SITE Releases The Bangkok Manifesto

Bangkok Manifesto, meetings
The final statements of the Bangkok Manifesto were voted on during SITE’s annual conference in Bangkok in January.

A crowd-sourced initiative of SITE and non-SITE members, The Bangkok Manifesto is  a roadmap for incentive travel in 2019—and beyond.

Last year, the new executive leadership team at SITE came up with a brilliant idea: to tap the knowledge and experience of everyone in the incentive industry to create a vision document—or manifesto—for moving forward. They engaged Martin Sirk of Serendipity Consulting (former executive director of ICCA) to crowdsource what would become known as The Bangkok Manifesto at key SITE events.

In a series of face-to-face workshops over the next year, they produced dozens of statements about the nature, purpose and direction of incentive travel in 2019. The final statements were presented during the closing session of SITE’s Global Conference in Bangkok in January and using, the audience voted on the 10 statements they believed best represented their mission.

A printed version, including commentaries from incentive travel leaders, was distributed at IMEX Frankfurt in May; if you weren’t at IMEX or didn’t manage to get a copy, e-mail SITE’s Chief Marketing Officer Pádraic Gilligan ( and he’ll send you one. The title sponsor of the initiative is Meet in Ireland.

And now: The Bangkok Manifesto

  1. Every stakeholder in the incentive travel community should embrace social responsibility as a core part of their business philosophy and recognise that our business practices and policies will define how that responsibility is exercised.
  2. Relationships and teamwork build business results, not isolated individual effort.  And nothing creates and strengthens relationships more effectively than shared incentive travel experiences.
  3. Incentive travel contributes significantly to economic growth, partnerships within and between organisations, and innovative thinking by both participants and the organisations that create the programmes.
  4. The interests, aspirations and perspectives of incentive programme participants should be placed centre stage in our industry’s strategic thinking and advocacy work.
  5. The definition of luxury has changed.  The era of logos and brands is ending.  Luxury in future will be defined by authentic, unique and personal experiences.
  6. Incentive travel helps to create corporate cultures that are fuelled by motivation and focused on future success.
  7. Inclusivity should become a critical concept for our industry –we believe that incentive travel changes behaviour and builds motivation at all levels of an organisation.
  8. Our industry must encourage more second and third-tier cities and non-urban destinations to embrace incentive travel as part of their business mix, highlighting that success in our business is not dependent on massive infrastructure or investment.
  9. Incentive travel drives human capital excellence and innovation within destinations, with profound benefits for other targeted business segments.
  10. Emerging destinations that include incentive travel in their strategic plans will experience faster economic growth and human capital development than would otherwise be the case.
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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 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and 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, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.