Has the World Been Sleeping on a Vital Sector?
As the old saying goes: you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. In the wake of the post-COVID-19 studies on tourism returning have been primarily focused on travel for leisure. It’s great to see that every major metric for leisure tourism is either returning to or exceeding pre-pandemic levels – but it neglects the importance of the business traveler.
What if we were to tell you that travelling for business contributes $19.3 billion CAD directly to Canada’s GDP?
Or that worldwide, the entire business tourism sector is worth $1.5 trillion USD annually?
Simply put, when people travel to attend conferences, conventions, or other events for work, they spend money on transportation, accommodation, and food. This directly benefits the economy on a local level. Hotels, the catering industry, restaurants, retail stores, and transportation providers all profit, and stable jobs are created for the community.
The same could be said of leisure travel, of course, but it’s worth remembering that people travelling for business tend to spend more. In fact, a business traveler will spend four times more than a leisure traveler. The cost of travel is less of a deterrent for the business traveler, because there is a bigger picture as to why they are travelling.
That’s just one reason business tourism is as vital as leisure tourism (if not more so.) But the benefits of business tourism also directly affect industries outside of the tourism sector.
Consider the potential impact of a meeting in a private business room going well between a Calgarian start up tech company and a multinational investment company, for example, or the possibilities when an international tech firm attends a conference that highlights the cutting edge research happening in Calgary and is inspired to invest. New bridges are built, new connections are formed, and people and economies are enriched on a potentially global scale.
It’s undeniable that business travel benefits everyone. When great minds are given the right venue to connect, collaborate, progress and profit inevitably follow. The Calgary TELUS Convention Centre is ready and waiting to welcome conferences, meetings, and summits from Alberta, Canada, and beyond.