The Evolution of Incentive Travel
Six months into 2021, Fox is seeing the demand for incentive trips soar. Face to face conversations, reuniting with business acquaintances, awards given in front of peers, and traveling the world have been bouncing back. There are three major ways that incentive travel has transformed:
Making up for 2020
Companies are trying to make up the skipped year of travel in a number of ways -such as squeezing in a “make up” trip in the fourth quarter of 2021. “Hotel space is limited, but we’ve had success with Mexican all-inclusive resorts, and hotels in the key spots of Florida, Arizona, and California” says Karen Williams, Senior Travel Buyer – Meetings and Incentives.
Another way companies are making up for 2020 is by increasing the number of nights in upcoming 2022 and 2023 planning. Instead of a 3-night program based at a Florida location, some are enhancing the offering to a 5-night stay in the Caribbean or Mexico.
Enhancing the Program
What the host is including in the incentive trip is changing as well. Where many times a group welcome reception was the key highlight offered to attendees, there is a shift to using all-inclusive resorts where all meals and beverages are completely included. Not only is an all-inclusive a value for the host, but attendees also have the freedom to relax and gather wherever they choose without the hassle of signing for drinks and being at a particular venue. At all-inclusive resorts, adding welcome and farewell receptions or private dinners for a small fee is an excellent opportunity to enhance the experience. Many times, Fox is able to negotiate some of these receptions and dinners on a complimentary basis.
Incentive travel in 2021, 2022 and 2023 has seen a significant price hike. Not only are hotels and resorts charging more per night, but all contributing suppliers to the incentive experience have increased as well, such as airport transportation, food and beverage costs, sightseeing and decoration costs. Companies are increasing their incentive travel budgets to keep in line with a quality program for their attendees. Companies looking to stay at non-all-inclusive hotels may need to increase their budgets in order to pay for extras such as daily breakfast vouchers at the hotel restaurants, a city “sightseeing” pass, or a farewell dinner in a once-in-a-lifetime location with exclusive entertainment, just to name a few.
Incentive travel is more than simply booking a vacation for your much deserved leading associates; it’s complex and the landscape of current travel continues to evolve. Let Fox be your boots on the ground when planning your next incentive trip.
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