Travel incentive programs have come a long way in the past decade. After a lull caused largely by a struggling economy, incentive travel is seeing a resurgence. Businesses are recognizing the impact a good incentive travel program can have, and are doing their best to implement effective programs. Thanks to this renewed interest, it’s possible to track current trends in incentive travel. Many of these trends are due to the increasing prominence of Millennials in the workplace. Here are a few of the recent tendencies in incentive travel culture:


Many employees are no longer content with just another cookie-cutter travel experience. It is now common for people to seek more customization, personalization to the individual as well as the group. This trend is particularly common among Millennials, who have grown up in a world with more customization than ever before. Personalization helps employees feel valued as individuals, and rewards their unique contributions.


The disinterest in run-of-the-mill travel experiences also reveals a greater desire for novelty in incentive programs. Many employees are looking for a new experience, the opportunity to broaden their horizons. Millennials, in particular, prefer unique opportunities. Traditional destinations may not interest the new generation of workers, who want to experience something new and exciting.


There are also an increasing number of travelers looking for the chance to relax. While many travel incentive programs in the past filled the agenda with countless events and experiences, this may not always be best. If trip winners are constantly moving from one thing to another, will they be relaxing? Some people just want the chance to sit in the sun, or casually explore the destination at their own convenience. A trip cluttered with constant events and activities can end up being more stressful than restful.

Health and Wellness

Incentive travel planners must also take into account society’s increased interest in health and wellness. It is now common for incentive programs to feature activities and events that focus on holistic care. Employees want to see that their employers care about their overall well-being, so personalized workouts or even a 5K run can appeal to this demographic. They’ll also love unique meal options that prize health-consciousness.

Giving Back

In addition to this rise in health-consciousness is an increased interest in CSR—Corporate Social Responsibility. Many employees want to know that their company cares about their community, the environment, etc. This has led to what is being called ‘impact travel’: travel opportunities that allow participants to give back to the community. It’s one thing for an employee to know that their company cares about making the world a better place, but why not let employees participate in that process?


Travel incentive programs are a fantastic way to motivate employees while having a larger impact in social responsibility as well as bigger business objectives. The current trends in incentive travel bode well for trip winners, and for travel incentive programs in general.

For more information on how travel incentives can help your organization, contact Gavel International.

Jeff Richards