This past spring, we asked 114 participants from one of our most successful incentive travel programs about where they would like to go next. These B2B customers are serious about their incentive travel. Demand was so high for this particular wholesale distributor’s incentive travel promotions that we had to add two more trips for this program in 2019 alone.
The responses to this survey were open-ended so that we could get an unbiased view of the top incentive travel destinations for 2019, according to actual program participants. All of these results were top-of-mind. We made no effort to influence or limit their selections. However, it is worth noting: These participants had just gotten back from a trip to the Bahamas, so their mind was very much on Caribbean destinations!
Top Incentive Travel Destinations 2019: Caribbean
This Caribbean island, just north of Venezuela, is known for its dry desert landscape and pristine white beaches. Its western and southern coasts, shielded from ocean currents, are calm – the perfect place to relax or take a swim in its crystalline beaches! Incentive travelers enjoy Eagle and Palm Beach, the quaint capital city of Oranjestad with its striking Dutch colonial architecture, and hiking among the cacti and giant boulders of Arikok National Park.
Aruba was a tremendously popular choice in our incentive travel survey, accounting for 15.8% of all responses.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana, where the Atlantic meets the Carribean, is an oceanside city on the easternmost side of the Dominican Republic. Hot and sunny, incentive travelers enjoy respite from the heat in the shallow, clear blue waters of the shallow beaches that surround the city. Bavaro Beach is particularly popular. Punta Cana has a booming tourism industry, with beautiful all-inclusive resorts, great shopping, plenty of golf, and no shortage of things to do. Of course, don’t let all that beautiful water go to waste! Incentive travel participants enjoy sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, and windsurfing.
Punta Cana was mentioned by 6.1% of our survey respondents, coming in tied for second place in our top incentive travel destinations for 2019.
Turks and Caicos Islands
Tied for second place, these two groups of islands form an archipelago east of Cuba and north of Hispaniola. With the third largest coral in the reef in the world, Turks and Caicos present travelers with an underwater paradise to explore. In addition to snorkeling and scuba diving, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the cerulean waters, with kiteboarding, parasailing, windsurfing, surfing, and fishing. Or you can soak up the sun on award-winning Grace Bay Beach. With a fairly recent tourism industry, Turks and Caicos lacks the crowds of other popular tropical destinations. However, that privacy comes with a price, making Turks and Caicos a more exclusive incentive travel destination.
Like Punta Canta, 6.1% of respondents named Turks and Caicos as their top incentive travel destination in our Top Incentive Travel Destinations 2019 Participant Survey.
For a more affordable incentive trip with a livelier nightlife, it’s hard to go wrong with Cancún. Located on the northeast coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Cancún has myriad poolside resorts and long stretches of vibrant Caribbean beaches. For a change of pace, incentive travelers can take a day trip to explore the Mayan ruins, including the famous Chichen Itza.
About 4.4% of the participants we surveyed named Cancún their incentive travel destination of choice.
Rounding out the Top Incentive Travel Destinations 2019: Participant Survey, 3.5% of participants voted on Bermuda for their next incentive travel trip. Forming a corner of the famed Bermuda Triangle, Bermuda is known for its pink sand beaches, vibrant history, and extensive limestone caverns.
One of the nice things about Bermuda is that the U.S. dollar is interchangeable with the local currency, so there’s no need to worry about currency exchange!
Bonus Answer: Anywhere Warm!
Part of the fun of open-ended surveys is that you never know what to expect! For the top incentive travel destinations of 2019, over 5% of participants answered: “Anywhere warmer than where I’m from.” And this survey was taken in late March, fresh off a trip to Nassau, Bahamas.
Being from Georgia, this is something we take for granted. But parts of the country have brutal winters. If a large percentage of your participants live up north, an incentive travel promotion to a more tropical locale is a good idea, especially during the fall, winter, and early spring months. Basing your incentive travel destination on what participants want is the ticket to a successful promotion.
Other popular responses for international incentive travel destinations were Barbados, Belize, Puerto Rico, or a repeat trip to the Bahamas.
Analyzing Your Audience
When planning an incentive travel trip, it’s important to take your target audience into account. While all of the destinations mentioned in the Top Incentive Travel Destinations 2019: Participant Survey are wonderful, participants in industries other than the B2B wholesale market may have a different set of preferences. For instance, top independent insurance agents probably get offers for incentive trips to locations like Cancún all the time, so you would probably want to up the ante and offer trips to exclusive destinations locations they may have never been before.
Also, as we mentioned earlier, all of the participants we surveyed had just gotten back from a trip to the Bahamas. Chances are, they weren’t even thinking of other great possible destinations for an incentive travel program. Our Scotland program is phenomenally popular. An African safari makes for an unforgettable incentive travel trip. There is Asia, Australia, the Pacific, South America…the possibilities are endless! If you can dream it up, our incentive travel planning department can make it happen.
Also, there are tons of great incentive travel destinations right here in the good ole U. S. of A. Next week, we’ll be looking at what responses survey participants had for top domestic incentive travel destinations.
Til next time,