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Short haul incentives vs. Long haul incentives

Short haul incentives vs. Long haul incentives

Our World | On 17, Nov 2011

I think it was Mark Twain that said “…twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did”.

Incentive travel remains a huge motivator for staff in the UK, indeed in some industries it is seen as an integral part of the remuneration package. Why oh why therefore, should we even begin to consider cutting out such a crucial benefit as we live through times, when retaining our most valuable staff and customers is paramount to keeping our business alive? The unique beauty of using incentive travel as a reward mechanism is that it can be tailored to meet expectation and budget, and the difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.

The question should be more along the lines of whether the incentive should be “short or long haul”? All those previously ‘no go’ eastern European areas are not just touristically viable now but the infrastructure and investment is growing at a fast pace. Have you considered just how quick and easy it is to get there for a short tactical incentive?

Travel to the Czech Republic, Croatia, Poland and Estonia – not to mention Transylvania – sounds as if it should be hours away right? In fact all are between two to three hours flying time and as emerging destinations they inspire perhaps the less mature audience.

Many would say that the further you fly, say 12 hours plus, the more exciting the destination. The lure of Asia, the magic of Africa, the diversity of the US, the fun that the Caribbean represents, the mystique of the Indian Ocean, and who wouldn’t ‘break their balls’ to get to Australia? This is all stuff that dreams are made of – you want to hit those sales targets – what are you waiting for? A complete change of pace, culture, climate and lifestyle await those with the drive to hit target. Combine activity with interest and relaxation and you’ll be on to a winner – with a huge range of accommodation on offer to fit your budget and expectation levels.

Then there are the ‘happy medium’ flights – again always a surprise when you realise just how close Russia, Mumbai and the Middle East actually are.

So it’s not how long it takes to get to the destination, it’s what you want your guests to achieve before you get there and what you can do to surprise and delight them with the kind of creativity they couldn’t source themselves.

Know your audience. And if you don’t, then ask them.

Susan Sexton, Events Team