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3 Ways Every Business – Including Yours - Can Benefit from Incentive Travel

Incentive trip to Venice, Italy

True or false? Incentive trips are only for large companies with even larger budgets.

False! These days, businesses of all sizes are going places with incentive travel, and they’re achieving a wide range of objectives along the way. Even better, successful incentive trips can be designed to fit any budget. So when you’re looking for an innovative, effective way to inspire your team, drive increased sales, or reward customer loyalty, an incentive travel program is the ideal solution.

By definition, an incentive motivates someone to take a desired action. When you introduce travel to the mix, there’s plenty of room to get creative. We help our clients design group trips to reward employees, launch products, recognize top customers, or plan their company’s future. While the incentive goals are as different as our clients, every single trip delivers stronger teams, customer loyalty, unique memories – all with an impact to the client’s bottom line.

Why incentive travel makes sense for your business

Now’s the perfect time to take a fresh look at exactly how incentive travel fits your business objectives. Here are three important ways incentive travel can benefit your business.

Employee incentive trip to caribbean

1. Give your best employees another reason to continue being your most valuable asset.

Let’s face it, with record low unemployment rates in recent months, the competition for top employees is tough. Once you’ve invested in recruiting and retaining the best-of-the-best for your business, you don’t just need to keep them; you need to keep them motivated and productive.

Of course, while a cash bonus is nice, studies show money doesn’t produce the same long-lasting results as a travel reward. The reality is employees end up using cash bonuses to pay bills or make practical purchases.

In contrast, 9 out of 10 employees are more motivated by an incentive trip, with 72% of employees who earn a travel reward reporting increased loyalty to their company. To achieve similar results through pay, number crunchers estimate companies would have to increase salaries by almost 9%.

From frontline sales and service associates to behind-the-scenes operations staff, a company-paid getaway leaves employees refreshed and ready to earn the next one. An added benefit? When they share the experience with their coworkers, more employees are motivated to earn an incentive trip of their own.

2. Turn an important meeting into a momentous travel program to get more accomplished and build team camaraderie at the same time.

Our clients tell us it’s getting harder to carve out time for focused, strategic planning or for celebrating significant achievements. In fact, they say it’s nearly impossible to get everyone in the same room without constant interruptions via text or email. This reality is why many executives are totally rethinking offsite meetings by combining business agendas with incentive group travel.

Business retreat for executives

A magical thing happens when you transplant a key group of employees, whether it’s your leaders, sales and service team, advisory board or stakeholders, from the office to a cruise ship or a picturesque village. Business meetings get more focused, and off-hours become a combination of once-in-a-lifetime experiences and true relaxation. In fact, 42% of executives claim combining business sessions with their incentive travel programs delivers the best return on their investment. Another 38% say having top performers and leadership all together is a key advantage.

A few years ago, one of our clients decided to change things up and booked a luxury cruise through Italy for the company’s VPs and advisory board. The goal was two-fold: increase the productivity of strategy sessions and deliver a unique experience for board members and spouses. The Cruise Dreams team customized an itinerary that took advantage of days at sea for business meetings and included amazing group experiences while in each port.

The advisory board immediately noticed the rise in productivity compared to prior meetings and had high praise for both the destination and the group excursions. The entire event was such a success, they’re planning future trips to coincide with the board’s three-year planning cycle.

3. Reward your top clients or referral partners to take their loyalty – and positive word-of-mouth – to a whole new level.

Incentive travel programs aren’t just for your employees. They’re also a great way to reward valued referral partners, vendors, and clients. The possibilities are endless.

Incentive travel tied to your customer loyalty program with specific criteria for qualification can drive all kinds of behaviors from repeat purchases to referrals to longevity. The Cruise Dreams team is expert in designing customized experiences for each group we work with, so each unique trip can lock in already strong customer relationships for a lifetime.

Customer loyalty programs

Beyond loyalty programs, incentive travel geared to your clients or merchant partners can create an extra buzz around a new product launch with the addition of a sales contest to generate a little friendly competition among sellers. As a result, the winners become even stronger advocates for building relationships with your team over the course of an unforgettable trip.

Whatever you do, don’t dismiss an incentive travel program as out of your company’s league. Regardless of your objectives, group size, or budget, you may be pleasantly surprised at the benefits you can gain.

Cruise Dreams specializes in creating unique group trips that make a lasting impression and match up to your objectives. We’d love to help you plan an incentive Trip of a Lifetime for your business.

Call us at (877) 999-4533 or email us at

Waves to you and smooth sailings ahead!

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