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Why Incentive Travel Makes Sense for Generations to Come

Couple riding on a scooter

Here’s a secret. Travel is personal. Each person comes away from a dream trip with memories shaped by their point of view, expectations, and experiences.

You might think that makes planning group incentive travel difficult. But it’s actually the opposite. Designing an incentive trip that appeals to each person in a group is half the fun. The other half is getting to watch the reactions when we deliver the “WOW” factor as they make memories to last a lifetime.

Incentive travel programs generate strong returns for companies – including increased productivity, sales, and loyalty. (We talked all about why incentive travel works for business in the first post in this series. Check out 3 Ways Every Business – Including Yours - Can Benefit from Incentive Travel by clicking here.

There’s another reason incentive travel makes good business sense. Younger generations – Millennials and Gen Z – place high value on experiences. Companies with a strategic approach to incentive travel will be poised to reap the return in the form of motivated, inspired employees and customers in the years ahead.

As the younger generations represent more of your workforce and customer base, here’s exactly what you need to know to optimize incentive travel for your business.

Kayacking while on vacation

Experience wins

Millennials, defined as people born between 1981 and 1996, prioritize experiences. A Millennial is likely to choose a travel experience over saving up for a down-payment on a house. They’re just as likely to factor in the flexibility to travel when they’re deciding whether to take a new job. And it can sometimes carry more weight than the job’s salary.

Gen Z, the up and coming generation behind Millennials, is also driven by experiences. And, though this generation is still relatively young with birthdates from 1997 through 2012, Gen Z-ers also show a preference for making memories over lots of money.

Traditional employee perks like bonuses and benefits are valued, but the opportunity for new experiences is what really motivates these younger employees. A travel incentive program that rewards good work and delivers outside-of-the-box experiences can be a valuable differentiator for employers competing to recruit and retain Millennial and Gen Z employees.

Exotic travel destinations to thailand

The appeal of the unexpected

Another thing the younger generations appreciate is travel that’s not cookie-cutter. They seek authentic local experiences by diving into the culture, the cuisine, and off-the-beaten-path adventures. At Cruise Dreams, we custom design each incentive trip to build in wow moments that fit the group. From private dinners at a delicious restaurant only the locals know about, to sightseeing that goes beyond the main tourist attractions, it’s our mission to deliver incentive trip memories that inspire and motivate employee or customer groups long after they return home.

Different generations define relaxation differently, too. Gen X and Baby Boomers tend to prefer to unwind with plenty of spa time or wellness activities. For Millennials and Gen Z, they also look to add a little action within their relaxation time. The more options for biking, hiking, and paddleboarding, the better. We plan group trips that offer choices to fit the full range of generations, so everyone is able to make the memories they want.

Giving back on the go

While not unique to the younger generations, travel with a corporate social responsibility element is growing in popularity. Giving back while traveling can be a rewarding element within an incentive trip. We plan all types of unique activities for our travel groups, including reading to children at local orphanages or volunteering at a local soup kitchen. Not only are these types of activities perfect for team building, but they’re also one-of-a-kind, immersive ways to experience different parts of the world.

Incentive trips that work for all ages

Whether the objective is recognizing top customers, celebrating a company milestone, or motivating employees, incentive travel programs are growing in appeal among Millennials and Gen Z. Across generations, the Cruise Dreams team combines our experience with creativity to design custom incentive travel – on land or sea. We specialize in creating incentive trips with a WOW factor to fit any budget. And, for added flexibility or smaller companies where it may not be practical for a group to take off work all at once, we offer a turnkey option of individual preferred rewards certificates. These cruise certificates enable each recipient to tailor their travel experience by choosing the destination and timing.

Ready to explore an incentive travel program for your business?

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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