October 2012

Survey Says: Cruises Still a Big Motivator

According to a recent poll conducted through Google Consumer Surveys, when it comes to motivating employees, cruises reign supreme. Landry & Kling Inc., pioneering specialists in meetings at sea, recently initiated the survey, asking what four-night travel experience would most motivate respondents to reach challenging, work-related goals. Thirty-nine percent of respondents selected a Caribbean cruise making it the top choice.

Approximately 1,500 people in the U.S. participated in the survey. Respondents chose from four rotated options: a Las Vegas hotel, a resort in the Dominican Republic, an Orlando hotel or a Caribbean cruise. Overall, the cruise ranked number one, followed by Las Vegas, the Dominican Republic, and then Orlando. (Google weighted the data to replicate U.S. adult demographics so results are statistically significant.)

Other highlights of the survey include:

  • Cruises were the most popular option among women, with approximately 42 percent of women choosing the cruise. But most male respondents’ first choice was also a cruise, with 35 percent choosing that option.

  • Travel distance didn’t deter choice of a Caribbean cruise. In fact, West Coast respondents were the most enthusiastic about a cruise, with 42 percent opting first for the cruise, followed by Midwest (40 percent), Northeast (38 percent) and South (36 percent). The cruise dominated as first choice in each region.

  • One surprise of the study: while a cruise was the number one choice among all age groups, it was most appealing to respondents in the 18-24 age bracket, with 43 percent choosing a reward at sea. This result points to the continued popularity of group cruises as this young demographic enters the workforce and moves into management positions in coming years.

Taken together, the results underscore the wide-scale popularity of today’s highly entertaining and activity-filled cruises. As business executives and event planners consider their options for employee rewards and group outings, a business cruise will deliver the most motivational reward to the broadest group of people compared to many other options.

Overall, employees are more motivated by travel than cash or other benefits, according to a report by the Incentive Research Foundation and the Incentive Federation. The report states: “Non-cash inducements are actually more effective and therefore, more efficient in capturing an employee’s attention.”

“When it comes to travel, cruises rank high on people’s bucket list,” said Jo Kling, president, Landry & Kling. “Cruises are an affordable and cost-effective alternative to traditional land-based events. They also create an environment that lends itself to networking, and strengthens employee relationships,”


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