When planning incentives and rewards for employees, it is essential to find a workable balance between budget limitations and the desire to motivate your team. On one hand it would be counterproductive to splurge on one individual incentive, as it would make it impossible to offer more, but on the other there is little sense in offering low-value incentives. Value for money is, therefore, absolutely essential when buying incentive travel. When evaluating different options, you will need to factor in several aspects of incentive travel, such as distance, accommodation and transport, as well as the perks and drawbacks of each specific destination. What you need is not a cheap solution, but a great deal. Wherever you decide to book your incentive travel, however, it is essential that you rely on professionals with proven local connections and knowledge of the territory, in order to avoid the perils of untruthful advertising and not have your best employees stranded on a stormy beach in the wrong season, with nothing much to do and only a dingy hostel room to go back to at the end of the day. Italy offers several beautiful destinations, which will provide a unique experience while not eating up your whole budget for the year.
Florence is beautiful, we can all agree on that. It also happens to be one of the most expensive cities in Europe. Finding a cheap accommodation in Florence should make you suspicious: the service they provide or the facility itself might be far from the standards you are hoping for, or the hotel might be in a less-than-charming neighbourhood, far away from the city centre. Tuscany, however, is not composed exclusively of Florence or Pisa. The region’s vast countryside offers several options for affordable luxury accommodation with stunning surroundings. It all comes down to how you plan your trip: if you pick a country residence, rather than a city hotel, your team will probably not be able to walk to Piazza della Signoria right after breakfast, but they will get to wake up in the heavenly quiet of a Tuscan Valley, visit vineyards sampling local wines and still be only a short drive away from some of the most beautiful works of art in human history.
It is an unwritten rule of Italian tourism that we expect people to travel to Rome for love and to Milan for duty. While the business capital of Italy certainly has much to offer to business travellers, there are plenty of amazing leisure destinations in the region that will fit perfectly into your incentive travel scheme. If you are planning a winter break for your team, you should consider a skiing holiday in Valtellina, with excursions to the Stelvio National Park. Or you could opt for the beautiful lake district, alternating sports (like sailing and windsurfing) with relaxing spa days and wine tastings. Depending on the season, you will be able to book different activities for your team, such as adventure trails, hiking, mountain biking and quad racing.
Umbria is a beautiful region that many neglect to visit, as they are naturally drawn to more popular destinations such as Lazio and Tuscany. Here you will find all the perks of Tuscany with none of the drawbacks. Magnificent architecture, history and art, as well as stunning natural beauty and delicious food: all of this will be readily available to you with cheaper accommodation than you will ever find in Tuscany. There’s plenty to see in every season: from musical festivals in summer to local products tastings in autumn and winter. Make sure you plan your incentive travel scheme to include both cultural visits to the local cities and hiking trails in the hills: the complex and sophisticated beauty of this region requires both to be fully understood.
While Apulia might not be a cheap holiday destination over the summer, if you avoid high season you will get outstanding value for your money. The temperate climate, with summer usually lasting well into October, makes Apulia a perfect incentive travel destination in every season. Whether you decide to drive down to the coast of Salento or explore the ancient and fascinating Valle D’Itria, you are in for a memorable journey through ancient cultures, breath-takingly beautiful baroque architecture and the best food you have ever eaten.
Like most Italian regions, Piedmont is often reduced to its regional capital. While Turin is a beautiful city, whose culture, architecture and history draw hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, the rest of the region has a lot more to offer. Wine lovers will certainly enjoy a trip to the Langhe sub-region, where some of the most prized Italian wines are made. Treat your team to a tasting of Barolo or Barbaresco, then visit Alba to sample its famous truffles. If you visit in winter, head straight for the Maritime Alps for a skiing and snowboarding holiday or, set out to explore the beautiful medieval castles of this region, most of which boast at least one resident ghost and will compete for the title of “most haunted castle in Italy”.