Business travel must continue, says tourism president

Business travel is integral to international trade and must continue for the sake of the global economy, said the president of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

David Scowsill made the comments at the WTTC Summit, amidst fears that the global recession may force employers to hold back on international travel.

The collective financial input of travel and business spending accounts for one-third of growth in global trade over the past decade, according to WTTC research. This includes money from the booking of conference centres and corporate venues; as well as flights, hotel bookings and all other associated business travel costs.

Now Scowsill has called on enterprises for this practice to continue. According to Breaking Travel News, he said: “Our findings corroborate that business travel not only helps company profitability; it also grows economies, raises incomes, and creates jobs.”

He added: “Evidence should make CEOs aware of the substantial risks that they run when they cut back in this important segment, which accounts for one quarter of global travel and tourism spending. I urge business leaders and policy makers to consider the implications of these findings and to put business travel back on the corporate agenda.”

The WTTC also said that global business travellers believe that 50 per cent of their prospects become new customers through face-to-face meetings, compared with 31 per cent without such a meeting, according to