One of the key components of a successful incentive travel program is choosing the right destination. A lot of companies opt for domestic destinations due to their proximity, availability of hotel rooms, variety of activities to choose from, and good air support.
However, an international incentive travel program can be just as successful as one with a domestic destination. The key here is proper planning and organization.
Although Paris and London remain the top destinations chosen by many companies, many organizations are looking for destinations a little closer to home, including Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. One reason behind this shift is the unfavorable exchange rates in Europe, although many destinations in the continent are trying to lure companies by offering sweet deals.
If you are eyeing an international destination for your incentive travel program, here are a few important points to remember.
In choosing a destination for your program, safety should be one of your top considerations. Do careful research on the safety of the destinations on your shortlist. If you are hiring incentive planners, they can provide you with an objective assessment of the safety of each destination you are looking at. You may also want to consult intelligence reports and bulletins put out by government agencies.
Accessibility and comfort
Another crucial consideration for choosing an international travel destination is accessibility. Ideally, your chosen destination should have a good transportation system which will allow you to move your people conveniently.
Once you have chosen a suitable destination, make sure you put in a contingency plan for unforeseen circumstances like traffic and long queues at the airport.
Features and details
Once you have made a shortlist of potential destinations to choose from, the next thing you need to do is to find out what amenities will be made available to you and your employees. A good destination should offer a good mix of features, amenities, natural and historical attractions, nightlife, shopping, sports and spas, and gaming.
A few other important reminders
Keep surprises at a minimum by doing diligent research. Coordinate closely with your incentive planner but do some research on your own.
Be prepared for surprises and develop a contingency plan. Be sure to set aside extra money for other expenses like taxes and tariffs.
Know your program participants and be ready to provide for their needs. Seasoned travelers, broadly speaking, can do more alone, while those who are not accustomed to traveling abroad may need more attention from you.