The vast majority of incentive winners (71 percent) said they value the fact that these trips are unparalleled experiences. Equally important, the study found, was the opportunity to network, whether it be with the company’s top executives (nearly two out of every three respondents view that as a plus) or peers (72 percent said they enjoy building relationships outside of work).

The reward trip is really just the icing on the cake, the survey found; it’s the recognition that comes with earning the reward that means the most. In fact, 83 percent of respondents stated that “earning motivational travel makes me feel recognized by my company and peers” and that recognition generates the desire to continue to excel and earn similar rewards in subsequent programs.

However, many qualifiers surveyed felt that participants who get to 90 percent of their goals should be offered the chance to buy into the trip. Interestingly, more earners (52 percent) than non-earners (41 percent) felt that way.

“For me, the greatest takeaway from the survey is that there is actually a gap in the two perspectives” between earners and non-earners, said Jim Ruszala, past president of the ITC and co-chair of this project. “A better understanding the non-earner perspective can aid in the successful development of future programs.”

This survey was the second installation of a larger research project: Incentive Travel: The Participant Viewpoint, based on responses from 1,003 program participants. Results are being made available first to members of the Site and Incentive Travel Council communities and then to the general public in mid-March.

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