Study Reveals: Incentive Travel Still a Key Motivator

Study Reveals: Incentive Travel Still a Key Motivator Business Performance Linked to Motivational, Meaningful and Memorable Experiences
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Aug. 7, 2012 - PRLog -- Reward and recognition go hand in hand. The Site International Foundation and the Incentive Travel Council (ITC) of the Incentive Marketing Association have just released the final portion of their study, Incentive Travel: The Participant’s Viewpoint, revealing that more than 86 percent of respondents feel recognized by earning motivational travel.  

The study took an in-depth look at what makes incentive travel reward programs motivational, meaningful and memorable. Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 qualifiers and non-qualifiers of incentive travel programs. The study explored participant attitudes toward their companies, colleagues, and other types of motivational program awards, revealing:
•   95.5 percent of qualifiers said they were extremely motivated, motivated or a little motivated to earn the travel reward.
•   90.7 of non-earners were similarly motivated even though they did not receive the award.
•   72.4 percent of earners reported an increased feeling of loyalty toward the company that provided the award.

The two organizations developed this study to deliver a deeper understanding of what resonates with motivational program participants. Today’s incentive travel programs provide diverse objectives ranging from attracting and retaining talent, fostering teamwork and encouraging safety, to building morale, loyalty and sales in order to realize breakthrough performance.

“Participants make a conscious choice to engage and at any point can choose to disengage,” said Jim Ruszala, former president of the ITC and project co-chair. “When it comes to program design there is a simple yet important factor to consider—the participant’s choice for engagement. This study offers some key insights into what is relevant to participants.”

Gathering participants’ input about program design elements (destination, schedule, duration, etc.) and understanding what participants take away (time with leadership and peers, an experience they would not have on their own, etc.) are both important considerations to ensure an incentive travel program is motivational to participants.

In addition, creating a memorable experience relies on the participant’s emotional level of intensity. Measurement should to go beyond the initial favorable/unfavorable response to include items like:
•   How the program influenced behaviors before, during and after the program
•   How well the program met participant expectations
•   How well the program supported the organization’s vision, mission, values and culture by better connecting with program participants.

“This data overwhelmingly supports the theory that programs which utilize incentive travel as a key motivator continue to be seen as meaningful and desirable from the participant’s viewpoint,” said Steve O'Malley, former president of the Site International Foundation and project co-chair. “The attitudes and attention of today’s workforce is rapidly evolving, and understanding what people perceive as worth their time and effort is key to unleashing the maximum potential of people powered businesses.”

For a complete executive summary on Incentive Travel: The Participant’sViewpoint, please visit

About the Site International Foundation
The Site International Foundation has provided research and educational programs that assist business executives, practitioners and professionals since 2006. The Foundation is the research arm of Site, a membership community that represents 90 countries of professionals who deliver best-in-class solutions and insights to maximize the business impact of motivational experiences regardless of industry, region or culture.  All research reports are available online at
Site International Foundation
401 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60540

About the Incentive Travel Council
The Incentive Travel Council, a strategic industry group within the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) (, is dedicated to exploring, promoting and educating about how incentive travel strategies can best be designed and leveraged to help organizations achieve better business performance. More information is available online at Incentive Travel Council page.  
Incentive Travel Council
1601 North Bond Street, Suite 303
Naperville, IL 60563
Source:Incentive Travel Council
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