Incentive travel programs and meetings that motivate employees and stakeholders may prove to be the best investment of all. According to the Incentive Research Foundation, here are seven important incentive travel statistics that every travel planner and business executive should know:

1. At least 46 percent of U.S. businesses use incentive travel.

2. U.S. businesses spend $22.5 billion a year on incentive travel.

3. Organizations that provide non-cash rewards have revenue increases three times higher than average.

4. Companies with the highest customer retention and sales growth offer group travel to reward year-end sales goals.

5. Of companies that run awards programs, 53 percent use incentive travel to reward sales, 43 percent to recognize employees, 33 percent toward channel partners and 27 percent for customer loyalty.

6. Well-designed and well-executed incentive travel programs can increase sales productivity by 18 percent and produce an ROI of up to 112 percent.

7. Incentive budgets per person now average up to $3,440.

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