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Let me explain, when we organize incentives anywhere in the world we always like to have a few surprises up our sleeves. This makes the trips unique, exciting and more importantly memorable for the participants.

One of the activities we used in New York was a “Champagne Toast to the Manhattan skyline” on top of the Empire State Building. Although it sounds rather cheesy, it was always well receivedNew York - King Kong and the Empire State Building.

It involved making our way by coach to the ESB and on the way we would ask if anyone could name any films that featured the building. King Kong and Sleepless in Seattle were always mentioned. So with that thought in their heads we made our way up to the Observation Deck on the 86th Floor just as the lights were coming up at dusk over Manhattan.What a spectacle.

You can see where this is going now can’t you !!

I summon the group together and ask for the champagne cocktails to be brought out for our guests. Who should walk out with the tray of drinks but a 7 foot American actor dressed in a gorilla outfit. What a reaction, laughter, excitement, cameras and even some applause. What a great photo opportunity and discussion topic for when they got back home.
empire-state at dusk

Unfortunately King Kong is dead in New York, because of various issues like security concerns, health and safety and fear of litigation. The powers that be have said it cannot be arranged anymore. Shame, but that is the world we live in nowadays.

No matter, our challenge at Travel Momentum is to keep coming up with surprises that are possible and leave participants with memories that will last a life time.

So if you would like to put us to the test we would love you to contact us, have a look at our web site and see what you think.

We would also really appreciate you liking this blog and letting some of your friends know we are here.

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It sounds decadent to travel to Paris for lunch, but it was something we organised for a group of local business people recently.Image

Our group of 22 departed bright and early from London on the Eurostar to Paris. Unbeknown to them we had organised a visit to the executive lounge for breakfast, which was a great start to the day.

By seating the group together, it was an ideal opportunity to get to know each other better on a social basis. This can of course be used by companies with both customers and/or staff. The journey took just over 2 hours, so we were in the centre of Paris mid morning.

The person that took all of the photos throughout the day was Geoffrey Shallet from the Place for Blinds some of which you can see here, Our day included visits to The Sacre Coeur, Monmartre, transport on the Metro and lunch on the Champs Elysee. This was followed by a scenic cruise on the Seine, free time before returning to the station for the return journey home.Image

This as you can appreciate is a great way to say thanks for the business/effort and we are pleased to host you as a person, not just an employee or an “income stream”.

All of this for less than £98.00 per person, it can’t be underestimated as to its value for money.

The world is full of possibilities, don’t let them pass you by, you will always regret it.

Sorry about the headline, but it did get you to read the blog !!!

Take a look at our NEW website to see how we can help you with hospitality. CLICK ON Work Box on the right Travel Momentum 2013.

Here it is, the second part of “Problem sleeping on flights” Anyone tried it yet and been sucessful ? http://ow.ly/i/13Iny http://ow.ly/eLCFj

Problem sleeping on flights ? Well here is the first part of remedying that pre flight. Do you think it sounds sensible and will you try it ? courtesy of Cheap Flights. http://ow.ly/eBqQ6

A study by one of Europe’s leading travel search sites has shown there is a huge misconception between the perceived cost of holiday destinations and the actual costs.

The annual study of 30 popular holiday destinations revealed that India is perceived to be the cheapest country, however in reality the country is only the fifth cheapest, proving more expensive than many popular destinations including Portugal and Poland.

While the study revealed the ever popular North African destination of Morocco to be the cheapest country, in reality once the cost of flights are factored in a very different story is revealed; Morocco slips to seventh position, while Poland (Poznan, pictured) takes the coveted top spot, closely followed by Germany, which is the surprise bargain destination of the year.

Cheaper than perceived: Eurozone

With sterling reaching a four year high against the Euro, many popular destinations across the continent now offer much better value than perceived. Germany was perceived as the 12th most expensive of the 30; however the study shows that it is actually the 10th cheapest and becomes the second cheapest total cost inclusive of flights.

Spain, a popular destination for British holidaymakers for many years was thought to be the 18th most expensive when in reality its true value saw it become the sixth cheapest.  The cost of a holiday in Ireland was also overestimated – believed to be one of the most expensive destinations (position 22) when in fact the Emerald Isle is the eighth cheapest.

More expensive than perceived: The Americas

The Americas are prime examples of misconceptions with three out of four destinations actually featuring in the top ten most expensive.

Brazil (Rio de Janeiro pictured, right), thought to be the ninth cheapest country, is actually the second most expensive in terms of real value and becomes the most expensive destination when the cost of flights and hotels is factored in. Mexico is considered the sixth cheapest when in reality is actually in position 15.  The USA, thought to be the 14th cheapest is actually the seventh most expensive, and Canada perceived as the 14th most expensive, is actually the eighth most expensive.

The flight effect

When the cost of flights is factored in, Brazil, New Zealand and Mexico take the top three spots in the overall cost ranking, with the impact of the price of long haul flights best illustrated by New Zealand which jumps from 11th cheapest to second most expensive destination.  Thailand is also a good example of a cheap destination when you get there (£622 in-resort costs for a week) but the cost of the flight (£853), more than doubles the total holiday cost.

However, other countries benefit from the flight routes offered by budget carriers; Italy for instance goes from the ninth most expensive destination to become the 12th cheapest once the cost of flights is added to the total price.  Likewise both Sweden and Denmark benefit from the average cost of flight. Sweden goes from being the third most expensive to the 14th cheapest and Denmark goes from being the fourth most expensive to the 13th cheapest.

How the UK performs

The study also reveals that a holiday in the UK (Cornwall, pictured) is less expensive than many perceive but still more expensive than many European neighbours, including Spain and Portugal.

Skyscanner’s spokesperson Sam Poullain commented: “This study highlights the huge disparity between the perception and the reality of holiday costs. It is essential that travellers should consider the proportion of the total cost that the flight makes up before deciding upon a destination.

“With low cost flights available across the UK, and the strength of the pound against the Euro, European destinations such as Germany, are our tip for the best value resort this year.”

Tables are in order of price where one is the cheapest and 30 is the most expensive:

Rank Perceived Country Cost Ranking Actual Country Cost Ranking (one day cost) Actual Country Cost Ranking Incl. Flights (one week cost)
1 India Morocco Poland
2 Thailand Thailand Germany
3 Poland Poland Portugal
4 Morocco Portugal Spain
5 Egypt India UK
6 Mexico Spain Ireland
7 Croatia Egypt Morocco
8 Dominican Republic Ireland France
9 Brazil UK Egypt
10 Portugal Germany Greece
11 Greece New Zealand Croatia
12 South Africa Cyprus Italy
13 Spain Iceland Denmark
14 USA Japan Sweden
15 Cyprus Mexico Cyprus
16 Russia South Africa India
17 Canada Greece Iceland
18 New Zealand Dominican Republic Switzerland
19 Germany France Russia
20 Australia Croatia UAE
21 Italy UAE Thailand
22 Ireland Italy South Africa
23 France Canada Japan
24 UK USA Canada
25 Dubai Australia USA
26 Iceland Russia Dominican Republic
27 Japan Denmark Australia
28 Denmark Sweden Mexico
29 Sweden Brazil New Zealand
30 Switzerland Switzerland Brazil

How perceptions were calculated

Respondents were asked to rate the countries according to costs within the country, not including the cost of flights. Respondents were given the options of very cheap/cheap/neither expensive or cheap/expensive/very expensive and a score allocated for each response type.

How costs were calculated

Actual costs were calculated using the average in resort costs per day based on a cup of coffee, a bottle of beer, a three course meal including a half bottle of wine (per person), and one night’s accommodation.  Prices used were according to the Post Office Holiday Cost Barometer Reports 2012* and Hotels.com 2011 Price Index.

The flight prices used were the cheapest direct flight available with Skyscanner.net for travel on 1 July 2012, and accurate as at 18 April 2012 (the cheapest indirect flights were used for Australia and New Zealand which do not have direct flights available).

* where food and drinks prices were not available the relevant tourist board provided average costs for India, Poland, Denmark and Japan, while costs were taken from Wikitravel.com and Mytravelcost.com for Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Iceland, Ireland and Morocco.

Incentive travel does nothing to ‘motivate the majority’

Mainstream incentive travel programmes are ineffective in improving company performance, according to David Baker, founder of performance improvement agency DBMT.

A veteran of the incentive industry who is now a consultant, Baker believes that incentive travel schemes only work for 10/15 per cent of the sales force.

“These are the top performers who are already motivated and they seek the recognition that winning a travel programme provides,” he said. “What concerns me is the 85 per cent of the sales force who fail to be motivated by the travel campaign. It’s often obvious who’s going to win before the programme has started as they are previous winners and are known within the sales force for their achievements. If that’s the case, those average participants might say ‘why should I bother?’”

In fact, Baker thinks traditional incentive programmes are often a waste of money and could do more damage to the motivation of ‘Mr Ave
rage’ than they do to improve the performance of the top sales people.

“I’d like to see more management understanding of motivation,” he said. “Motivation takes place long before you talk about travel trips; it’s about company culture and people skills.

“Incentives, marketing, training and communication should all form part of a long term engagement programme, implemented from the top down. There are too many people who have come into the incentive market who really don’t know it, just selling travel and vouchers to make a quick buck. For the industry that’s wrong.”

David Baker

  • Mr Martin Giblin of Travel Momentum 27/03/2012
    This article caught my attention, because in our experience David’s assertion is only true if the incentive has been set up incorrectly.All of us in the motivation business know that the profile of any given sales force is made up approximately as follows:Top 20%: Top performers and achievers, will always be there or thereabouts when it comes to reaching targetsMiddle 60%: Capable sales people who can do extraordinary things when they are motivated in the right wayBottom 20%: Will always struggle with any performance related tasks.

    The main constituent parts of a successful incentive are that it should be fair, achievable and transparent. Most importantly it should be based not on the highest sales, which is where I believe David’s comments originate from, but from an increase in sales as a percentage based on historical performance on an individual basis.

    This way the participants are competing against themselves and not the top performers and therefore believe that they can win. From our figures, the middle 60 per cent of the sales force being motivated properly makes all the difference to the profitability of the incentive.

    Indeed, having operated a dealer travel incentive for a white goods manufacturer over a number of years on a league basis (where similar sized dealers competed against each other), the extra profit generated quadrupled over a four-year period and the majority achieved over 100 per cent of target.

    In conclusion I believe: “A properly constructed & communicated travel incentive programme will always motivate the majority of its participants.”

    Martin Giblin
    Director

Just before Christmas we organised a company incentive trip to Monte Carlo.  16 lucky people got to enjoy all the activities you would associate with the jewel in the European jet-setters crown.

Monte Carlo Casino at nightStarting with the staple of any millionaire’s weekend, a helicopter flight along the Cote D’Azur from Nice to Monte Carlo transferred them from the airport.  An elegant dinner in Casino Square and of course, the obligatory visit to the world famous Casino.  A morning for the “boys and their toys” meant an exciting Ferrari driving experience in Eze, the village above our international Playboys’ paradise and to round off the weekend was lunch in the Old Town, Nice.

You may remember that the weather before Christmas was terrible.  Deep snow meant closed airports, cancelled flights and stranded passengers across Europe.  Knowing that our group may encounter problems, we monitored the situation and made contingency plans in the event that our group would not be able to fly home.

We kept in constanct contact with the client on the final day, keeping him appraised of the situation as it was changing from minute to minute.  Options like taking the train, catching or hiring a coach were looked in to but discounted because of availability, cost or both.

When we found that their Easyjet flight had been cancelled and the first alternative flight was four days later, we knew that we needed to act to stop a situation out of our control spoiling what had been a brilliant and successful weekend.  Firstly, the clients’ priority was to be back in England on Monday morning at the latest.  We booked four hire cars to travel one way from Nice to Calais overnight.  Driven by members of the group we promoted the alternative travel plans as a kind of “Top Gear Challenge”.  With four identical cars – a range of stop offs suggested for refreshment and sustenance – which team could follow their Satnavs through the French Autoroute system with the greatest ease?  Secondly, we booked ferry tickets for mid morning the next day from Calais to Dover and then for a private minibus to meet them and transport them all back to their cars which had been left at Gatwick Airport or, back to their base in Hertfordshire.

It took around 3 hours to arrange all of this, but we were very pleased when it all worked out and the client is now eternally grateful for our years of experience and our on-the-spot creativity.

It gives us great job satisfaction to know that we made a difference and it demonstrates how much we care about our clients.