Group Travel is the Number One Motivating Tool

Motivational travel—including group travel, individual travel and family travel—may not be a household term to the average person, but its power has been well established in the business world for over a decade. The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) defines it as “…a powerful business tool for helping organizations achieve key business objectives.” At the root of it all, target audiences (employees, dealers and customers) are inspired to perform at a higher level or remain loyal in exchange for a travel incentive award.

Successful motivational travel programs will maximize Return on Investment (ROI) and Value on Investment (VOI) for the company and Return on Experience (ROE) for the participant.

ROI measurements are based on financial gains for the company. It can be measured by subtracting the expenses of the investment from measurable gains from the investment and dividing again by the overall cost.  Like any investment, the company expects to see a sizeable increase in revenues for a relatively small cost when implementing a motivational travel program. Investing dollars in travel programs will be a wise choice for a company if this decision results in large gains in incremental performance and loyalty by the employee, dealer or customer.

Since tangible returns are not always apparent, VOI is another measurement that considers return benefits associated with motivation travel programs. Although VOI is difficult to define, like ROI, it can be extremely valuable to a company. Improvements in relationships, communication, loyalty and innovation are all good examples of metrics used to define VOI.

ROE on the other hand is all about intangible benefits for the recipient of the travel award. The participant must determine that the experience they will earn is worth the additional effort that is required to qualify and compete for the ultimate prize. For the trip of a lifetime, participants often go to great lengths becoming very competitive amongst their colleagues. Delivering experiences that are memorable yet cost-effective is the challenge for the travel planner.

A recent study conducted by SITE and IMEX published in The Meetings Magazines in May 2014 surveyed participants from more than 16 countries and found that group travel leads the list of utilized motivation tools. The top motivators were listed in terms of the percentage of respondents who used them in their programs.

  1. Group Travel – 62%
  2. Recognition – 44%
  3. Training – 40%
  4. Individual Travel – 31%
  5. Family Travel – 22%

Other trends of note in the motivational travel industry:

  • Supplier relationships are crucial – 83% said that past experiences and relationships with suppliers strongly affected their provider selection.
  • Top management and purchasing departments are involved in buying decision – 59% said that one single person did not make incentive travel decisions but decision makers were typically in upper-management. Procurement departments influence 52% of buying decisions.
  • Price and lead time are key factors in decisions – 65% said price was the main reason for a bid being lost to a competitor and 48% thought that lead time affected submission quality.
  • Trade shows are great places to find service providers – 81% of providers and 79% of users said that they attend trade shows to find new suppliers or meet with existing ones.

The value of incentive travel awards has been proven time and time again. According to SITE 88.6% of those who earned travel rewards agree that it made them feel appreciated, 72.4% said their loyalty increased towards their employer, 77% of winners said incentive travel made them feel like a more integral part of the company and 53% said connecting with senior management was a positive and motivational experience.

If you are looking to implement a group travel program or examine other motivation tools for your company, please give us a call at 949.476.2788 or send me an email at

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin


JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

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