It is time for a new strategic approach to destination marketing. Business tourism has been identified as a key element in economic growth strategies. The sector operates in an increasingly competitive and challenging marketplace, with many countries investing extensively in their business tourism infrastructure and marketing themselves intensively. Business tourism is one of the most lucrative, yet least well acknowledged components of our tourism industry. Business travellers spend three times more on average than leisure visitors.
Instead of countries, cities are now the key players (think Dubai Medical City and Qatar Education City). We must learn from our competitors and see how city convention bureaus aggressively promote their cities as an ideal meeting and leisure destination, for example the booming meeting facilities in Seoul, the expansion project of Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, and the massive renovation projects of hotels in India.
There are many hard factors where destination marketing is concerned but soft factors like professionalism, research and education have to be taken into consideration. When international events come to a city, it further advances the transfer of people, goods and information through the promotion and development of conventions, thereby helping to stimulate regional economies, advance scientific and cultural progress and promote the development of communities that are open to the rest of the world. Connections are strengthened, knowledge is shared, business opportunities are created and investment follows.
The duration for events in China is up to 5.5 days, compared to an average of 3.8 days worldwide. Business visitors demand very high levels of service, and those bringing events to China need a degree of expertise and dedication that are specific to the business tourism sector. In the case of China, the values and benefits include: new public spaces built, quality of life improved, stronger business relations investments, and collaboration agreements made.
As you continue exploring opportunities worldwide, remember to remain connected with your culture. Be Local but Think Global.