Mixing Business with Pleasure

Forbes India Global Business Traveller's Guide: Incentive travel is not just a way to reward your best performers and make it memorable. Itís also a good opportunity to improve business relationships

Published: May 7, 2010 06:19:50 AM IST
Updated: May 7, 2010 06:36:13 PM IST
Mixing Business with Pleasure
Image: Vivek Prakash / Reuters
REACH FOR THE SUN A ride at the resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

Breaking Free
“Incentive holidays are ultimately about enjoyment and merrymaking. There are the conferences and interactions, but everyone looks forward to the fun part,” says Rakesh Mehta, vice president,
International Marketing at Sun Pharma. With balmy weather and high fun quotient, beach destinations like Bali and Phuket have traditionally been very popular. Now we give you two more places to cut loose in.

Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore
The newly opened Resorts World Sentosa is the latest attraction in the ever-reinventing Singapore. With two casinos, a Universal Studios theme park, and the world’s largest oceanarium, along with the usual attractions, there is huge interest in the property. The resort also has the capacity to host large dealer meets.
Rs. 60,000 per head for 3 nights / 4 days

One of the top two-wheeler companies recently took its best ranked dealers on a trip to Amsterdam — known for its canals, the Van Gogh museum and cannabis coffee shops. And the Red Light District, where once tourists are done gawking at the female entertainers in window parlours, they can soak in the charm of winding cobbled streets and the old buildings.
Rs. 1 lakh per head for 3 nights / 4 days

What could be more exclusive than getting a ringside view at a sporting event that truly gets the adrenaline going? No surprise that companies often send clients, employees or dealers to world class sporting events as a reward.


Image: Reihand Krause / Reuters

SPEED JUNKIE The China F1 track

On the radar are sporting events coming up later this year: The T20 World Cup in West Indies that is already underway, FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the next Formula One Asian Grand Prix at Istanbul.

“It is high up there in terms of the aspiration value,” says TravelPort’s Venkatesh K.
Rs. 1.5 lakh for a Formula 1 event and up to Rs. 3 lakh
for multiple matches at the FIFA World Cup


If the English countryside and beaches of Langkawi in Malaysia have become passé for your group, it is time to look beyond.

The East African nation is now less preferred than neighbouring Kenya or South Africa. But it scores on one point — its spectacular variety. Mount Kilimanjaro, the seasonal migration of animals, game viewing from the crater rim of an extinct volcano and fishing and diving at Zanzibar — every one of them makes for great holidays.
Rs. 70,000 per head for 3 nights / 4 days

New Zealand


Image: Simon Kreitem / Corbis

THE GREAT COUNTRYSIDE New Zealand in all its glory

Marketed for its amazingly well-preserved natural beauty, New Zealand is a great destination for a small group, says Ajay Prakash of Nomad Travels. “One of the best ways to discover the country is by driving around. Indian licenses are valid there,” he adds. Look out for the coast and forests of Catlins in the south.
Rs. 80,000 per head for 3 nights / 4 days

Travelling abroad is no longer novel. Companies now look for the differentiator that’ll give them bragging points among peers, says Arvind Tandon of Faraway Places Marketing Ltd.

Terezin, Czech Republic
Last year when clients of a major Indian pharma company came back from a trip to the Czech Republic, it wasn’t Prague’s nightlife that became the talking point. Instead, it was a surprise visit to Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp. “It was overwhelming,” says one participant.
Rs. 65,000-Rs. 70,000 per head for
3 nights / 4 days

White Water Rafting in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai is home to the rugged valley of Mae Taeng, centre for extreme sports like white water rafting, kayaking and elephant treks. Some see this as an ideal spot for team building exercises.
Rs. 30,000 per head for 3 nights / 4 days


“Many companies like to use the opportunity of a captive network to appraise their dealers of their future plans,” says Vishal Juneja, Thomas Cook. For many, an exclusive guided tour through the company’s own manufacturing unit is most coveted. Soft drinks major Coke took its top dealers to the US last year to show off its original bottling unit. An air conditioner maker took clients to the home factory in Japan, while a famous watchmaker showed what “Swiss-made” really means in its factory near Zurich. These destinations might be expensive but are very experiential for participants. The visit often creates a bond with the companies, say travel planners.


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(This story appears in the 21 May, 2010 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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