Home' micenet eMag : micenet December 2018 Contents W
ith more than 1000 survey
respondents for the latest
study, the 2018 results
found there is a four-year
trend showing that 50 per cent or more who
buy incentive travel services plan to increase
the number of people who are eligible to
participate in reward trips.
About one in two buyers who responded
to the survey say the overall incentive travel
budget has increased, with the median
spending per person on incentive travel
rewards remaining unchanged at $4000
The alarming news, however, is that the
number of buyers taking steps to reduce
costs continues to increase, moving from 73
per cent in 2015, 78 per cent in 2016, 80 per
cent in 2017, and 82 per cent in 2018.
All-inclusive and less expensive destinations
top the buyers’ actions taken to manage costs.
In 2018, incentive/meeting companies
used shorter programs, fewer inclusions, less
expensive destinations and less expensive
hotels to manage costs significantly more
than corporate users.
In 2018, fewer corporate users were taking
actions to reduce costs, however, more
incentive/meeting companies are attentive to
costs with only 14 per cent not taking any
steps to reduce costs.
Sustainability and being “green” is a top
consideration for incentive travel planners but
it continues to rank low for participants.
In 2018, optimism about the world and the
national economy keeps on growing.
Optimism about the national economy is
more pronounced among U.S. buyers.
The threat of terror groups, national
political situations and airline costs are the
top areas of concern in the industry.
Alignments buyers want to achieve
through incentive travel programs include:
• Alignment around company culture
• Use the time to learn best practices from the top of the leader ladder
• Reward for hard work
• General recognition and appreciation for good work
• Recognition and a general sense of purpose
• Bonding between vendors and employees and executives and employees
• Give partners a reward, a break to re-energise
Objectives people trying to reach through incentive travel programs (sellers) were:
• Bring a unique experience back home
• Doing something new, making it a true experience, memories which can only be
generated by an incentive trip
• Bucket list experiences. Local cultural experiences. WOW affect.
• Reward for achievement of goals.
• A memorable experience
• Motivation – reward employee retention
• Drive sales performance
• Education. Networking. Impressions.
In 2018 the greatest majority of buyers (98 per cent) say their incentive travel programs have
been “very effective” or “somewhat effective” in achieving their most important objectives.
The majority of sellers (84 per cent) believe that incentive travel programs are a strong
motivator of performance. The majority (58 per cent) of both buyers and sellers say their
perception of incentive travel is more positive than 10 years ago, while only around one in 10
has a less positive perception. The top two items incorporated in incentive travel programs are
the inclusion of spouses/partners in the programs, and wellness. In 2018, fewer corporate users
put emphasis on corporate and social responsibility in their programs.
Location and distance
Buyers say the average length of stay for travel that requires less than four hours is around four
days and the average length of stay for a trip that requires more than four hours is around five days.
In 2018, 18 per cent of buyers and 27 per cent of sellers say programs that include a meeting
component increased. The most common mode of contracting remains through direct
negotiations with end suppliers. North America, the Caribbean and western Europe are the most
used regions in 2018. Australia and the Pacific (including Hawaii) were the second most popular
destinations for North American buyers (63 per cent) after the Caribbean (85 per cent).
Among western European buyers, the most used destinations outside their region were
eastern Europe (76 per cent) and North America (68 per cent).
The top three considerations for choosing a destination remain the appeal to participate
audience, the overall safety and value for the dollar. Familiarisation trips to the destination
remains the most effective way to learn about a destination though fewer buyers and sellers say
it is very effective compared to 2017. In 2018, cultural/sightseeing experiences followed by
dining and team-building remain the most important activities for a good incentive program. m
NEWS | BRAD FOSTER
The latest Incentive Travel Industry Index study by SITE, IRF Outlook
and FICP says the sector is continuing to hold its own.
INCENTIVES HOLDING THEIR OWN
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