The research, an annual analysis and forecast for the incentive travel market, showed that while 50% of buyers are predicting an increase in budget and 60% are expecting to increase the number of people eligible for incentive travel awards, the market still has concerns.
While almost eight out of ten buyers said the terrorism threat impacted their ability to plan and implement incentive travel programmes, others registered concern about the economy.
Economy and ROI
Some 67% of sellers and 56% of buyers said that the state of the world economy has the potential to negatively impact incentive travel.
Meanwhile, the research also showed that measuring the effectiveness of incentive travel programmes in terms of sales and profits is still relatively limited, with only 23% of corporate buyers and 24% of third party suppliers "always" or "almost always" tracking return on investment (ROI). The primary reason given for not tracking ROI is a lack of requirement from management.
More on event security:
The majority of buyers (57%) said that disintermediation in the travel industry had negatively impacted their company. Some 70% of third party suppliers said the increase in corporate buyers going direct to suppliers had negatively impacted their company. This trend may be explained by the growing role of event technology in the purchasing process, with 54% of buyers reporting their use of event technology will increase in the next three years.
While buyers have general concerns about health and safety in certain areas, incentive travel to North America, the Caribbean and Western Europe has increased. North American and European buyers are most inclined to travel locally, while Asian buyers are most inclined to travel internationally.
Almost all of the 599 buyers who responded to the survey (99%), believe that incentive travel programmes are somewhat or very effective in achieving important business objectives, with approximately eight in ten buyers and sellers reporting that they are a strong motivator of performance.
For the first time this year, the survey was offered in three languages, English, Spanish and Mandarin, to provide a more inclusive and global perspective of the incentive travel industry.
More on incentives:
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