Eugene DeVillers Eugene DeVillers

A little planning goes a long way

By Eugene DeVilliers

It’s no secret that quality travel reward programmes remain a powerful motivational tool for internal and external channel partners. Industry expert, Eugene De Villiers, is keen to reinforce the quantifiable benefits associated with planning travel reward programmes well in advance rather than leaving them to the last minute.

Negotiating power
The longer the lead time when booking your incentive travel, the stronger the negotiating power will be with suppliers. With the pressure of high-demand markets, planning in advance allows more time to negotiate costs and deals with hotels, airlines and entertainment providers to secure the best value possible. It’s a simple equation - the longer you wait to plan an incentive trip, the more negotiating power you lose.
Similar to reserving a table, if you call at the last minute, the less space there will be available. Hotels, activities and transfers will not hold space without commitment, and booking in advance will avoid availability issues e.g hotel blackout dates and booked out entertainment and activities. Getting in early ensures you can dictate when and where you want to go.
Where there is greater negotiating power and availability, there are greater savings for the host. Planning incentive travel, especially overseas, can be expensive. Waiting until the last minute to book your travel incentive means the prices of hotels and airfares are less negotiable and usually more expensive.
We all know the feeling of looking forward to a holiday. The anticipation of waiting for an incentive travel trip raises team morale and loyalty, directly impacting the bottom line.
Eugene De Villiers is the managing director of the Auckland based Extra Mile Company, which specialises in creating cost effective behavioural change programmes, utilising a range of awards including travel, merchandise, recognition and branded cash. For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow him on