Now that the Covid-19 global pandemic has started to be under control, the outlook on corporate travel in 2022 is extremely positive. CDC predicts that the number of newly reported COVID-19 deaths will likely decrease over the next 4 weeks. Demand for travel is at an all time high in the consumer market as many are weary of working from home. Rental car supplies are at an all time low in comparison to demand. Both cruises and airline prices are starting to pick up momentum. Offices are starting to open up across the nation. And companies are starting to evaluate their 2022 corporate travel budgets.
Now is the time to start thinking about how to excite your employees for success as things get back to normal. The ultimate reward for your highest performers is incentive travel, whether you want to motivate and reward your employees, or keep your product front of mind for your sales teams. Rewarding top performers and motivating staff are key tactics for ensuring company success, and it turns out leveraging incentive trips as part of your wider incentive program may be the key. Nearly 40% of U.S. businesses now use incentive travel to reward and recognize their top performing employees, salespeople, and channel partners, according to the Incentive Research Foundation.
With more businesses offering incentive trips as a reward; And consumers experiencing more on their own and sharing their experiences on social media you might be asking yourself, “how do I make this incentive trip unique enough to be memorable and motivating for years to come?” To answer your question, here are some unique incentive trip destinations we have compiled for the top 7 in 2022 as the most appealing reward destinations.
1 - Galapagos Islands, Archipelago in Ecuador
Businesses and corporations understand very well that to lead the pack against your competitors and to have long lasting success you must continuously adapt to a harsh and very competitive environments. There's no other place in the world that reminds us of these survival facts better than Darwin's Galápagos Islands.
Companies offering incentive travel to the Galapagos Islands are providing truly a once-in-a-lifetime getaway, not to mention an unforgettable encounter with animals not found anywhere else in the world. The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the highest levels of endemic (species found nowhere else on earth) anywhere on the planet. About 80% of the land birds you will see, 97% of the reptiles and land mammals, and more than 30% of the plants are endemic. More than 20% of the marine species in Galapagos are found nowhere else on earth. This makes the Galapagos Islands destination a top bucket list adventure. Travel in luxury on Celebrity Flora, a 100 passenger all-suite mega-yacht.
2 - Machu Picchu, Peru
Found at the top of most people’s list of bucket-list destinations, Machu Picchu may have an unfortunate limit on its availability to the public in the near future. This makes it more important to visit this Incan citadel now more than ever. Machu Picchu set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machu Picchu District, above the Sacred Valley. Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views. Its exact former use remains a mystery.
In addition to Machu Picchu, the Cusco region has its own charms that deserve its fair share of the spotlight. The Plaza de Armas and the Cusco Cathedral, which towers above it, are their own UNESCO Heritage sites. In addition, the lively San Pedro Market allows travelers an opportunity to experience authentic Peruvian cuisine firsthand. The Belmond Hotel Monasterio, Palacio Nazarenas, and JW Marriott’s Palacio del Inka are all excellent hotel accommodations for your Cusco bound incentive group.
3 - Greece
Greece is a place of culture, the arts and sciences. Its tradition of contribution to global cultural and scientific communities, combined with its outstanding natural beauty and excellent infrastructure, has made it an ideal place for incentive travel. Inspire and motivate your team with a trip to Greece, making it an experience of a lifetime. Great incentive travel programs not only reward success, but also, provide unique experiences that build a team’s interaction, loyalty and performance.
Greece offers a huge variety of destinations and activity options. Activities range from unique cultural experiences in Athens and Santorini, visiting The Acropolis and Olympic stadium, exploring the island of Hydra to see the stone mansions and roads only accessible by foot or donkey, private evenings at Laas Estate to experience a traditional Greek village recreation complete with catering that highlights locally-sourced food and products, to a fun-filled travel experience in glamorous Mykonos and Paros, or a cruise to the Aegean islands. Greece with 300 days of sunshine, golden beaches, picturesque islands, exquisite Mediterranean gastronomy, and deep-rooted Grecian traditions, any visitor will depart with memories of a lifetime.
4 - Egypt
Egypt is the world's oldest civilization with more than 4000 years of history. Egypt is also one of the oldest vacation spots. Early Greeks, Romans and others went there just for fun, and to see the wonders of some of the mankind's earliest triumphs. According to Oxford Economics, travel incentives yield a return to the company of more than four dollars to each dollar spent. Studies have also shown that incentive travel increases satisfaction rates among employees and motivates them to finish tasks and projects in efficient and passionate manners. But where to take employees still remains to be the question. Egypt offers a great value for money spent and experience in one of the oldest civilizations.
Egypt, a country linking northeast Africa with the Middle East, dates to the time of the pharaohs. Millennia-old monuments sit along the fertile Nile River Valley, including Giza's colossal Pyramids and Great Sphinx as well as Luxor's hieroglyph-lined Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs. The capital, Cairo, is home to Ottoman landmarks like Muhammad Ali Mosque and the Egyptian Museum, street markets, and a trove of antiquities.
5 - New Zealand
Companies seeking a change of pace from sun and sand beach trips should consider an incentive trip to New Zealand. It’s English speaking, friendly folks, tasty food, stunning natural scenery, Lord of the Rings scenes everywhere you turn, and outstanding values with a strong US dollar.
New Zealand is the ultimate incentive travel destination, with world-class travel and accommodation infrastructure, unique natural attractions and activities, fine wines and cuisine, spas, shopping and nightlife. New Zealand constantly rates as one of the world’s most desirable destinations for business travel and pleasure. New Zealand is an incentive traveler’s destination, with world class travel and accommodation infrastructure, that includes as much luxury as any incentive traveler could ever want. This is coupled with unique natural attractions and activities that make New Zealand a talking point around the globe.
6 - South Africa
When group incentive travelers are removed from their daily work environment to exotic or unusual destinations, a great opportunity arises for breaking down barriers and building relationships, especially when senior staff take part. With favorable exchange rate for travelers, now is the time for enterprises to treat their top performing employees to a South African exotic experience. So whether colleagues are viewing game on a guided safari bush walk or horseback riding through the Cape Winelands, a sense of team spirit is bound to emerge because of the shared experiences.
South Africa has everything going for it when it comes to incentive travel. Apart from the incredible luxury safaris available to travelers, the country is filled with bucket list experiences from coast to coast. A trip to this aw-inspiring destination will only lead to many stories and excitement being carried back to the workplace with the incentive participants; creating motivation for other employees to take part in future group incentive travel.
7 - Dubai, UAE
Sunrise breakfast in the desert, relaxation at Jumeirah Beach, or an Arabic calligraphy course; from relaxation to education to immersive cultural experiences, Dubai is consider the next hotspot for incentive travel. Incentive travel programs always need to stay fresh. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope when it comes to creating memorable experiences for your top performers. According to Michael D. Gehrisch, president and chief executive officer, Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), “One sure way to build employee loyalty is to expose your team to a place they might not consider touring on their own”.
There has been a growing interest in exotic locations among companies looking to offer their employees unique, trendsetting experiences. And a great example is Dubai, with its towering skyscrapers and sweeping sand dunes. Once a small fishing village, Dubai has emerged as a truly cosmopolitan city. It boasts the world’s largest shopping malls, indoor slopes for skiing, the world’s tallest tower, breathtaking beaches, and is one of the few major cities where you can ride camels across towering sand dunes.
An exotic destination with a cosmopolitan lifestyle, Dubai is drawing business and leisure travelers from around the globe. Dubai is welcoming international visitors with sights and experiences found nowhere else in the world. As a cosmopolitan city the range of food covers the globe, food ranging from Arabic to Asian, French to Italian, and everything in between. And navigating the city should bring peace of mind as both Interpol and Trip Advisor have ranked Dubai as one of the safest cities in the world.