Industry Update
Press Release 2 October 2019

HSMAI & ZS Release Incentive Plan Research Report

Report explores incentive plan research for hotel management companies

share this article
1 min

MCLEAN, VA. - Take a deep dive into the state of hospitality incentives in a new Hotel Management Company Incentive Plan Research Report released by HSMAI and ZS to discover key findings in incentive compensation structure, metrics, revenue, goal attainment, and more. The report is designed to help hospitality leaders make informed decisions to maximize the design and success of incentive plans.


The latest research first outlines the framework for sales incentive plan design. The report finds that at its core, a good incentive plan is strategic, motivational, fair, simple, and fiscally responsible. Additionally, incentive plans should ideally have metrics that are strategic, controllable, and measurable. The study further outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each incentive plan type, what drives top performers, payout curves, and more.

To further supplement its findings, the report also dives into the state of incentives in hotel management companies. The Hotel Management Company Incentive Plan Research Report collected and measured incentive plans from 39 hotel management companies. The report shares important data on compensation structure, the metrics used to determine incentive compensation, incentive payout, and goal attainment.

According to the study:

  • 97% of Director of Sales and 94% of Sales Managers use goal-based plans as the dominant compensation structure.
  • 66% of DOS use total hotel contribution of revenue as the primary performance metric used to determine incentive compensation.
  • 81% of Sales Managers use the individual contribution of revenue as the primary performance metric used to determine incentive compensation.
  • 10% or less weight is placed on gross overall profit and guest satisfaction metrics by Hotel management companies to determine incentive pay.

Hotel Management Company Incentive Plan Research Report is an excellent resource for special projects and a strong reference for hospitality incentive program design metrics and key insights. Visit HSMAI to download the full report for more data, unique insights, and a complete appendix containing plan component details.

This research report is made possible with the support of HSMAI Organizational Member companies.


The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners. As the industry's leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth, HSMAI provides hospitality professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as the Revenue Optimization Conference, Digital Marketing Strategy Conference, and Adrian Awards. We offer organizational and individual membership across three regions — the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, plus a chapter in the UAE — encompassing more than 7,000 members worldwide. Each region has geographic chapters and offers signature programs and services for members.

Nicole Quain
Latest News