What happened to incentive travel in the last year?
Is this industry dead?
The worldwide pandemic has been the biggest impulse in the history for events going virtually. Nevertheless, the incentive travel, the “I” from “MICE” is the most difficult part, not to say impossible, to take to the virtual side.
Incentive travel can be divided into incentive, recognition, and loyalty programs that companies use as a motivational tool and incentive trips or awards that company use as a prize.
Useless to say that no incentive, recognition or award can be virtual, as all these concepts imply a different type of value and include a sentimental reward.
So, what happened to incentive business in the last year?
Most of the companies had to cancel or postpone their schedule events due to the sanitary and travel restrictions. Not much is being said about this side of the MICE industry in the press or online media and due to the economic impact COVID-19 has on the global economy, it feels almost crazy to keep talking about the incentive budgets of the companies.
Then, is the incentive travel dead?
Not even close! If you remember the Sleeping Beauty tale, this is more or less the same. This industry preparing for a glorious return.
In spite of the fact that many are suffering the economic crisis at the moment, there are companies and industries that have been prospering during the pandemic, like the IT companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc.
Experts point out that there is a very strong tendency towards maintaining the budgets for incentive travel within the companies, as it is more important than ever to boost morale and motivate their teams, strengthen business partnerships and increase loyalty towards their brands.
Many countries have a very strong culture of incentives within their companies and the employees and business partners value very much these practices. Especially after the lockdown and all the restrictions, people long for experiences, wanting to travel to new places, have new experiences, see new people and meet again.
All the above reasons indicate that the incentive travel will come back and wake up exactly as The Sleeping Beauty, growing even more in value and expectations in terms of experiences and WOW factors.
As we speak, employees and business partners in many countries are investigating and dreaming of new destinations for their next incentive travel.
And how are the destinations and suppliers preparing in the meantime?
Many projects are being done now worldwide, making destinations even more attractive, as the competition will be even harder on the return.
Make no mistake, the incentive travel will be a blast once we go back to travelling safe!