Study looks at incentive travel recovery around the world

i By October 13, 2022 No Comments

The 2022 Incentive Travel Index (ITI) reports that, overall, the incentive travel industry is strong.

Released last week at IMEX America, the study reveals that the industry’s recovery from the lockdowns and restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is progressing, program design is evolving and there is increased interest in new destinations.

About ITI | The Incentive Travel Index is a joint initiative of Financial & Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP), the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and the Foundation of The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE Foundation) and is undertaken in partnership with Oxford Economics. The 2022 online survey, fielded globally from May – July 2022, was customized for five distinct incentive travel professional roles: corporate end user, third-party agency, DMC, destination supplier and DMO sectors. More than 1,400 incentive travel professionals, representing 19 industry verticals and 74 destinations, participated in the survey. The report is available at

“We see good signs of recovery, but these signs vary. While 67% of North American buyers reported they have resumed international incentive travel, only 50% of buyers from the resot of the world are back to traveling internationally,” said SITE Foundation’s president, Kevin Regan, MBA, CIS. “From a verticals perspective, the 2022 ITI study is forecasting positive growth over 2019 for the Finance & Insurance and ICT sectors, but Pharma, Auto and Direct Selling are forecasting static or negative growth.”

“Program design continues to evolve, and we can clearly see shifting preferences impacting program inclusions as a more diverse workforce become qualifiers, For example, we saw wellness emerge as a key program activity,” said Stephanie Harris, IRF president. “While activities that promote relationships was the top choice across the industry, we see some interesting differences across regions. A key difference is that sustainability and CSR opportunities were considered more important by industry professionals outside of North America.”

Another difference was discover in the survey’s data on destination selection. “The desire to travel to new destinations has increased for North American buyers, while the rest of the world indicated they will select destinations closer to home,” said FICP executive director Steve Bova, CAE. “When it comes to destinations themselves, North American respondents’ preference for domestic and Caribbean destinations are up, with most stating that they will use these destinations more in the coming year than they did in 2019.”

The 2022 Incentive Travel Index sponsors are:

  • Champion Level: Accor, Destination Canada
  • Prime Level: Hilton, United
  • Principal Level: IMEX Group, Prezzee