Incentive Travel: What are Millennials & Gen Z Looking For?

By in Featured, Incentive + Group Travel, Insights, Thought Pieces

With millennials set to make up half of the global workforce by 2020 and Gen Z following closely behind, it’s key that businesses cater their benefits programs to fit the interests of potential candidates. According to Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey Report, attracting and retaining millennials and Gen Z respondents begins with financial rewards and workplace culture. Incentive travel allows for financial reward and the opportunity to make memories while establishing a greater sense of culture.  

Both millennials and Gen Z prefer experiences over material goods. Collecting memories, meeting new people, and experiencing culture first-hand is what fuels their curiosity. As businesses adapt to meet the needs of their youngest employees and consumers, benefits like incentive travel are shifting to encompass generational priorities, culture, and unforgettable experiences.


This group of professionals may want to experience another culture, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll enjoy the typical tourist model. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky shared research that three in four millennials said they’d rather buy an experience than a physical good. For Millennials and Gen Z, the most interesting places are ones that the locals know and the tourists miss out on.


Millennials and Gen Z are known for their environmental concern. Travel incentives with environmental mindfulness will garner the most trust and enthusiasm from these employees. Finding lodging with a focus on sustainable living is a great start. There are also plenty of venues that find unique ways to contribute to a cleaner planet like using repurposed materials to create modern art or purchasing locally sourced produce.


As a health conscious age group, incorporating wellness into travel incentives will definitely meet their expectations. In this case, wellness doesn’t translate to fluffy bathrobes and extravagant spas. Think yoga pavilions, group paddle boarding, surf lessons, top fitness influencers, “clean” food, and environmental or spiritual elements.

Travel incentives are shifting toward personalization and total engagement. The organizations that deliver memorable benefits will attract and retain the best millennial and Gen Z employees, strengthening their prospects for long-term success.