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How to create incentive travel programs that inspire FOMO

Incentiv Trip to Greece

Incentive travel programs are one of 2020’s hottest trends. The increasing popularity rests on three main factors.

First, incentive travel makes good business sense, helping companies drive productivity, loyalty, and sales. Our 3 Ways Every Business – Including Yours – Can Benefit from Incentive Travel blog goes into all the details on how.

Second, travel rewards appeal to all types of employees and customer groups, but they’re most popular with younger generations. Check out our Why Incentive Travel Makes Sense for Generations to Come post for generational insights.

And, finally, psychology research backs up exactly why incentive travel appeals to employees – and is more effective at motivating them than a cash bonus. For a look at why experiences have a psychological advantage, read our The Psychology of Incentive Travel – and How It Can Work for Your Business blog.

With the case made on why incentive travel is producing results, it’s time to answer the next question. How do you design an incentive trip that optimizes your company’s investment and drives the employee behaviors or new sales you seek?

Beautiful beach sunset

The 4 essentials for delivering

wow-worthy incentive trips

The rapid pace of technological innovation has changed our expectations. As consumers, we expect a combination of convenience and customization in everything – from groceries to healthcare, from restaurants to banking, and everything in between. And, while anyone can order takeout or book a flight online in an instant, it takes a one-of-a-kind experience to wow people in 2020.

Here are four essentials for creating an incentive travel program that inspires FOMO – aka “fear of missing out” among your target qualifiers and keeps them talking about the trip long after they’ve returned.

1. Know your audience.

Don’t go standard or generic. Put all the data you have to work figuring out what kind of travel program would inspire your potential travelers. Whether your strategy is aimed at employees or customers, you already have a great deal of demographic information at your fingertips. But, don’t stop with understanding the age and gender make-up of your target audience, ask them a few questions.

A simple survey can uncover plenty of inspirational ideas. Ask questions about favorite travel destinations and aspirational ones. Find out about preferred travel styles and trip durations. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll learn and how the information can spark your incentive travel imagination!

Hot Air Ballon Ride over African Safari

2. Go all in.

It’s likely your group will include more than a few seasoned travelers. You’ll need to up the ante to capture their attention and make them say, “Wow!” Along with plenty of exclusive, luxurious extras that most travelers are unlikely to score on their own, make sure your incentive trip includes a few immersive experiences that are truly unique to the destination.

The Cruise Dreams team focuses on helping you deliver WOW moments. Whether it’s a hot-air balloon safari over Africa or an authentic Italian road rally in vintage Alfa Romeo sports cars, no two trips are ever alike. And neither are the memories made.

3. Offer options.

The best incentive trips enable travelers to tailor their experiences. Build in choices for activities, entertainment, and meals. This way, folks whose biggest goal is rest and relaxation have the option to lounge by the pool, while others who want to see more, more, more can opt for a bicycle tour or a trip to the local marketplace. Take a similar approach to meals, with a mix of delicious group dining experiences along with options to break away and sample different cuisines.

4. Add the element of surprise.

Of course, you’ll promote and publish an amazing itinerary, so each potential qualifier is excited to join in the experience. But, it’s the little extra surprises along the way that really create the WOW moments. Whether it’s a surprise tutorial from an expert sommelier at the vineyard, a private dinner at the restaurant only the locals know about, or a sweet treat waiting for guests when they return to their rooms, all the small details add up to big memories.

At Cruise Dreams, we specialize in designing one-of-a-kind incentive travel programs. Our in-house team will collaborate with you every step of the way from planning through the trip itself, never outsourcing any part of your program. It’s our pleasure to anticipate and handle every detail along the way. Call us at (877) 999-4533 or email us at to plan your company’s incentive Trip of a Lifetime.

Waves to you and smooth sailings ahead!

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