Hotel Biz Link – Global Hotel Business Magazine

The Global News Source of Hotel & Lodging Industry

Incentive Travel Industry Prepares for 2024

Incentive travel may see a shift towards closer-to-home destinations

Incentive Travel Industry Prepares for 2024 with Key Focus Areas

As the incentive travel industry readies itself for 2024, experts from Motivation Excellence foresee several key areas to watch, applicable not just to businesses but also to individual travelers.

Election Year Impact

With 2024 marked as an election year, Rhonda Brewer, VP of Sales at Motivation Excellence, highlights the likelihood of businesses exercising caution in their spending budgets. While drastic changes in incentive travel might not occur, Brewer suggests potential trends for new bookings.

“Incentive travel may see a shift towards closer-to-home destinations, budget reductions, and partnerships offering extra value to make dollars go further.”

She anticipates more stringent rule structures, where companies may set higher performance goals for qualifying for incentive group travel. Despite the cautious approach, Brewer emphasizes the overall resilience of incentive programs.

“Incentive programs are alive and well, and clients still absolutely see the value in them. With rebookings behind us, there’s an opportunity to explore new venues, destinations, and inclusions.”

Flights & Service Levels Forecast

Brad Hecht, Senior VP of Travel and Chief Travel Strategist at Motivation Excellence, expects steadier pricing trends for airfares, especially for domestic destinations, and an uptick in overall traveler numbers.

“Airfares will continue to stabilize, especially for U.S. travel, with projections pointing to record numbers for travelers.”

Hecht’s optimism aligns with Travel & Leisure’s report on Kayak’s 2024 outlook, indicating potential domestic flight price drops of up to 16%. However, international travel may see a 10% increase in ticket prices over 2023.

Hecht also looks forward to improved service levels at U.S. hotels as they recover from the pandemic. “Hotels are gradually returning to normal staffing levels, and I hope for more consistent service levels.”

Visa Updates Unveiled

Joe Reise, Director of Travel Purchasing, Planning, and Supplier Relations at Motivation Excellence, sheds light on the evolving visa landscape. The ETIAS travel entry requirement for European destinations, initially slated for 2024, has been postponed to at least 2025.

“The new entry requirement will come into effect after Europe’s tech-driven entry and exit system launches in the fall of 2024, with a likely six-month transition period.”

While some countries like Brazil, Australia, China, and Vietnam already require visas for Americans, Reise suggests checking an authoritative website for an exhaustive list.

As travelers contemplate their 2024 plans, factors such as flight prices, hotel service levels, and visa requirements become critical. The potential decrease in domestic airfares, improved U.S. hotel services, and the opportunity to earn through incentive programs could present a winning combination for savvy travelers.