The benchmarks are in, and the numbers are huge: U.S. companies spent $46 billion on travel and merchandise incentives in 2006, according to a study sponsored by the Incentive Federation, an umbrella organization that conducts lobbying and research efforts on behalf of the incentive industry. Of that total, $32.7 billion was spent on merchandise and $13.4 billion on incentive travel. “The use of incentive programs is bigger than ever, and it is growing,” said Bruce Bolger, managing ...

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