The most recent pulse survey from the Incentive Research Foundation indicates some stabilization in incentive budgets and spending in 2010. Sixteen percent of respondents indicated that they expect budgets for incentive travel programs in 2010 to actually increase, while 30 percent said they expect budgets will remain unchanged.

Budgets for merchandise programs fared better: 32 percent of respondents said that budgets for merchandise/non-cash incentive programs in 2010 will increase (either moderately or slightly), while 34 percent expect them to remain the same.

The biggest change as far as incentive travel will be in companies’ destination choices: Almost half (47 percent) of respondents who plan international incentive trips anticipate a switch from international to domestic destinations in 2010.

When asked what changes, if any, will be made in 2010 with their non-travel award selections, 27 percent of respondents said they will include individual travel as an option in 2010 this year; 22 percent indicated that the use of debit/gift cards will increase; and 18 percent will add merchandise.

The pulse survey was held from October 19 through November 17, 2009 and included feedback from 103 IRF supporters, a combination of incentive travel providers, corporate incentive travel buyers, and suppliers.


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