AYMTM has seen a 'significant' increase in incentive bookings in the last two months and is expecting further growth in 2014 after investing in new web and mobile technology in the last year.
Natalie Gunson, managing director of AYMTM, told C&IT: "The market has become much more buoyant and, in the last eight weeks in particular, we have received confirmation on a significant number of incentives. Incentives are back with a vengeance.
"Budgets are up significantly, too. Whereas before only 5% of budgets were spent on comms, this has increased to 30%, with 70% being spent on the trip itself.
"Companies are now more comfortable talking about their reward and recognition programmes internally after a tough few years of pay freezes and redundancies. Before, they were happy to produce a coffee-table brochure of an incentive trip, now pre-event communications have gone digital. Attendees want to see the trip's brochure online and on their smartphones."
Gunson continued: "Groups are returning to long-haul programmes and opting for five days rather than two to three. Twin destination trips have also returned, which we haven't seen for four years. Incentives haven't returned in the financial sector though."
Gunson added: "We forecast that the agency will grow by 20% overall in the next 12 months and this will be driven by the return of incentives, but also our investment in web and mobile technology, which we expect to deliver huge growth."