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The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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What are trip rewards?

Trip rewards are benefits or perks that are offered by travel companies, airlines, hotels, or credit card companies to their employees. 

Why are trip rewards important?

The reasons why trip rewards are important include the following:

  • High perceived value: Trip rewards often have a high perceived value among employees. Travel experiences, such as flights, hotel stays, and vacations, are typically associated with luxury and leisure, making them attractive incentives that can motivate employees to engage with a rewards program or make purchases.
  • Emotional appeal: Travel rewards tap into employees' desires for new experiences, adventure, and relaxation. 
  • Memorable experiences: Unlike material rewards that may lose their appeal over time, travel rewards offer employees the opportunity to create lasting memories and experiences. A well-planned trip can leave a lasting impression on employees, fostering a positive association with the brand or business offering the reward.
  • Differentiation and competitive advantage: Offering trip rewards can help businesses differentiate themselves from competitors and stand out in crowded markets. Travel incentives set businesses apart by providing unique and desirable rewards that are not easily replicated by competitors.
  • Aspirational goals: Trip rewards serve as aspirational goals that employees can work towards and aspire to achieve. The prospect of earning a dream vacation or luxury getaway can inspire employees to actively participate in a rewards program, make repeat purchases, or engage with a brand over the long term.
  • Influence on customer behavior: Trip rewards can influence employee behavior in desirable ways, such as increasing spending, driving engagement with a loyalty program, or encouraging brand advocacy. Employees may be more likely to choose a brand or make additional purchases if they know they can earn rewards that contribute to their travel aspirations.
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What factors influence the value of trip rewards?

The factors which influence the value of trip rewards are:

  • Destination: The popularity, desirability, and cost of the destination play a significant role in determining the value of a trip reward. Travel to high-demand destinations or exotic locales typically commands a higher perceived value compared to more common or less desirable locations.
  • Duration: The length of the trip, such as the number of nights for hotel stays or the duration of a vacation package, affects the perceived value of the reward. Longer trips are generally considered more valuable than shorter ones, as they offer employees more time to enjoy the destination and create lasting memories.
  • Accommodations: The quality and type of accommodations included in the trip reward, such as luxury hotels, resorts, or vacation rentals, can influence its value. Upgrades to higher-end accommodations or exclusive properties can enhance the perceived value of the reward.
  • Travel class: For airline rewards, the class of travel (e.g., economy, business, first class) significantly impacts the perceived value of the reward. Upgrades to premium or business class seating are often considered more valuable than standard economy tickets.
  • Inclusions and extras: Additional perks and amenities included in the trip reward, such as meals, transportation, activities, tours, or spa treatments, can enhance its overall value. Employees may perceive rewards that include comprehensive packages or added extras as more valuable.
  • Flexibility and customization: The flexibility to choose travel dates, destinations, or specific components of the trip can add value to the reward. Customization options allow employees to tailor the trip to their preferences, increasing its appeal and perceived value.
  • Ease of redemption: The ease and convenience of redeeming the trip reward can impact its perceived value. Rewards that have flexible redemption options, straightforward booking processes, and minimal restrictions are generally viewed more favorably by employees.
  • Exclusivity and rarity: Trip rewards that offer unique or exclusive experiences, such as access to private resorts, VIP events, or off-the-beaten-path destinations, are often perceived as more valuable due to their rarity and exclusivity.
  • Market conditions: External factors such as market demand, seasonal fluctuations, and economic conditions can influence the value of trip rewards. Rewards offered during peak travel seasons or in high-demand markets may have higher perceived value compared to those offered during off-peak periods.
  • Brand reputation: The reputation and credibility of the brand offering the trip reward can impact its perceived value. Customers may place greater trust and confidence in rewards offered by reputable brands known for delivering high-quality experiences.

Why should travel companies offer trip rewards to employees ?

Travel companies should offer trip rewards to employees for several reasons:

  • Increased bookings and revenue: Trip rewards programs can drive incremental bookings and revenue for travel companies. By offering enticing rewards, companies can motivate employees to book more frequently and spend more on travel purchases to earn rewards faster.
  • Brand awareness and perception: Offering trip rewards can enhance brand awareness and perception among employees. Positive experiences with rewards programs can lead to increased brand advocacy and word-of-mouth referrals, attracting new employees and strengthening the company's reputation in the market.
  • Data collection and insights: Trip rewards programs provide valuable data and insights into customer behavior, preferences, and travel patterns. Travel companies can leverage this data to personalize marketing efforts, improve targeting, and optimize pricing and inventory management strategies.
  • Encouraging direct bookings: Trip rewards programs can incentivize travelers to book directly with the company's website or app, rather than through third-party booking platforms. Direct bookings help companies reduce distribution costs and maintain control over the customer relationship.

How do trip rewards influence travel decisions?

Trip rewards can significantly influence travel decisions by providing incentives and motivations for individuals to choose specific destinations, make travel bookings, and engage with particular brands or loyalty programs. Here's how trip rewards influence travel decisions:

  • Incentive to participate: Trip rewards serve as powerful incentives for individuals to participate in loyalty programs, engage with a brand, or make purchases. The promise of earning points or miles towards a free trip encourages travelers to choose a specific airline, hotel chain, or travel provider over competitors.
  • Destination selection: Travelers may be influenced to choose certain destinations based on the availability of trip rewards or the attractiveness of the rewards offered. If a loyalty program offers enticing travel rewards to specific destinations, travelers may prioritize those destinations when planning their trips.
  • Brand loyalty: Trip rewards can foster loyalty among travelers towards a particular brand or travel provider. By offering valuable rewards and benefits, brands can incentivize customers to continue booking with them, rather than switching to competitors.
  • Repeat bookings: Travelers who have earned trip rewards through a loyalty program are more likely to book with the same brand or travel provider in the future to continue earning rewards and benefits. This leads to repeat business and increased customer retention for the brand.
  • Upgrade opportunities: Trip rewards often include opportunities for employees to enjoy upgrades, such as complimentary room upgrades in hotels or seat upgrades on flights. The possibility of receiving these upgrades can influence employees to book with a specific provider to enhance their travel experience.
  • Budget optimization: Trip rewards can help employees optimize their travel budgets by offsetting the costs of flights, accommodations, or activities. Employees may be more inclined to book with a brand offering trip rewards to maximize their savings and value for money.
  • Aspirational travel: Trip rewards provide travelers with the opportunity to fulfill their aspirational travel goals, such as visiting exotic destinations or staying in luxury accommodations. The allure of earning rewards towards dream vacations can motivate travelers to actively engage with loyalty programs and make travel bookings.
  • Word-of-mouth recommendations: Positive experiences with trip rewards can lead to word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals from satisfied travelers. When employees share their experiences and recommend a brand's loyalty program or rewards offerings to friends and family, it can influence their travel decisions as well.

How to maximize benefits from trip reward programs?

To maximize the benefits from trip reward programs, both travelers and travel companies can implement various strategies:

1. For employees:

  • Research and comparison: Compare different trip reward programs offered by airlines, hotels, and travel agencies to identify the most valuable options in terms of rewards, benefits, and redemption options.
  • Focus on accumulating points: Concentrate on earning points or miles through preferred travel providers by booking directly with them and taking advantage of promotions, bonuses, and co-branded credit card offers.
  • Strategic redemptions: Plan and strategize redemptions to get the most value out of accumulated points or miles. Look for opportunities to redeem rewards for high-value experiences such as business class flights, luxury hotel stays, or exclusive tours.
  • Take advantage of elite status: Work towards achieving elite status within loyalty programs to unlock additional benefits such as priority boarding, lounge access, complimentary upgrades, and bonus points earning rates.
  • Stay flexible: Maintain flexibility in travel plans to take advantage of last-minute deals, award availability, and off-peak redemption opportunities. Flexibility can enable travelers to maximize the value of their rewards and stretch their points further.
  • Combine points and cash: Some loyalty programs offer the option to pay with a combination of points and cash for bookings. Consider using this option when redeeming rewards to minimize out-of-pocket expenses and maximize the value of points.
  • Refer friends and family: Take advantage of referral programs offered by some loyalty programs to earn additional points or miles by referring friends and family to join the program or make bookings.

2. For travel companies:

  • Offer competitive rewards: Provide attractive trip rewards that offer high perceived value to travelers, such as free flights, hotel stays, room upgrades, or vacation packages.
  • Personalized offers: Tailor rewards and promotions to match the preferences and travel behaviors of individual customers. Use data and insights to offer personalized recommendations and targeted incentives.
  • Promote engagement: Encourage customer engagement with the loyalty program by offering bonus points for completing certain actions, participating in promotions, or interacting with the brand on social media.
  • Enhance redemption options: Expand redemption options to include a variety of travel experiences, partner offerings, and non-travel rewards to cater to diverse customer preferences and maximize redemption flexibility.
  • Provide elite benefits: Offer exclusive benefits and privileges to elite members, such as priority service, enhanced rewards earning rates, complimentary upgrades, and access to premium amenities.
  • Simplify redemption process: Streamline the redemption process to make it easy and convenient for customers to redeem their rewards. Invest in user-friendly interfaces, intuitive booking platforms, and responsive customer support to enhance the redemption experience.
  • Communicate value: Clearly communicate the value proposition of the loyalty program and highlight the benefits of participating, including rewards, perks, and exclusive offers. Use targeted marketing and communication channels to reach and engage customers effectively.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

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