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by Lisa Grimaldi | October 01, 2010
According to the inaugural Site Index Annual Survey, more than half of incentive professionals polled expect the use of motivational travel to increase in the next six to 12 months, while 84 percent expect it to increase even more between 2011 and 2013.

"The results indicate the marketplace is improving," said Steve O'Malley, vice president of the Site International Foundation, which polled 131 incentive professionals from 12 countries, including the United States. The survey was supervised by Scott A. Jeffrey, Ph.D., of Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J., and Marion Joppe, Ph.D., of the University of Guelph in Ontario.

Among other findings:

• Seventy-five percent of those polled believe the power of incentive rewards has stayed the same or increased over the last three years.

• Just 2 percent said they always track return on investment or return on objective of their programs; interestingly, 45 percent believe firms that do not track results are likely to cease using incentive programs.

• Eighty-seven percent said the effectiveness of various motivational tools varies depending on the age/generation of participants.

• When asked how they prefer to learn about destinations for their programs, a surprising 83 percent of respondents said e-mail newsletters and phone calls are the most effective methods, followed by fam trips. Destinations' websites were rated least effective by the survey participants.

• There is a strong belief among those surveyed that cash, gift cards and merchandise incentives pale when compared to the power of motivational travel. However, respondents said their clients tend to have a somewhat higher opinion of the value of gift cards.