A Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) Index 2018 survey has revealed budgets for per person spend per incentive trip has grown from US$3,000 to US$4,000, bucking a downward trend seen in the last few years. Notwithstanding the actual increase in budgets, 80 per cent of clients are aiming to decrease costs and reduce the size of incentive groups.
SITE’s immediate past president, Rajeev Kohli, explained that the J D Power trilingual survey, conducted in English, Spanish and Mandarin, was different compared to last year. The different target segments – sellers, third-party suppliers and companies – were given different set of questions for greater accuracy. Kohli stated that clients are looking for better value for their increased spend with the focus on corporate social responsibility regaining prominence. “Corporates and third-party suppliers are increasingly mentioning less expensive destinations and amenities to manage the cost of incentive travel programmes,” Kohli illustrated, adding that incentive trips remain strong to add motivation to target groups. Several clients did not intend to travel to Asia as the destinations did not match their business needs or it was too far and travel time too long. In 2016, cost of flights was a prime concern for incentive travel while terrorism remains an issue but with somewhat reduced concern.