The second in a 3-part blog series giving you the highlights and 'need-to-know' facts from a recent SITE Foundation & IMA incentive participant survey, so that you can stay ahead of the corporate incentive curve.

Part 2: Motivational Value of Incentive Travel

  • 72% of respondents felt incentive travel rewards allow them to build relationships with peers. And 60.2% said that it gave them an opportunity to interact with high level executives
  • 70.7% valued the chance to do something unique – something they could not do as a normal tourism
  • 86.3% stated that: earning motivational travel makes me feel recognised by my company and peers
  • 85% said that increased trip duration was a little motivating to very motivating
  • Over 70% of respondents found fewer mandatory company functions on incentive trips more motivating
  • More choice of destinations is important – 70% said it makes the program more motivating for them. 55% agreed that the change in destinations over time was adequate
  • 74.5% want more leisure time during their incentive travel reward
  • 55% of earners preferred a tiered reward program, so did 43% of non-earners
  • 61.9% said more pre-trip promotion would have a stronger motivational effect & 53.6% want more information about the destination prior to the reward being given

What does this mean for travel planners/agents and DMCs?

  1. Unique activities that you can't experience as a normal tourist as essential for successful incentive trip
  2. Where budget allows, longer durations of incentive should be considered as this is desirable for the participant
  3. There's a fine balance required between the quantity of 'business operations' i.e. meetings etc. compared to the incentive activities. Participants don't mind some company functions being carried out, but too much can change the perception and successful outcomes of the entire program.
  4. Perhaps planners/agents could promote the idea of the destination being democratically voted for by the participants? They may be more likely to strive to be rewarded if they have chosen this themselves
  5. Participants have identified the desire for more leisure time within incentive travel programs. DMCs should consider this when planning a program
  6. Planners/Agents and DMCs could work together to help promote the destination in the run up to the travel reward. For example, Hello Scotland Ambassador Bill has flown out to to the end of the current incentive program to announce Scotland as the next destination 

What do you think about the results above? Are they surprising or as you would have expected? Tell us what you think!

The survey was designed with assistance from practicing incentive managers and other incentive industry professionals. The survey was then assembled by the marketing research firm, Researchnow. There were 1,003 valid responses from individuals who had been eligible.

Copies of the report are available at: