top-most salespeople in a particular organization.
The concept for President's Club, aka Achiever's Club or Winner's Circle, is not a new one. It was introduced to motivate the top-performing representatives and has spread out to the entire corporate world.
When the stakes are worthwhile to be administered into the Club, it can propel high performing and highly compensated representatives and allow them to go even further than their average performances.
Moreover, when these stakes are utilized well, they can significantly impact the organization's overall performance, providing all the representations, not just the high-performing ones, and an objective to achieve.
The question then arises: When and why should a President's Club be introduced? Well,
A short answer is that it depends on the company's environment and how much focus you want to place on the betterment of the sales team.
However, it is best not to introduce one unless the company has a sales team of at least 30 employees.
Developing a President's Club program for the sales teams will allow you to recognize the achievements of your employees, cultivate a healthy environment in your organization and establish a long-lasting tradition.
If this is your first time creating a President's Club Sales Incentive Program, here are the step-by-step instructions you should follow to develop and execute a program:
These programs are not one-size-fits-all; thus, specific ones are implemented to achieve any number of different goals: motivating the under-performing personnel, subjugating a more significant share of the market, and accelerating sales of particular products.
Such programs are beneficial. They
President's Club can motivate your high-achieving employees by recognizing them as such. They are your earning points, so buying a car or a new TV probably isn't enough to satisfy them. That is why an exciting incentive travel experience is most commonly used.
A President's club travel program does not create an elite crowd of unreachable performers if set up correctly. On the contrary, it encourages every employee to give their best output and perform even better.
Nothing feels better than celebrating your hard-earned break being whisked away to a relaxing, calming tropical island through Incentive Travel.
A sales incentive trip consists of the three 'R's – Relaxation, Recognition, and Reward. One must know that sales roles are incredibly strenuous and stressful, no matter the organization.
Sales employees have to prospect, build relationships, manage opportunities, and perform many other tasks to achieve both short-term and long-term revenue aims. The turnover rates for sale employees are enormous and replacing sales representatives cost companies tons of money each year.
To construct and manage successful sales logistics, companies need to perfect their infrastructure, hiring process, and compensation philosophy. There is a magnitude of reasons why a company can use sales incentive travels.
These reasons could be to stimulate sales of their products and services and recognize the top-performing sales representatives and motivate them and others further.
Many organizations have difficulty developing, promoting, and administering these programs to achieve desired results.
So, the primary question is: how do they work? And how can one set up an effective sales incentive travel program?
Well, This framework consists of five essential elements:
1. Alignment: Alignment refers to an opportunity to promote conjunction between the quota-bearing and non-quota-bearing employees in the functional groups that make up the revenue, perhaps by creating multiple versions of the incentive trips.
2. Transparency: Transparency can do this by creating a calendar with information about the trip, strict deadlines, next year's aims, evaluating and reviewing the previous year's incentive trip, and setting qualifications for the employees to go on next year's trip.
3. Accountability: Accountability can create a clear and concise ownership hierarchy and formal charter. The order can consist of executive leadership, sales, and non-sales stakeholders such as HR and the legal team.
4. Fairness: Fairness refers to setting up attainable sales targets. These targets should be achievable and quantifiable.
5. Connectivity: Connectivity refers to the marketing of the trip – presenting data on a monthly and a quarterly leaderboard and spreading posters around the office. Being part of an establishment that uses sales incentive trips can build teamwork and connections.
Sales incentive trips build such a relationship of friendship in which each employee participates in the celebration of every other employee's successes.
This teamwork leads to more efficient business dealings, which benefit the clients and ultimately benefit the owners, investors, and employees.
These sales incentive trips work. And for a myriad of reasons.
Successful salespeople are achievers and are motivated by winning. These non-monetary trips make you feel like a part of a particular elite group.
Achievers get the opportunity to connect. Being in the same space for some time builds camaraderie amongst the team.
We demonstrate a hallmark of our company. These trips show employees' commitment to the work-life balance and that the company cares about the employee – as an individual.
Create a personal connection with the top-sales performers. There is an intimate connection between the team members leading them to work better.
If we look at the psychological reasons why these sales incentive trips work, it is safe to say that they cover all four motivational factors.
With US unemployment low and top-performing employees highly mobile due to this factor, employers need all the help they can get when strategizing around retention. All the tools in your toolbox are needed in a climate like this, so this post is about the many ways travel incentives make employees produce better results.
Employees who produce better results are icons, representing the success of your corporate culture. They’re also the people most likely to stick around when they’re treated well.
Let’s look at how travel incentives can improve motivation, inspiration, and results.
Everyone loves a trip to a place they’ve never been. And when that trip is a travel incentive offered to your employees for a job well done, or for having returned the top sales figures, it’s highly desired.
A trip as a reward creates a vacation that the employer pays for, recognizing the successful employee’s efforts toward obtaining it. Who doesn’t want that?
Having a travel incentive program in place, allows HR professionals to point to the program as a benefit, attracting great talent. And word gets out about companies with cultures that encourage high-performing employees this way.
Those are companies that highly skilled, rock star employees want to work for.
Once you’ve got them through the front door, there’s nothing like travel incentives to inspire loyalty. That’s especially true when you’ve tailored your program to the desires of employees.
Feeling respected and valued, employees who benefit from travel incentives are more likely to stay. They’ll be nourished by an enhanced feeling of connection to the organization they work for when they sense that you notice what they bring to the party.
And there’s no question that employee loyalty puts a dent in turnover and the high costs associated with it, both fiscally and in terms of morale.
There’s no question that a healthy workforce out-performs an unhealthy one. Burnout and stress can both be mitigated with a well-deployed and carefully crafted travel incentives program.
Stress has physical consequences for human beings. When you’re able to provide your employees with a “thank you” in the form of an all-expenses-paid trip, you’re giving them the gift of time away from what’s stressing them and burning them out.
Your business reduces absenteeism and healthcare costs associated with sickness caused by stress (illnesses like heart disease, for starters).
Rear ends in seats don’t mean much if those rear ends aren’t producing.
Travel incentives inspire employees to reach a little higher. The time they spend out of the office serves to reinvigorate their efforts, helping them to refocus and return better results, via boosted productivity.
These are just some of the ways travel incentives make employees produce better results. Those results are the ROI you want for your travel incentive dollar. Increased productivity, reduced turnover, and enhanced motivation and loyalty are all factors that mean a healthy, robust workplace that gets your business where you need it to be.
Contact Incentive Travel Group for more information.