What motivates you to do and be better? A new study from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), called “The Impact of Destination Choice on Motivation,” reports that group incentive travel was considered highly motivating by 80% of North American employees surveyed. The study not only quantifies motivation, but also analyzes significant shifts in the type of incentive trips participants want coming out of the pandemic.

Now that the world is opening once again for travel, incentive travel award programs are ramping up, and many meetings and events planners are arranging their programs for 2022 and 2023 with the idea of a world unlocked for travel experiences.

“As global vaccination rates increase and restrictions are relaxed, incentive program participants are becoming more comfortable with traveling. But employee preferences around destinations and experience design have changed since the pandemic, so planners will need to rethink their incentive trip strategy,” says IRF President Stephanie Harris. “The ‘Impact of Destination Choice on Motivation’ examines how the post-pandemic incentive travel experience can be designed to achieve your target performance goals.”

The study looks at the aspects of how experiences are designed to determine the elements that provide maximum inspiration to earn the award. Key insights include:

  • Participants want less crowding, and more open spaces, remote areas and private residences.
  • Over half (52%) would most prefer an incentive trip lasting between six to nine days.
  • While both genders find group incentive travel highly motivating, males are slightly more enthusiastic with 54% calling group incentive travel extremely motivating compared to 42% of females.
  • Respondents with children under the age of 18 living at home found group travel much more motivating than those without children living at home.
  • Going to an appealing destination and being able to invite a guest were the most important aspects for creating a highly motivating incentive.
  • Hawaii, Florida and California are all within the top preferred regions and are also seeing a high volume of request for proposal (RFP) activity.
  • While Mexico has limited motivational value to program earners, there is significant RFP activity by program owners.

To download the full study and white paper, visit theirf.org/research/the-impact-of-destination-choice-on-motivation/3094.