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The Incentive research foundation recently released their study on Incentive Travel Destination Preferences & their Impact on Motivation. According to the report, the outlook for the recovery of Incentive Travel looks promising as interest in incentive travel as a motivating sales reward has never been higher.

The study also indicates that the appeal of group incentive travel is especially strong among Sales Professionals represented in the study. The percentage of Sales Professionals who found group incentive to be “extremely” or “very motivating” rose from 81% in 2021 to 92% in 2022. While the data suggests that group incentive travel is a universally appealing option, there was even more of an interest in the appeal for individual travel options as 96% of the respondents found it to be “extremely” or “Very Motivating”, up 12% YoY.

Most Important qualities of an incentive Trip

One of the questions asked was to rate what the qualities respondents found most important when on an incentive travel trip. Respondents found that “Being given ample time to relax” was ranked as most important on the list, with 89% saying it was ‘extremely’ or ‘somewhat important, followed by “Being able to take someone else on the trip”, “having the trip offer luxury accommodations and experiences”, and “being provided spending money to cover out-of-pocket expenses.”

Both in 2021 & 2022 however the 3 most important aspects among respondents was being able to take someone on the trip, Being able to invite a spouse/significant other/friend along, going to an appealing destination as well as having additional expenses covered either by an all-inclusive package or by being given additional spending money.

Preferences for trip experiences

The top 3 ranked destination experiences for 2022 where Beach/sunshine experience, Adventure travel & Mountain Experience. Even though these top experiences ranked similar in 2021, there were multiple experiences that shifted significantly in 2022, for example visiting a wellness spa, which ranked near the bottom of preferred experiences in 2021, moved up to rank fourth overall. Cruising, which ranked last as a preferred experience in 2021, rose significantly in rankings in 2022. Visiting larger metropolitan areas also showed an increase when compared to 2021. These shifts are indicative of the easing of safety concerns among the general population and that people are becoming more comfortable with crowds.

Ideal Length of an Incentive Trip

When it came to the length of the incentive trip, the ideal length among 50% of the respondents was between 4-6 days’. Only 8% preferred a trip lasting 1-3 days. Cvent data showed that 23% of trips are currently planned for three days or less.

Destination Preferences

The top four preferred destinations were Hawaii, The Caribbean, Western United States and Western Europe. There was a strong preference for the Caribbean and western united states in 2022 than in 2021. Mexico, which ranked low in preference in the 2021 made the top 10 and was the ‘biggest riser” in 2022. The lowest preferred was Southeast Asia, which declined 24 net percent.

When asked to name their ‘ideal’ destination for an incentive trip, 25% of the respondents mentioned Hawaii top-of-mind while Western European destinations also received quite a bit of first mention, particularly France and Italy.


Overall, the research strongly suggests a growing return to normal in incentive travel activity. The destination remains one of the most important components of the motivational appeal of an incentive trip. The study also shows that aesthetic beauty and warm climate, being able to relax and unwind is identified as a high priority for almost 90% of the participants. “As long as there is sun, a luxury hotel, a beautiful beach, the chance to bring along a friend or spouse, and extra spending money to use on the trip, incentive travel experiences are sure to motivate performance for the foreseeable future.”

Uwin Iwin is a pan-African full-house incentive company that has studied the needs of companies in need of agency incentive solutions. We provide end-to-end performance incentive management solutions for companies who are looking to help their Employees and Sales Teams reach peak performance.

We look forward to the opportunity to form strategic partnerships with your company to get the right incentive travel solution for your team.

Reference – Incentive Research Foundation – Incentive Travel Destination Preferences & Their Impact on Motivation

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