Business travel is an organized trip taken by employees of a company, enterprise or corporation to resolve business issues. Most often, employees are sent on a business trip for training / advanced training, establishing and establishing contacts with other companies, negotiating and signing a contract with partners, monitoring the activities of branches, attending scientific conferences, congresses and various events (exhibitions, presentations, seminars), obtaining special permits, installation and commissioning of equipment. Business tourism includes travel both within the country and abroad.
Who pays for such travel? Business travelers themselves? Of course not. Such trips, regardless of their purpose (whether it is participation in negotiations or an internship abroad), are financed by the company organizing the business trip. An employee sent by management with a job assignment retains his position and average earnings. Travel expenses are reimbursed by the employer. He pays for the round trip ticket, hotel accommodation and meals for the traveler. The traveler pays for the leisure.
Business tourism development history
To trace the path of formation and development of business tourism, one should turn to the origins of its formation. Despite the fact that it reached its apogee in the XNUMXth century, travel related to professional activity has always preceded a new round of human history. The first people who went on a business trip can be called Arab merchants, who in the XNUMXth - XNUMXth centuries. actively plowed the waters of the seas and oceans in search of buyers for their goods. There were many educated people among the merchants of that time. After all, one could count on success in such a difficult field only if one knew account, literacy and foreign languages, being guided by overseas customs and understanding maritime affairs and jurisprudence. Medieval merchants were the first businessmen who, by exchanging their goods for foreign goods, concluding trade deals and establishing international relations, moved world politics and economics forward. Curiosity and the growth of commodity-money relations pushed people to long-distance travel, which subsequently led to such significant events as the emergence of the Great Silk Road between the Mediterranean and East Asia and the discovery of new lands by Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Marco Polo.
It was at this time that the first "service systems" for travelers appeared - inns, caravanserais, inns, which offered travelers accommodation, food and rest.
Rob Davidson, Managing Director of the London-based consulting agency MICE Knowledge, spoke of the connection between modern and ancient business tourism in the best possible way: “Business tourism is born of those who have to travel for work. This is the oldest form of tourism, because people have traveled for business since time immemorial. "
Features of business tourism
A business trip combines the features of business, educational and recreational tourism. The corporate tour program aims to increase the company's profits not only by establishing new business ties and increasing the competence of employees, but also by restoring the latter's physical and mental strength by visiting resorts and places of interest. Business tourism is characterized by combined programs: 3 - 4 days are devoted to negotiations, events or training, and 1 - 3 days - excursions, outdoor activities and entertainment. It is popular between February-May and September-November.
Business tourism covers all spheres of human activity (from science and management to art and ecology). Despite the fact that representatives of large companies most often go on business trips, an employee can go to the city where an important meeting or profile exhibition is taking place on his own initiative. Scientific tourism will also be interesting for just curious people keeping up with the times or planning to start their own business.
Since organizing a business tour, you need to take into account many points (choosing the best connecting flight or providing high-quality car tourism, booking a hotel with a suitable conference room, ordering a ticket to an exhibition, working out a recreation program, etc.), companies that send subordinates on business trips usually resort to the help of specialized travel agencies. They issue visas, provide guide and / or translator services, arrange accreditation for the exhibition, and also provide business travelers with accommodation, meals and transport transfers.
Business tourism destinations
Private business travel
Make up approximately 68% of all travel for business purposes. Organizationally easy, as they are not limited to specific dates. So, you can go on an individual business trip at any time (bypassing, for example, the hot season for tourists). During such a trip, you can freely change the schedule. The main disadvantage is the richness of the program - in a short period of time you need to have time to show and discuss a lot.
12% of business trips go to exhibitions. Up to 30 thousand expositions are shown a year. It is during exhibitions that the overwhelming majority of cooperation agreements are concluded.
Preparations for the exhibition should begin in advance. This type of business tourism involves a lot of people and, if you do not rush to collect the necessary documentation, apply for a visa and a pass, buy a ticket, accreditation and book a hotel room, you will subsequently have to live a long distance from the exhibition complex or even refuse to travel due to the lack of tickets for the dates you want.
Congresses and conferences
The percentage of congress tourism is small - 3%. But on the other hand, the conference is a really large-scale work that requires an active contribution from each participant (making a presentation, preparing a presentation, etc.).
Several representatives of one company go to such meetings at once, therefore, when organizing the congress, special attention should be paid to buying air tickets for one flight, settling all business travelers in one hotel and providing high-quality leisure (the cultural component of business tourism).
Seminars and trainings
Various trainings and seminars are held to increase the level of business competencies, exchange experience and improve professional skills. These are not such global events as the above events. Despite this, they account for 14% of all business travel. Since the seminar will be attended by colleagues, do not limit yourself to the official part of the tour. Shared leisure will bring employees together.
"Conquered" 3% of business travel statistics. This new type of business travel is not very popular in Russia, but it has been successfully used in Europe and the USA for over 60 years. The concept itself comes from the English incentive (one that encourages) and implies travel, which enterprises reward their subordinates for the achieved high performance or other special success. An incentive tour is considered the best form of employee motivation and reward. It has several goals:
- Product / service presentation and promotion;
- Dealer network creation;
- Increase in labor productivity;
- Formation of a close-knit team.
Business tourism development trends in the modern world
The globalization of the world economy has led to the expansion of business, scientific and cultural ties between countries, and this, in turn, has turned business tourism into the most dynamically developing sector of the world economy, which even makes it possible to call it an economic phenomenon of the 1990th century. So, in 63, 2020 million trips were carried out for business purposes, and in 200 - already XNUMX million!
Germany is the leader in receiving international events (over 60% of the world's leading trade fairs!). But recently, competitors have appeared:
- Cyprus - attracts businessmen with a simplified visa regime, the presence of regular flights, a flexible pricing policy, modern infrastructure and the proximity of business centers to places of rest;
- Monaco - manages international financial flows (the principality's policy is based on the transformation of business tourism into a leading economic direction);
- United Arab Emirates - is located at the intersection of international routes from Europe and America to Asia and Africa, therefore it has direct air links with more than 200 destinations around the world, is distinguished by the presence of special economic zones and the absence of corporate and income taxes.
Turkey, Jordan, Tunisia, Czech Republic, Croatia, France, India, China, South Korea, Thailand are also popular countries for business tourism.
Among the features of the development of corporate tourism are:
- An increase in the number of independent travel;
- Increase in the number of industry exhibitions and events to attract clients;
- Increasing the relevance of business trips while maintaining their average duration of 2 - 3 days;
- Improving the infrastructure of business tourism;
- The emergence of new businesses specializing in organizing and conducting business events.
The prospects for the development of business tourism are quite favorable. This type of tourism is of interest even to small companies and individual tourists.
Development of business tourism in Russia
Although the Russians have long denied business tourism, the history of work-driven travel goes back several hundred years. During the Soviet period, business tourism fell into decay, but after the death of communism, Russian citizens quickly mastered the foreign market, both offering their products and buying foreign-made products.
Textiles, electronics, and transport are still being delivered from European countries. Business tourism is presented in the Russian Federation and at a higher level: presentations, international meetings, press events are constantly held. There are also official travels within the state - the lion's share of conferences in Russia is related to agriculture, industry and other sectors of the economy.
Business tourism in the Russian Federation is uneven: the bulk of business trips are concentrated in:
- Moscow - is a leader in the field of business tourism (this is where most meetings are held and the main offices and representative offices of most companies are located);
- St. Petersburg - attracts entrepreneurs from Northern Europe, usually hosts international economic congresses;
- Sochi - became popular after the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, has all the necessary infrastructure for holding annual innovation forums;
- Vladivostok - allows you to develop cooperation with Asian partners;
- Nizhny Novgorod - among the above cities, it is considered the least suitable as a venue for exhibitions and meetings, but it still regularly hosts business events.
According to statistics, approximately 50 business exhibitions are held in 1500 cities of the Russian Federation every year. By the way, their number could be much higher if local events, in which representatives of only one organization take part, were also taken into account.
A distinctive feature of business trips in Russia is the use of aircraft to reach the destination. Auto tourism and rail travel are not so popular due to the large area of the country. But if abroad corporate tourism is already sufficiently developed, then in the Russian Federation this direction is just getting on its feet, therefore it is characterized by:
- The prevalence of combined events, during which tourists not only participate in meetings and enrich themselves with knowledge, but also have a good rest;
- Warm places for working meetings. Businessmen prefer Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus; especially rich people choose the resorts of the UAE, Switzerland, France;
- The monotony of cities for meetings in Russia. Only Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi have infrastructure suitable for this purpose, for example, elite hotels or comfortable transport;
- High prices due to the novelty of business tourism. Few tour operators offer such exclusive tours. Indeed, for example, even in Sochi there are only four hotels with congress halls suitable for meetings;
- Seasonality. The overwhelming majority of events are held during the warm season - in late spring, summer or early autumn. Then there are few tourists, but the weather is still warm.
Business tourism is a truly promising holiday destination that provides an opportunity not only to see the world, but also to make a career.