Business tourism is tightly bound to events, since most business-related travel is conducted for the purposes of attending a meeting, conference, launch or celebration of some kind. Therefore, an event coordinator does well to understand the intricacies, needs and characteristics of business tourism if they are to cater for their delegates in the most personal, effective way.
Business tourism displays the following characteristics:
- Business tourists tend to spend far more money than tourists that are on leisure travel. This is because most of the cost of the trip is paid for by their company, allowing them to spend their personal finances on other tourist attractions and activities, and because most business travellers generally use a higher quality of services and amenities. In addition, such travel is more frequent than leisure travel and is obligatory, forcing the expenditures, to a degree.
- There is no seasonality when it comes to business travel, as it is for the purposes of attending specific meetings and events, not for seeing attractions or participating in tourist activities. This travel, then, supports many accommodation and transport service providers during the quieter, out-of-season times.
- This type of tourism necessitates that the individual businesspeople travel more frequently, whether to the same destination or a number of different ones. Whereas a leisure traveller may only go to a destination once in a lifetime, a business traveller may need to go there every few weeks or months.
- The demands and needs of a business traveller do not necessarily change according to price fluctuations. Therefore, even if the cost of accommodation goes up, they will still need to pay for it, since their need for the accommodation has not changed.
There are five main types of business travel:
- General – this is the type of travel conducted by sales representatives, management consultants, and so on, where travel is simply part of the job.
- Meetings and conferences – such events may be organised by the companies involved, or by a professional event coordinator. They vary in size, from just a small meeting of top management to conferences of hundreds (perhaps thousands) of delegates.
- Incentive travel – some companies offer their staff members a travel reward for their reaching or exceeding a specific goal. These travel experiences are usually quite extraordinary; something for which the individual will work really hard.
- Conventions – professional groups and associations frequently conduct conventions for those within the industry. Delegates often bring their families and, because of the calibre of traveller involved, usually require high quality services and amenities.
- Exhibitions – trade shows and consumer shows bring a host of sellers or exhibitors together in one place and attract huge numbers of potential buyers. Both the buyers and the sellers may come from far away to be a part of these events.
Because business tourism is conducted with a very specific event and objective in mind, these travellers need succinct travel and event schedules, access to convenient services and amenities and a reasonable amount of comfort (whether in their accommodation, transport or event settings). Event planners are a key part of making event tourism successful, both for the tourist and for the destination.
Photo Credit: Aero Affairs