SITE - Pride is Back

30th Sep, 2015

When you work in an industry that has a hard time defining its name, you get used to misperceptions. Across the globe, the Incentive Travel sector is described in many ways - “Motivational Events”, “MICE”, “Meetings and Events”, “Hospitality Business”, etc. All of these labels don’t adequately address the business that we are in; the business that uses the power of bringing people together to reward performance, create engagement and generate business results.

This lack of understanding is due to limited knowledge of the value proposition for incentive travel, and I don’t only mean a lack of understanding of people that are alien to our industry. It is true that in the past there have been some bad practices in the implementation of incentive travel programs and scandals have marked the industry’s reputation. It is also clear that, as incentive industry advocates, we need to do a much better job communicating the value of this important business tool beyond its reputation of exotic destinations, lavish entertainment and fine dining.

Increasing expectations

In today’s world where global travel is no longer limited to wealthy people, there are numerous opportunities available to the average consumer. Destinations and activities that used to be considered unique and special are now at the reach of everyone on their home computer. This is why the expectations of clients and program participants are constantly increasing and incentive travel planners are having to work harder to designexperiences that a typical traveler would not think to do on their own, financially afford to do on their own, or even be able to do on their own.

The day has come where an increase in the use of incentive travel is no longer a trend, but a fact. At SITE, we have proof that incentives are connected to business results. In a survey by the SITE Foundation, corporate executives who use incentive travel report that it pays for itself many times over and has a positive impact on future economic investments and job growth. And, companies that use incentive travel have seen individual performance increase by 22% and team performance by 44%.Olga Navarro

Value of incentive travel

To spread the word about the benefits and value of incentive travel, SITE has recently launched a campaign “Incentive Travel (it) Works”. SITE members around the world believe in what we do and the effect “it” causes on people’s performance. We use creativity to design once-in-a-lifetime, high-end travel experiences that result in lasting memories and motivate future performance. We have the powerful ability to connect incentive travel to business results and we provide research that confirms that incentive travel is an important business tool used by companies to change behavior and create a measureable return on investment.

We are Loving “it”, Knowing “it”, Experiencing “it”, Proving “it”, Growing “it” and Living “it”. And we are proud, because pride in our industry is back, and here to stay.

To learn more about SITE visit

This text was written by Olga Navarro, CIS, Vice President, SITE International Board of Directors, and Executive Director, ITB dmc - Destination Management Services in Spain

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