Although incentive travel has returned to about 85 percent to 90 percent of its pre-recession levels according to David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Travel, companies are still facing inadequate funding pools to cover expenses for employees’ reward trips according to the Incentive Research Foundation’s latest survey. Nearly 73 percent expect their budgets to decline or stay the same in 2012 and 83 percent will offer trips within the U.S. instead of exotic resorts or overseas destinations.
About 41 percent of companies plan to reduce the length of the trips and cut or reduce “non-meal” components like alcoholic beverages, desserts and other beverages, such as milk, according to the survey. The group also says that spending averages about $2,500 a person and 67 percent of trips include some type of meeting or business interaction and more than half will only cover the cost of air tickets and not incidental expenses.
But companies can make up for smaller stipends and perks by offering more free time and fewer meetings according to a study by the Site International Foundation and Incentive Travel Council. More than 70 percent of respondents indicated that a trip with limited mandatory functions is more motivating than one with several required events, which makes sense, because it’s hard to inspire anyone to go the extra mile when the reward includes more meetings.
Photo: I, Katonams