Incentive Travel Trends

Genny Castleberry

Ring, Ring.  Hello Genny, Incentive Magazine calling.  Please share your insights on incentive travel trends in 2013.

Health of incentive travel industry

The incentive travel industry is definitely on the rebound. More companies are welcoming the discussion, even if they are not quite ready to sign off on a program.  Destination selection is widening again where clients are interested in international locations, while remaining sensitive to their budget.

Spear One displayed optimism by acquiring two industry veteran firms in 2013 — Sunbelt Motivation & Travel in January and Corporate Incentive Travel in July.

Incentive Trip Length

The trips now tend to be shorter than from a few years ago. Where a European program might have been 6-nights or more on the ground, we are now looking at 4+ nights – mainly due to the concerns of having a sales force out of their field for the least amount of time possible.

Incentive Group Size

Group sizes tend to remain constant or a bit smaller.  We have not seen a large increase in program attendance yet, mainly due to budget constraints.

Incentive Activities

Incentive Travel Spa Experience

Spa is increasing in popularity as an incentive trip activity.

Spa seems to be more popular than golf with our clients.  Beach and water sport activities are still popular–be it catamaran sailings, regattas or team building activities with a CSR (corporate social responsibility) component.  Clients are always looking for that something unique that will make their program even better than the last one.  Program demographics tend to dictate the interest and we see attendees enjoying more leisure time during an incentive program rather than group activities. Value and creativity are the most important factors.

Individual Incentive Trips

Individual travel awards are still popular for clients but are not used to replace group incentive travel.  We have had clients recently inquiring about those types of awards in addition to their annual sales incentive program.  It remains popular for certain employee engagement campaigns and Spear One has the know-how to manage those unique, once in a lifetime trip experiences.

FOOTNOTE – Genny was really interviewed by Incentive Magazine on Top Incentive Travel Destination of 2013.  See article at:

Genny Castleberry

Author Genny Castleberry

Director of Sourcing | Expertise in acute attention to my client's details, providing them with the very best experience.

More posts by Genny Castleberry

Leave a Reply