Despite its drastic decline during the pandemic, business tourism is on track to recover and continues to be a significant contributor to the global travel industry.
As Covid-related travel restrictions started easing, international tourism
nearly tripledin January to July 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Corporate travel, which is an important part of international tourism, is expected to reach a global market value of
$2 trillionby 2028, or nearly three times its 2020 levels.
This isn’t surprising, given the extraordinary
ROI of business travel: for every $1 a company spends on travel arrangements, they get back $12.5 in revenue.
But what is business tourism exactly? What makes it so important? And what types of business tourism are there?
In this article, we’ll look at the answers to these questions – and more.
Employees and executives travel for work
for a number of reasons:
- To participate in internal meetings at different office locations
- To meet business partners (clients or suppliers)
- To go to conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, and other local or international business events
- To take part in company retreats or incentive trips
In all those instances, business tourism enables you to open new channels of communication, exchange information in a more efficient way, and work better with others.
Is business tourism always strictly work-related, though?
The short answer is no. Although business trips used to be very short and purpose-oriented, more and more travelers are now combining business and leisure tourism in what is now known as “
And indeed, in 2017,
more than 60%of business trips included leisure activities, be it staying a few days longer at the destination, going to a museum or a concert, or exploring the local cuisine.
The answer is simple: Nothing beats face-to-face communication when it comes to connecting with others and building trust. And we all know how important trust is in developing strong business partnerships.
Sharing the same physical space enables people to connect in a more direct and immediate way than when using Zoom and Google Meet. This, in turn, helps them to:
- Better understand common goals, needs, and challenges
- Work together more efficiently
- Easily share knowledge and ideas
- Achieve important breakthroughs and solve problems faster
And indeed, business travel is still
an essential part of doing business, even in the age of remote work – 60% of employees say the best way to learn on the job is to be around colleagues, according to
our own survey with 1000 US workers.
Business travel helps employees be more productive, too: More than half of 16-24-year-olds say they have the best business ideas while traveling. Others said, younger generations find it particularly inspiring to travel for work!
In addition to that, 43% of all workers feel less stressed while on a business trip rather than while working from home or from the office (compared to only 25% who feel more stressed). B2B marketers find live events to be very impactful when it comes to demand generation, too:
68% saythat events are the most effective tactic for capturing new leads.
So, business tourism is here to stay – and its economic impact continues to be significant.
This enables them to work together, collect important information and insights, explore and develop new strategies, and share knowledge effectively.
Typical business tourism activities include organizing and attending presentations, meetings, formal dinners, and more.
Such initiatives can help improve employee motivation and customer loyalty. Leisure travel activities (rather than formal business meetings) are usually the most important part of incentive trips.
These are proving even more popular with 2023 already looking busy for event organizers and companies making plans on
the top conferences to attend.
Many travel management companies such as TravelPerk offer an
Events Management serviceto make things easier and streamline everything from booking accommodation and transport to managing attendees and sharing trip details with them. This helps make sure everyone is having a great travel experience.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and for a long time, business trips were booked by working with a traditional brick-and-mortar travel agency or contacting the airline company directly.
In more recent years, online bookings and specialized travel agencies have simplified corporate travel significantly. That said, many companies find managing business travel an overwhelming task. Especially when they’re using multiple websites to search for the best deals, having to book each element of the trip with different providers, and trying to keep track of multiple invoices and payments.
This is where a modern business travel management platform like
TravelPerkcan help simplify the life of admin staff, travel managers, and business travelers. TravelPerk enables you to plan, manage, and track bookings and expenses from one single online tool and make sure all aspects of your employees’ future trips are taken care of.
Ultimate guide to travel managementto find out how you can optimize business tourism management at your company, helping you to save time and money.