The results of Corporate Meetings & Incentives’ annual Incentive Trends Survey are in, and show12.7 percent of respondents replacing their 2002 travel incentives with cash, gift certificates, and merchandise, and an astounding 42.3 percent saying they’re still not sure whether they will replace their group trips next year.

The most significant changes we’ve seen with our clients is are lower attendance due to the economic downturn – meaning fewer qualifiers -- and a reluctance to travel on the part of some individual qualifiers," said Colin J. Higgins of Performance Enhancement Associates, Waltham, Mass. "Many clients are not sure of the appeal of travel right now."

"We have had several programs cancel or postpone: a program to Scotland scheduled for late September 2001 has been rescheduled for April 2002; another, scheduled for Las Vegas in October 2001, was cancelled completely. Cash was offered instead. A third program, scheduled for Puerto Rico was cancelled; cash was offered instead. Finally, a program scheduled for Bermuda was cancelled. Cash or no-fly regional trips will be offered instead.

"Today, many of our clients are considering are regional trips, switching to domestic destinations and hiring security experts," he adds. "We are researching and considering new domestic destinations that we wouldn't have thought possible before September 11th.

Look for the survey in the January issue of Corporate Meetings & Incentives.