Incentive Travel vs. Recognition – When to Use Which

Incentivizing your employees effectively means knowing them well.  It means understanding who they are and what they respond to.  So, this post is dedicated to helping you figure out when to use incentive travel vs. recognition and vice versa. With employers boosting their incentive budgets, it’s important to understand when deployment of both options is most advantageous and that relates directly to the nature of rewards vs. recognition.  Particularly in organizations sited in industries which attract millennial talent, it’s important to understand the value of both options to your key people.

Tangible vs. experiential.

The reality of the experience economy is upon us.  Increasingly, people value experiences as having a greater value than something tangible.  They want to gaze on unseen vistas, sleep in Bedouin tents and parasail over distant bays alight with the sun. Your employees attach the same value to experiences as everyone else does.  But when is an experiential recognition of employee value more advantageous than a tangible reward? While rewards can be transferred to a third party, recognition is unique to the individual.  It can’t be shared.  And recognition is remembered forever.  People rarely forget an instance of public recognition of their talents and hard work.   That’s because they remember how the experience made them feel. There is nothing more powerful than human emotions. Rewards, also, are finite.  Incentive travel has great value, as it encompasses the experiential nature of recognition.  And here’s where things get interesting – annexing recognition to a prime travel incentive marries the tangible with the experiential, creating something which encompasses the two types of incentives in balance. The highly emotional, unexpected appeal of recognition is deployed most effectively when it’s presented within the context of a travel incentive.  Imagine, for a moment, the power of a corporate retreat with specific recognition built into the incentive as its centerpiece. The most powerful recognition is that which is enjoyed among peers.  When unexpected, it ices the cake of incentive travel in an indelible way which makes the travel, networking and team-building aspects of the tangible incentive even more memorable.

The perfect incentive marriage.

Incentive travel vs. recognition – when to use which is, we suppose, a misleading title to this post.  Or perhaps the title is just a device to help get to the truth.  That truth is that the two types of incentives are best deployed as a team – married in perfect, incentivizing harmony. At Incentive Travel Group, we think that’s genuinely exciting.  A tangible reward is something most employees desire, but no one ever forgets being recognized for their contributions.  Bringing the two together in balance can create an unforgettable experience for deserving employees that cements their loyalty and retains their talent for years to come. At Incentive Travel Group, we’re travel incentive leaders.  With more than 20 years’ experience in the sector, we bring you outsourced solutions for premium travel incentives to motivate and inspire your employees. Contact us to discover the perfect marriage of travel incentives with recognition.  Let us help you light the motivational fire.

Let’s Get Started

Let’s Get Started

Planning a Group Trip?
We can help.

start planning

Case Studies

Boosting Retention Rates
Providing Sales Incentives
Building Employee Teamwork
Improving Employee Recognition


  • Evan Polin
    Sandler Training

    "I've been working with Bruce and his team on two projects and they've been great to work with. Bruce has helped us set up a referral/incentive program for us to roll out with our clients and strategic partners. Bruce was great to work with. He's set up a 7 tier program that allows for flexibility and he's also helped us to market the program."

  • Kevin O'Keefe
    Vice President World Wide Sales, Maginatics, Inc.

    "Beverly arranged and managed the early Envivio Sales incentive trips for us. Each of our events was an outstanding and motivating experience Our Sales team appreciated the attention to detail and to fun. Qualifying for the "trip" was a motivating factor behind many end of year sales pushes. I will use Beverly again in the future."

  • Mickey Poorman
    Laird Technologies

    "Peak Performance’s attention to detail and personal service made me feel like I had a true corporate meeting planning partner that I could rely on throughout the planning process right up until I was on site. I look forward to doing more meetings with them."

  • Marco Lopez
    C& J Energy Services, Inc

    "I have used your services two years in a row and you all have made my vacation a great one. You have the most helpful and considerate employees. Always very friendly, respectful and willing to make my travel experience a good one. Thank you and keep up the great job."

Latest Blog Post

Bucket List Destinations for your next President's Club

Are you looking for some inspiration for your next President's Club or sales incentive destination? Look no further than this...

Contact Us