Business Tourism: An Overview

Business Tourism: An Overview

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0142-9.ch001

Abstract

This chapter opens with a review of some general definitions of the concept of business tourism in order to set the basis of what the authors will be talking about in this book. This will also allow them to provide their own definition of the concept and be specific to the reader as to what they are referring to. They continue with more definitions of key concepts in the field. Then a section on the importance of business tourism will follow in which they analyze some examples of the promotion of countries as potential destinations for events. Next, some specific figures of the growth of business tourism in different countries will be given, and the advantages that business tourism has for them will be explained. This will lead to the final sections of the chapter on the importance of communication in different languages for the successful development of business tourism and some useful language-related resources to facilitate business tourism communication.
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Introduction

Business tourism is a broad concept that covers the activities and support services inherent to tourism, and the range of events or meetings held in the destination (Marques & Santos, 2017). According to different researchers, business tourism could be defined as a combination of industries and businesses in which stakeholders interact to meet the needs and everyday requirements of business travelers (Cook et al., 2010, pp. 4-14; Saayman, 2009, p. 2). Marais et al. (2017) further develop this definition by adding that this kind of tourism includes all trips related to the profession of the person who is travelling or that are related to their business interests. This could be the case for example of managers looking to expand their business in other countries. Haven-Tang et al. (2006) define business tourism as a “highly lucrative but competitive sector of the tourism industry which has led many destinations to implement strategies and invest in infrastructure and human resource developments”. Business tourism was also defined by the WTO (World Tourism Organization) in 2007 (18) as “a travel to attend an activity or event associated with business interest”. ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) (2012) defines it as “the provision of facilities and services to the millions of delegates who annually attend meetings, congresses, exhibitions, business events, incentive travels and corporate hospitality”. Beni (2001) refers to business tourism as traveling executives and businessmen flowing to major business and cosmopolitan centers to close deals or to develop professional, commercial and industrial activities, employing their free time in local recreational activities and entertainment, which also includes visiting local restaurants.

Table 1.
Definitions of business tourism
The Activities and Support Services Inherent to Tourism, and the Range of Events or Meetings Held in the Destination (Marques & Santos, 2017)
A combination of industries and businesses in which stakeholders interact to meet the needs and everyday requirements of business travelers (Cook et al., 2010, p. 4, 14; Saayman, 2009, p. 2)
Trips related to the profession of the person who is travelling or that are related to their business interests (Marais et al., 2017)
Highly lucrative but competitive sector of the tourism industry which has led many destinations to implement strategies and invest in infrastructure and human resource developments (Haven-Tang et al., 2006)
A travel to attend an activity or event associated with business interest (WTO, 2007)
The provision of facilities and services to the millions of delegates who annually attend meetings, congresses, exhibitions, business events, incentive travels and corporate hospitality (ICCA, 2012)

Even though many more definitions can be found in the literature, these allowed us to have an overview of the concept and gather some general characteristics that we have compiled in order to provide our own definition of business tourism:

Table 2.
General definition of business tourism in this book
Business tourism is a branch of tourism which includes activities to conduct business operations with professionals from different countries. Business tourism can be developed in many different forms such as meetings, conferences, congresses, conventions or fairs.

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