Although incentive travel programs are getting more scrutiny from top corporate executives, bad publicity has little, if anything, to do with it, according to the “2012 Incentive
Travel IQ” survey.
The number of respondents who said they are paying more attention to return on investment (ROI) in order to justify or defend incentive travel budgets was 27.8 percent in 2012, up from 18.1 percent in 2011. However, the number of respondents who cited the ability to defend an incentive travel program from public scrutiny, if necessary, as the reason for paying more attention to ROI dropped to 3.7 percent in 2012, down from 5.9 percent in 2011.
Despite this year’s GSA scandal, just 3.1 percent of our respondents said their companies have changed or canceled some or all of their incentive travel programs due to bad publicity and/or perception issues, down from 3.9 percent last year. Twenty-nine percent cited the economy and another 8.2 percent cited both the economy and perception issues, while 58.1 percent said they had no cancelations or changes. Three percent cited other factors.
The same was true when it came to the growing popularity of individual incentive travel programs, which first gained substantial traction in 2008 and 2009. This year, just 5.6 percent of respondents cited perception as the reason for adding more individual travel programs. That was virtually identical to the number who cited it last year (5.7 percent).
The number of respondents who cited “participant requests” as the reason for adding more individual incentive travel programs in 2012 more than doubled, from 22 percent in 2011 to 50 percent this year.