A touch of luxury

Organisations are looking for unique ways to reward their top performers; with many sending their best to luxury destinations. HRM looks at some of the places pulling out all the stops to create an experience of a lifetime

Motivating employees is a major concern for organisations, and one of the most proven strategies is to offer the right reward. Incentive travel is an excellent way to motivate employees, especially those who have been performing well in their work. The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) defines incentive travel as “a motivational tool to enhance productivity or achieve other business objectives”.

With this in mind, organisations are looking at luxurious travel destinations and programmes for their top performers. From exotic destinations in the Caribbean to expensive hotels with opulent facilities, companies and service providers are going out of their way to make their incentive travel offers luxurious.

A destination apart

There are numerous destinations that can make a luxurious incentive travel for employees. Macau, China is one major destination that many organisations have set their sights on.

The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Singapore, says, that it positions the special administrative region of China as a world class destination with the right mix of business and leisure. At various international and regional business trade events and business advertising platforms, the office promotes “Macau as a ‘bleasure’ (business and pleasure) destination with state-of-art MICE facilities as well as interactive and interesting leisure activities”. It says it receives many enquiries from companies, including those in the banking and finance, insurance, and manufacturing sectors.

MGTO Singapore says it provides support to organisations planning for incentive activities in Macau based on specific requirements. Its incentive travel stimulation programme offers per-head support for organisers and planners of incentive travel events held in Macau. The incentive group must have a minimum of 50 non-Macau participants, staying at least two consecutive nights in Macau hotel to receive support of up to 300 pataca (S$50) each, based on actual consumption.

There are other destinations closer to home within the Southeast Asia region, including Indonesia and Vietnam. The Indonesian Tourism Promotion Board says that MICE events contributed 40 percent to the total number of foreign tourist arrivals in 2013. The regions of Bali and Jakarta especially attract thousands of visitors annually.

Vietnam is also another good value region that companies can set their sights on. Besides the usual hotels and activities, there is a growing luxury travel industry that also caters to corporate clients. Luxury Travel Vietnam is one local organisation offering bespoke service to its clients.

Luxurious rewards

Luxury incentive travel destinations can offer various services and amenities for visitors. These can range from high-end resorts and villas to bespoke activities or fine dining experiences.

The MGTO Singapore, for example, says: “Macau is slowly evolving as a luxurious business destination for companies as well as a perfect luxury retreat destination to reward top performers”. The city has a wide selection of high-end hotels and resorts for companies to choose from, all of which offer great service, international fine dining (modern and traditional cuisines) and world-class spa facilities.

There are numerous activities and entertainment options for travellers as well. AJ Hackett Activities at Macau Tower offers adventurous activities such as conquering Macau’s highest summit at 338 metres. Participants can climb 100 metres up the tower’s vertical ladder to then bungy jump down from a platform of 233 metres. MGTO Singapore also recommends The House of Dancing Water, a spectacular water-based show including high water diving, motorbike acrobatics and death-defying aerial stunts.

Companies can also treat their employees to a great dining experience at Sky 21, located at AIA Tower, or the 360 café at Macau Tower – which also offer views of the Macau cityscape. “It is more than just good food and impeccable service, the ambience plays a huge part to create an unforgettable dining experience,” the MTGO Singapore advises.

Indonesia too has a wide range of luxury venues, including renowned spas and resorts. Boutique hotels such as the Bulgari Resort, Bali and the Hanging Gardens in Ubud are renowned for their bespoke services and ambience that include fine dining restaurants, spa massages and extravagant villas accommodations.

The country also offers a wide variety of cultural (the famed Tanah Lot Temple and Uluwatu Temple are must-sees for travellers) and outdoor activities to see and engage in all year around. Some interesting activities that might engage employees include the Merapi Volcano Race, an off-road jeep tour from Megalang to the slope of Central Java’s best known volcano.

Great Asian Destinations for Incentive Travel

  • Indonesia
  • Vietnam
  • China
  • Japan
  • Korea

 

Opulence at sea

Rewarding top employees with luxury travel does not have to be tied to a particular destination. Luxury cruise incentive travel is also a great idea for companies considering rewarding their staff – it is comparable to staying at a moving resort with as many amenities available to guests.

There are several well-known luxury cruise providers, including Royal Caribbean and Silversea, each providing a wide variety of facilities and services, as well as travel to myriad destinations across the globe. Companies can also choose to charter an entire ship or part of a ship for an event.

 

Facts & Figures

TripAdvisor‘s TripBarometer 2015 (Global) survey results on business travel:

  • Compared to the average traveller worldwide, business travellers tend to travel more for leisure: Business travellers: 2.32 trips per year; Global average: 2.04 trips per year.
  • Most common expected international destinations for business travellers in the coming year (for both business or leisure purposes): US – 25%; France – 15%; Italy – 15%; Japan – 14%; and the UK – 14%
  • Compared to leisure travellers, when planning holidays, business travellers look for:

-        Off-the-beaten-path trips

-        Authentic cultures

-        Family-friendly environments

-        Trips offering spiritual wellbeing, including spas and retreats

-        Style and luxury, including from five-star hotels and fine-dining restaurants

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