How We Relocated an Incentive Travel Program & Saved Our Client $750K

By: ITA Group
ita group incentive travel event in whistler

Change, in all capacities, is never easy. Complicating matters further, the world today is in a constant state of flux.

For companies looking to invest in incentive travel, that presents a problem.

How can you invest in an incentive travel program more than a year away when you’re uncertain about what will happen between then and now?

The first step: finding an incentive travel company with the proven capability of managing risk and ensuring a successful experience.

Here’s how we helped one client manage a last-minute destination change in their incentive travel program.

Related: Looking for more key information about travel and event risk management? Download our free ebook.

The Problem

Our client, a prominent financial services provider, worried about possible safety and security threats at their destination.

Just weeks prior to the scheduled departures of our client’s five incentive travel events, our client decided to shift course and relocated all of their 1,200 participants to a closer-to-home locale to minimize risk.

How could we accommodate our client’s request, manage cost and create a successful event—all with the clock ticking?

The answer: strategic planning and powerful incentive travel relationships.


With the goal established—creating engaging new events in new venues in just a handful of days—we had our work cut out for us. With 50+ years of incentive travel experience in tow, we took a deep dive into our expertise and relied on our experience and resources to get the job done.

Contract cancellation. We called upon expert legal guidance to navigate our client through managing the cancellation of contracted properties, including negotiating re-booking clauses that would leverage monetary deposits.

Destination and property selection. Finding a motivating destination that can safely handle 1,200 participants and prepare for them at a breakneck pace is a tall order. We orchestrated last-minute site visits—some planned in a matter of hours—and contracted with the right properties in record time.

Strategic partner and supplier selection. Today, risk management is a critical component of any group travel and event strategy. That’s why our team sought out and vetted destination management partners with the ability to successfully help plan the on-site experience and ensured the staff was available to help. The same was done with key event suppliers, including photographers, videographers, security providers, attendee medical services providers and more.

Participant communication. Once the decision to relocate was made and new destinations and dates were determined, communications kicked into high gear. Participants received direct communication concerning the destination change via phone and email, and our travel headquarters managed the resulting inbound communication. Then, the registration website was redesigned to provide up-to-the-minute information.

Event planning. Designing 25+ days of travel and events would normally take 12 to 18 months. Creating an engaging, successful event in just a few weeks was a creative, all-hands-on-deck effort.

Travel staff realignment. Approximately 40 on-site staff—a key role in delivering a successful experience—were quickly trained and equipped to facilitate the revised programs.

Air ticketing. Our team handled travel ticketing for all 1,200 participants (the equivalent of three Boeing 747s full of passengers) quickly and within tight timeframes.

Financial management. Making the shift from one destination to another without breaking the bank requires some serious financial management. We proved our importance as a strategic partner by offsetting nearly $2.4 million in hotel cancellation penalties.


In the end, the participant experience was second to none, and clients came away with an incentive travel program that totaled $750,000 under the originally projected cost.

Better yet, our clients and participants loved it:

“The site was perfect for that time of year. Very happy that it was moved.”

—Event Attendee

“I would like to thank the team for working tirelessly on a [contract cancellation and relocation solution]. Their efforts truly helped save the program and allowed us to deliver an equally amazing program within a reasonable budget.”

—Client Stakeholder

What’s The Key to Success? Relationships.

For us, the secret to success for incentive travel lies in relationships.

The ability for us to make split-second changes on behalf of our clients is indicative of the trusting, positive relationships we foster every day.

And the relationships with hoteliers, destination management professionals, vendors, medical services providers and risk management partners ensured an exclusive, safe experience that created an enormous impact on our client’s corporate image, their financial investment and their greatest asset—their people.

With decades of incentive travel experience under our belts, we know how to handle anything the current global climate throws at us.

And, with an incentive travel solution that strategically aligns and motivates your people while delivering an awe-inspiring experience, you’ll get the sales, service and loyalty results you need.

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ITA Group

ITA Group custom-crafts engagement solutions that motivate and inspire your people. ITA Group infuses strategies that fuel advocacy and drive business results for some of the world’s biggest brands.