SITE and the future of incentive travel
In ten topics, Max Boontawee Jantasuwan, President of SITE Thailand and CEO of Events Travel Asia, summarised the incentive travel trends. Here they are:
1 –Disruption and risk are practically the new normal. Increasingly important is the role of DMCs in risk assessment and problem solving.
2 - Safety is the top priority. Outsourcing security agencies fully equipped to evacuate groups is already a reality.
3 –Growth of secondary destinations, that are becoming first choices.
4 –Unique venues / independent hotels appeal to many generations. Highlight for sustainability-conscious venues.
5 –Wellness & Mindfulness. Incentive travel is now seen as almost a“retreat”and stressful initiatives should be removed from the programs. This goes beyond having a gym available, offering activities such as yoga, meditation, pilates and a healthy breakfast.
6 –Authenticity vs Luxury. The future heads for immersive cultural experiences, contact with the community, free time for participants to explore their destination, local food and cuisine experiences.
7 –Customisation. Customised itineraries are coming true. Drinks, food, amenities are part of this customisation.
8 –Apps. Not only to reduce paper consumption, but as a more interactive way to perceive participants' emotions and react. Artificial intelligence and augmented reality will be key requirements for effective incentives.
9 –Target audiences are increasing. Incentives are no longer just for the sales force, there are growing audiences and more comprehensive strategies. It's not just about rewarding increased sales or productivity, but achieving more intangible goals.
10 –Transformational travel. Life-changing experiences, and how to look at the future, will be increasingly important.
The conclusions, according to Max Boontawee Jantasuwan, are: budgets are rising; more and more professionals are going on incentive trips; incentives are increasingly seen as important in building a corporate culture; increasing use of all-inclusive destinations; wellness is the new golf.
Cláudia Coutinho de Sousa*
*Travelled to Bangkok on IT&CMA invitation