by Slaven RELJIĆ, CORAL group

CORAL group DMC – PCO
A travel agency specialized in organizing incentive travel, conferences, team buildings, corporate events, VIP destination programmes and events. Years of experience in congress and general tourism, events organization, complex business projects in the country and abroad, continuing education and membership in professional associations CMPA (Croatian Meeting Professionals Association) and SITE (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence) guarantee superior service.

Incentive or motivational/recognition travel is a special program in the destination which is organized and purchased by companies for their employees or key customers.

Incentive travel, rewards the most successful in the company or on the basis of sales and distribution chain on a predetermined motivational scheme and precisely measurable scale. This is a strong management tool and an investment that pays off since was proven that traveling is a stronger motivator than cash prizes. Money as a sign of recognition values only to a certain extent and motivates the employee or customer to achieve business goals. The importance of employee for the future of the company is increasing, so investing in them through incentive programs now acts as a standard policy of human resource development. Incentives are completely free for final users and all expenses covered by the person organizing and ordering.

AN INCENTIVE PROGRAM HAS TO PROVIDE MOTIVATION, MEANING AND A PLEASANT MEMORY.

Various creative activities are an integral part of the incentives

jeep, driving, safari

How to achieve above written features depends on the structure of the group. Particular clients may want a more active program full of adrenaline for example Jeep safari in the mountains or buggy rides, sailing or transfers by speedboat to the island, where they will go on a bicycle tour on the off-road trails with gastronomic breaks on a beautiful belvedere or dinner in the lounge with DJ. The second type of customer will want art workshops, such as school of painting or making of tradi- tional jewellery, cooking indigenous food, trips by motor or wooden boat, dinner with classical music or vocal group in the Palace or special venues centuries old. The program can be a combination of adrenaline activities, culture, history, gastronomy, art and creativity. Each program includes moti- vational and educational elements. The purpose is in concrete connection with the destination and local culture, traditions and customs. The program can of course be created in connecting with the industry from which the customers come.

Movie plot twist for a good incentive

An incentive program has to have its own storyline, through which the customer is led through an exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and the resolution. In the introductory part, client should get familiar with the destination and become interested in the program as the viewer has to learn about the main characters in the film and as well as for the course of the movie. This is followed by rising action in which customer participates in various activities from which follows the climax. Clients as well as movie audience should be led to a state of curiosity at the climax of incentive program and provided with memorable event or activity. After the climax follows falling action in the film industry. In incentive program, climax represent an interesting activity that clients wouldn’t expect. The film may eventually leave viewers in a state of happiness or sadness but with Incentive programs, clients have to end their journey optimistic and motivated for future work. Small signs of attention such as “pillow gifts” in the rooms can certainly contribute to the wellbeing. The journey is a valuable gratitude so it is preferable to be recorded (video or photos) and should be given to the participants at the closing dinner. This media will be a permanent promotion of the company and its culture to employees and key customers.

Every detail can be crucial for success

Certain activities should not be too extreme (even with team building programs) as this may cause fear or discomfort with certain participants, especially if someone is not able to perform a certain activity. Selected hotels should not more than 30 – 45 minutes away from the airport. The location for the program and meals also have to be close, because corporations want to afford their winning participants the most enjoyable, motivating and prestigious journey and experiences. All services have to be world class quality but certainly spiced with local character and authenticity wherever possible as with this is given the most creative and differentiated program and a unique experience. It is important to let participants have some free time (at least one hour in the morning or afternoon), especially if the winners could bring someone along (spouse, family member or friend) so they can also enjoy the destination, do a personal purchase or optional tours to their own interest. Because of heterogeneity of some incentive groups, a complete personalization for minor Incentive programs can be realised, where the client will request that each pair or small group have one segment of the program created by the user wishes, for example one dinner organized in different themed restaurants in the destination.

CROATIA – A VERY ATTRACTIVE INCENTIVE TRAVEL DESTINATION

Croatia is very attractive as an incentive travel destination, since its area combines a variety of natural and cultural attractions, activities and authentic experiences, connects the different historical experiences and very diverse styles of life expressed in the traditions of its people, architecture and ambience, the total tangible and intangible heritage, food, drinks, souvenirs, myths and legends…

In particular, the client who comes into any of our most attractive and best-ranking incentive destinations, such as Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar, Zadar, Istria, Opatija and parts of Kvarner and Zagreb can in 3-4 days experience and motivate himself with attractive programs, both in urban areas and in the nature of different geographical features such as mountains, seas, islands, rivers, valleys and forests.

Croatia is only 1 to 2 hours flight away from almost all major European cities, thus very close to the main tourist generating markets. However, it still lacks year-round connections with direct air connections, which is considered to be our weakness. Further basic conditions for the development of the incentive travel market are (larger) boutique, design hotels with a particular indigenous identity. Šibenik has recently received such hotel, with which it can become an attractive incentive travel destination. We are pleased that our hotels are becoming more elegant, with a distinctive and seductive character and with a croatian “signature”, but we still need more special venues and creative people who will be our partners in creating attractive, authentic, meaningful programs in the destination in order to create and better define the distinctive identity of Croatia. We should have a vision of becoming a European and world leader in the market of small and medium-sized business projects (incentives, conferences, events).

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