It’s probably too early to determine what impact the current meltdown on Wall Street will have on incentive travel. When the economic climate becomes uncertain, there is a tendency for many companies to cut back and become conservative in their spending. A 2007 Incentive Magazine study has indicated U.S. companies typically spend about $50 billion per year on incentive travel, merchandise and gift cards to reward and inspire, staff, dealers and suppliers. Certainly the Wall Street meltdown has sent seismic aftershocks around the world. Asian stock markets have been reeling and the Dubai Financial Market General Index has felt the impact. Luxury properties do seem to be holding their own. With aggressive plans to build 60 hotels by 2012, and the agreement between the Jumeirah Group and Expedia signed in August, the Jumeirah properties do seem to be holding their own.
During turbulent economic times is it wise to put incentive travel, team building and executive retreats on hold? Here is a perspective in a National Post article in which I was quoted during the last recession (2003).