We hear it all the time: “Why should I book my company’s corporate incentive travel arrangements through an incentive travel company versus a traditional travel agency?” It’s a good question. The fact of the matter is, the answer depends on what kind of incentive travel experience you’re looking to create for your employees.
Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of thinking that incentive travel companies are just a fancy name for traditional travel agencies. There are distinct differences between the two. When deciding whether an incentive travel company is right for your business, there are seven factors you need to consider:
- Travel With A Purpose — What distinguishes incentive travel from traditional travel is the focus on creating an extraordinary experience for the winner(s); one that builds morale, communicates your corporate message and fosters improved communications between the company and its employees or customers. Incentive travel programs help you increase sales, purchases, productivity or quality of service. Can your traditional travel agency do that?
- Planning Perfection — A travel agency is primarily in the business of booking trips. Incentive travel agencies, on the other hand, are in the business of understanding your company and providing a creative, motivational approach that inspires your employees to work toward a common goal. From creating powerfully motivational messages that drive participation to greeting winners at their destination, incentive travel companies handle all the details of your incentive travel program from start to finish.
- Personalized Service — If you partner with a large travel agency, chances are you’ll end up working with multiple agents, who may or may not have knowledge of your trip beyond what fits on a computer screen. Incentive travel companies, on the other hand, are organized around the idea that you deserve a personalized travel experience designed with your company’s unique goals and requirements in mind.
- Short-Term vs. Long-Term — Smaller traditional travel agencies may deliver a higher level of personal service but they tend to focus on family vacations or wedding destination travel. These are short-term bookings designed for small groups of individuals and can’t really compare to the level of detailed planning that your corporate incentive travel program requires. If you are a company looking for a travel program that has a long-term effect on employee performance you need more than just a one-time trip. You need someone with the research, booking and planning capabilities necessary to design ongoing employee, sales or customer incentive travel programs for both groups and individuals.
- Resources — Incentive travel companies are about relationship-building, not just volume booking like most travel agencies. This provides them with the ability to negotiate more value on behalf of the buyer. Incentive travel companies work with hotel sales and management personnel versus reservations operators and have long-term relationships with destination management companies. As a result of these industry connections, incentive travel providers are able to offer you better flight pricing, lodging and itineraries.
- Trip Analysis — Let’s face it: you need to justify the expense of your incentive travel program. Unlike travel agencies, who hardly ever even give you a follow-up phone call, incentive travel companies don’t stop working for you once the trip is booked. Peak Performance Travel Incentives, for instance, offers online surveys that analyze travel incentive program needs to identify the right travel program in advance and analyze the success of the program once it’s complete.
- Your Budget — Incentive travel companies like Peak Performance Travel Incentives analyze your budget thoroughly and design programs to meet your specific needs so you pay exactly what you’ve budgeted for with no extra fees, taxes, surcharges or surprise add-ons. What’s more, with Peak Performance, your program’s budget is monitored throughout the planning process, helping you ensure the most on-budget motivational incentive travel experience possible for your employees.
If you’re looking for an incentive travel program that inspires your employees with unique destinations and activities, creative planning approaches and personalized service, then a traditional travel agency probably isn’t the right option for you. You need an incentive travel expert like Peak Performance.
To learn about Peak Performance’s unique approach to corporate incentive travel, call 888.788.9078 or click here to speak with a Peak Pro today.