IMA Reports on Economics of Incentive Travel

The Incentive Travel Council of the Incentive Marketing Association has just released its first-ever perspectives paper, "Behavioral Economics of Incentive Travel."

Aimed at both providers and users of incentive travel, the paper summarizes the economic, business and participant impact the recent recession had on incentive travel. It also assesses industry fallout from negative media coverage of certain programs, the council says.

According to Incentive Travel Council (ITC) President Jim Russia, "We know incentive travel programs are a unique, performance-generating tool. However, following this unprecedented recession, we took the pulse of the incentive travel industry in order to learn from the events of the past two years and improve our approach for designing and executing more efficient and measurable programs."

In the paper, the Travel Council examines not only how the recession and negative media coverage affected the industry during the period but also how the emerging economic climate and lingering image issues continue to influence incentive travel program plans and spending.

Ruszala explained that the paper also goes on to offer several concrete suggestions for improvements that can help going forward:

*    Balancing cost efficiencies with business objectives
*    Incorporating participant feedback into programs
*    Measuring results by agreed upon performance indicators
*    Adding qualitative measures to program assessments

"I believe that what may be most important about this paper is that it examines what the incentive travel industry truly represents to the economy, business and participants and how, as a result of the recession and some image issues, incentive professionals and their clients can work together to improve the results of programs that already generate a return as high as 4:1 on the investment," commented Karen Renk, Incentive Marketing Association executive director.


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