In a continually shifting business landscape, in which startups and solopreneurs pop up beside multinational companies and millennial-powered enterprises with flat hierarchies, incentive travel is seeing a much anticipated renaissance. The vast majority of companies worldwide has now recognised the value incentive travel brings to both their productivity and their workplace environment and is now budgeting for it. Having worked as providers of incentive travel experiences for almost a decade, we enjoy somewhat of a privileged point of view, when it comes to new trends in the industry, and we have noticed one particular trend that is taking over the market and recording the highest levels of client satisfaction: we are talking about experience packages.
What are incentive travel experiences?
The trend started, as is often the case, in consumer travel, before expanding to the B2B side of the industry. Many travel operators, in an attempt to regain traction after being hit hard by the proliferation of online booking websites, started to offer more articulated and client-oriented services. It became apparent that travellers are not merely investing in the possibility of moving from one place to another, but in the creation of significant memories. Hence the focus of incentive travel experiences, that ensure those memories are truly positive, unique, rich and tailored to the client’s needs and personality. This concept translated easily into incentive travel, which was always about the intrinsic value of experience: most incentive programs now include experience packages that focus on making memories and providing real value for the modern business traveller.
Incentive travel experiences in Italy
You simply can’t beat the stunning beauty and diversity of Italy’s natural landscape, universally revered art and delicious food, for spectacular incentive travel experiences. The added value of such a diverse Country lies in the fact that you can tailor the travel experiences you create on the taste and inclinations of each individual employee, if you so choose, without having to book multiple destinations. Within the same trip, you can have memorable sporting experiences, wine tastings, visits to museums containing some of mankind’s most magnificent works of art, relaxing nature walks and pretty much anything else you might want from your ideal vacation. Italy is the perfect destination for your highest-achieving employees to recharge, relax and have fun. There are also plenty of beautiful facilities to choose from when it comes to accommodation. From luxury hotels to natural retreats, from adventure camps to quaint houses in historic city-centres and villages. What can you experience in one trip? Here are some of our favourite incentive travel experience packages.
Wine tasting: a sophisticated pleasure and an educational experience
Italian wines are renowned and loved by wine connoisseurs and wine enthusiasts all over the world. We have planned several incentive travel experiences involving wine tastings, often paired with local food tastings, always to the complete delight of our attendees. Our favourite regions for this kind of incentive travel package are Tuscany and Piedmont. Wine tastings combine a sophisticated pleasure, that can be enjoyed without any specific preparation and viewed simply as a reward for outstanding achievements, with cultural and even educational elements. The tasting can be introduced by a local expert, explaining how the different wines and foods being served are part of the local culture and history. Or it can be part of an educational experience, with a professional sommelier teaching the group how to taste and recognise different vintages and how to pair certain wines to specific foods.
Team building experiences
More often than not, our clients will request that we incorporate elements of team building into their incentive travel experiences. One of our favourite activities, in this respect, is our team me up package, which combines the pleasures of sightseeing with the excitement of a challenge. This is a high-tech team-building activity, in which our attendees use iPads and other smart devices to find their way through an Italian city, thus learning about its history, art, culture and landmarks. We always make sure there are plenty of stops along the way for photo ops, tasty breaks and cultural detours.
All-inclusive venue experiences
Not all of our clients want to experience a lot of different locations in one trip: some prefer to focus on one immersive experience. That is particularly true with complex events, that often include meetings or conferences, team-building sessions and elements of entertainment and relaxation for large groups. This is a scenario that can potentially make it complicated and even stressful to travel, even locally, and to seek out multiple experiences or visit multiple locations. That’s why we are focusing, for this particular type of client, on high-end resorts that offer luxury all-inclusive packages. These incentive travel experiences allow attendees to go from corporate meetings to spa-days, from team-building sessions to gourmet food tastings without leaving the resort, and are particularly appreciated by executives and employees looking for relaxation and peace of mind, as a welcome respite from a competitive work environment.