Evolution of Incentive Travel: 4 Emerging Trends

Travel trends are similar to celebrities. Some make a big splash, then sharply decline in popularity, while others make a big splash but far outlive the lifespan of a trend.

This phenomenon happens in the incentive travel industry and other business markets, year after year. So, which of the four incentive travel trends here will be around next year, or the next? Using our experience in incentive travel, we take a look and offer some predictions.

  1. Experience-Based Travel

Technically speaking, all incentive travel is experience-based. You come away with a unique travel experience permanently etched in memory. However, trips that are literally described as “experienced-based” usually entail one or more activities you wouldn’t normally enjoy outside the context of the trip, such as riding rare horses in a pristine, mountainous location, or dining in an impeccably maintained German beer hall from the 15th Century.

One of the primary goals of incentive travel is to make trips memorable, so employees will be motivated to qualify for the reward. Experience-based travel can help stoke that motivation and should become more than a passing trend.

  1. Wellness Travel

The goal of wellness travel is to be healthier after you take the trip than you were before. Rather than focusing on recovery from medical conditions, wellness travel normally promotes a holistic approach to wellness, teaching travelers health strategies they can use everyday to improve and sustain quality of life. Nonetheless, plenty of fun and relaxation is to be had on the trips, as they usually revolve around spa and resort activities.

Wellness is currently a major incentive travel trend , one that rides on the coattails of the natural health remedy movement. If you live in a flourishing metropolis, almost any treatment you can receive during a wellness trip can probably be found just as easily near home.

Incentive travels should be highly unique, and wellness travels simply aren’t that unique. They may offer better scenery than the spa down the street, but physical surroundings are an aspect of incentive travel that doesn’t deal explicitly with wellness. The trend of wellness trips may end up being just that: a trend.

  1. Bespoke Travel

A bespoke jetplane is like a bespoke business suit: It appeals to the customer based on his or her unique preferences. For trips that involve air travel, bespoke private jets have become a popular way for successful companies to add another ripple of excitement to incentive travel trips.

Private jet flights have been a luxury ever since engineers could put one in the sky. As companies that have recovered from the Great Recession abandon recessionary spending habits, bespoke travel should become increasingly popular. It appears to be one of the incentive travel trends that will stick.

  1. All-Inclusive Luxury Lodging

Like bespoke travel, all-inclusive luxury lodging has been around for awhile, but travelers remain fond of it because what denotes luxury is continually changing across various contexts. This points to a trend that will evolve with incentive travel instead of getting left in the dust.

Here are some things an all-inclusive luxury lodging might include, just to name a few: a stay at a five-star hotel or a startup resort that offers the same level of luxurious lodging, shopping at premier boutiques within the hotel, dining at five-star restaurants within the hotel, and enjoying spa treatments in the hotel.

Even if travelers have enjoyed these things in the past, the luxuries have added attraction when part of an incentive travel trip: Travelers don’t shell out a dime, except for personal purchases — such as clothes and jewelry — that aren’t included in the travel budget.

Contact Incentive Travel Solutions

Do any of the incentive travel trends above sound appealing? If so, Incentive Travel Solutions can help you plan a trip that includes them. We can also plan and execute all other aspects of your trip, from booking travel and hotel arrangements, to planning unique activities at the destination, to sending travel staff with you to ensure all goes as planned. We’re not happy with your trip unless you are.

To start planning an incentive travel trip for your top performers, call us today at (704) 540-1482, or refer to our contact form. We look forward to helping you plan an unforgettable adventure that includes your favorite incentive travel trends!