Top 5 Incentive Travel Trends For 2019

It’s indisputable that incentive travel is a highly effective tool for companies wanting to motivate employees and channel partners to boost their sales performance. It’s also a great way to build and maintain cohesive teams when used as a whole company getaway. Dissolving the management hierarchy for activities and encouraging relationships across departments can have great business outcomes. Providing an unforgettable experience continues to deliver results and achieve business objectives however travellers are becoming more and more sophisticated and demanding and it’s crucial that we listen and adapt. Responding to the demand for ever higher degrees of personalisation and authentic and inspiring experiences for incentive travellers will be key to our ongoing success with these programmes.

Below we give you our Top 5 incentive travel trends for 2019.

1.     Unique Experiences Matter

2019 is the year for companies to embrace the unique and ‘left of centre’ experiences.

Uyuni Stargazing and Sunrise Tour – Private English Tour (Half Day) – Expediciones Collca.jpg

Stargaze from a luxury bubble tent on the Salt Flats of Bolivia; snorkel with blue whales in Tonga, traverse the Sahara desert by motorbike or steer a husky sled across breathtaking wilderness in Lapland before marvelling at the Northern Lights. Whatever the adventure, more and more travellers are seeking, bespoke, authentic experiences far away from the typical incentive destinations.

 2.     Tech & Social Will Be Central Not Peripheral

Social media has changed the way incentives and events are seen by attendees. As millennials establish themselves as a significant presence in the workforce (1/3 workers are now millennials), their social activity on mobile is fast becoming a pivotal (and leverage-able) part of incentive travel and events.

Millenials Social Media Travel.jpeg

90% of millennials use social media, and 80% of social traffic is now from mobile according to Infusionsoft and Marketing Land. Real-time social conversations around custom trip hashtags, content-sharing opportunities and live updates, will be a key part of engaging both those on the trip and creating FOMO for those staff or channel partners back in the office. They’ll then be even more motivated to strive harder to make the trip next year. We want everyone to be waiting with anticipation for the reveal of the next destination and we want everyone working hard for a coveted place on the annual trip and the brag-worthy insta feed that stems from that. The public recognition of a job well done now stretches beyond work colleagues to attendees greater network via personal social channels which is another plus for incentive travel.

3.     Wellness Travel is on the Rise

Wellness will be one of 2019’s biggest incentive travel trends. The global wellness market was worth an estimated $3.7 trillion in 2015, with the combined wellness at work and travel markets worth over $600 billion according to the Global Wellness Institute.

  Fusion Maia Da Nang Resort , Vietnam. Photo credit:  @leona.valentina⠀

Fusion Maia Da Nang Resort, Vietnam. Photo credit: @leona.valentina⠀

Top tier management has begun to appreciate the relationship between bottom lines and the mental and physical well-being of employees, with a focus on work-life balance, free gym memberships, mediation classes and more becoming commonplace. Incentive travel will also see an in increasing shift towards experiences that focus on wellness, learning and self-discovery in 2019.

4.     Sustainable Travel

Increasingly, we are seeing strong demand for destinations, accommodation, dining and activities that are environmentally sustainable. We have moved away from overly touristed locations and we are hand-picking ethical, socially conscious and environmentally aware travel brands to partner with. 

 Commuting in  Soneva Jani , Maldives. Photo credit:  @captainandthegypsykid

Commuting in Soneva Jani, Maldives. Photo credit: @captainandthegypsykid

More and more, there’s a focus on “green” travel and clean eating. We can recommend unique ways to contribute to a cleaner planet, with eco-friendly accommodation and activity programmes that focus on the conservation and regeneration of the environments that we visit.  Leaving a lighter eco footprint and seeking tour operators that strive to protect and promote the environment, animals and the local community is becoming more important in our incentive programmes than ever before.

5. Safety & Security Are Paramount

Choosing an incentive destination is a high involvement decision. There are lots of factors to consider.  Proximity, accessibility, activities, stability, climate and cost are just the beginning. Now more than ever, tipping the scales of a destination’s desirability are safety and security. Safety, peace and stability are major concerns for travellers so we are seeing incentive organisers take a risk-averse approach to destination selection. As a result, locations with solid infrastructure networks, on the ground disaster support and robust evacuation procedures will continue to rise in popularity. Among some of the safest choices are Singapore, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Canada and Japan.

  Badrutt’s Palace Hotel , St. Moritz. Photo Credit: KMU Photography.

Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St. Moritz. Photo Credit: KMU Photography.

It's a very exciting time for incentive travel! Contact the team at 33 Degrees about how we can take your next travel incentive to the next level.