SITE Foundation

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SITE, FICP and IRF Release 2nd Landmark Study of the Incentive Travel Industry

Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), and Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP) along with research partner Oxford Economics are proud to announce the release of the second joint study of the global incentive travel industry. Incentive Travel Industry Index Powered by SITE Index, IRF Outlook and FICP is the largest-ever survey undertaken into the incentive travel industry, achieving an unprecedented number of submissions from five categories of incentive travel professional.

“Following last year’s hugely successful inaugural joint study, we wanted to increase responses, both numerically and geographically, so as to ensure deep penetration into the universe of incentive travel. We received a total of 2,600 submissions from over 100 destinations around the world, almost triple the number received in 2018,” said SITE CEO Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP.

Conducted in association with Oxford Economics, well known to global incentive travel professionals for its extensive work with the Events Industry Council (EIC), US Travel Association and Meetings Mean Business coalition, the study is a wide-ranging inquiry into the state of the incentive travel nation, at once an historical snapshot of where the industry has come from and a predictive hypothesis of where it’s going.

“Almost half of all responses came from corporate end-user and agency buyers, representing 15 distinct industries or sectors that typically use incentive travel as a performance-enhancement tool. Financial services and insurance, pharma/healthcare and information and communications technology were the top three sectors represented, with automotive a close fourth,” said Steve Bova, CAE, FICP executive director.

The survey findings show further increases over 2018 in per-person investment with hotel spend and not airline costs – the outlier in 2018 – now capturing the majority of the spend. Destination infrastructure – i.e. hotels – is also the top consideration in destination selection, relegating destination appeal into third position, after safety.

“Beyond the hard dollar outcomes, we’re finding soft-power objectives like engagement, relationship building and company culture emerging stronger, continuing the trend identified in 2018,” added IRF VP of Content, Andy Schwarz. “And the primacy of the human touch within the world of incentive travel is carried across many other areas of inquiry, with reputation being the leading factor influencing supplier choice – significantly more important than financial stability and value.”

This important research project would not have been possible without the support of the following sponsors:

  • Champion Level: Accor Hotels, Peerless Performance, One10
  • Prime Level: Business Events Canada, Meliá Hotels International
  • Principal Level: Caesars Entertainment, Eco Destination Management Services, IMEX Group, Hilton, Wyndham Hotels


For further information, please contact:

Steve Bova,

Executive Director, FICP

(312) 245-1023


Stephanie Harris,

President, IRF

(703) 651-8189,


Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP


(312) 673-4905



View 2019 Survey Results


View 2019 Extended Report


Further Information

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