by Lisa A. Grimaldi | October 29, 2015
Incentive travel budgets will increase slightly in 2016 over 2015 budgets, according to the Incentive Research Foundation's fall survey. The survey of 190 industry professionals also revealed that the current economy is having a positive impact on their ability to plan and execute incentive travel programs, as 67 percent reported a slight increase in their incentive travel budgets for 2016.

Per person budgets are increasing, too: 30 percent of respondents said their incentive travel budgets would be between $2,000 and $3,000 per person; an additional 29 percent said their budgets would be between $3,000 and $4,000 per person, while 36 percent expected budgets to be more than $4,000 per person in 2016. Other findings include:

• The Caribbean tied with the U.S. as the most popular incentive travel destination, with 50 percent of those polled saying they would use the Caribbean for their programs.
• Lead times are growing, driven not only by faith in the economy, but also by the rising demand for quality incentive-travel destination hotels, which is met with a stagnant growth in supply. While 41 percent of respondents said they are still booking 7 to 12 months out, almost half (45 percent) are booking more than a year out.

• A majority of respondents (72 percent), measure their programs on an annual basis or multiple times during the program.
• Driven by an interest in Millennials and their stated needs, social media and CSR remain popular enhancements to incentive and recognition programs, with 52 percent of respondents incorporating some level of social media into their programs and 43 percent incorporating CSR activities.

Click here to read the full study.