Two-Way Street

PR, social media, events and incentives – Collaboration & communication ideas for demanding businesses from The Castle Group's Mark O'Toole

Incentive travel’s white knight?

Posted by thecastlegroup on March 3, 2009

As the government comes down on TARP-funded companies for their incentive programs, U.S. Travel (the former TIA) has issued a set of responses on behalf of the meeting industry. The organization has done a really terrific job inserting commentary into the media and changing the focus from TARP companies gone wild to the real value of incentive programs. 

I know Castle has a vested interest in the success of the industry, but is it really so hard to understand that a well-executed incentive or meeting actually drives business, leading to revenue which then stimulates the economy? 

 

Read below for a sample of recent media coverage on the issues and the impact on the meetings industry:

 

 

 

Hawaii hotelier asks Obama for an important favor

Pacific Business News

By Jim George

March 2, 2009

 

Gibson understands that the incentive-travel pot is an easy target for corporate executives struggling to balance budgets. What he doesn’t understand is why the national media and government at large continue to give travel to Hawaii a negative connotation.

 

“There’s a perception problem,” he says.

http://pacific.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2009/03/02/editorial3.html?b=1235970000%5E1786209

 

It’s Time To Fight AIG Effect

Hotels Magazine

By Jeff Weinstein

March 1, 2009 

 

It all started when insurance industry giant American International Group (AIG) was blasted by Congress last fall for spending US$440,000 on an executive retreat at the St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach, in California after being bailed out with taxpayer money. Now this event has become a symbol of excess and greed, in many ways forcing meeting planners and corporate executives to find other solutions, and other venues, to conduct business.

http://www.hotelsmag.com/article/CA6639669.html?industryid=47565

 

MPI Launches New Web Resource To Emphasise The Value of Meetings in Crisis Time       

Focus on Travel News

By Ozgur Tore    

March 2, 2009 

 

MPI is also part of a coalition of organizations including American Hotel and Lodging Association, Destination Marketing Association International, International Association of Exhibitions and Events, National Business Travel Association, Maritz Travel, Professional Convention Management Association, SITE (Society of Incentive & Travel Executives) and U.S. Travel Association that also emerged to unify the industry behind a common message to regulators and media.

http://www.ftnnews.com/content/view/5165/29/lang,english/

 

Travel Leaders Shows How to Travel in a Tough Economy

Travel Agent

March 2, 2009 

 

“As one of America’s largest industries, travel and tourism is the vital lifeblood that courses through our nation’s veins. Continued corporate and leisure travel strongly contributes to a healthier economy,” stated Block. “While we can appreciate and understand why many individuals may be reconsidering their travel plans, our Travel Leaders nationally are advising their clients on the most effective ways to stretch their dollars for maximum value.”

http://www.travelagentcentral.com/consortia/travel-leaders-shows-how-travel-tough-economy-13433

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One Response to “Incentive travel’s white knight?”

  1. The “uninvited” will always resent those inside the velvet ropes. The majority of voters will never experience comp travel, dinner or private concerts – and will always resent those who do. We can’t fight base emotions with statistics – we need to counter with emotional stories. We must tell the story of the caterer, the florist and the limo driver who can’t pay their bills because of counter-productive TARP restrictions.
    By taking event marketing away from failing institutions, we force them to compete with less effective marketing. How do we expect them to attract private capital when they are losing investors to the institutions that attract and retain clients using special events?

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