The Bangkok Manifesto, created at the SITE Global Conference in Bankok, Thailand in January, comprises 10 statements developed by incentive industry thought leaders on the industry’s true purpose in the business world today.

The Manifesto has been published in hard copy with the addition of written commentary on each of the 10 statements from industry experts in several disciplines–DMC and DMO sectors, hospitality sector, third party planners and corporate end-users. Each week we will take a deep dive into each one, thanks to our industry experts: This week we look at number 3 on Incentive Travel’s Contribution to Economic Growth with commentary from Sebastien Tondeur, CEO, MCI Group.

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.

The 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) will see the rise of AI, Robots, Internet of Things, Quantum Computing and Automation – enabling physical, biological and digital systems to come together. This “phygital” era is collaborative bringing people and relationships to the fore. Previous waves of globalization were about trade and manufacturing of goods across borders, whereas the 4IR technologies enable global services and collaboration, through people, automation and data.

The trust “contract” will define success of this human centric, transparent and fair era. Incentive travel allows personal connection, there’s simply no substitute for a handshake. In an era of value chain systems or collaboration – where each participant focuses on its own core competence – a sense of community for positive business outcomes is of essence.

By 2025 8 billion people will be connected to the Internet – from 3 today. 1 trillion sensors will track our every move – creating data points. Engagement and incentive management sophistication will be augmented by data, automation and AI algorithms. The winners in the truly global war for talent will create authentic engagement and transparency. Incentive experiences will win the human capital engagement game. By bringing people from all around the world to many places all around the world, real people in real places will connect, grow and perform.

According to research conducted in 2018 by Oxford Economics for the Events Industry Council the global value of face to face meetings and events is a staggering $1.07 trillion. Incentive travel experiences are included in this figure but have a significantly higher per person spend than meetings, conferences or events. Clearly incentive travel contributes to economic growth. But their impact extends beyond mere economic metrics – in our ever evolving times they’ll act as the humanising agent that, in turn, is the alchemy that turns our moments golden.

As we like to say, “when people come together, magic happens.”