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New study reports shifting preferences and priorities in incentive travel

IRF President Stephanie Harris.

“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.

LAS VEGAS – The newly released 2022 Incentive Travel Index (ITI) reports that, overall, the incentive travel industry is strong. Recovery is progressing, program design is evolving and there is increased interest in new destinations.

While industry-wide trends emerged, the study reflects variation by geography as well as by sector. The ITI enables incentive industry professionals to target the data they need to make decisions to meet their specific goals.

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.

“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 rest of the world are back to travelling internationally,” said SITE Foundation 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 IRF President Stephanie Harris. “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.”

“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.”

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