by Lisa A. Grimaldi | October 08, 2014
Incentive travel budgets are on the rise, according to the Incentive Research Foundation's fall 2014 pulse survey of 284 incentive professionals. Nearly half of respondents (48 percent) said they expect their incentive travel budgets to increase in the coming year, compared with just 15 percent who expect them to decrease. While budgets and economic outlook appear healthier, planners expected budget-conscious decisions to shape incentive travel in the near future, with 14 percent expecting to shift to all-inclusive pricing and 44 percent anticipating that procurement and purchasing departments' involvement in incentive travel will increase. When asked how they expect the economy to impact their travel programs, 19 percent of those polled reported a strongly positive outlook. An additional 48 percent expressed somewhat positive perceptions of the economy's impact, while just 15 percent expressed a somewhat or strongly negative perception. Respondents were less optimistic about the impact the current air transportation environment will have on incentive travel: More than half of respondents (51 percent) held a somewhat or significantly negative view on how air travel was shaping their programs, compared with just 19 percent who held a slightly or significantly positive view. The full study can be viewed here.