Incentive or motivational travel is one of those target markets that I believe we can do substantially better at, especially to help fill those arrival and accommodation gaps which help drive down our overall annual occupancy.
Income thresholds, particularly in the United Kingdom, for many, prove to be a massive deterrent to boost personal earnings, with a relatively low level of compensation, before you are paying at least 40 per cent of payment remuneration in tax. Unbudgeted serendipitous travel where the cost ceases to become the issue is often a greater motivator than taxable income.
Over the past decades Barbados has managed to project this reputation of being an iconic or aspirational destination, which for many ‘ordinary’ people might appear beyond their financial reach. And if ‘we’ were vaguely affordable, then it was only after paying that 40 per cent tax rate on a considerable part of their income.
What prompted these thoughts at this time was stumbling across an article which was carried in a number of British regional publications highlighting British based The Group Company, who specialize as their website describes ‘We provide worldwide tailor made tourism itineraries and accommodation options for our international tour operators. We work directly with all our suppliers, only work with groups, and only sell to tour operators, ensuring exclusive offers and unbeatable service to your groups.’
The company, which also has offices in New York and Maastricht (Netherlands), are currently actively looking for new employees in its tours, reservations and business development teams. The successful applicants will join around 35 existing management and staff on a ‘luxurious weekend’ away in Barbados during January 2020. To me, it’s a win-win scenario for everyone.
The intimate product knowledge gained by each participant that can only be acquired from personal experience is priceless and knowing that your staff can effectively sell a major destination is a resulting bonus.
The company, whose headquarters is based in York, Northern England, a city which experiences an average daily temperature barely above freezing point throughout January, so the attraction of being whisked away, albeit for a short period, has infinite appeal.
According to the news release the idea was originally created by Helen Bilton, chief executive officer at The Group Company, to celebrate a 50 per cent year-on-year growth since it was founded in February 2006, and has been brought back this year as a way of rewarding staff for all their hard work in 2019.
Naomi Stewart, managing director of the company said ‘Barbados has now become our go-to destination for our grandest celebrations. We reward staff throughout the year, but this trip will truly showcase our appreciation for all our teams’ hard work’.
I really hope that our tourism planners and policymakers have flagged this particular trip and are offering their total support and co-operation to truly make the visit memorable for all involved.