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by Lisa A. Grimaldi | March 01, 2014
Incentive travel will increase somewhat or substantially between 2014 and 2016, according to the Site International Foundation's newly released annual forecast on the industry. Of the 142 incentive professionals polled, 87 percent anticipate an uptick over the next two years.

At the same time, pressure to prove the ROI or ROO (return on objective) of incentive programs to stakeholders is expected to intensify over the next 12 months, according to 79 percent of the respondents. And 82 percent expect a significant increase in the need to justify programs over the next one to three years.

Nearly three-quarters of those polled (72 percent) predict an increase in the convergence of business meetings and motivational events over the next 12 months.

Results also show the use of mobile technology has grown dramatically over the past year, with 80 percent saying it is important or very important, vs. 69 percent in the 2012 Site forecast. LinkedIn is the most widely used social media platform for incentives, at 65 percent, with Facebook  at 58 percent and Twitter at 47 percent.

The study showed little change in plans to adopt corporate social responsibility components or activities in programs; respondents generally expect the demand for such to decrease.

"After several years of intense scrutiny, companies are realizing the important role incentive travel and motivational events have played on their past success, and they are implementing new programs to elevate future performance," said Kurt Paben, president of the Site International Foundation. "This can be attributed to an improving global economy, but it also reflects the current state of bookings for programs that will operate within the next three years."