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Three of the best… destinations for Corporate Social Responsibility incentives

“When the client announced they were doing a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme within their incentive package it brought the company together, not just the people who had qualified and were on the trip, but the rest of the employees, too,” Lynne Embling, director, Global Incentives.

Zambia, with Global Incentives

Although Zambia might seem like a far-flung place for most travellers, the southern African destination is on the rise for incentive planners with an eye for excitement and unique experiences.

Aside from adrenalin excursions like bungee jumping and helicopter tours to Victoria Falls, paying a visit to the local communities, who rely heavily on volunteers to help improve their way of live through building schools and renovating orphanages, is always the highlight of the trip.

When Global Incentives brought a group of European delegates to Zambia their response to the destination and the people they met was extremely positive. “At the end of the event, at the last dinner, the delegates were in tears because they knew they had given a lot to the children but they were proud of themselves for making it part of their trip,” said Embling.

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The company travelled to the Ebenezer orphanage and school where they helped complete two key projects: painting and decorating the new computer room and library, which was stocked with equipment shipped over from the company’s office, and constructing and clearing spaces for a basketball court, all achieved with the help from the children.

Embling adds: “CSR is to the benefit of the people at the destination, whether it be children or whoever, but delegates like to know they’ve given something back to these communities. It makes people feel like they’re not doing it for themselves.”

Bali, with Hands Up Incentives

Represented by a chain of islands stretching 500,000km across Indonesia, Bali is consistently revered as a paradise on earth. Incentive travel agency Hands Up Incentives is well experienced in introducing groups to the local community, to villages like Karangasem in East Bali where more than 365,000 people inhabit the country’s most beautiful landscapes.

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On the course of a five-day itinerary groups can dive into the local culture sampling traditional cuisine with produce grown and picked from the surrounding farmland as well as taking part in community schemes where CSR can significantly improve the lives of the local residents. For instance, helping the physically disabled residents of the village build bathrooms for the households helps to secure a better quality of life for them and their families, with as many as seven bathrooms being built across two days.

Furthermore, the stunning nature that surrounds Bali allows for a scintillating itinerary to be constructed either side of the group’s visit to Karangasem whether it’s surfing and cooking lessons to a walking tour of the temples and ancient monasterial caves in the Ubud area.

Cambodia

For Colt Technology, no incentive trip is complete without a CSR activity. “It’s part of our brand ethos to give something back to the communities we visit,” says Sullivan. “We encourage our staff to give back in day-to-day life and we apply these values to our recognition trips. Sometimes people have been a bit sceptical before taking part in the activity, but it’s always the highlight of every trip.”

The company was searching for the right CSR programme that reflected these ambitions and found exactly what they were looking for in Cambodia. The delegation worked at a local school to improve infrastructure, refurbishing furniture, building classroom space from bamboo and reeds and creating a fence around the school to keep animals out.

“This all aimed to improve health and safety for the children and could be done in a short space of time with a large group of people and a well-thought-out plan,” says Sullivan.

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