Spending on incentive travel rewards among UK and US businesses is on the rise, with an increased focus on wellness and sustainability in response to concerns over employee wellbeing, according to a new report by agency CR Worldwide.
The Corporate Wellness 2.0 report, based on CR data of 120 enterprises and more than 287,000 employees, reveals that spending on rewards across all UK enterprises doubled from 2016-17 to almost £7,000,000 in 2018-19, while the average US corporate spend on employee rewards soared by 67% in 2019.
There has been a 22% overall increase in UK corporate spending on employee travel incentives in 2019 compared to the previous year, with UK companies now spending an average of £3,100 per person per trip in the last year. The report states that the increase in spending on corporate getaways demonstrates that businesses are increasingly investing in employee rewards built around health, wellbeing and the experience economy.
More than half (56%) of travel incentives over the past year included more nature-based activities than city breaks, according to CR data.
In the last three years, there has been a 25% increase in the number of UK enterprises booking trips involving an active element. In total, 44% of all UK corporate getaways now include an element of physical activity and nature such as paragliding, white-water rafting, husky sledging, shark-diving and skiing.
Meanwhile, in the last 12 months alone, there has been a 29% increase in the number of companies offering ‘nature tourism’ including jungle treks. “A surprising trend has also begun to emerge – corporations are offering travel incentives built around enhancing the ‘human-animal bond’ which has been found to have therapeutic effects on mental health,” said David Gould, CEO, CR Worldwide.
The report revealed that individuals are even choosing corporate rewards that similarly demonstrate an increased awareness of mental health and wellbeing such as extra leisure time or health-related gadgets.
Wearable fitness aids such as Fitbits were among the ten most popular corporate rewards across EMEA (including the UK) and the US in 2019. The three most popular rewards for US employees included a full-day, half-day, and 10-hour break and a day off was the most popular corporate reward of 2019 worldwide.