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Our Top 5 Fascinating Stats About Incentive Travel

Our Top 5 Fascinating Stats About Incentive Travel

Incentive travel is big business – and it’s only continuing to grow.

Offering your team travel incentives can be a very effective way to encourage them to give their best performance. To learn more about incentive travel and how to use it effectively – take a look at these interesting stats and insights on the industry.

When you build your next incentive travel program with these trends in mind, you’ll encourage the best from your team.

1. 84% Of U.S. Businesses Use Non-Cash Incentives

According to the Incentive Federation’s 2016 Incentive Marketplace Estimate Research Study, 84% of businesses in the USA offer some form of non-cash incentives to their employees. This includes gift cards, merchandise, award points and, of course, incentive travel.

If you’re looking for a good way to show your team members that they’re valued, this is it. This type of incentive is often used for those who have hit a target, met a goal or achieved something above and beyond expectations.

It’s interesting to see that so many businesses are rewarding their employees with non-cash incentives. According to a 2015 study by Glassdoor, nearly 4 out of 5 employees said they would prefer having more benefits and perks at their job to receiving a pay increase. Many companies are realizing that offering travel and other non-cash incentives can be just as motivating as offering their employees more pay.

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2. Incentive Spending Per Person Has Been on the Rise

The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (aka SITE) commissions research into the use of incentive travel as a performance improvement tool for businesses around the world. One of the most interesting statistics from this report is that the overall average spending on incentives increased from $3,000 per person in 2016 to $4,000 per person in 2017.

When you look more specifically into the corporate sector, the increase is even more. There has been a spending increase of $1,900 per person year over year. This trend of increased spending has continued over the last several years and doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon.

According to the 2019 IRF/SITE/FICP Incentive Travel Study, the average cost of an incentive trip is $5,193 per person. When you look at corporate incentive travel, the 2019 average is now $8,151. (This is elevated by the insurance and financial sectors, which generally send their brokers on high end trips.)

How much has your company been spending on incentive travel over the last few years? Could it be time to increase that amount or start offering incentive trips to your employees? It may be worth looking at this year’s budget to see if there is room to invest more in incentive travel in 2019.

3. Incentive Travel is Perceived as “Very Effective”

Buyers of incentive programs in 2017 rated them as strong motivators of performance. In fact, 72% of buyers found that incentive programs were “Very Effective.” This is a significant increase compared to the previous year, where 51% of buyers said incentive programs were “Very Effective.” Those who reward their team with incentive travel believe that it increases motivation, improves sales, boosts profits and fosters employee engagement.

This statistic comes from SITE, which publishes research every year on the use of incentive travel as a performance improvement tool. The largest number of respondents to the survey were from the Finance and Insurance sector, as well as Science, Technology, Pharma, Direct Selling and Travel & Tourism.


4. Wellness Travel is More Popular Than Ever

Another interesting insight from the Incentive Travel Industry Index is the rise of popularity of wellness travel. When asked about which “inclusions” they featured in incentive travel programs, 86% of survey participants highlighted “wellness” experiences such as healthy meals, fitness classes and yoga sessions. There are even wellness retreats designed to offer these experiences in a full package for guests.

A well designed and implemented workplace wellness program can be highly effective. It can help your workplace reduce the cost of sick and absent employees. It can also help improve morale, reduce stress and increase motivation for your employees.

5. Boosting Employee Happiness Improves the Bottom Line

A recent study found that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees. This productivity means that when your employees are happy, the company will perform better and make more money.

This may be one of the main reasons why companies are investing more and more into incentive travel. They are realizing that offering their employees unique and interesting travel experiences greatly improves their quality of life and overall happiness at work.

Looking to use incentive travel in your workplace?

Ask employees where they want to go and what they want to do when embarking on an incentive trip. According to research by BI Worldwide, 93% of salespeople who earn a travel incentive want to have control over the destination. 88% want to be able to choose the timeframe and duration of the trip and 87% want to choose the activity.

Their ability to choose the destination makes the experience more personal and memorable. Many companies are offering unique options for incentive travel such as cycling tours, wine tastings, guided culinary experiences and homestays with local families. Do you know what your staff would like most?

Of course, if you need help planning the perfect incentive travel program, Travelers Q is happy to be your guide. We have years of experience booking incentive trips and we can help you design the perfect experience for your high performing team members. Contact us today to learn more.