A file image of a woman travelling to Barcelona for work.
JOHANNESBURG - There has never been a more critical time for companies to attract, retain and keep young employees happy in the workplace. According to a Forbes report, millennials will make up the largest segment of the global workforce by 2025. Incentive travel is extremely valuable to help hold onto the millennial worker, as well as the up-and-coming Generation Z employee (18 to 24-year-olds), which represents the future of every business.
Despite the current economic crunch and news that South Africa’s GDP has dropped 3,2% (the largest decline since the financial crises a decade ago) incentive travel across South Africa is booming.
This type of travel is already regarded as one of the fastest-growing MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) travel segments, according to Peter-John Mitrovich, President for SITE Southern Africa, who presented at the 2019 World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town.
However, not any cookie-cutter incentive trip will leave a lasting impression on young employees, the experts warn. We know that the traveller of today wants more than a fly, stay and flop holiday. I would argue that, for rand-strapped and time-poor businesses, tailored guided holidays are the perfect incentive trip.
This #YouthMonth, consider these four dominant incentive travel trends to reap the rewards:
Tailor-made trips that include authentic, personalised experiences are the perfect incentive trip as it won’t matter whether the traveller is going solo or with a partner, friend or group.
Corporate Duty of Care is the number one priority for travel bookers, and guided travel (with a respected and reputable company, of course) ticks the box for safety and security concerns.
A range of immersive experiences is already included in the itinerary, with the option to personalise the trip with add-on extras. While one person’s idea of a fantastic experience might be skydiving in Switzerland, another’s could be feasting on fresh seafood in a traditional market in Venice. Having a set itinerary to choose from, with options for personalisation, is incredibly useful.
Forget the image of the coach tours of old, too. Today’s guided holidays are hugely focused on providing authentic and unique experiences that travellers wouldn't get if travelling on their own.
Think culinary tours that include dining with locals, diving into culture, and learning about a destination’s heritage, including accommodation that tells the story of the area and its people will impress even the savviest traveller.
Off-the-beaten-track holidays inspire Instagram-savvy travellers to work towards a trip that they couldn’t possibly put together on their own.
Think out of the box when choosing a destination, from hiking in Nepal to exploring the Galapagos.
Russia is another excellent pick for South Africans, as it is relatively rand-friendly.
Lending a helping hand to sustainable travel
Sustainable travel that gives travellers a chance to volunteer or make a positive impact on the destination is another priority.
Consider itineraries that include time interacting with and supporting locals. That could mean joining an experience guided by a local, visiting an arts and crafts market, volunteering at an orphanage or school, saying no to single-use plastics or cleaning up a local beach.
Find health and wellness in nature
Wellness travel is the fastest growing travel sector in the world, and numerous studies are proving how time spent in nature benefits wellness and positive mental health. No one knows this better than your millennial employee.
Eco-friendly destinations are the perfect antidote and motivator for tired staff. Peru, Norway, Iceland, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Jordan and Kenya, among others, have amazing natural wonders that make re-connecting and recharging easy.
Benefits for you
Incentive travel also represents opportunities for every company. Employees are motivated and encouraged to stay on, it can attract bright talent, and the company saves time and money by booking the type of incentive travel that benefits everyone. Guided holidays include all the essentials, so travel bookers don’t have to fuss with crafting itineraries, and custom groups and discounts are also possible.
With any of The Travel Corporation brands, such as Trafalgar and Costsaver, bookings for nine guests or more on any scheduled departure itinerary is classified as a group booking and qualifies for a discount. The higher the number of guests, the higher the saving.
Custom groups (from 10 to 20 people) with itineraries wholly tailored to the interests of the group can also be created. For a group of employees, travel creates a bond like no other. These trendy incentive experiences will breathe a fresh wave of energy and productivity into your business, long after your star employee