Want to build an award-winning team? Hop on a plane and take your staff somewhere exciting.

There’s no punchline—incentive travel is really a serious recommendation that can apply to today’s most growing businesses. In the current business environment, the hunt for the best talent continues to intensify. It’s not rare to see companies sweetening up ordinary job offers with perks that would seem outlandish just a few years ago: gourmet meals, laundry services, valet parking, yoga retreats and memberships, spa services, game rooms, Netflix subscriptions, babysitting, petsitting—the list can go on and on.

While the real ROI of having a salad bar or free dancing lessons has yet to be measured with long-term studies, one classic incentive strategy has been tried and tested to be effective through the years: incentive travel, or more specifically these days, international incentive travel.

What studies have shown is that using travel as incentive is not only an effective reward for employees. It’s rewarding and beneficial for the business, too.

Travel incentives are a great way to show your appreciation for the hard work and good performance of your employees. In fact, it has been proven that a trip somewhere nice is more rewarding than cold cash. In one study, one sales team was promised a monetary reward if they reached a certain quota. The other sales team was promised a holiday in Hawaii for the same target. The result? The team looking forward to a much-deserved vacation abroad got significantly higher targets than those working for the cash bonus.

One theory that explains why travel is seen as a better motivation and incentive tool than financial rewards is because it hinges on experiences, not objects. If you give employees a cash bonus, it would either end up in their savings or be used to make a purchase that they would typically pay with their usual salary (bills, essential items, even treats). This won’t have the same impact as, say, a retreat to Bali. While cash is useful and will surely be appreciated by recipients, companies looking to boost employee engagement and loyalty will find that a travel experience is more effective for those specific objectives.

There is a measurable return through increased revenue and new profits when companies invest in travel incentives. To achieve these returns, however, it’s important to build the right travel incentives programfirst. Talk to professional corporate travel consultants to learn about the solutions thatwill be most beneficial for your business.

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