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by Matt Alderton | November 17, 2014
It's been a good year for incentive travel, and next year will be no different, according to the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), which last week published results from its annual incentive travel forecast, the "SITE Index Annual Analysis and Forecast for the Motivational Events Industry."

According to SITE's forecast, incentive travel is predicted to continue growing at least through 2016, with 52 percent and 80 percent of incentive travel professionals, respectively, predicting an increase in the use of incentive travel in the next six months and the following six to 12 months, up 4 percent and 11 percent, respectively, compared to last year.

Other key findings:

• Nearly half (49 percent) of incentive travel professionals say requirements for measuring ROI and/or ROO will stay the same in the next six months.
• The involvement of procurement departments in decision making is increasing, with 56 percent of incentive travel professionals reporting that procurement's expertise regarding incentive travel is increasing.
• A strong majority (86 percent) of incentive travel professionals feel the use of smart/mobile technology in program operations is important. By contrast, only 59 percent are measuring the effectiveness and value of utilizing social media.
• Corporate social responsibility (CSR) components of programs are here to stay and part of budgets, according to incentive travel professionals.

"Through research we are able to provide deeper insights into why incentives are a vital business tool to drive desired behavior and positive performance resulting in definitive business results," said Tina Weede, vice-president research and education for the SITE Foundation and president of Atlanta-based US Motivation. "The 2014 SITE Index demonstrates not only the business case and need but also provides valuable information into industry trends and forecasts predicting optimism for future growth and change in the incentive travel industry."