An Ideal Incentive

The same batch of people seems to go on incentive trips year after year and has grown jaded. For a corporate organiser, the challenge is finding a destination and an experience that cannot easily be forgotten.

For authenticity and the value for money that it offers, Myanmar is worthy of serious consideration for incentive trips in Southeast Asia.

I went there in January and here are some ideas for your next incentive trip.

At Yangon, you could visit the incredible Shwedagon pagoda, have a sumptuous high tea at the century-old Strand Hotel (for a price you can hardly buy a cup of coffee at its sister hotel Raffles Singapore) and walk around the colonial buildings downtown.

In Yangon, head for the most spectacular (and most forgotten) archaeological site in Southeast Asia: Bagan. This is a perfect place to send out participants by horse cart, have a cocktail party on a sandbank along the mighty Irrawaddy River, donate food to the monks at the centuries-old teak wooden monastery and enjoy lunch with them or take the hot-air balloon flight of your life.

Then continue by chartered flight (if you have about 60 people it could be the same price as a regular flight) to Inle Lake for a completely different backdrop of your incentive trip: floating gardens, leg rowers, genuine authentic markets.

Forget about any previous trip. In Myanmar, the sightseeing starts the moment you leave your hotel – not the moment you pass the entrance fee booth. Let the whole group participate in a leg row competition (two boats with 50 leg rowers each) and finish the evening with a huge party while launching a fire balloon with the logo of your company. For sure, your participants will have an experience they never forget, which is, after all, the whole point of organising an incentive trip.

To introduce an experience of contrasts,  combine it with a trip to Bangkok (always a hit!). The difference between a shocking modern Bangkok: stay at the Millennium Hilton, amazing race through the city by skytrain and a super-hip dinner at Bed Supper club combined with a chartered flight straight to the horse carts, ancient temples and charming hotels like the Tharaba Gate in Bagan will definitely create a “shock experience” your clients will never forget.

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