The impacts of COVID-19 on incentive travel have been widespread and profound. While the situation remains dynamic and ever-changing, evidence is emerging that travel is about to rebound. Here are a few recent news items that reflect growing confidence in travel:
Incentive Research Foundation’s recent survey, COVID-19 and Disruption in the Incentive Travel, Meetings and Events Industry: Adaptation and Recovery, had several relevant findings:
- People are beginning to crave travel, with a focus on new experiences at safe destinations within driving distance or that involve shorter flights.
- Program owners who postponed incentive travel programs expressed a strong need to continue recognizing and rewarding employees (points, merchandise and/or gift cards).
- Despite completing the survey at the peak of the COVID-19 spread, weather was the lead cause of travel cancellation or postponement.
- The industry is still experiencing more postponements to incentive travel than cancellations.
Scott Steinberg from Meetings Today shares some positive survey results regarding planner optimism about a face-to-face meetings revival by the end of 2020, with a few caveats thrown in:
- 92% of respondents think live events will return by September of 2020
- Hybrid virtual/live events will continue to grow in the future
- Meeting planners are rethinking best practices to focus on participant safety
Conference & Incentive Travel Magazine:
Trade Show News Network: Global DMC Partners’ 2020 Survey Predicts Strong Rebound of Face-to-Face Events in 2021
American and Delta Reactivate Planes as Summer Takes Off: 300 aircraft return to service as Americans gain more confidence in travel