Business tourism or business travel is a more limited and focused subset of regular tourism. During business tourism (traveling), individuals are still working and being paid, but they are doing so away from both their workplace and home.
Some definitions of tourism tend to exclude business travel. However, the World Tourism Organization (WTO) defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".
Primary business tourism activities include meetings, and attending conferences and exhibitions. Despite the term business in business tourism, when individuals from government or non-profit organizations engage in similar activities, this is still categorized as business tourism (travel).
Historically, business tourism, in the form of traveling to, spending money and staying abroad for some time, has a history as long as that of international trade. In late 20th century, business tourism is seen as a major industry.
According to the 1998 data from the British Tourist Authority and National Tourist Boards, business tourism accounted for about 14% of all trips to or within UK, and 15% of the tourist market within UK. A 2005 estimate suggested that those numbers for UK may be closer to 30%. Sharma (2004) cited a WTO estimated that business tourism accounts for 30% of international tourism, through its importance varies significantly between different countries.
Compared to regular tourism, business ones involves a smaller section of the population, with different motivations, and additional freedom-of-choice limiting constrains imposed through the business aspects. Destinations of business tourism are much more likely to be areas significantly developed for business purposes (cities, industrial regions, etc.). An average business tourist is more wealthy than an average leisure tourist, and is expected to spend more money.
Business tourism can be divided into primary and secondary activities. Primary one are business (work) related, and included activities such as consultations, inspections, and attending meetings. Secondary ones are related to tourism (leisure) and include activities such as dining out, recreation, shopping, sightseeing, meeting others for leisure activities, and so on. While the primary ones are seen as more important, the secondary ones are nonetheless often described as "substantial".
Surveys show a widespread mixing of leisure with business travel. A Hilton HHonors’ survey shows one in three UK employees invite partners and families along on business trips, while a Wyndham Hotel Group survey shows over two-thirds of Chinese travellers (67 per cent) say they bring a spouse or a family member along on business trips and 59 per cent extend business trips to include leisure time.
Business tourism can involve individual and small group travel, and destinations can include small to larger meetings, including conventions and conferences, trade fairs, and exhibitions. In the United States, about half of business tourism involves attending a large meeting of such kind.
Most tourist facilities such as airports, restaurants and hotels are shared between leisure and business tourists, through a seasonal difference is often apparent (for example, business tourism may use those facilities during times less attractive for leisure tourists, such as when the weather conditions are less attractive).
Business tourism can be divided into:
- traditional business traveling, or meetings - intended for face-to-face meetings with business partners in different locations
- incentive trips - a job perk, aimed at motivating employees (for example, approximately a third of UK companies use this strategy to motivate workers)
- conference and exhibition traveling - intended for attending large scale meetings. In an estimated number of 14,000 conferences worldwide (for 1994), primary destinations are Paris, London, Madrid, Geneva, Brussels, Washington, New York, Sydney and Singapore
The words meetings, incentive, conferences and exhibition in the context of business tourism are abbreviated as MICE.
See also 
|Wikivoyage has travel information related to: Business travel|
- John Lennon (2003). Tourism statistics: international perspectives and current issues. Cengage Learning EMEA. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-8264-6501-6. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- Brian Garrod (12 October 2012). "Business tourism". In Peter Robinson. Tourism: The Key Concepts. Routledge. pp. 18–22. ISBN 978-0-415-67792-9. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- John Lennon (2003). Tourism statistics: international perspectives and current issues. Cengage Learning EMEA. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-8264-6501-6. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "UNWTO technical manual: Collection of Tourism Expenditure Statistics". World Tourism Organization. 1995. p. 10. Retrieved 26 March 2009.
- Kishan Kumar Sharma (1 January 2004). World Tourism Today. Sarup & Sons. p. 253. ISBN 978-81-7625-512-7. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- Kishan Kumar Sharma (1 January 2004). World Tourism Today. Sarup & Sons. p. 254. ISBN 978-81-7625-512-7. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- John Lennon (2003). Tourism statistics: international perspectives and current issues. Cengage Learning EMEA. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-8264-6501-6. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- Peter Robinson; Sine Heitmann; Peter U. C. Dieke (2011). Research Themes for Tourism. CABI. p. 132. ISBN 978-1-84593-698-3. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- karin Weber; K. S. Chon (2002). Convention Tourism: International Research and Industry Perspectives. Psychology Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-7890-1284-5. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
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- Kishan Kumar Sharma (1 January 2004). World Tourism Today. Sarup & Sons. p. 256. ISBN 978-81-7625-512-7. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- Kishan Kumar Sharma (1 January 2004). World Tourism Today. Sarup & Sons. p. 255. ISBN 978-81-7625-512-7. Retrieved 1 May 2013.