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two people enjoying the benefits of incentive travel on kayaks
Katie MoserFeb 1, 2023 12:35:00 PM5 min read

The Benefits of Incentive Travel: Motivating Employees and Beyond

The Benefits of Incentive Travel: Motivating Employees and Beyond

Incentive Travel is Trending, Are You Ready?

Yes, you heard that right. Consider the two driving themes of late: post-pandemic travel and employee retention.

With the pandemic further and further in the rearview and individuals itching to get out of the house, travel is coming back in a big way (even with inflation).

Incentive trips can check both boxes simultaneously with incredible trips that reward your teams for their work and engender loyalty.

But is incentive travel right for your company? Will it benefit your teams and improve business? We argue: yes, it can be highly beneficial for your company and employees.

From higher retention to better connections, here's a quick rundown of the top seven benefits of incentive travel.

Quick Refresher: What is an Incentive Trip?

An incentive trip motivates and rewards employees for hitting significant goals or milestones. It can be an individual or group trip with multiple employees and leadership, and is usually completely paid for by the company.

Sometimes called The President's Club, Diamond Club, or The Winner's Circle, incentive travel is a great opportunity to boost employee morale, employee loyalty, and employee productivity.

These trips can take place in any location, from more exotic locales like Fiji to ones closer to home like Hawaii. Usually, the trips are a mix of group activities, high-end dinners, and personal time to relax and recharge.

group of people on boat enjoying incentive travel benefits in Cabo

What Are the Top Incentive Travel Benefits to my Company?

From improving company culture through team building and bonding, to encouraging teams to hit their sales targets, incentive travel offers many benefits to companies and employees alike.

These experiential rewards often provide more benefits than traditional cash rewards and can be a better way to increase motivation. Plus, even with a large price tag, these non cash rewards can be more cost effective than cash rewards since they garner even higher ROI.

There are many ways an incentive travel program can benefit your company. Let's take a look at some of those benefits of incentive travel now.

1. Reward Employees for Their Hard Work

Many companies struggle to motivate their teams in today's remote and hybrid work environment. When high-performing employees feel they're truly appreciated and have the opportunity for growth, they stay and work harder.

In one study, 65% of employees surveyed strongly agreed that they remember travel and merchandise rewards longer than cash rewards.

The incentive program itself can be a reward, but there are also employee recognition rewards you can tie into the program as well, including award ceremonies, gifts, and excursions for top talent. Think through what would make your team feel most appreciated.

2. Encourage Employee Competition

Incentive travel programs are a fantastic way to create an environment of healthy competition among your workers. They help motivate teams to work hard and achieve their goals so they can attend the trip.

Whether it's hitting targets or gaining more sales, travel incentives boost employee productivity prior to the trip. It's a tangible goal that they can work toward, and it feels more rewarding than a cash bonus, which often can feel like a given part of total compensation.

Motivated employees equal business success.

3. Reinforce Your Brand

Travel incentive travel programs give you the ability to infuse your brand into every aspect of the fun trip, from branded pillows to brand-mission conversations. It's a unique time when employees feel more relaxed and open to conversations about successes and strategies.

Use that time to also reinforce your brand message and engender a greater feeling of loyalty.

We encourage our clients to use custom logos to make the trip feel exclusive. These can be used in social media posts before and after the event, throughout the event on branded cocktail napkins, flags and more, and also on gifts. Try to balance using the brand throughout while still making the experience feel high-end.

group of people on incentive trip in cabo eating dinner next to the ocean

4. Create Memorable Experiences

After years of high stress and burnout, employees are ready to relax. Incentive trips allow for travel without the hassle of planning a vacation themselves.

This takes the pressure off the employees and allows them to relax and enjoy the trip. Those few extra days away from the computer might be exactly what they need to boost creativity and come back refreshed and ready to seize the world again. 

For this reason, most companies that provide incentive travel programs put the utmost importance into providing chances for relaxation, connection, and fun for their employees.

5. Improve Retention Among Top Employees

An incentive trip for your top performers may improve your retention and reduce employee turnover. When hiring a new employee can cost up to 40% of salary, it's wise to keep your best employees feeling appreciated and well rewarded.

Those who feel appreciated and connected to the company culture will feel greater job satisfaction and more company loyalty, and thus will have more incentive to stay.

incentive travel participants enjoying the views of mallorca

6. Attract New Talent

Some companies are known for their travel incentive programs and this can in turn attract high-performing talent. Incentive travel is a major perk for new talent and can be used as a recruitment tactic as part of your new employees' total package.

Make sure these travel rewards are well-communicated in job listings and even offer a sneak peek into these trips on your website.

7. Bring Your Teams Together

Group incentive travel programs give your team and your leadership time to interact and bond. Whether in-office or working from home, your teams need time to connect.

One study stated that 70% of respondents said maintaining relationships with their co-workers was just as important as their job.

During a group incentive trip, leaders can spend time with top talent to build relationships and loyalty and nurture the next generation of leaders in their organization.

Your top sales teams can also spend time swapping stories of success, which they can then use in the future to perform even higher. These casual conversations during sailing trips or zipling tours also help promote stronger company culture and bonds, which benefits everyone.

man jumping off boat into clear ocean water experiencing the benefits of incentive travel

Recap: Will Incentive Travel Benefit My Company?

Incentive programs are an excellent way to improve employee motivation, reduce turnover, connect with executives, and provide a relaxing escape for your top performers. Companies that have implemented experiential rewards see all these benefits and more, and it could be a great way to boost your company's performance.

Unsure yet if incentive trips will work for your company? Discover what's needed to make a successful incentive travel program here.

Work with GoGather on Your Incentive Program

Want to brainstorm an upcoming incentive program with us? GoGather can help you figure out the right plan, from selecting the right location to building an agenda that's enticing and fun. Let's chat.

Plan Your Next Incentive Trip with GoGather



Katie Moser

Katie Moser is the Director of Marketing and Business Development at GoGather. With over 10 years of experience in marketing and a certificate in meeting and event planning, she has an extensive background in creating content and branding for events, working with speakers, and managing agendas for conferences. When she's not updating blog posts and sending out social media posts, she helps clients identify areas of opportunity for their events from branding to communications. In her downtime, she enjoys spending time at one of the many beautiful San Diego beaches, exploring new breweries, or chilling at home with her cat.