The research also revealed that service was the number one reason for planners to switch to a new incentive travel provider, followed by price, according to the research released at Imex 2014 in Frankfurt today (20 May).
Procurement teams continue to be a strong influence when it comes to buying incentive travel programmes, according to 52% of providers.
40% of incentive travel users said that CSR is not a core component of an incentive travel programme.
The majority of planners (59%) said that travel decisions were not made by a single decision-maker and 60% report to VPs and CEO/COOs.
A large majority (78%) said that incentives and meetings were handled by the same department, suggesting that meetings are playing an important part within travel incentives.
Other findings included:
- 39% use social media either to a very high degree or to a moderate degree.
- 83% said prior relationships with suppliers and brand influences decision.
- 67% count on peer for referrals.
- 68% of users' competitors use travel as a motivator.
Talking at Imex 2014 in Frankfurt today, Jane Schuldt, immediate past president of Site, said: "Service levels are the number one reason why planners change suppliers, which is interesting because we are a service industry. The good news is that we can fix it."
Kurt Paben, senior vice president of Aimia, said: "Since the economy has improved, sales incentives programmes have picked up, but clients are much more more diligent and fiscally responsible around making sure programmes work for the business."
The study, titled Purchasing Motivational Travel, was conducted by the Site International Foundation, which produces research for the incentive travel industry. 154 incentive travel professionals participated.