One of the key elements in sustaining an incentive program is for planners to make sure that participants can look forward to new experiences, year in, year out. Although recent trends indicate that a lot of employees look forward to dining, adventure and even wellness experiences, destination remains to be one of the most solid options for incentive schemes. During the economic decline and the associated budgetary constraints, a lot of organizations trained their sights on local destinations. However, with the improved health of the economy, more and more businesses are now favoring international destinations. Among the most popular destinations that have emerged in recent years are North America, Europe and the Caribbean. Following closely at the heels of these destinations are South and Central America and Asia. Another key driver for this turn in popularity is the emergence of millennial in the workplace. While older employees may opt for more traditional activities, organizations that want to motivate the younger set must account for desire for both adventure and ample amounts of time for leisure and relaxation. If you are planning to implement an international incentive travel scheme, be aware that you will be confronted with lots of challenges — a lot more than if you were choosing a domestic destination. With the complexity of this incentive program, it is worthwhile to enlist the help of professional planners to minimize costly errors. A seasoned planner can alert you on cultural differences that you and the program winners may need to be aware of. Business organizations also need to be aware of the schedules in the destination countries which may affect the experience of program winners. For example, some areas in Europe shut down during August. In other countries, dinner is served at 8 p.m. Another challenge business organizations must be aware of if they intend to have an international destination for their travel incentive program is the issue of language and currencies. With the right partner, businesses can minimize the impact of the language barrier by helping them find suitable vendors and institutions which can follow their instructions and requests. As for currencies, be aware that the exchange rates can instantly change and lock-in rate agreements can be beneficial. Finally, it is important to underscore the importance of site inspection. Although it is possible to get a glimpse of the site using new technologies, nothing can replace actually visiting and inspecting the intended destination. This will enable the business to make an informed decision regarding the choice of site.

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