2011 Incentive Forecasts are in: Travel Incentives Making a Comeback

by: Nichole Gunn March 16, 2011

Incentive and Rewards forecasters keep their eye on trends that affect employee motivation. Hotel service provider, Great Hotels of the World, has predicted that businesses will be using travel incentives for employees more frequently in 2011.

Great Hotels of the World works with upward of 250 hotels and reported that the economy- dictated reduction in employee travel incentives has shown signs of improvement. The company has noted a significant increase in incentive travel queries during the last quarter of 2010, compared to the last quarter of 2009. This is a sure sign that employee incentive travel will begin to make a comeback.

In a press release, Great Hotels of the World sales director Armand Guillemot explained that the reason for this new trend is due to boosts in company incentive budgets in various sectors.

Guillemot sees improving changes in the travel incentive structure: “On average, the length of stay for incentive trips has increased and lead times are short and the industries now considering these incentive events are mainly from the retail, automotive and banking sector."

Elaborating on the topic, Guillemot added, "Bonuses are back … and we are now starting to feel the issues of the past few years are coming to an end. One of the trends we’ve noticed is that corporate social responsibility is becoming more important for companies, as many are looking for some sort of charity element included in their incentive trips."

Another company following incentive travel  trends is the U.S Travel Association (USTA). In conjunction with IMEX America, USTA will hold a seminar to evaluate current concerns that may affect the incentives, including traveling for meetings and events. It is their hope to bring attention to these types of programs, and the programs potential for effectively enhancing employee productivity, thereby boosting the bottom line.

Explaining IMEX’s position, U.S Travel president and chief executive officer Roger Dow said, "IMEX America's focus on incentive travel, meetings and events worldwide provides professionals in those segments another opportunity to develop contacts, network and gain valuable knowledge about this market."

Employee rewards and incentives are gaining momentum and picking up where they left off prior to the recession. As effective means to motivate and engage employees, boosting the employee incentive budget is just good business. One of the most effective tangible rewards is incentive travel.

With Great Hotels of the World’s prediction for 2011, now is the time to invest in and implement or tweak a travel incentive program for your employees.