Joint Meetings Industry Council Executive Director Rod Cameron argues that failing to emphasise the distinction between leisure and meetings-related travel will hurt the sector.
Something that has haunted the meetings industry for many years has now become a matter of real urgency, courtesy of the global recession and its fallout. That ‘something’ is our collective failure to more clearly distinguish between travel for personal and leisure-oriented reasons and that which is undertaken for business purposes.
The reason this is so important is that those who make decisions about the organisation and financing of meetings, conventions, exhibitions and conferences, as well as those who decide who should attend them, are now highly sensitive to the appearance of such events as simply vehicles for personal enjoyment at public or corporate expense. In fact, just the word ‘tourism’ in association with such events suggests their real purpose is something other than their actual role as a primary tool for economic and professional development.