Business managers often struggle with creative ways to motivate their employees to reach their sales targets, or to just bring in extra business! As many managers and business owners have discovered, a travel incentive is a motivational tool that has proven to be effective in reaching sales goals. A travel incentive package creates excitement and a competitive spirit as employees strive to qualify for the trip.

Most people love to travel, and earning a trip away is something that employees can visualize and work toward. Research has shown that companies that provide travel incentives find that their employees perform better and stay with their companies longer. Companies that use travel incentive packages find that when these packages are included in their budgets, they generally bring in extra business—and, surprisingly, they are actually quite affordable.

It may seem overwhelming to put a travel incentive package together; however, a travel agent can work with you to understand your business objectives and handle all the details, and together you can create an incentive trip based on the specific level of achievement you are envisaging.

The travel incentive can fit any budget—so, for example, it could be an “extraordinary once in a lifetime” unforgettable trip to an exotic location such as a European river cruise or a trip to Australia and New Zealand. Alternatively, a travel incentive package could be a smaller trip that is still going to motivate your sales team—such as a flight and all-inclusive resort package for a long weekend in the Caribbean, or a 3 or 4 night cruise package, etc. The cost for a smaller trip like this will vary, of course, depending on the time of year and the type of accommodation chosen, but it is usually in the range of just $1000-$1500 per person. A small investment for what often is a big return!

There are discounts and amenities for group bookings—whether that is a hotel package or a group cruise. A tip for you is that in the case of incentive group cruises, the cruise lines will also provide meeting space and equipment for groups for no additional cost, and arrangements can be made for group cocktail parties on board ahead of time for a very reasonable fee. Both resorts and cruise lines will allow space for group dinners, and depending on the size of the group, for land packages, the hotels will provide a discount in the form of a free room—or a cruise line will provide a free cabin for the group organizer!  The cruise lines are very supportive and will assign a staff member on board who will work with the group organizer to ensure that everything goes smoothly and answer any questions you might have.

A travel incentive like this is a good team builder, as those who have earned the trip will enjoy relaxing with their co-workers, and it creates a bonding as they meet together and talk about their experiences. Travel incentives can be for both internal and external sales teams and are good networking opportunities for top performers to build relationships.

Many businesses find that these trips are so successful in reaching their sales goals that they announce the next year’s trip while they are away in order to get everyone enthusiastic and continue the momentum to achieve a high-performance again the following year!


This post was written by Jan McDiarmid of Cruise Planners.

Executive Portrait Session - Jan and Stuart


About Jan: I have always been PASSIONATE about travel – and am thrilled to be able to share my knowledge of this industry in helping my clients plan their dream vacation. Between my husband and myself, we have been fortunate enough to have visited at least 37 different countries (and still counting!), and have lived in three different countries.