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Business tourism expects growth in 2019. Corporate travel trends.

Dal Kikin
February 6, 2019

Photo: iStock/metamorworks

The MICE type of tourism (meetings, promotions, congresses and events, with its initials in English, and leisure (business and entertainment)), continue to consolidate as one of the areas of greatest growth in tourist activities and value-added for companies.

“Corporate travel is growing steadily,” says Santiago Montero, CEO of Aervio, a travel management platform of this type. “It did not stop growing during the crisis; In fact, this is what made the company go out and sell its product. ”

The Age of Uncertainty is over. At least, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) says so to leave behind the period that spanned 2012–2016, when business travel increased from 3% to 5%. In 2016, more than 1.14 billion Euros were allocated to the business travel sector around the world, and, according to the newly prepared 2019 CWT Meetings & Events Report on Future Trends and Events, it is expected that this year will continue to grow during between 5% and 10%.

But it will not be the only thing that grows. In 2019, there will be a global price increase for both hotel (4%) and aviation (3%) tariffs, which will increase the budget for business trips by about 5%. However, "price increases should not cause a decrease in the number of travel companies," explains Montero. "The key is to do proper planning in order to know how to manage expenses correctly.»

Leading cities

Photo: iStock/Vincent_St_Thomas

China dominates the international arena of business travel, and GBTA expects that in the coming years it will continue to move away from the rest. It is followed by the United States, which in the next five years will grow slightly below the world average.

The report for 2019 includes the top ten cities for corporate events by region. Las Vegas, New York and Orlando are the leaders in North America, while in Latin America they occupy Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Bogota.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Shanghai and Singapore are still in first and second place, followed by Beijing. In the region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), London, despite the tensions caused by Brexit, continues to top this list, followed by Moscow and Barcelona. Madrid falls this year in the list of the best MICE destinations.

Photo: iStock/manjik

Of the 1.14 trillion euros allocated to global business tourism, 28% came from Europe and 1.6% from Spain, making it the thirteenth country in the world and the fifth country in Europe for investing in business trips and events. GBTA data. The same report indicates that from 2014 to 2018 the dynamics of spending on corporate travel to Spanish territory was very positive: it increased by 46% and reached approximately 22,400,000 euros.

Other offers have been added to offers in Barcelona and Madrid that have good air connections, infrastructure, hotel infrastructure and historical, gastronomic and cultural heritage, such as Valencia, Seville, Bilbao or Palma de Mallorca. But what remains for companies?

New requirements

Photo: iStock/toxawww

The 2019 CWT Meetings & Events report also reveals the latest trends in MICE tourism, including the growing role of technology that makes impressions more attractive.

In terms of space and activity, the demand for non-traditional places and experiences will grow, especially in Europe, such as tree houses, rooftops or museums. In turn, new formats of joint events will be developed to directly attract participants.

Festivals will also be merged into a real trend with events that offer immersion, full of impressions, emotions and opportunities for exchange.