Incentive Travel Promotes Cultural Understanding

 

“At a time when there are populist calls for isolationism, SITE 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.”

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. In 2016 our global community grew over 7% to more than 2,150 members in 89 countries. Diversity is one of our hallmark strengths, and the ability to travel internationally remains an important part of the power of incentive travel.

At a time when there are populist calls for isolationism in various countries, SITE 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 for industry organizations like SITE to embrace our responsibility to advocate for a world that is safe, open, and inclusive.

With a heightened sense of political and economic uncertainty, people across the globe are seemingly becoming more divided. And, diversity and inclusion are playing increasingly important roles in all areas of companies’ HR strategies. In a report by Bersin by Deloitte diversity and inclusion top the list of talent practices linked to stronger financial incomes. The report points out that ‘in today’s working world, a company’s ability to attract and engage people of all ages, cultures, background and types is paramount to business success.’ And, a study by McKinsey shows that ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their peers.

For those multi-national companies that implement one global incentive program, incentive 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.

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. And, SITE Foundation research into Participants’ Viewpoints from the US, UK and India proves that incentive travel helps strengthen loyalty, build trust and create feelings of belongingness. It is all about bringing people together to recognize, celebrate and inspire performance, and build stronger relationships between management and peers in a world that is continually becoming smaller and more global.

SITE’s international board of directors – made up of industry leaders from nine different countries – is committed to engaging our members, chapter leaders, sponsors and partners to create a strong sense of community built around our core values of connections, creativity, trust and results. Our industry’s success requires an understanding of various cultures in order to design programs that embrace global diversity. Incentive travel programs provide a bridge between the power of diverse 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.

 

 

More to Explore: Navigating the New Global Business Marketplace

These resources from the SITE Foundation give real world examples of how incentive travel programs can help bring people together and inspire them to deliver excellence, while celebrating cultural understanding. 

 

Crystal Award Case StudyCrystal Awards Case Study: "Pacesetters 2015: Douglasdale, South Africa"

In 2015, American Express Travel and Lifestyle Services recognized the top 4% of its global producers with an incentive trip to Cape Town, South Africa. Over 240 “Pacesetters” were invited on the program, which featured informative business sessions and learning experiences, alongside unique and exciting cultural experiences. A highlight of the program was a visit to Langa, Cape Town’s oldest township, where participants were able to engage with locals, enjoy a number of authentic cultural activities, and generously give back to the Cape Town community.

 

Crystal Awards Case StudyCrystal Awards Case Study: "An Event Motivating Two Nations: Beijing, China"

When the non-profit Richard Nixon Foundation contracted with China Start Ltd. to create a trip to commemorate the 100th anniversary of former United States President Richard Nixon’s birthday and 40th anniversary of the President’s first trip to China, the event company rose to the challenge and exceeded their client’s expectations. At the invitation of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the Nixon Foundation delegation, led by Richard Nixon’s grandson Christopher Nixon Cox, arrived in Beijing for a journey to retrace Richard Nixon’s steps in China. The event had far reaching impacts, as several prominent delegates of the event were interviewed by CCTV, broadcasting to an audience of 1.3 billion people. With such a high amount of publicity surrounding the program, China Star Ltd. knew that it had to deliver a flawless program.

 

Crystal Awards Case StudyCrystal Awards Case Study: "YPO Intercontinental Chapter, Sicily 2013"

Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) is a global network of business leaders that aims to unite its members by creating networks to share knowledge and experiences on demand. The goal of the Intercontinental Chapter program held in Sicily in September 2013 was to create powerful networking opportunities to inspire attendees to become better leaders in their business, community and beyond. 84 YPO members and their partners arrived in Sicily to spend 5 unforgettable days together in an adventure where they enjoyed incredible sights, immersed in challenging nature walks that included trekking the Alcantara River and an excursion to Mount Etna. While participating on challenging yet educational and fun team-building activities, attendees also learned about Sicily’s rich history and culture and were inspired by their surroundings The trip transformed the delegates from determined individuals to team players that support each other to overcome challenges as a group.

 

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