IRF Survey on Managing Expectations

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A recent study by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) found that as the hotel industry ramps its service levels back up to pre-pandemic levels, planners are concerned about being able to deliver the programs they have in the past.

The IRF found that the pull between reality and expectations is being felt by both incentive planners and their supplier partners. More than half (54%) of incentive travel planners cite the ability to maintain and deliver expected service levels as their primary concern, while every supplier group reported struggling with hiring and retaining staff and managing cost increases resulting from inflation.

Other key findings from the IRF survey:

  • DMCs are seeing price increases due to cost of talent, transportation / fuel surcharges, and venue rental costs
  • 84% of hotel respondents report offering daily housekeeping services, and 95% of hotels reported having all food and beverage outlets available
  • Tourism boards and CVBs are in a strong position to help inform planners as they evaluate destinations, and can help fill gaps in knowledge and service in many cases
  • Planners noted that Tier 2 destinations that have a strong product, are appropriately staffed, and have funding, are well positioned to win business in the current environment

The study was conducted from late April through June 2022. A total of 710 respondents completed the survey, representing four stakeholder groups, incentive planners / third party agency, hoteliers, tourism board/convention & visitors bureaus, and destination management companies.

The full study can be found here.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.