NOV 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 7 Findings from a survey released in mid-October show that incentive travel is on the rise, but caution that costs to operate an incentive travel program are going up. The first joint study of the global incentive travel industry, the survey involved The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and Financial and Insur- ance Conference Professionals (FICP). Entitled "Incentive Travel Industry Index powered by SITE Index, IRF Outlook and FICP," the study is a landmark for the industry, providing unprecedented, consolidated insights into the current state of incentive travel and where it is headed, according to SITE CEO Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP. "Never before have three associations, all with a focus on incentive travel, come together to release a pan-industry study of the global incentive travel sector. It is the biggest research project ever conducted on incentive travel, by volume and geographical spread, and the results demon- strate unequivocally that our industry is continuing to thrive and grow," he said. Conducted in association with J.D. Power, the study is a wide-ranging analysis of business conditions, attitudes and expectations impacting the incentive travel and motivational events industry worldwide. With over 1,000 respondents from 80 countries, it is the largest survey ever conducted of senior players in the incentive travel industry, doubling responses from past indi- vidual efforts and netting new insights based on combined questioning. 5 KEY TAKEAWAYS n Budgets for 2018 are up • 54% of all buyers report increase in budgets • Per person median is $4,000 – same as last year, but $1,000 more than 2016 figure • Per person average for corporate buyers is $8,151 • Per person average for agencies is $5,193 • Wide range per person spend on incentives with some in the region of $50,000 n More Qualifiers Than Ever • Globally, 65% of all buyers are increasing the number of qualifiers • Incentive Houses are seeing significant increases – in 2017 54% reported an increase in qualifiers, in 2018 this is 71% n Incentives As A Builder Of Workplace Culture • Sales and profitability are still the top reasons for incentives • "Better relationship building between employees and management" was the 5th most important objective for incentives in 2017 but it's now the 2nd • Also ranking in Top 5 – "improved employee engagement and morale" and "Better relationship building between employees" n Increase In Use Of "All-Inclusive" Destinations • The number of buyers taking steps to reduce costs has been increasing every year, moving from 73% in 2015 to 78% in 2016, 80% in 2017 and 82% in 2018 • Use of all-inclusive destinations much more pronounced amongst Incentive Houses (48% are doing it) than corporate end users (26% are doing it) n Wellness Is The New Golf • When asked about "inclusions" in incentive travel programs, 86% of buyers highlighted Wellness (yoga, healthy meals etc.) • Wellness (86%) trumps CSR (74%) • CSR falling out of favor particularly with Corporate Buyers (down from 94% in 2017 to 73% in 2018) "Although the findings show that incentive travel is growing, the reality is that there are counter-currents such as rising costs that may temper growth," said IRF President, Melissa Van Dyke. "Over two-thirds of planners are taking steps to contain costs, such as less expensive destinations or less expensive amenities. Fortunately, the nature of incentive travel programs allows companies to adjust them to reflect concerns with costs." n Incentive Travel Increases But Costs Are Going Up

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