Study: Corporate Incentive Travel a Boon for Business Events in APAC

Author: Cristi Kempf       

Corporate incentive travel (CIT) is on the rise, bringing opportunities for business events professionals in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, according to a new report from the Melbourne Convention Bureau in partnership with the PCMA Foundation.

The report, “Travel Truths for Business Events — Corporate Incentive Travel,” was released Friday at the PCMA Annual Conference in Bangkok and offers a look at emerging trends — keying on the rise of CIT — for the region’s business events industry.

The APAC business events sector is valued at more than US$200 billion and is growing rapidly, according to the report, and CIT makes up more than 25 percent of the global business travel industry.

In the report, 60 percent of planners said they believe CIT is replacing financial incentives and bonuses as a way to motivate staff members to hit sales targets. These travelers are seeking an experience that money can’t buy, according to the report, which offers case studies and seven “truths” for creating “wow” experiences, including how to make trips authentic, interactive, and unique.

In addition to the move toward “wow” experiences, the report details such emerging trends as an increased need to source “unusual” destinations and non “major/first-tier” cities as potential incentive travel locations. Some 69 percent of survey respondents ranked unique/wow/money-can’t-buy experiences as their top consideration among five factors when planning a CIT program.

Research for the report was conducted by Australia-based Essence Communications, which surveyed incentive travel planners; business event planners and strategists; and other experts from China, Australia, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore in a two-stage virtual round table style between March and June. There were 18 one-hour interviews in stage one and 42 online surveys in stage two.

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