World practice

Business tourism

In the second part of our article about the peculiarities of the US travel business, we will learn about hosts and consortia of travel agents, the role of professional associations in the American travel business, and how the traditional American travel industry is resisting the onslaught of online aggregators.

Let us remind you that in the first part - “World practice. How tourism is regulated in the USA ”- we found out that federal regulation of tourist business in the USA is rather general and vague, and the legislation of individual states is much more important.

Among the latter, a group of "travel seller states" stands out, where the tourism industry is regulated by separate laws. At the same time, state oversight of the travel industry is either weakened or strengthened - and in these conditions, the industry can only rely on self-regulation and strong horizontal ties.


First of all, it is worth clarifying that there is no legislative distinction between a "tour operator" and a "travel agent" in the United States - even in the legislation of 11 states of "travel sellers" only in 4 cases the tour operator is mentioned separately, but not described in detail ... The “default” tour operator in the US is usually a large selleroftravel (“travel seller”) who sells ready-made travel packages in the B2B market.

A tour operator, of course, can sell its tour packages to individuals and himself - on the website or in branded retail, but the key sign is precisely its presence in B2B (wholesale). Tour operators can set up their own charter flights: it is typical that in Hawaii, the state law mentions precisely "charter tour operators" and this separates them from the rest of the "travel sellers".

A travel agent in the USA can sell both tour packages from tour operators and individual travel services (transportation, accommodation, transfer, excursions), at the request of the client, "collecting" them into their own individual package. In US travel agencies, the service of assembling a package from separate elements is paid for (and written in the check) separately. Its average cost is from $ 250 to $ 500. The service, according to experts, is in demand - many Americans, especially when traveling outside the United States, are afraid to miss the self-assembly of all elements of the trip through online aggregators, and prefer (as in other areas of their lives - medicine, law, etc.) .) entrust the question to professionals.

In US travel agencies, the service of assembling a package from individual elements is paid (and written in the check) separately. Its average cost is from $ 250 to $ 500

Such a "travel agency", in theory, has nothing to prevent, having earned money, becoming a "tour operator" - putting on stream the layout of the best-selling packages, developing B2B sales and then growing to charters. In practice, the status of a tour operator in the United States implies very voluntary financial obligations to tourists, but more on that later.

The US tour operator and travel agency business is closely tied to the pervasive activities of hierarchical networks and professional associations. These organizations form complex but highly effective horizontal connections in the American travel business. Now it is they who allow the ecosystem of traditional tourism in the United States to effectively self-regulate and develop. And, ultimately, successfully resist the onslaught of global online booking systems.


Business tourism, also corporate travel (English corporate travel) - the area of ​​the tourism industry (along with recreational tourism, English leisure travel, business travel bureau), providing organization and management of business trips (business travel, English . business trips) employees of various companies.

The sphere of corporate events and meetings - MICE (from the English Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) is also directly related to business tourism.


Statistics [edit]

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in 2013 the volume of the world business tourism market exceeded $ 1.1 trillion [1]. At the end of 2014, spending on business travel increased to $ 1.17 trillion, and in 2015, according to preliminary forecasts, will increase by 4% and reach $ 1.22 trillion. By 2025, the global business tourism market will be estimated at $ 1.67 trillion, with an annual growth rate of 3.2% on average [1].

According to a report by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), 89% of all business travel expenses - $ 984 billion - are in the Asia-Pacific region, Western Europe and North America. At the same time, the Asia-Pacific region is the world's largest business tourism market (38% of the global): since 2000, its volume has doubled - to $ 392 billion in 2013. The fastest growth is also observed in three of the BRICS countries - China, India and Russia. The top 5 business travel markets among countries in 2013 were led by the United States, followed by China. Japan, Germany and Great Britain follow by a wide margin; Russia is in 11th place [2]. In 2014, Russia dropped to 14-15th place in the world ranking, and business travel expenses fell 4.5% year on year to $ 21 billion, although the volume of domestic business tourism increased by 5% [3].

According to ABT-ACTE Russia estimates, cited in the Yearbook, the Russian business tourism market in 2013 was about 471 billion rubles, and in 2014 it grew by 19% to 560 billion rubles. At the same time, forecasts for 2015 are negative, given the rise in prices for the services of suppliers and travel agencies, as well as the general unstable financial and economic situation in Russia and in the world. [4]

The WTTC predicts that by 2020 the volume of business travel in Russia will reach $ 18.4 billion with an annual growth of 5.9%. [5]

Business travel purposes [edit]

Due to the specifics of their work, representatives of various professions go on business travel. The main purposes of business travel are:

  • holding meetings and negotiations with partners;
  • establishing and establishing business contacts, attracting new customers, investors, suppliers, etc.;
  • attending professional events (congresses, conferences, exhibitions, seminars, etc.);
  • holding meetings and meetings with management and colleagues, representatives of branches and subsidiaries of the company, inspection of the work of representative offices and branches;
  • education, participation in trainings and experience exchange programs (for example, international exchange of teachers/researchers, etc.);
  • incentive tours (that is, incentive or motivational trips arranged by the company for employees or partners);
  • obtaining certificates, licenses, permits, etc. in government agencies of other countries;
  • carrying out civil service (military, diplomats);
  • non-governmental activities and international charitable events, scientific expeditions (NGOs, NGOs).

History and factors of development of business tourism [edit]

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