For some time now companies have found that recognizing and rewarding employees with incentive travel can work much better than with cash rewards. A 2011 survey by Aberdeen Research has confirmed that organisations providing non-cash recognition perform better – they had a 9.6% year-on-year increase in corporate revenue compared to 3% of those that work with cash rewards.
The key is undoubtedly the retention and involvement of employees. The most successful businesses strive to keep their employees happy. Within the incentive programs, incentive travel have gained great prominence. They are able not only to motivate but also to bring new and unique experiences to employees while providing opportunities for creative team building activities. According to the Incentive Federation, in 2014, 46% of US companies already included incentive travel rewards, spending $ 22.5 billion a year on them.
Experiential and group travel already outnumbers traditional travel in the preference of Human Resources managers and employees. But the great breakthrough is the idea that these experiences can be meaningful, transformative and generate positive impacts not only for employees and businesses, but also for the destinations and communities that receive them.
Community-based tourism, ecotourism and voluntary tourism have opened the door to incentive travel with purpose, where groups are invited to engage with local culture and community, to reflect on the reality presented and to support the preservation of that culture or destination. “It’s an internal journey. We forget about life. And you have no idea how much we grow with it”, says tourist Helena, who was in the Jequitinhonha Valley for a community experience with Vivejar.
Unique experiences and purposeful incentive trips help professionals to individually strengthen skills such as communication, commitment, emotional intelligence and teamwork, and values such as respect, honesty, sense of equality and social responsibility. In addition, moments of group interaction, such as handicraft workshops or a trail through the Amazon Rainforest, bring challenges or collective activities that are much more motivating and transformative.