Incentive Newsline: Snapshot of an Industry

Poll Provides Insight on Group Travel Trends

Brenda Anderson


SITE CEO Brenda Anderson

Budget, accessibility and destination appeal are firms’ top considerations when creating travel rewards, according to a survey conducted by the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives and InterContinental Hotels Group.

The online poll of 220 SITE members (the majority of respondents were destination management companies and incentive firms) focused on industry trends, including the following:

* Pharmaceutical (71 percent) and insurance companies (70) percent) are the top users of incentive programs. Finance (59 percent) and banking (58 percent) are next in line, followed by auto manufacturers (53 percent), telecommunications (41 percent) and high-tech firms (20 percent).

* The majority of incentive programs to domestic destinations last three to four days; trips to international destinations typically run five to seven days.

* Participants have a lot of freedom on programs these days. According to respondents, 31 percent of incentive winners’ time is spent relaxing, a finding that Brenda Anderson, CEO of SITE, said speaks to the need for more downtime based on today’s 24/7 lifestyles.

* The majority of groups, for both domestic and international destination programs, have between 100 and 499 participants. Respondents anticipate the number of participants will decline in the future, due to tougher qualification rules.

* Topping the list of most popular destinations for North America-based firms in 2006: Las Vegas; Hawaii; New York City; Orlando; and Cancun, Mexico. For firms based outside North America, the top spots were Barcelona, Spain; Rome; Paris; London, and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Among the “new” destinations North American groups are considering: Costa Rica; Dubrovnik, Cro-atia; Prague, Czech Republic; and Athens, Greece.