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Top 10 incentive travel destinations

Incentive travel schemes are quickly becoming a preferred way for companies to reward and retain high-performing staff and customers. Unique experiences are rapidly replacing cash bonuses due to their ability to provide a tangible ‘end goal’ and a memorable occasion that has been shared with colleagues; enhancing the workplace environment and driving desired behaviours.

Having implemented and delivered successful incentive travel schemes all over the world, we’ve chosen our Top 10 Incentive Travel Destinations to give you an idea for an incentive event bound to impress and motivate staff and customers.

Before looking at our top 10 picks, you may want to read about what incentive travel schemes involve and why they’re becoming so beneficial for companies looking for positive growth and engagement results.

Top 10 destinations for impressive incentive events

1. Sicily

The stunning combination of a laid-back paradise and a bewildering old-town makes Sicily a sought-after incentive travel destination. Home to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mount Etna, and an ancient theatre built in the third century BC, Sicily is a destination with a rich culture and enticing history that can be explored through Taormina’s ancient architecture and old town.

2. Reykjavik

Iceland’s magical capital city, Reykjavik, is a marvellous destination perfect for an incentive event. From the awe-inspiring Golden Circle, to the enigmatic geothermal Blue Lagoon, this unique destination will provide a trip with a difference, taking visitors off the beaten path to explore an incredible location.

3. Vietnam

Now known as Ho Chi Minh City, the ancient Southeast Asian city of Saigon is one of the most visited cities in Vietnam. The rich culture and enticing history of the country make it a sought-after destination for many, with highlights including the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, Ben Thanh Market, and the capital's Notre Dame Basilica.

Our event managers have featured Vietnam in their Incentive Inspiration list, with a more detailed look at a perfect itinerary with budget. Activities could include a Mekong Delta speedboat experience, underground tunnel explorations, rooftop dinners and more.

4. Florence

There’s no doubt that Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, or even the world. This can certainly be credited to its incredible cities, including the birthplace of the Renaissance – better known as Florence. Home to mind-blowing architecture, sculptural masterpieces and just a short drive away from Italy’s picturesque Chianti region – Florence is foolproof destination for those wanting a city break along with plenty of exciting cultural excursions.

The First Event team took a client’s delegates to Florence as an incentive destination perfect for making the most of a 4-night break. With the short-haul more of the budget could be put into creating an outstanding programme that helped key performers increase their sales outputs. Check out the Florence experience for their delegates in our case study:

Read our Florence event case study.

5. New York

What would a destination list be without the arguable ‘capital of the world?’ New York is a popular incentive destination, and we can certainly understand why. The unmissable tourist attractions including Rockefeller Centre, Statue of Liberty, and Central Park contribute towards an exciting itinerary; thousands of restaurants and cuisines leave visitors well and truly spoiled for choice, all whilst getting caught up in the enigmatic and vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Our Account Manager Kate, went to discover what New York has to offer for an incentive and also came back with some more unique options for rewarding staff and customers:

“The surrounding areas of the city centre have their own quirks and culture to offer to visitors too. Brooklyn and queens are boroughs of New York city that are situated just outside of Manhattan – the central borough of the city. Lesser-known, yet equally as impressive sights such as Brooklyn Bridge, coney island, and 5 pointz, are endearing points of interest that provide exclusive and alternative ways of seeing the city.”

Read Kate’s overview of New York’s impressive corporate event offerings to get the full details of how the famous city could work for your incentives.

6. Liverpool

Since being named the European Capital of Culture ten years ago, Liverpool has undergone huge developments, and the city is now recognised as one of the most visited in the UK. The city has a rich cultural history and was the birthplace of world famous artists – The Beatles. Liverpool’s waterfront is a definite highlight of the destination, and is home to Europe’s only interconnected conference and exhibition centre – the ACC. The ACC Liverpool can be configured to meet any event requirements, which makes it ideal for combined conference, meeting and incentive events with overnight stays.

7. Cape Town

Sitting at the bottom of the continent beneath the spectacular Table Mountain, Cape Town has long been a ‘bucket list’ destination for many. Lush wineries, awe-inspiring sunsets and a well-known harbour are just a few highlights of this fantastic location, and make for a once-in-a-lifetime experience – perfect for an incentive reward.

8. Dubai

The fascinating ‘man-made’ features of Dubai, such as the The World Islands archipelago (a collection of artificial islands shaped into continents of the world), make it one of the most unique destinations in the world - and perfect for an incentive event. The city’s adoption of utmost luxury, whilst being under an hour’s drive to the Al Qudra Desert, means that visitors can enjoy both urban and suburban aspects of the Middle-East’s most developed destination.

We’ve put together some resources below that can help you to plan a stand-out Dubai incentive event for your event objectives. But if you need bespoke advice on how a destination like this could work for your incentive goals, you can schedule a free consultation where we can provide you with venue and itinerary options ideal for your group size and budget.

9. California

Home to the stars of Hollywood and some of the most affluent neighbourhoods in the USA, California is an American state on the West Coast offering dazzling city living in an incredible coastal destination.

Luxurious oceanfront hotels provide visitors with direct access to miles of beautiful beach, along with inner-city accommodation that provide relaxation in the midst of an exciting metropolis.

For tips on when to organise your California trip, Visit California provide an article on Weather & Timing Your Visit on their website.

10. Vilamoura

Potentially a lesser-known (yet just as exciting) incentive destination, Vilamoura in The Algarve is a beautiful coastal destination with miles of white sand beaches, opulent oceanfront hotels, and a stunning marina – one of the destination’s highlights. Vilamoura is also home to a wide range of impressive golf courses, offering a sporting option to those who want to practice their swing.

Want more incentive travel inspiration? Get in touch to discuss your bespoke incentive plans today.