Every fall, Corporate Meetings & Incentives surveys incentive planners about their activities for the past year and expectations for the coming one. This year, despite tough financial times, companies still spent an average $2,394 per qualifier on incentive trips.

But averages are only a part of the story. More than 27 percent of respondents spent more than $3000 per qualifier; 7 percent spent $5,000 or more.

On the low end, 4 percent actually spent less than $500, and a little more than 41 percent spent under $2,000. Only about 31 percent of the total spent between $2,000 and $2,999 – the interval including the average.

And while the mean annual budget for group travel incentives was $536,494, the median – the point at which as many planners spent more as spent less – was $250,000. The mean was pushed upward by the 13 percent who had more than $1 million to put into trips. There were, however, 16 percent who reported budgets under $5,000.