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Site International Foundation

Site Index reinforces value of ROI/ROO and reveals Growing destination markets

As part of its ongoing Site Index research initiative, The Site International Foundation released its Focus on Destination Selection study. The report reviewed the key factors that determine which locations are selected as rewards for performance in motivational marketing programs.

Fay Beauchine, CITE, Site International Foundation President and President, Engagement & Events, Carlson Marketing reported, “ROI/ROO considerations continue to surface in Site Index studies. The primary reason for choosing a destination is financially driven, which is no surprise in this economy. But quality service is an extremely close second. Ninety-three percent of planners said they would use a destination again if it measured up on both counts. Destination executives should note that future business from a planner is almost certain if program value and quality service are evident and measureable.”

The report identified the top three up-and-coming destinations as Africa, Hawaii and China. While budgets are on the rise, many respondents are choosing to stay closer to home, limiting travel time to between three and nine hours.

Steve O’Malley, Site International Foundation Vice President and Research Committee Chair, and Vice President, General Manager, Maxvantage stated, “This study documented that among planners, eighty-two percent ranked cultural or exotic appeal as the greatest influencer in selecting a destination. However, the appeal of a destination is not the primary factor when choosing a location. This is evident by only 9% of our data panel indicating they currently use Africa. While a destination can be seen as inspiring and motivational, the local community must work together to demonstrate to potential audiences how they can be an ideal choice for extraordinary experiences while simultaneously demonstrating value to the business owners approving the destination selection. The correlation between delivering value and providing exceptional experiences is critical given the economic environment.”

The Site Index maintains ongoing research that serves as an analysis and forecast for the motivational events industry. Complete annual survey and interim report results are available at The research is available to Site members as well as motivational events industry professionals. Participant data is maintained as strictly confidential by the researchers and is not available to anyone including the Site International Foundation or Site. The Site Index is made possible by partner donations from the Canadian Tourism Commission, InterContinental Hotels Group and Mexico Tourism.