The Economy Is Boosting Programs, Budgets Says IRF’s Pulse Study

Incentive industry professionals are responding to the improving economy, according to the Incentive Research Foundation’s 2015 Fall Pulse Survey, with 61 percent of respondents saying that the economy has had a positive impact on their ability to plan and execute incentive travel programs, and 67 percent reporting that they will slightly increase their incentive travel budgets for 2016.

The data, drawn from 190 corporate incentive buyers and planners, suppliers, travel agents and incentive professionals surveyed in late summer, also shows that 40 percent of respondents say the economy will have a positive effect on their ability to plan and execute merchandise and gift card programs. For those programs, 54 percent said the economy is having a neutral impact on their ability to plan, and only six percent indicated a negative impact.

The IRF’s survey also found that per-person budgets are increasing. More than a third of respondents, 36 percent, said their budgets would be over $4,000 per person in 2016. Stronger budgets have driven changes to destinations. For the first time, the Caribbean is tied with the U.S. as an incentive travel destination, with 50 percent of respondents saying they would use the Caribbean for their programs.

Read the IRF’s full survey here.

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