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Corporate Travel and Events

Promoting Cultural Understanding With Incentive Travel

Photo: Courtesy of Steve Halama

Kevin Hinton

CIS, Chief Excellence Officer, Society for Incentive Travel Excellence

In the over 43 years that the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) has championed the motivational power of incentive travel, our members have worked across continents and cultures. With over 2,000 members in 84 countries, diversity is one of our hallmark strengths, and the ability to travel internationally remains an important part of the power of incentive travel.

Shining a light 

At a time when there are populist calls for isolationism in various countries, the incentive industry remains a champion for the global business marketplace, particularly for the experiences that serve as real inspiration for people — whether they are across the street or across the globe. This is why it is more important than ever that we embrace our responsibility to advocate for a world that is safe, open and inclusive.

Strengthening ties​​​​​​​

Incentive travel continues to grow and gain recognition as an important component of a balanced talent management strategy. Findings from the 2017 SITE Index show that companies are increasing their use of incentive travel to improve engagement and strengthen employees’ identification and emotional commitment to the company. Studies of participants from the United States, the United Kingdom and India prove that incentive travel helps strengthen loyalty, build trust and create feelings of belonging. It is all about bringing people together to recognize, celebrate and inspire performance, and building stronger relationships between management and peers in a world that is continually becoming smaller and more global.

Cultivating understanding 

For multinational companies that implement one global incentive program, travel provides an ideal platform to build stronger relationships among colleagues from around the world. It promises unique experiences for qualifiers, exposing them to new destinations and expanding their understanding of people from different countries and cultures. In turn, it helps foster greater understanding, tolerance and empathy for others.

Our industry’s success requires an understanding of various cultures in order to design programs that embrace global diversity. Incentive travel provides a bridge between the power of travel experiences that inspire people to deliver excellence — and the sense of human solidarity we envision as the most important benefit of a global economy.

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