Destination Machinations

By Malcolm Fleschner

What’s the best method for choosing the perfect sales incentive travel destination?

A. Throw a dart at a map of the globe and let fate decide.
B. Ask your travel agent if there are any abandoned leper colonies or Superfund sites with cheap rates.
C. Just go wherever you went last year.
D. None of the above.

Clearly the correct answer is D, none of the above. For genuine tips on making the right destination selection for your team follow these guidelines from the Sales Marketing Network.

1. Select the right mix.
What mix of business and pleasure are you looking for from your program? Your destination choice should offer resources and attractions that meet these criteria.

2. Think globally.
Don’t assume that an international destination will be out of your price range. Many overseas packages have competitively priced rates. Contact the tourist board of the country you’re considering and see what they have to offer.

3. Match expectations.
If the group you’re trying to motivate consists of frequent globetrotters, your incentive trip will have to be more unusual and exotic. If your salespeople are more the homebody types, then consider keeping things traditional and local.

4. Ask for assistance.
The people helping you at the destination site should have plenty of experience catering to incentive travel groups. Ask the tourist board or customer service people on the other end if they maintain a specialist in incentive programs.

5. Make closer better.
If you’re keeping it a little closer to home don’t worry. Nearby locations can still be exciting and motivational provided you use a creative ground operator or destination management company that can spice up even the most familiar of spots.

6. Watch the other guys.
Keep tabs on what your competitors are doing. Many incentive travel companies operate the same packages for a variety of groups. Make sure you’re providing your people with something special, different and unique to your organization.