Event agencies report long haul interest on rise

South America, Asia and the United States are back on the radar for corporate incentives and conferences, according to event agencies.

Long haul on rise
Long haul on rise

P&MM Events & Communications has seen a 43% increase in the number of long haul enquiries on 2009.

The agency has reported increased interest for incentive travel, product launches and conference business in destinations including China and Brazil, as well as traditional city destinations such as Cape Town, New York and Bangkok.

P&MM divisional managing director Nigel Cooper said: "Over the past 18 months we saw a dramatic decrease in long haul travel linked to the global economic situation. But in the last couple of months we have noticed a major increase in enquiries for long haul again.

"I hope this change is part of the end of the perception issue where companies were fearful of what it looked like or what people might say, and marks the return to genuine return on investment marketing programmes encouraging and rewarding real performance."

Earlier this year, insurance giant RSA rewarded its Platinum Club employees with a trip to Brazil and tasked agency DBMT with running the programme.

DBMT managing director David Bottrill said: "Clients are committing to trips for next year and the perception of long haul travel isn’t so much of an issue any more. However, there is still a certain amount of sensitivity and people don’t want to shout about it from the rooftops."

He added that the US was a popular choice, with strong interest in long haul returning from the automotive and financial sectors.

Ovation Global DMC managing director Patrick Delaney said long haul activity was increasing for 2012 and beyond, with popular destinations including Asia and South America, but the general market was still "very nervous".

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