When it comes to planning incentive travel and team building experiences, location is paramount. The point of offering your colleagues and employees incentive travel is to reward top achievers by creating a unique experience, that stands out from day-to-day routine and that affects it in a positive way. When such a project is successful, its medium- and long-term effects can be measured in increased productivity and team cohesion. Choosing the ideal destination is the first decision you will have to make, in order for incentive travel to constitute a real treat, provide excitement and create motivation. We have been organising incentive travel for our clients for years and we are aware that no two companies share the exact same needs and that every project has its own specific requirements. Luckily, when it comes to possible destinations, Italy offers endless options: from breath-taking natural scenery to world-renowned art, from custom-made experiences for gourmets and wine-lovers to adventure trails, from snowy peaks to sandy beaches. Here are our top three choices for the coming season.
Lake Maggiore: Italy’s finest experience
Northern Italian lakes are extremely popular among european tourists. While mainstream tourism favours Lake Garda and Lake Como, there are other options that might prove ideal for professional travellers. In 2015 we teamed up with Italy’s Finest Experience in order to provide an international client with an unforgettable experience and we chose the nearby town of Stresa and Lake Maggiore for this purpose. This magnificent prealpine lake is Italy’s second largest (after Garda) and second deepest (after Como) and its shores touch two Italian regions and a Swiss Canton. If you are travelling to Italy over the summer, but do not fancy the stifling heat of the main cities or the overall vibe of a seaside holiday, this might prove the ideal option for you. We treated our guests to top-of-the range Italian hospitality, flying a group of 20 executives in a helicopter from the Swiss shore of the lake to the prestigious Hotel Des Iles Borromèe in Stresa. We then offered them a different perspective on the stunning beauty of the lake, by taking them on a cruise of its beautiful islands, which are famed for their gardens and villas. On another occasion, we chose Lake Maggiore for our cardboard-boat race in the context of a team-building project. Both the lake and the town enjoy relatively mild winters and cool summers and offer plenty of lovely sightseeing opportunities.
Scalve Valley: our own winter olympics
Most tourists visiting the Italian region of Lombardy will head straight for Milan or the aforementioned lakes. We, however, like to stray off the beaten path in order to provide our guests with unique travel experience that they would be unlikely to get from an off-the-shelf tourist package. The Scalve Valley, in the Lombard province of Bergamo, offers thrilling ski-slopes in winter and beautiful hiking trails in summer. We picked it for a winter team-building project for an international insurance company. Our client needed a whole set of challenging activities for over a hundred employees and we came up with the idea of an own-brand version of the Winter Olympics, to be set in the Scalve Valley. We did make use of the perfectly equipped ski facilities, but our “games” were not just about sport. We planned a wide range of engaging activities, including adventure trails (can you light up a fire in the snow?), tibetan-bridge building and an epic snowball fight.
Sardinia: incentive travel heaven
It is practically impossible to go wrong with Sardinia. This region is so unbelievably beautiful that simply every corner of it is worth visiting and exploring. However, having the right local connections will certainly help you select the path that best suits your needs and interests. Once again, we shirked the obvious choices and went for a more authentic experience, taking a large group of real estate workers to Porto Taverna, on the lovely island of Tavolara, where the proceedings were kicked off with a memorable party on the local beach. When it comes to team-building activities, Sardinia will leave you spoilt for choice. If you want to stay on firm land, you will be able to hike and explore the local woodland, in the region known as Barbagia, or to challenge your colleagues to a mountain-bike ride. If you’d rather be venturing onto (or under) the stunningly blue waters of the Sardinian Sea, the possibilities are endless. From canoeing to boat-racing, from scuba-diving to exploring the many superb caves that dot the shoreline. Many of these are partially submerged and can be reached by boat, such as Su Bentu e Sa Oche. Wether you decide to make your stay in Sardinia a sport-and-adventure oriented one or you’d rather be spending the best part of your days laying on a white beach with a cold drink in your hand, make sure you sample the local cuisine. In fact, we made even that into a team-building activity, by challenging our guests to cook and share a typical Sardinian recipe, with locally sourced ingredients.