Endorsements, show presence key for incentive biz

WORD-of-mouth endorsements and participation in trade exhibitions are crucial to securing incentive business, according to the latest Incentive Travel Survey Report released by The Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration (SMTA).

Based on feedback from 352 MICE-related companies in Asia-Pacific, 56.7 per cent of respondents rely on recommendations to get new customers, while 50 per cent leverage on networking at domestic and foreign incentive travel trade exhibitions to gain new clients.

The report also reveals that the majority of incentive travel lasts three to four days and is tied in with business activities, with 90 per cent of groups having fewer than 100 pax.  The average budget per person per day is US$300, while most clients prefer to book directly with hotels, showing that Internet and direct sales greatly influence the way accommodation is secured.

About 83 per cent of respondents expressed willingness to organise incentive travel in Shanghai in the near future, in light of the city’s cultural and shopping attractions, as well as its high level of security.

SMTA will be attending five overseas MICE exhibitions and conferences this year as part of its marketing strategy. These include AIME in Melbourne, IMEX in Frankfurt, AIBTM in Baltimore, ICCA in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and EIBTM in Barcelona.

It will also be hosting two post-conference fam tours in September during SITE China Conference and The National Association of Career Travel Agent Conference.

Reporting by Patricia Wee

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