IRF releases The State of International Incentives

Businesses around the world are increasing the use of incentive travel to motivate and retain their workforce. The IRF’s new report, The State of International Incentives, focuses on the priorities and challenges faced by European and Canadian incentive planners, as well as their perspectives on the US as an incentive destination.

In April, the IRF in conjunction with The Palm Beaches, gathered a group of corporate incentive program owners and third-party incentive house executives from the Europe and Canada who met in person in at The Breakers Palm Beach, Florida. The group participated in roundtable discussions and shared their insights on the primary influencers and drivers of incentive destination decisions from the standpoint of European and Canadian buyers.

“European and Canadian buyers are seeking out destinations that offer unique luxury experiences,” said Stephanie Harris, IRF President. “They also have a desire to work alongside hotels, CVBs, DMCs, and vendors who can help them navigate regional business practices and adapt to European or Canadian attendee preferences.”

Insights shared by European and Canadian incentive travel buyers in The State of International Incentives include:

  • Long haul incentives come with consideration of time and cost limitations, as well as a discussion of sustainability concerns related to long-haul flights.
  • For both budget and experiential reasons, buyers are looking for new North American destinations beyond New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Palm Beach was a prime example of a destination that defied expectations and was full of surprises.
  • Pricing in the United States is challenge. Buyers find it difficult to budget for the US because “there is so much ++” in the proposals versus providing tax and service inclusive pricing.
  • Some budget challenges can offset with tax rebates, with buyers citing Canada, Dublin, and Abu Dhabi as examples.
  • European buyers indicated the perception is that, in general, the US is an expensive destination. They added that many US destinations provide a valuable experience and motivational impact.
  • The tipping culture in some countries overall is a bit off-putting and confusing, particularly for the Europeans.

To view or download a copy of the full report, please visit The State of International Incentives webpage.

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