All about Business Tourism

The beauty of business tourism is beyond the level of relaxation it could offer but how much it could inspire travelers to wax stronger in their various sectors or venture into new ideas. Of course, everyone loves to leave their city of maximum work input for someplace with new air, cultural experience and sights. And the pleasure  has to come with a little room to integrate business agendas while you explore new business opportunities and connections.

Business Tourism Definitions :

Business tourism or business travel is a more limited and focused subset of regular tourism. During business tourism (traveling), individuals are still working and being paid, but are doing so away from both their workplace and home. Some definitions of tourism exclude business travel. However, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) defines tourists as people “traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes”. Primary business tourism activities include meetings, and attending conferences and exhibitions. Despite the term business in business tourism, when individuals from government or non-profit organizations engage in similar activities, this is still categorized as business tourism (travel).

The tourism industry can be divided into leisure tourism and business tourism. ICCA uses the following definition for business tourism: “Business tourism is the provision of facilities and services to the millions of delegates who annually attend meetings, congresses, exhibitions, business events, incentive travel and corporate hospitality”. Please note that as is the case for many terms in the meetings industry, there is not one commonly used definition.

Business tourism is a lucrative and fast growing segment in the travel industry. It is able to yield many economic results for the local economy. Considering it as a key driver for temporary and permanent jobs, two-thirds of business travelers may extend their business trips if the condition allows. Therefore, there is great potential in this market. Business tourism is expected to be one of the fastest growing markets for travel suppliers to lay emphasis on in the years ahead.

Business tourism refers to travel services, hotel facilities and other amenities being served to people who are traveling on business. The tourism industry separates business tourism from leisure tourism in an effort to offer customized services for business people. Generally, business tourism is categorized as follows:

  1. Meetings: corporate and government meetings
  2. Incentives: mostly company incentives
  3. Conferencing: mostly association meetings
  4. Exhibition: B2B and B2C exhibition
  5. Events: international events

Emerging economies that are interested in gaining more revenues from business tourism need to focus on both the individual business traveler and MICE events.

Places of Business Travels and Tourism :

Business travels are seen most in the places where conventions and international meetings are held along with the acceleration of globalization. To attracting such major events, a destination need marketing efforts to expose itself in front of meeting and convention planners, as well as major trade exhibition organizers. The market for small, short-duration meetings is also growing rapidly.

Business Travels Tourist:

Business travelers usually have some free time when they are away from home for business travel. Most of them would like to participate in tourism activities if the effort required is minimal and the risks are low. Hotels will serve as the starting point in terms of providing information and tourist options. For longer stay guests, they tend to look for evening and weekend options. Today, business tourism – mainly travel for commercial, professional and work related purposes – represents the major non-leisure form of tourism. Among all the categories of travelers, business tourists are recognized as the one with the highest consumption ability.

Business Travels Agents and Suppliers:

For travel suppliers, they can seek opportunities by working with hotels to develop an in-house TV channel featuring activities that appeals to business tourists most such as weekend tours, theatre, golf options, restaurants, special cultural and recreational events and flight departure information. Other cooperation includes upgrading their business support services, such as extending hotel access, setting more hotel business centers.

The World’s Most Popular Business Travel Destinations:

Industry leaders Magazine has compiled a list of 10 top destinations for business tourism considering factors – the level of comfort, travel cost, availability of work resources and the level of new opportunities. As a team with new cultural opportunities in mind, we focused on the top destinations for business tourism for maximum travel benefits.

The world’s most popular business travel destinations were revealed in a new research, which looked at business travel insurance policies sold and ONS flight data collected. Each destination was given a combined score out of 10 based on popularity.

While some business destinations are also popular with holidaymakers, others may be less visited by leisure travelers.

The report also looked at what these business hubs offer their visitors, including the cost of a hotel and the local average broadband speed.

Globalization and advances in technology have enabled businesses to work together from all corners of the globe. This has had an amazing impact on the world and it allows businesses to expand and achieve what would have been impossible not too long ago. Business travel has become a huge sector in recent times and there are a few destinations around the world that are constantly welcoming business travelers, here are a few of the more common ones:

The world is becoming one big global village and businesses no longer keep their operations in the fetters of geographical limits. Break your boundaries by exploring our list of top destinations for business tourism.

These are currently the major cities around the globe when it comes to business with people traveling here frequently to conduct business. The world is a much smaller place with businesses able to connect no matter where they are which can help business to thrive and grow.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a global leader in terms of business and it is a popular destination for companies because of the free flow of information and the free market policies. There are many industries that are surging here, including financial services, trading, professional services and tourism.


England’s capital is one of the most glamorous cities in the world and popular with both tourists and professionals. It is deemed the financial capital of Europe with many enormous investment banks, multinational firms and global figures calling London home. Key industries in London include media, creative services, financial services, tourism and technology. You will find many business people coming to this amazing city and leasing serviced apartments in the city center with specialists like Silver Door Apartments.

New York

New York is, perhaps the most iconic city in the entire world and home to many of the biggest companies on the planet. The Big Apple also has a startup scene which is growing which makes it an appealing destination for all types of business travelers. Key industries here include financial services, media, technology and communications.


Toronto is quickly becoming a major global business city particularly in the financial sector. It is the most populous city in Canada and one which is thriving in terms of both business and tourism. It is famous for financial services, technology and commercial aircraft manufacturing.

San Francisco

San Francisco is known for its progressive and forward-thinking attitude in terms of both business and society. Technology, in particular, is thriving here with huge global players like Twitter and Google having key offices in San Francisco. It also has a lively startup scene and emerging industries that include healthcare, hospitality and shopping.

Mexico City

The biggest corporate destination in South America, Mexico City has great sociability and is attracting entrepreneurs from around the world because it is an excellent place to do business and a city that is on the rise. It has been named one of the best startup hubs in the world with pharmaceuticals, technology, and manufacturing and financial services all experiencing growth here.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin is the German capital housing big and globally recognized companies. As a crucial business hub in Europe premiering in various sectors, Berlin is also a paradise for architecture aficionados. It’s most remarkably known for its Bauhaus art school built in 1919, which is the reason why it’s a top business tourism destination this year, even though the school existed for only 14 years. The ‘architecture house’ referred to as the Scholars of Bauhaus were guided by the fundamental premise of creating a link between craftsmanship and art – the idea of a democratic design for all. And the school has become one of the century’s most influential modernist art schools and its influence is far-reaching. Aside from the recognition of its style around the world, the school has paved the way for modern architecture and avant-garde art.

Malmö, Sweden

Malmo is Sweden’s third-largest city, only behind Stockholm and Gothenburg. Despite this record, Malmö, located on the southern coast of Sweden is still seen as a low-key city to both Swedes and foreigners.

Aside from all the arteries of civilization in the city, natural beauty and serenity is still the core substance of Malmo. During summer, visitors to the city experience the full vibration of the city. In this time also, brilliant sunshine replaces astonishing Sweden’s chilly winter weather, resulting in a temperature of about 30 degree Celsius in the city. The city observes two major summer festivals -Sommarscen and Malmöfestivalen, which contributes to the city’s vibrant life.

There are lots of cultural attractions in Malmo for visitors to enjoy. There is the Malmö Castle, nestled in the heart of Slottsmöllan, Malmo’s ‘green lungs’. Visitors will also find the design museum and the bright orange contemporary art gallery a facilitating site.

Cape Town – South Africa

For any traveler who seeks to enjoy amazing sites, interesting cultures and breath-taking hospitality, Cape Town in South Africa is the place to go. The city is a well-rounded destination that offers a true sight of the skillful art of nature and the innovative ideas of human at its best.

For the past 20 years, Cape Town has been named seven times as the best travel destination in Africa at the World Tourism Awards. This feast will come as no surprise when you consider the bustling city center, the dramatic mountain ranges, pristine white beaches, and the Cape Floral Region that the city boasts of.

The city has in recent years made a huge investment in tourism. There has been the introduction of new galleries, restaurants, bars, artisan markets, and others, just for the pleasure and comfort of visitors. To find the choicest local cuisine, take a walk into the Neighborhoods Market in the Old Biscuit Mill. The coolest bars and restaurants in Cape Town can be found easily on the vibrant Kloof Street.

Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia is once again becoming a major travel destination for business tourism if not the most visited place in the Caucasus. The city’s diverse and colorful history is engineered by its proximity to the lucrative Silk Road trade route. It was once a key trade point for Asian and European merchants as it was once the home of Georgia’s prosperous textile industry. Georgia’s liberal politics attract a lot of Western tourists for visitations even beyond business missions. While the flourishing country is still deploying measures to do away with the old Soviet Union image most people still think of it, Tbilisi tourism has proven that it’s a modern place for business travelers in the Caucasus.

Before the fall of USSR in 1991, Georgia was plunged into a period of economic depression and civil war in the 20th century when it was occupied by the Soviet Union. Since the rebuilding process started, it has regained most of its creative roots and legacy. The Old Town, which has topsy-turvy wooden buildings and cobbled streets, is home to most of the city’s major attractions.

Patmos – Greece

Patmos is an island with an immense religious significance. Though arguably Greece’s most underrated islands, Patmos happens to also be among the favorites and the most popular destination for visitors of Greece.

The location of the island, north of Greece’s Dodecanese island group, ensures that the island is complete as a classic Greek isle with several iconic whitewashed walls and ancient castles. The island comprises of beautiful beaches, of which the sandy Petra Beach located on the south side of the island is chief.

For religious visitors, the island offers one of the most significant places to the Christian faith, the Holy Cave of the Apocalypse. The cave believed to be the location where the Theologian Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation. This cave situated almost halfway up the island’s mountain, has over the years drawn lots of religious pilgrims to the island. There are lots of upscale hotels and traditional lodgings on the island of Patmos that ensures every visitor feels the island to be an ideal travel destination.

Prague – Czech Republic

The capital of Czech Republic, Prague, is another top destination for business tourism in Europe. Prague is bisected by the Vltava River, making it one of Europe’s most beautiful capitals. The city is never off-season; business-inspiring activities are interminable throughout the year. It has nearly 800 hotels scattered around the city which has a direct route from 165 destinations.

Prague has inspired many notable scientists and artists. It has quite a mysterious atmosphere remarkably depicted in the works of its native son Franz Kafka. The famous saying: “the people of Prague understand me,” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart first performed Don Giovanni, his best-known opera, in Prague 230 years ago. The theater where it was performed still stands today. However, business travelers would find more than just culture and a wealth of incentive ideas in Prague, as an up-and-coming business destination.

Annecy – France

Annecy is a beautiful French city located at the northernmost tip of a mountain-fringed lake. Sometimes called the ‘Venice of the Alps,’ the city, which features cobbled streets and winding canals, never fail to live up to the romantic reputation. Despite Annecy’s emerging status as a top business tourism destination in Europe, it has managed to preserve most of its old-town charm. The city is home to unique turreted castles and lordly manor of the 12th century.

With two major international airports (Geneva and Lyon-Saint-Exupéry) serving Annecy, travelers easily get into the city located in the southeast of France which is just a few hours from neighboring Italy and Switzerland. It’s quite easy to access Lake Annecy’s crystal clear waters, which is Europe’s purest lake, from several urban centers in Europe. While most businesses are moving to Paris following Brexit talks, the charming city of Annecy features most of France’s treasure. Business travelers and tourists are increasingly choosing the fairy tale city as their destination mostly during the summer for quality relaxation within the shores of Lake Annecy.

Top business Tourism hubs

The top five business travel and tourism locations will also be familiar to holidaymakers.

USA –Home to the largest economy in the world, it’s no surprise that the USA places first for the most popular destination for business travel. Over 1.2 million people travel to the country each year. Growing hubs such as Silicon Valley and the shared language and similar culture lend to a high level of business interaction. The USA has the most expensive accommodation costs, with a mid-range hotel costing £86 per night – but boasts one of the highest fixed broadband speeds.

France – With over 1.5 million business travelers per year, France is also a popular destination due to its proximity and relatively cheaper travel fares. Its leading sectors span across manufacturing, tourism and pharmaceuticals. France has the second highest accommodation costs, just behind the USA with a mid-range hotel costing £81 per night.

Spain – The UK’s most popular holiday destination, Spain is only slightly less popular when it comes to business travel. With nearly 796,000 people travelling to the country every year for business, Spain also boasts affordable accommodation and travel, making it an extremely appealing destination. Spain has the cheapest accommodation cost with a mid-range hotel only costing £47 per night.

Germany – Despite being the largest economy in Europe, Germany come in 4th place with Brits travelling for business. It has one of the highest numbers of business travelers per year, around 1.6 million people travel there yearly. The country is internationally recognized for its production of electronics, machinery and vehicles. Surprisingly, Germany has one of the lowest fixed broadband speeds, but a reasonable accommodation cost of around £51 per night.

Netherlands – Rounding off the top five is the Netherlands, which is home to brands such as ING Group and Shell. Over 1.1 million people travel to the country each year. You can expect to pay up to £64 per night for accommodation in the Netherlands, the third most expensive out of the top five.

Business-focused destinations

While many of the locations popular for business are also popular with Brits on holiday, some appeal primarily to professionals on work trips. These countries are among the 15 most popular for business travel but not among the 15 top destinations for UK travel in general:

UAE – With Dubai home to a large number of entrepreneurs, the UAE has become popular for business travel in the past 20 years.

Sweden – The 10th most popular destination for business travel, Sweden doesn’t even make the top 25 destinations most travelled to for leisure.


Prepared by: Suhair Khan

Contact author: suhair@toursmarket.tour


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