Corporate America is bullish on incentive travel, according to a new study released by SITE Foundation.
Corporate inSITEs, the Foundation’s qualitative survey of 50 US corporations on the changing face of incentive travel, has revealed that 94 percent of top US corporations remain 100 percent committed to incentive travel despite the COVID-19 pandemic pause.
Respondents to the survey, which was in the field from April 6-22, 2021, were professionals in corporations whose remit includes the approval, oversight, design, planning, execution or delivery of incentive travel programs. They were asked to provide their corporation’s perspective on:
- Types of incentive travel and their likely increase or decrease in frequency over the next three years;
- Impact of the pandemic on incentive, reward and recognition programs;
- Time frame for resumption of domestic or international in-person meeting/event and incentive travel experience;
- Changes being made to design of incentive travel program in light of the pandemic;
- Attitude of corporate C-suite toward the resumption of incentive travel programs;
- Considerations and criteria for selecting a destination in post-pandemic world;
- Biggest, most important learning as a result of the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
The results of this qualitative study were presented last week to 800 global incentive travel professionals by Selina Sinclair, CEO, Realm and vice-president of Research and Content for SITE Foundation during SITE NITE all NITE. A summary presentation of the data (PDF and PPT formats) is now available. SITE Foundation is currently producing a White Paper incorporating both the survey results and extensive comments contributed by respondents.
Speaking at SITE NITE all NITE, Sinclair explained that the survey drew responses from 50 US companies that use incentive travel as a key driver for their reward and recognition program. And the verdict from corporate America was “unambiguous.”
Terry Manion, president of SITE Foundation, said the results showed that the pandemic hadn’t dulled corporate America’s appetite for incentive travel. In fact, that appetite has been sharpened by the absence of programs.
“But, that said, the survey does spotlight some changes around success factors with contracts and risk mitigation now a priority for corporations planning programs,” he added. “The spotlight, too, is firmly on destination selection with safety factors, and overall destination appeal, eclipsing all other considerations. By comparison, the 2019, pre-pandemic Incentive Travel Industry Index—a joint study produced by SITE Foundation, FICP and IRF—ranked infrastructure (hotels, resorts, etc.) in the top spot when it came to selecting a destination.”
About SITE Foundation
SITE Foundation was established by SITE to raise funds and support research, education and advocacy projects on behalf of the incentive travel industry. Monies raised by SITE Foundation enable it to make the business case for incentive travel and highlight the transformational potential of travel experiences on individuals, enterprises and communities. Corporate inSITEs is a survey series undertaken by the Foundation in 2021.