Travel Rewards Strategy

As a team reward or individual incentive, tie travel programs to results

Taking your group to a beautiful meeting destination, or rewarding your top performers with an exciting trip are great ways to use travel as an incentive. But to be truly effective, always consider how travel fits into your organization's incentive programs and overall strategy to motivate employee behaviour or enhance your client experience.

Here are guidelines for planning group travel to be well-integrated with your organization's goals and operations.

Set your incentive program objectives
  • Be clear on who will be eligible to take part in the incentive travel. The chance to participate in a rewards trip should ideally be achievable to anyone who can help you achieve your goals.
  • Set the eligibility bar high enough to make it challenging, but be sure to keep requirements realistic and attainable.
  • Consider what kind of travel experience would be meaningful for your group, and what the participants' experience would be.
Put your strategy in motion
  • Summarize your goals in writing, and outline why an incentive travel program has been chosen as a tactic to help achieve these goals.
  • Enlist outside help at this stage, if necessary. While there may be costs associated with a specialized incentive travel consultant, you can ultimately save through their experience, economies of scale, and operational know-how when it comes to logistics.
  • Draw up a timetable and a formal list of who is responsible for what in the meeting planning or travel rewards process.
  • Establish a realistic budget.
  • Even if you don't enlist help at this stage, remember that you can call on the resources of a destination management company later on, when you decide on a location.
Determine the incentive travel location
  • Your first thought should be based on the demographics of your group, and how much experience they have traveling. Your choice of destination should be both reflective of your goal and motivating for your group.
  • Factor in whether you will need space to host meetings or seminars, and whether you expect to bring in guest speakers. This can have an impact on both logistics and budget.
  • Time your event to your benefit, whether it's taking into account seasonal rates, climate or an acceptable time for the group to be away from normal business responsibilities.
  • Consider staffing needs, and investigate how destination management services can help with logistics, event planning and accommodations selection.
Market your incentive message
  • Plan a marketing campaign of email, mailings and teaser gifts to excite the potential travel rewards participants and their spouses or guests, if appropriate.
  • Launch your incentive program giving participants a hint or preview of the destination or theme.
  • Personalize the goal, by having you CEO or key executive write a motivating letter.
  • Make it clear what participants have to accomplish, and make sure there's a way for them to have any questions answered.
  • Keep the program top-of-mind, by providing progress updates or marketing teasers to reignite excitement and inspire performance.

other articles in this section

Banff, Alberta

Incentive Travel Insights

Gifting Guidance

The Renaissance of Incentive Travel

Promotional products your attendees will love. Really.

Incentive Research in Action

History in the Making

Mindful Indulgences

Dynamic Duos

Status Report

Editor's Choice: 6 Springtime Gifts

Warm up to Winter Ski Incentives

Set to Impress

Expert Tips for Virtual Incentive Events

Party Pivots

Presents of Mind: The Art of Virtual Gifting

A Rewarding Experience

Noteworthy: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, Bermuda

Cards vs. Cash

Good Times

Value Validation

Trip Trends

Sailing Away

The More, The Merrier

Holiday Angst

Making the Connection

Make an Impact

Mutual Appreciation

Healthy Options for Incentive Trips

A Rewarding Experience

Cruising the Rhone River

Celebrating Employee Milestones

How Do they Do It

Eyes on the Prize

Healthy employees = Healthy company

Measuring ROI

Hawks Cay Resort, Duck Key, Florida

Good Sensations

How to Design an Effective Gift Card Incentive Program

Fogo Island Inn, Fogo Island, Newfoundland

The Case for including Spouses on Incentive Trips

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

On-site Gifting

Rim to River Hiking in the Grand Canyon

Sparkling Hill Resort, Vernon, BC

Creating incentive trips that appeal to everyone

The Brave New World of Gift Cards

Award Show Winners

Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina

Take me to the river

Click + Praise

The Science of Incentives

Incentive trips go family-style

Knock-their-socks-off gifts for hard-to-buy-for executives

Building a Better Program

Perfect Pampering

Indulge Me!

Customized Recognition Programs

Virtual gift cards, the new reality

Gift Cards that Give

Go with a Pro, in the Spa and on the Greens

Chartering private jets

Offsite Employee Engagement

Behaviour-based Recognition

Canadian tax implications for employee gifts

A Christmas Bonus with all the Fixin's!

Peer-to-peer recognition

Everyday Green Heroes

Recognizing Environmental Actions in the Workplace

Reward and Recognize Every Day!

New Year, New You!

Co-Branded Cards

Last-minute gifts and rewards

Double Pampering Hits the Spot!

Hidden Gems: Cobble Beach Resort


Free and Fab Employee Rewards

Incentive Programs Used by the Pros

Think Local for Corporate Gifts

21st Century Gift Cards

Time for an Incentive Travel Update

Reward Best-Practices for the Holiday Season

Small Product, Big Impact

Spa Rewards, Done Right

Staying Motivated

Gift Giving Guidelines

The Pros and Cons of Gift Cards

Eco-Friendly Corporate Gift Ideas

Green Guides

Travel Rewards Strategy

Speaker Gifts that Shine with Gratitude

Tax Treatment of Incentive Travel