We are often asked, “How much should I budget for an incentive travel program?” When it comes to travel, the budget affects everything from the destination to the dinner menu. Here’s what we recommend when planning an incentive travel program.
It's a sellers' market.
With an improved economy more individuals are traveling, and group travel is on the rise. Hotels and airlines are doing a brisk business, booking well into 2018. This means that budgets are up, too, beyond the increase in cost of living, in line with the strong demand. It's important to make program and destination decisions as far in advance as possible to obtain the best rates and venues.
According to research
by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), in 2014, only 26% of companies were spending over $4000 per person on travel, but in 2015 36% are now spending at that level. 65% report spending $3000 or more per person. A sampling of our group travel programs including manufacturer/distributor, financial services, and insurance companies shows an average per person price of $4030 for programs running in 2017.
And don't forget the spouses! Our experience is that over 95% of programs include spouses or significant others on the trip, which means that the per winner cost is even more.
If the spend is under $3000 per person, our clients opt instead for individual travel, which allows participants to go where they want to go, when, and with whom. Interestingly, individual travelers in our Great Escapes
program choose a wide variety of options, from a stay at the Hampton Inn near their alma mater to a family trip to Paris.
Our white paper lays out the business case for incentive travel and why it is the ultimate performance motivator. You can read it here
. Whether you choose group or individual travel, there's no better way to link the experience of the reward to the effort it took to achieve it. It's simply the most effective tool in the incentive toolbox.