“The incentive travel experience will always concern real people, in real places, in real time.”

Rebecca Wright, Head of Chapter Engagement at Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), spoke with ITB Asia News in an exclusive interview about the impact of incentive travel on corporations and its place in the industry today.

How has the landscape of incentive travel evolved in response to recent challenges, and what strategies have been effective in demonstrating the value of incentive travel programmes to corporations?
Incentive travel programs are aligning with these changing circumstances in a variety of ways. Safety concerns are mitigated by opting for destinations that are national, regional and closer to home. Choosing destinations that are closer to home also helps with issues around price since air fare, usually about 25% of the total incentive budget, is less expensive than long haul.
While tried and tested destinations bring the comfort of familiarity, we are also seeing a dramatic increase in destinations not previously used.

What emerging trends or developments do you foresee in the world of incentive travel, and how can corporations adapt to maximise the benefits of this motivational tool in the future?
Rapid ongoing advancements in technology are unlikely to impact the actual incentive travel experience which will always concern real people, in real places, in real time.
That said, technology will continue to drive many changes within the broader ecosystem of incentive travel. Undoubtedly, technology will automate or speed up many of the processes that today are clunky and labour intensive and, ultimately, it will create more frictionless and affordable channels for the delivery of incentive travel.
Workplace realities and relationships are an emerging trend where incentive travel will play an ever-increasing role. With dispersed workforces now de rigeur, incentive travel will “expand” its remit beyond simple reward and recognition and become the means by which company culture, esprit de corps and collegiality are mediated within a corporation.

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