Although it was initially conceived as a simple motivational tool, incentive travel has evolved into an intricate retention strategy that companies use to retain their best and brightest people and to convert their biggest customers. It can be used by any organization and any group of workers to address gaps in productivity, attain unrealized work goals or to simply build strength as a team, so it’s no wonder that the incentive travel industry is booming. And because it’s booming, plans and programs are a dime a dozen.
The tricky part, though, is that incentive travel has to be done right – creating an unforgettable experience is everything. You can’t just take a flight and go anywhere. It takes the right combination of an exotic location with unforgettable and extraordinary experiences to enable the group to build priceless memories, increase their loyalty to you and strengthen their camaraderie as a team. These are things that money can’t buy.
Today’s employee or customer wants more than a luxury stay at a fancy hotel. They want to have meaningful and memorable experiences and the opportunity to learn and grow in some way. To meet these changing destination preferences, we’ve put together a list of the best incentive travel destinations in 2018 to give your employees or customers rewarding experiences of a lifetime.
Costa Rica was recently voted one of the world’s happiest countries and it is quickly becoming a popular incentive travel destination. Here you can participate in a number of unique activities such as zip lining over volcanoes, visiting local tribes in the deepest parts of the rainforest, white water rafting on crystal clear waters, surfing or taking yoga classes on stunning beaches and snorkeling in turquoise waters amid colorful tropical fish.
Iceland is covered in mountains, ice caves, waterfalls, glaciers and volcanoes. Popular activities include horseback riding and whale watching, but if you are more an indoorsy type, you can instead relax at any one of many local spas while watching the spectacular lighting display of the Aurora Borealis.
For a few months of the year (between May and August) you can even see Iceland’s Midnight Sun, a natural wonder that is only visible from a few countries in the world. With a recent increase in connecting flights to the country, Iceland has become more easily accessible from most major airports around the world and it is now cheaper to travel to as well.
If San Diego is America’s Finest City, Lisbon is Europe’s quintessentially upscale seaside destination. This hilly city is the capital of Portugal and is well known for its café culture, domed cathedrals, grand plazas and Roman ruins that are scattered across the city.
Narrow cobblestone streets zigzag popular tourist destinations and the city has a very historic yet vibrant nightlife unlike anything you’ll ever see stateside. With nonstop flights from most major North American airports and branches of many leading hotels ready to receive you, Lisbon is quaint yet refined, colorful yet cultured. It is an absolute must-see for anyone looking for something exciting and memorable with a dose of history and class.
Even though it is home to the world’s tallest building and the world’s largest mall, Dubai is something of an enigma, a borderland between the modern and the archaic. Here you can sunbathe on a sandy beach or go on a camel ride, go quad-biking on pristine sand dunes or go for some indoor skiing.
You can eat at local street cafés, dine at world-class restaurants and shop on Palm Island, the largest man-made island in the world. You can also go on a desert safari, skydive, snorkel or visit Ferrari World or Lego Land. What does it all mean? When visiting Dubai, you don’t pack for one specific season or one type of activity; you pack for everything!
Monaco is a land of splendor that is truly crafted in the Mediterranean tradition. It is home to beautiful parks and gardens, breathtaking views and unrivaled sophistication. Its marine environment is a natural treasure, and the majestic Oceanographic Museum, famous for its Shark Lagoon, is one of the oldest museums of its kind in the world.
One of Monaco’s most unique features is its geographical diversity. Travelers have the opportunity to be in three countries at once—Monaco, France and Italy, making for an exquisite medley of cultures and cuisines. Just outside the Monaco border is the French Riviera, a breathtaking landscape not to be missed.
Activities in Monaco exude an air of luxury without being over the top—drive a classic car down the winding coastal Corniche roads, visit the beautifully preserved, ancient mountaintop village of Eze, or get lost in the rich history of the cobblestone streets of St. Paul de Vence. The only downside to this beautiful city is that you won’t want to leave!
At ESG Incentives, we are in the business of creating unique experiences that help companies increase the motivation and loyalty of their employees and customers. Our team of planners and strategists will help your company achieve its full potential by creating memorable incentive programs that will motivate your teams, partners and customers.
By devising effective strategies to plan, deliver, manage and measure incentive programs that are built to inspire your audience, our programs and group travel experiences cannot be replicated and they are designed to add value at every step along the way.
With so much diversity in programs and participants, we strive to ensure more and more flexibility and variance in activities and events scheduled in our programs by taking into consideration our audience and even the individual preferences of participants. The future of incentive travel is in offering higher degrees of customization and increasingly exotic experiences for participants. We do just that by delivering truly immersive programs that give participants the opportunity to experience the unexplored and the undiscovered without compromising quality and maintaining high levels of comfort and convenience.