Sixty percent of buyers report they plan to increase the number of people eligible for incentive travel awards in the next year and nearly half of all buyers say that budgets have increased, according to the SITE Index 2017.
The index also reflected that 99% of respondents remain convinced that incentive travel programmes are effective in contributing to business objectives. About eight in 10 buyers and sellers are convinced of its role in boosting company performance.
Kevin Hinton, CIS, chief excellence officer, Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) elaborated that budgets are improving slightly, but a large majority of buyers are managing costs by planning shorter programmes, less expensive destinations and less expensive amenities.
Industries still going strong in incentives travel are automotive, technology, financial services, insurance and healthcare. Hinton added that there is a trend for organisations to recognise and reward both sales and non-sales employees.
Some of the challenges that will impact incentive travel are factors such as the world economy, terrorist actions and the political climate. Increased airline costs are cited as having the greatest impact. "Almost eight out of 10 buyers see a negative impact of terrorism on their ability to plan and implement incentive programmes. European buyers are the most concerned (85%), followed by Asian buyers (83%) and North American buyers (78%).