Uk Travel Incentive Trends | Incentive and Motivation

The SITE Foundation’s ‘Participants’ Viewpoint UK’ report found individuals that were a part of travel incentive programmes in the UK were 80% likely to have increased feelings of loyalty towards the sponsoring company and that incentive travel in the U.K. is generating significant employee engagement – but that for channel partners, incentive travel may need to be addressed.

This report continues the groundbreaking series of studies started in 2012 with the views of participants in incentive travel programs in the United States. Questions were virtually identical in both surveys, creating the opportunity to compare the effects of this motivational tool on participants from two different countries. This research reveals the impact of incentive travel programs in the U.K. Additionally, it compares results from Qualifiers who earned incentive travel awards vs. Non-Qualifiers who did not. It also includes results from employees vs. channel partners.

Travel = Appreciation

A majority of respondents said it made them feel appreciated, increased loyalty, “belongingness” and trust toward their company. In the highly competitive reseller market, this is vital for businesses who want to demonstrate the value of their relationship with channel partners.

What’s more, the motivational value of incentive travel compared to other rewards such as paid vacation time, cash or near-cash and merchandise generated different results vs. the previous U.S. study. Cultural differences may need to be considered when designing programs.  Not surprisingly, more qualifiers found incentive travel programs motivating or extremely motivating vs. nonqualifiers. Yet a large majority of those who do not earn the reward still found programs motivational.

The study made for some interesting reading.

Stand out stats

  • 87% of respondents believe the power of incentive travel made them feel appreciated— this overwhelming recognition makes for engaged employees
  • 80% believe the power of incentive travel increased feelings of loyalty toward the sponsoring company
  • 78% believe the power of incentive travel created an increased feeling of belongingness
  • 75% believe the power of incentive travel increased their trust toward the sponsoring company
  • 78% believe the trip allowed them to interact with higher-level executives 62% Non-Qualifiers who find incentive travel motivating or extremely motivating 76% Qualifiers who find incentive travel motivating or extremely motivating
  • 71% of employees and channel partners believe that awards let them experience something unique that they could not do on their own

Channel partners and travel incentives

According to the study, incentive travel appears to be a better motivator for employees than for channel partners.The data seems to indicate that they simply do not enjoy the experience as much as employees.This may be because channel partners view travel as a disruption in their schedule, while employees’ managers include time away from work as part of their best employees’ schedules. This may also reflect that channel partners are not actually part of the sponsoring company.

What types of travel incentives work? 

Successful experiences can be measured by the intensity of memories. While many respondents reported memories of only moderate intensity for camaraderie with other participants, they also interacted with higher-level executives and peers. This may indicate more formal connections. The study also showed that there did not seem to be an overwhelming desire for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. This may be because the inclusion of such activities is more governed by management than attendees’ desires.

You can view the full report at