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Put the Wow into Work: Real-Life Incentive Travel Programs that Get Results

Portofino, Italy is the perfect backdrop for an incentive trip

A well-known software company looking to reward top employees after a successful product launch...

A food service company seeking fresh ways to recognize its sales leaders…

A financial services firm wanting to combine team building with giving back...

A board of directors seeking an unforgettable experience to commemorate the organization’s 200th anniversary…

For each of these unique scenarios, a custom incentive travel program was the perfect fit across the different business objectives and budget parameters. And, all of the companies walked away with one-of-a-kind experiences that had a positive impact on their bottom line. In fact, studies show that for companies of all sizes and across a variety of objectives, incentive travel can increase productivity by up to 18% and loyalty up to 80%.

What else did each of our four scenarios have in common? A WOW factor. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at what made these incentive trips stand out.

London eye

Wow #1: The sky’s the limit

For our software client, the celebration of its highly successful product launch was a culmination of intense development and aggressive deadlines. The employees who made it happen deserved a wow moment.

We arranged a sunset welcome reception with 360-degree views of the London skyline aboard the London Eye. The wow came when we reserved all 32 capsules for a completely private celebration. And, to add to the memories, we included a private butler, champagne, and a decadent assortment of canapes and caviar.

Wow #2: A high-performance sales meeting

When a top food services company asked us to create a one-of-a-kind travel experience that was part reward for its sales leaders, part team-building adventure, and part productive business meeting, we pulled out all the stops. The group set sail for eight days along the Amalfi coast aboard a privately chartered yacht. But the wow didn’t stop there.

Alfa Romeo sports car road rally

As attendees stepped onto the pier in Portofino, they were presented with their own vintage Alfa Romeo sports car and a personalized road rally packet that included Italian music, a map, and instructions. After following the map for a morning of unique sightseeing, the final stop in the road rally adventure was a private wine tasting, followed by an exquisite six-course lunch in the middle of one of the region’s finest boutique vineyards.

Like all Cruise Dreams’ group trips, our dedicated travel team was with the group, seeing to all the details so the travelers could focus on the experience. Our team members aren’t local freelancers. They’re experts who get to know each group during the trip’s planning stages, which enables them to add custom wow moments along the way.

Giving back to children in Jamaica

Wow #3: Giving back on the go

While brainstorming team-building ideas, our financial services client wasn’t afraid to think outside-the-box. Before assuming that a group trip was out-of-scope, the team did a little exploring. And they discovered what we always tell our clients is true. Incentive travel – complete with wow moments – is possible at all budget levels.

In this case, we custom-designed a trip to Jamaica to meet the firm’s team building and corporate social responsibility goals. Along with plenty of time for relaxing in the sun and visiting the spa, the group spent an afternoon working together to assemble bicycles and deliver them to a local orphanage. We upped the WOW factor by adding wish list items like notepads and books to the group’s pre-trip packing list so they would have extra leave-behinds for the children. There was no contest. The satisfaction of seeing the kids’ faces when they saw the new bikes and books topped everyone’s favorite memory list.

Group dinner in the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Wow #4: Un joyeux anniversaire

Two hundred-year anniversaries don’t happen every day. The Board of Directors for a distinguished university wanted to create an unforgettable experience to commemorate its bicentennial milestone and started planning early. We delivered a custom, 6-night travel program to Paris.

The trip kicked off with a champagne welcome reception and a private guided tour of the city aboard vintage buses. But we saved the biggest wow for the final night, reserving the entire Alain Ducasse’s 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant for the group’s celebration gala. And for an extra surprise, we arranged a private memory-making trip up the lighted Eiffel Tower.

Ready for a wow moment of your own?

As you can see, companies of all sizes are building customized incentive travel programs into their strategies and seeing results in the form of employee motivation, loyalty, and productivity. (To learn more about how incentive trips are working for companies, click here to read the first blog post in this series, 3 Ways Every Business – Including Yours - Can Benefit from Incentive Travel.)

Cruise Dreams specializes in creating incentive travel programs that match our clients’ unique business objectives and fit their budget. And, of course, we always deliver the WOW factor.

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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