8 Incentive Travel Destinations Trending in 2024

By: Jodi Swailes

What You Need to Know

  • Destinations that capitalize on local culture and cuisine remain popular.
  • Incentive travel programs offer the opportunity for attendees to experience a destination in ways they otherwise couldn’t.
  • Cruises are more popular than ever for incentive travel.

Whether you’re searching for outdoor adventure or luxury accommodations, superior service and unique experiences should be top priorities of any incentive travel program. Attendees want to experience a memorable trip that connects them with local culture. They also want to experience a destination in ways they couldn’t while exploring on their own.  

This year, I see travel trends toward destinations that focus on local culture, global responsibility and urban exploration. Keep reading to discover eight destinations worth considering, as well as some of the travel trends that are important to watch.

View Our White Paper: How to Use Data to Create a Personalized Incentive Travel Experience

Trending International Destinations 

1. Mallorca, Spain

Coastal Landscapes, Michelin-Star Dining, Inspiring Architecture

coastline and beach in Mallorca, Spain

Head to the island of Mallorca for a relaxing retreat rich with local culture, architecture and Spanish food. This Mediterranean destination is well-known as a gourmet capital of the region with vibrant local flavors, pristine beaches and an island pace.  

Highlights

  • Explore another side of Spain through a wide range of cultural, adventure and culinary experiences
  • Bask in the beauty of Spain’s verdant mountain ranges and turquoise waters by bike or catamaran
  • Indulge at Michelin-rated restaurants or tapas bars, and sample olive oil and wine during private tastings

Mallorca Hotel Recommendation

  • Opening in 2024, the Mandarin Oriental Punta Negra Mallorca will have 131 rooms with a convenient location near the superyacht harbor of Puerto Portals, just 20 minutes from Palma International Airport.
  • Originally built in 1929, Mallorca’s first luxury hotel is being transformed into the Four Seasons Resort Mallorca at Formentor, scheduled to open in 2024. Located on a spectacular coastal peninsula on the far northern tip of the island, this property will offer 110 rooms and suites with access to a beach and private vineyard. 

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

Nordic Design, Culinary Excellence, Eco-Friendly Options 

people walking and sitting at cafes along canal in Copenhagen, Denmark

Named the second happiest country in the world in 2023, it’s easy to see why travelers are flocking to Denmark. As a destination, Copenhagen is an incredible option for groups with its effortless blend of Nordic elegance and cozy European charm. From picturesque canals and a globally acclaimed culinary landscape to contemporary architecture and an environment-first mentality, Copenhagen is a blend of traditional and modern life. 

Highlights

  • Savor some of the world’s best Michelin-starred restaurants, including the internationally renowned Noma before it closes for good at the end of 2024
  • Wander the iconic Tivoli Gardens and charming Nyhavn Harbor
  • Cycle around the city’s bike-friendly streets to see famous sites like the futuristic Copenhagen Opera House and historic charm of Rosenborg Castle

Copenhagen Hotel Recommendation

  • The Villa Copenhagen opened in 2020 near the city center. Its collection of social spaces and 25-meter open-air, sustainably heated rooftop pool make it the perfect place to relax and play.

Ideal Group Tip: Copenhagen is a wonderful option for larger corporate groups, especially those looking to experience a modern European city in a new way. 

3. Marrakech, Morocco 

Rich Culture, Mountain Landscapes, Colorful Design

people walking and shopping in market square in Marrakech, Morocco

Known as the “Red City,” Marrakech is a vibrant, urban destination teeming with color and culture. This Moroccan city is also perfect for those wanting to travel with purpose and give back to communities.

Highlights

  • Wander colorful ancient cities, stunning scenery and lively souks where you’ll encounter mouthwatering food
  • Experience outdoor adventure in the Agafay desert and Atlas Mountains
  • Use Marrakech as a hub to explore other developing destinations in the area like Tamouda Bay or Rabat, which is going through a cultural and artistic reinvention

Marrakech Hotel Recommendation

  • High-quality accommodations are just one of the reasons that Marrakech is a top destination for incentive travel. Book at stay at the luxurious La Mamounia or the newly-renovated Four Seasons.

4. Botswana, Africa

Outdoor Adventures, Scenic Landscapes, Local Connection

travelers on a boat ride watching elephants in botswana

Named one of the “50 Best Places to Travel in 2024” by Travel + Leisure, Botswana offers diverse desert and savannah landscapes and opportunities for wildlife encounters through incentive travel that benefits local guides, businesses and accommodations directly.  

Highlights

  • Experience the natural beauty of the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park, among many other scenic outdoor places
  • Get up close with wildlife through a game drive, bushwalk or river safari
  • Support the developing tourism industry through new lodges and local businesses

Botswana Hotel Recommendations

  • The area offers incredible camp options, either through one of Belmond’s three properties or two new camps from African Bush Camps: Khwai Lebida and Atzaro Okavango 
  • Conservation and sustainability are at the heart of everything you’ll find at Xigera Safari Lodge. The lodge is powered almost entirely through solar energy, and has made caring for the environment a priority, including the elimination of single-use plastics. 

Ideal Group Tip: Botswana is perfect for smaller groups looking for an intimate and individualized travel experience. 

5. & 6. Istanbul & Bodrum, Turkey

Luxury Accommodations, Blend of Cultures, Turkish Baths

evening view of Hagia Sophia in Instanbul Turkey

There’s no shortage of things to do in Turkey, which explains why these two top 2023 travel destinations are still trending in 2024. Whether attendees prefer outdoor adventure along Bodrum’s mountainside trails or a culture-rich stroll through Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, there’s plenty to discover.

Highlights

  • Explore the Grand Bazaar to look for memorable souvenirs and great buys, including the Bazaar's rooftops
  • Stroll along the waterfront promenade in Bodrum  
  • Book an adventure outside of Bodrum, like an off-road safari tour or tandem skydiving experience 

Bodrum Hotel Recommendation

  • The Mandarin Oriental Bodrum combines luxurious accommodations, like on-site dining and a world-class spa, with panoramic views of the Aegean Sea.

Istanbul Hotel Recommendation

  • Located on the shores of the Bosphorus Strait, the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus is perfectly situated for guests looking to experience a retreat from Istanbul’s lively atmosphere, complete with an impressive spa and thoughtfully-curated dining options.

Ideal Group Tip: If you’re planning for a group of intrepid travelers looking for an immersive cultural experience, Turkey is a wonderful destination.

Download Our White Paper: How to Use Data to Create a Personalized Incentive Travel Experience

Trending Domestic Destinations

1. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Fine Arts, Indigenous Culture, Outdoor Adventures

panoramic view of Plaza Blanca in Santa Fe New Mexico

Named the “Creative City” by UNESCO, Santa Fe continues to be a trending domestic destination for lovers of both the arts and outdoors. This southwest destination is a melting pot of American Indian, Latin American and western cultures. This is where the arts and outdoors meet through breathtaking old-world architecture and stunning desert landscapes.  

Highlights

  • Find inspiration during a guided art tour, including ceramics, jewelry and Pueblo art
  • Saddle up for an equine roping lesson with local guides
  • Try your hand at fly fishing for wild trout in a local river

Hotel Recommendation

  • There’s a reason that Bishop’s Lodge is one of the area’s highly rated properties. Just a 10-minute drive from the city center, this cozy lodge is nestled in Santa Fe National Forest and offers a variety of unique amenities like private horse stables, a trout stream and an on-site art studio. 

Ideal Group Tip: Small groups will appreciate Santa Fe’s mix of history and culture. We recommend planning visits from the late spring to early fall.

2. Texas Hill Country

Country Roots, Local Flavor, Charming Small Towns

fields of flowers on the blue bonnet trail in texas hill country

Escape to Texas Hill Country and step into the Cowboy Capital of the World. Whether attendees are touring the wineries the Hill Country is well known for or exploring its quaint communities like Luckenbach, the region of Texas has plenty to offer.

Highlights

  • Witness a rare total solar eclipse in April 2024 or enjoy a stargazing party with astronomers on the Bluebonnet Trail
  • Explore the 12 river headwaters that begin in Hill Country by diving into prime swimming holes, kayaking picturesque waterways and traversing the area’s thousands of limestone caves
  • Experience one of the largest habitat restoration projects in Texas with a visit to the 5,500-acre Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve

Texas Hill Country Hotel Recommendations

The Hill Country sits between two major metropolitan areas which offer great hotel options. 

2024 Incentive Travel Trends 

cruise ship embarking on ocean voyage

Trending International Cruises

There’s a reason that cruises are more popular than ever for incentive travel. Not only are these options often more economical, but they offer more flexibility to plan a multi-destination trip. Here are some cruise lines and routes worth noting.   

  • Several new cruise companies made a debut last year and are adding to their fleet, including Explora Journeys and Atlas, which will focus on Antarctica expeditions.
  • Yacht cruising has become more popular. In fact, Ritz Carlton introduced their first yacht in 2023 and a second will start sailing in 2024. Four Seasons has also jumped aboard the trend along with Aman Resort, which will have yacht-style ships coming out after 2025.
  • European river cruises will increase in popularity. Both AMA Waterways and the new Transcend Cruises offer river cruises for exclusive charters only, ideal for corporate group travel. For these types of cruises, we recommend an ideal group size around 110 people or combining cabins for an all-suite experience for between 50–60 guests.

New International & Domestic Accommodations Opening in 2024

The new year also brings a number of exciting hotel properties that we can’t wait to share with incentive travel groups. 

Need help narrowing down destination options? Our team can help spot pitfalls and recommend ways to elevate your travel experiences. Learn how to use data to personalize your next incentive travel program.

Download Our White Paper: Use Data to Personalize Incentive Trip Experiences
Jodi Swailes
Jodi Swailes

As a savvy Event Destination Strategist and ITA Group employee-owner for nearly three decades, experiences are Jodi’s jam. She understands destination and partner sourcing, contract negotiations, program design and budget development. She's also an advocate for building long-lasting connections between attendees and brands. When Jodi's not working hard to create unforgettable events around the world, she's either roughing it in the wild outdoors or seeking out live music.