Site Study: Group Travel Is Top Motivational Tool

May 20, 2014

Does prior experience with a supplier influence program decisions? This and related questions were the focus of a second joint research study conducted by the Site International Foundation and IMEX, the worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events. The research revisits and compares results from a similar study conducted in 2013. Utilizing the combined databases of The Site Index Panel and the IMEX Group, the study asked industry professionals to comment on their experiences in purchasing motivational travel. Of the study participants from more than 16 countries, 40 percent are Users of incentive travel and 60 percent represent Providers.

According to 2014 Site International Foundation President Kurt Paben, senior vice president, Aimia, “We are thrilled by the increased User response in the 2014 study. The results are consistent with the overall message that relationships continue to lead us in this business. For example, 83 percent of Users said that past relationships with suppliers influence program decisions. It is also worth noting that, despite economic uncertainty, Group Travel leads the list of motivational tools in Users’ programs.”

Key observations:

  •  Group Travel is growing in importance. Group Travel leads the list of motivational tools in User’s programs (62 percent) with Recognition (44 percent) and Training (40 percent), surpassing Individual Travel (31 percent) and Family Travel (22 percent).
  • Past relationships with a supplier matters. 83 percent of Users said that prior experience with a supplier and/or brand relationship significantly influences or influences their decision, up significantly from 2013. Providers (60%) also confirm that loyalty continues to have a strong influence on their selection of suppliers.
  • Higher management and purchasing departments influence buying decisions. The majority of User respondents (59 percent) said that a single decision-maker did not make incentive travel decisions. However, primary decision-makers were in top management and 60 percent identified them as authorized to make unilateral decisions about motivational travel. A slightly smaller percentage (52 percent vs. 55 percent in 2013) said that procurement departments continue to have a strong influence on buying decisions.
  • Providers believe that price is the major factor in not winning a bid. The majority of Providers (65 percent) said that price is the main reason for losing a bid as compared to 53 percent in 2013. However, a smaller percentage of suppliers (48 percent vs. 57 percent) feel that lead time affected the quality of their submissions.
  • Trade shows are a valuable source for identifying service providers. Both Users (79 percent) and Providers (81 percent) said that they attend trade shoes for the opportunity to find new suppliers or meet with existing ones.

To download a full copy of the Purchasing Motivational Travel – Revisited Executive Summary, click here.

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