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10 Trends Pain ta Picture of the Future of Incentive Travel in 2015
A new study by the Incentive Research Foundation, Rebounding the Recession: The Future of Incentive Travel 2015, finds that incentive travel rewards are perfectly matched to the emerging needs of today’s multi-generational workforce and corporate America’s simultaneous move toward enterprise engagement.
Following are the top 10 highlights from the study that discuss various drivers behind this conclusion:
For more on the IRF study, Rebounding the Recession: The Future of Incentive Travel 2015, go to
Meeting Budgets Continue to Rise According to 2015 State Of The Meetings Industry Survey
In its third annual 'State of the Meetings Industry' survey of more than 185 meeting planners nationwide, Destination Hotels sheds light on the recent trends affecting the planning and execution of meetings and events. As the largest operator of independent hotels and resorts in North America, Destination asked an experienced group of corporate, association, government and independent planners—55 percent of whom control more than $100,000 per year in direct meeting spend for their organizations—about how their planning duties and their meetings themselves are changing. These changes stem from general macroeconomic trends, the continued strength of the hospitality industry in particular, attendees' evolving needs and preferences, advancing technology, and other factors.
Here is a summary of the survey results, plus front-line analysis.
Travel Employment Reaches New Record High as Travel Exports Continue to Expand
David Huether, senior vice president for research and economics at the U.S. Travel Association, provides analysis on today's U.S. employment and exports numbers:
"The Labor Department announced today that the U.S. economy added 321,000 jobs in November – the highest monthly increase since early 2012 – with widespread gains in all sectors, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8 percent.
"The travel industry benefitted from a fifth straight month of growth, adding 8,500 jobs this month, again reaching an all-time high. Albeit from a very high base, November's travel employment increase was slower than the 12-month average of more than 11,000 jobs per month, and less notable than growth in other industries.
"Despite experiencing slower growth than the rest of the economy this month, the travel industry has been outpacing the economy -- growing 37 percent faster since the recession.
"Total travel job growth in 2014 so far has been just shy of 120,000, and the industry has experienced positive growth in all but one month this year. If history is an indicator, December job growth will likely be higher than November, bringing the industry close to, if not surpassing, the increase of 140,000 jobs experienced in 2013.
"Separately, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported today that travel exports increased to $18.5 billion in October 2014, up slightly from September and only 3.1 percent lower than the recent peak of $19.1 billion in August. Travel continues to be a major force in overall export growth for the economy.
"So far this year, travel exports have accounted for 17 percent of total export growth; nearly one in every eight dollars spent on new U.S. exports this year has been from the spending of foreign travelers coming to the U.S.
"Welcoming international travelers to our shores is a powerful catalyst to drive the U.S. economy and provide good jobs for many Americans. The State Department's recent extension of new Chinese business, tourist and student visas from one year to ten years can only be seen as great news for the economy, ensuring even more revenue from our fastest-growing source of overseas visitors."
IACC & PKF Release "Trends® in the Conference Center Industry 2014"
International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) has released the 2014 Edition of "Trends® in the Conference Center Industry." According to IACC CEO Mark Cooper, "The comprehensive trends report indicates that IACC Conference Centres once again see continued recovery in their rates which are higher than 2013."
Cooper continued, "This, coupled with marginal improvements in operating profits, demonstrates that IACC member properties continue to control costs and manage another year of improving occupancies. Conference Centres -- when benchmarked against hotels -- are showing restraint in hiking prices to their customers, which shows a long-term approach and commitment to their customers."
Cooper also notes that IACC members predicted a 'bumpy ride' for 2014 operating budgets, and they might well prove to be accurate in their predictions given the last few months of mixed economic forecasts for North America. "With the economy experiencing some set-backs," said Cooper, "a large part of conference centres' business is realised from training." According to the report, the greatest percentage of meetings (57.8%) held at residential conference centres were Training / Continuing Education sessions followed by Management Planning conferences.
"It is encouraging to see the significant growth in this type of events as organisations invest now to put in place a skilled workforce to cope with further recovery" said Cooper.
Corporate Centres achieved the greatest increase in Average Daily Rate in 2013 showing a 2.9% increase in All Centres over 2012 with Executive and Resort Centres seeing the highest ADR.
Executive and Resort Centres continued to achieve greater levels of total RevPOR compared to their comparable hotel property type, while corporate centres experienced the greatest increase in RevPOR from 2012 to 2013.
Resort Centres achieved the highest occupancy rate in 2013, while college and university centres enjoyed the greatest gain in occupancy during 2013.
In 2013, Executive and Resort Centres achieved lower levels of occupancy than their comparable hotel property type, but enjoyed greater over-the-year growth in occupancy from 2012 to 2013.
The report, compiled by PKF Hospitality Research on behalf of IACC, showed encouraging signs that Executive Conference Centres are experiencing overall rebound which has taken place in revenues and profitability for most of the members reporting. This is consistent with a recovery in the meeting market in general, which has been a long time coming.
Dave Arnold, Co-President and Chief Executive Officer-East with PKF Consulting USA, LLC commented, "With the reality of very little supply growth and demand growth in the five to seven percent range, the foreseeable future bodes well for the health of the conference centre industry."
"Certain challenges remain at the forefront," said Arnold, "including a continuing erosion of the CMP to various “modified” meeting packages, a continuing push by asset managers/owners to diversify the market base with non-conference business and dealing with on-line travel agency bookings which heretofore have had only a limited impact on group bookings. On the good news front, the market is showing an increased desire for independent, non-chain properties which, of course, has always been a strength of the conference centre industry."
IACC’s Trends® in the Conference Center Industry is available to purchase on the IACC website Store.
MPI Publishes Fall Edition of Meetings Outlook Report
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has published its Meetings OutlookTM, 2014 Fall Edition. The newest installment of the quarterly special report shows increasing costs for services across the meeting and event spectrum in concert with only slight budgetary growth is setting up a more challenging year ahead.
Key predictions for 2015 include the following:
To view the full report, visit www.mpiweb.org/meetingsoutlook. A printed copy is included in the November 2014 issue of MPI’s award-winning magazine, The Meeting Professional®, as well.
IRF ‘Pulse’ Survey Confirms Sustained Recovery and Upward Trend in Incentive Industry
The latest data from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) confirms that the industry’s recovery is not only sustaining but also accelerating, as it examined core areas of impact such as budgets/purchasing, the national economy, destinations/ accommodations and program elements.
In its bi-annual Pulse surveys, the IRF asks motivation industry professionals about trends in incentive programs, with its latest findings indicating that things have stabilized compared to prior survey periods, establishing a strong positive upward trend for each of the core elements beginning in July 2009 and continuing through May 2014.
DESTINATIONS & ACCOMMODATIONS
The survey was conducted July 21 through August 6 with participants falling into three basic categories:
Read more at http://theirf.org/.6124977.html