The motivational appeal of group incentive travel continues to be exceptionally strong, with 91% of respondents describing a group incentive travel experience as ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ motivating according to a new report by the Incentive Research Foundation.
Now in its third year, the Attendee Preferences for Incentive Travel study, which surveys 400 US-based incentive participants, explores trends in attendee preferences, factors in destination selection, and how incentive travel program design can impact employee motivation.
The IRF highlighted that that 64% of Gen Z (21-26 years of age) and Millennials (27-42 years) find group travel awards to be ‘extremely motivating,’ which is an even more positive response than is seen in older generations and bodes well for the incentive travel industry’s future.
Top destinations indicated by employees were largely close to home – Hawaii (pictured), Western United States, the Caribbean, Eastern United States, Southwest United States – along with Western Europe, which while still a top destination, was the biggest ‘decliner’ in the study.
Prior to the pandemic, there was a growing trend toward incentive travel participants wanting more individualisation in their experiences. This trend has continued to grow as participants no longer want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ experience in which they spend their entire trip in the company of large groups of people. They now prefer a program that provides them with greater privacy and flexibility, even while participating in a group travel environment.
Consistent with this idea of greater individuality, providing ample free time to relax was ranked as the most important priority for an incentive trip. Being able to bring a guest along, having out-of-pocket expenditures covered, and having luxury accommodations continue to be important priorities for participants.
Having unique experiences and experiencing a unique culture are also considered important, while going to a destination to which the participant has never been before is extremely important to a third of the participants.