Convention Tourism Being Saturated?

Topics: Convention, Tourism, Convention center Pages: 5 (1817 words) Published: July 20, 2011
Recent years, conventions and meetings industry has been recognized as one of the most important contributor in tourism industry. It is speedily developing with a significant contribution to both business and leisure-related tourism (Rogers, 2008). Despite the rapid growth, the industry remains the same as creating social network, bringing people together to communicate by sharing information, exchanging ideas, launching new products and technology which add values to contribute to the economy of the host destinations. Without a deep thought planning, lots of destinations rush herself to this golden pool in order to share the “economic cake”. Does the industry still having “unlimited” growth potential or if it is saturated? Should “all” destinations actively promote it? It has left lots of rooms for us to debate. This essay will consider some of the arguments for this statement and will address some highlights of this industry. It will eventually suggest some reasons why not the entire destinations should actively promote this industry. Different organization such as International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and Union of International Associations (UIA), have set different criteria for a meeting to be included in data collections (UNWTO, 2006). Number of required participants at the meeting is the key measurement. According to the ICCA, it defines international meetings as having a minimum of 50 participants, has held regularly and rotated among at least 3 countries in turn. If it is held at a domestic or foreign location, and attendees are from two or more countries, it would be categorized as international. Meetings will be classified as national if the delegates are all from the host country (UNWTO, 2006) It aims for exchanging actual information like political, economic, cultural, and business in their organized activities (ICCA, 2010).

Both industrial and academic supporters agreed this industry is one of the most effective and efficiency ways to boost the host destinations’ image as well as its economy (Zhou, 2010; Lee and Back, 2005; Clark, 2004). Because of the belief in the economic impact, not only the host communities, but also government officials and investors have aggressively developed the facilities. They are generally supported and involved in the development and its operation (Zhao, 2010; McCartney, 2008; Lee and Lee (2006). Rogers (2008) reported that there were over 200 countries now active in promoting and marketing themselves as conventions and meetings destination. As the target delegates are usually business professional management, who look for higher quality in order to have a work-balanced life. It turns the market segment to be a higher yield end. The generated and maximized economic benefits within the segment industry, helps for the local vicinity and community improvement as a whole. The inflow money spread around in the host destinations, not only directly benefit to the hospitality facilities (Garfield, 2011) or transportation or food establishment (Weber and Ladkin, 2003), but also to some leisure and entertainment facilities (Clark, 2004), such as museum, retails stores and sporting events, etc. Obviously, the conventions and meetings industry has a number of advantages over leisure tourism. Australia estimates there was over $17 billion a year to the national economy generating over 100,000 jobs in the sector. Though most of the researches counted conventions and meetings’ economic benefits as part of MICE in the contribution money inflow and job generation, it has no doubt those delegates tend to be more inelastic, spending a double or triple times higher than leisure travelers (Swarbrooke & Horner, 2001). The expenditure is not only important to the result in convention and meeting industry, the delegates are also acted as important and powerful tools for promoting their tourism with a positive impact for returning visitors and complimentary...
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