SITE Global has released a manifesto for the incentive travel industry.
The Bangkok Manifesto was created at the association’s global conference, which was held January 11-14 in Bangkok, Thailand. It consists of 10 statements that tackle the nature, purpose and direction of incentive travel.
“Only SITE—the ‘I’ in MICE—has the authority and entitlement to produce a manifesto about incentive travel, articulating its true purpose and identifying the tremendous value within the ever-changing business world today,” said SITE president Philip Eidsvold, CIS, CITP, vice-president, Strategic Alliances, One10.
SITE’s CEO Didier Scaillet added: “SITE’s voice needs to reach out beyond our membership and our industry into the business world and society itself positioning incentive travel as an extraordinarily effective tool for improving business performance and travel as a transformative agent for positive change in communities and society at large.”
The Bangkok Manifesto
The manifesto was developed in a series of workshops held during the Bangkok conference. Martin Sirk, former executive director of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), facilitated the workshops. Participants included SITE’s international board of directors, trustees of the SITE Foundation and a cohort of global experts in the field of incentive travel.
Their insights were distilled into the final 10 statements, which were then crowdsourced with all conference attendees. They were formally passed by a vote of 182 to 11 at the general closing session.
The Manifesto’s 10 statements are:
- Every stakeholder in the incentive travel community should embrace social responsibility as a core part of their business philosophy and recognize that our business practices and policies will define how that responsibility is exercised.
- Relationships and teamwork build business results, not isolated individual effort. And nothing creates and strengthens relationships more effectively than shared incentive travel experiences.
- Incentive travel contributes significantly to economic growth, partnerships within and between organizations, and innovative thinking by participants and the organizations that create the programs.
- The interests, aspirations and perspectives of incentive program participants should be placed centre stage in our industry strategic thinking and advocacy work.
- The definition of luxury has changed. The era of logos and brands is ending. Luxury in future will be defined by authentic, unique and personal experiences.
- Incentive travel helps to create corporate cultures that are fuelled by motivation and focused on future success.
- Inclusivity should become a critical concept for our industry—we believe that incentive travel changes behaviour and builds motivation at all levels of an organization.
- Our industry must encourage more second- and third-tier cities and non-urban destinations to embrace incentive travel as part of their business mix, highlighting that success in our business is not dependent on massive infrastructure or investment.
- Incentive travel drives human capital excellence and innovation within destinations, with profound benefits for other targeted business segments.
- Emerging destinations that include incentive travel in their strategic plans will experience faster economic growth and human capital development than would otherwise be the case.
Supported by Meet in Ireland, the Bangkok Manifesto is intended to be a core reference point for incentive travel professionals throughout 2019.
Over the next two months, SITE will invite incentive travel leaders to provide written commentary on each of the 10 statements. These comments will be captured in written and verbal form and distributed to the industry at IMEX Frankfurt, which runs May 21-23, 2019 at Messe Frankfurt (Germany).
SITE’s 2020 global conference will be held next January in Vancouver, Canada. At that time, an updated manifesto—the Vancouver Manifesto—will be crafted.