Impact of Wall Street Meltdown on Incentive Travel

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).

In Tough Times, Smart Firms Retreat


2 thoughts on “Impact of Wall Street Meltdown on Incentive Travel

  1. Hi Anne,

    Thanks for linking to my incentive compensation management blog ( in your last article.

    Here is a semi-recent survey addressing the impact of the economy on incentive travel. 78% of the respondents agree that the the economy will have a negative impact on incentive travel programs… But the others believe it will have no impact or even a positive impact!

    Julien Dionne

  2. Dear Anne

    You may remember, you kindly supplied some comments included in a feature on team building I wrote for MICE International magazine about 18months ago.

    I’m currently working for the same publication doing an analysis of the current economic situation and it’s impact on the incentives and groups sector – and wondered if you had any comments from your perspective of how the situation will affect business in 2009.

    The immediate effect seems to be cancellation of incentive events, but perhaps you have some experience of whether corporate retreats, team building etc, will continue – as per the last recession.

    Would most appreciate any comments – particularly relating to inbound to the Gulf and Dubai.

    Thanks and best regards
    Kathi Everden
    00971-50 427 0610

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