Incentive Travel: The Ins and Outs of All-Inclusive Resorts

by: Mark Herbert May 14, 2020

The all-inclusive resort is a popular category of the travel industry, known for its sunny destinations, ease of planning, and all-you-can-consume amenities.  When it comes to arranging an incentive travel excursion, businesses need all the “ease” they can get to ensure an unforgettable experience for their customers and a positive return on their investment.  With over 25 years in the incentive travel industry, Incentive Solutions is well versed in the all-inclusive incentive trip, continuing to foster long-lasting relationships with these resort types all over the world. Before we take a virtual journey into our top incentive travel recommendations, let’s take a look into the development of the all-inclusive experience and how it came to be.

An All-Inclusive History

Like most trends in today’s society, pricing and convenience played a large role in the evolution of the all-inclusive resort.

The Idea

The all-inclusive idea is said to have originated in Europe pre-World War II. The title for first company dedicated to the all-inclusive resort is claimed by Club Med, opening a resort in Majorca in 1950. The appeal of these trips lay in the upfront pricing available to travelers before they set foot on the property.

Cost-effectiveness eventually aligned with the creation of the airline jet. The resulting global travel transformation sparked the development of Mexico, the Caribbean, and other tropical neighboring US locations as the home of the all-inclusive getaway.

The Reputation

From the 50s to the late 70s, these resorts, while popular, remained a small niche of the travel industry. Earning a reputation for middle-of-the-road services, these vacation packages attracted young, penny-pinching travelers or budget-seeking families that would settle for less-than desirable accommodations. With the launch of the Sandals resort in 1981, Gordon Stewart aimed to increase the standard of the all-inclusive, marketing the chain as a luxury, adults-only experience, yet still this style of vacation remained a niche.

The Transformation

With each passing decade, resorts were only slightly motivated to increase their product value and failed to focus marketing strategy on more than a single target demographic at a time. Fast forward to age of the internet and suddenly social media marketing takes the travel industry to the next level, inspiring travel-envy in all demographics. Increased demand combined with budget needs, convenience, and competition came to a head. This brings us to today’s all-inclusive, a drastically different image with a drastically different message: we have something for everyone.

The Benefit for Incentive Travel Planning

At its most basic, all-inclusive resorts provide lodging, three meals a day, beverages of all variety, and gratuity for these services. As the demand for personalization grows alongside a large collection of resort options, all-inclusive amenities have grown to include luxury dinning, various water-sporting activity, night club and entertainment, fitness and spa access, and guided off-site excursions.

What does this mean for you as the host of an all-exclusive group incentive trip as part of a sales initiative? You enjoy three major advantages:

  • Knowing incentive travel program costs up front is extremely valuable. The crunched numbers are consistent, which will help implement a budget to cover travel accommodations
  • Having a set budget upfront helps establish an accurate earning threshold for your program participants to hit.
  • Appealing to all members of your sales team is attainable with the variety offered at an all-inclusive resort, meaning higher sales engagement, and guaranteeing the incentive travel experience of their dreams.

All-Inclusive Resort Recommendations

When building a corporate incentive travel program, the right incentive travel provider will work alongside you to find the ideal destination based on your goals, demographic, itinerary preferences, and more. Whether the goal is to relax by the ocean or create unique travel experiences, all-inclusive resorts are the perfect way to kick off a travel incentive program. Below are some of Incentive Solutions most recent all-inclusive travel destinations:

1. Paradisus by Melia Los Cabos, Mexico

Credit Tatiana Bernardi

This luxury beach-front resort is rated as one of the top hotels in San Jose, boasting the following:

  • A short distance from the airport
  • All-day buffet dinning
  • Food options from all over the world, including seven restaurants for a higher-level dining experience
  • Several indoor and outdoor options for gathering making group meetings easier as the incentive travel host to conduct seminars and fuel customer relationship building

2. Dreams Las Mareas, Costa Rica

Credit Atanas Malamov

Our company recently hosted a six-day excursion to this resort in the northern coast of Guanacaste, a wonderful location offering variety for all personality types on your incentive trip:

  • Lounge options by both beach and pool
  • Excursions into the surrounding jungle and nearby mountain range
  • Ocean view rooms with 24- hour room service
  • Unlimited access top-shelf spirits
  • Spa and Salon services

3. Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Credit Bryan Angelo

This destination boasts charm and elegance in the architecture, landscaping, and crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean. It also intelligently features its unique variety of perks directly in its title. When it comes to inspiring motivation, this client knew exactly how to appeal its incentive trip to its golfing demographic. Business relationship building takes a more relaxed approach on the golf-course, and this resort provided both the luxury and ideal weather conditions to inspire connection and future growth.

Planning Your All-Inclusive Incentive Travel

Introducing incentive travel in your business model can have major impacts for your brand, which is why it is important to execute correctly. Before shopping around for a provider, we suggest gathering internal research and formulating a plan that answers the following questions:

  • What are your goals?
  • Who makes up your target audience?
  • What is your budget?

Once these are determined, your search for the perfect all-inclusive incentive trip can begin. And when the search becomes tiresome (thank you, endless internet), Incentive Solutions is here to find you the best options.

Looking for more insight? Take advantage of our free consultations. Our staff is not only knowledgeable- they’re nice!

Let's plan your all-inclusive incentive trip today!

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About Mark Herbert

Mark Herbert is President and CEO of Incentive Solutions. He has more than 30 years of experience overseeing business operations within the incentives industry, helping companies increase channel sales, build customer loyalty, motivate employees, and grow their business.