Incentive travel, perhaps to Hawaii or California for some surfing, is likely to increase in 2010.

Cautious Optimism in Incentive Survey for 2010

Incentive magazine reports that the Incentive Research Foundation's Incentive Trends Survey found incentive travel planners are more upbeat heading into the new year.

Incentive travel planners are probably celebrating the arrival of 2010 today. Incentive magazine reported that the Incentive Research Foundation's Incentive Trends Survey indicated travel planners are more upbeat about 2010 and say the economy is turning their favor, Donna M. Airoldi wrote in the magazine.

New York City-based IRF, which is currently searching for a full-time president, is a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the science of motivation and incentives through research.

Airoldi reported the survey was conducted from Oct. 19 to Nov. 17, 2009, and its results will be available this month on IRF's site. Survey participants included incentive travel providers, corporate incentive travel buyers, and suppliers to the incentive industry. Specific findings include:

  • 44 percent of respondents expect no change in incentive travel program destinations in 2010, and 47 percent anticipate a switch from international to domestic destinations.
  • 16 percent of respondents expect incentive travel budgets to increase this year, while 30 percent expect budgets to be flat from 2009.
  • 26 percent experienced a positive impact from the economy in November 2009, up from 20 percent in July 2009.
  • 32 percent said budgets for merchandise non-cash incentive programs will rise slightly, but 34 percent of respondents expect those budgets to be flat.
  • 22 percent predict use of debit/gift cards will increase this year, and 18 percent will add merchandise to their programs.

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