Business trip expansions boost leisure market

Business delegates are likely to double their spend in Britain if they extend their stay for leisure following their event, according to research by tourism agency VisitBritain/VisitEngland.

The report published at the end of January provides detailed research into business events delegates’ spending and travel behavior patterns.

It found that business delegates attending an event in Britain who extended their trip for leisure purposes would, on average, spend double the amount of money (£1942) than if they returned home immediately after the event (£991).

The report also found the destination of the event was not a major factor in the delegates’ decision to extend their trip for leisure, with the practicalities of flight timings, ease of travel and accommodation being considered more important.

VisitEngland Head of Business Events Kerrin MacPhie said: “Britain’s business events sector is going from strength to strength, and this research provides real insight into delegate booking behaviour when attending an event. It also highlights key areas where British destinations can support organisers in the early stages of event promotion, including ease of travel and reasons to stay pre- and post-event.

“Britain is an attractive destination for planners and delegates alike, from our infrastructure and accessibility, to our ease of access and diverse destination offer, Britain is a great place to hold global events.”

The research measured two aspects of business event travel; the amount spent by delegates at business events in Britain, and the behaviour of those delegates extending trips for leisure.

It found that international delegates stay longer, on average 3.7 nights, when compared to domestic delegates, who stay an average of one night.

International delegates attending events were also found to spend more, in part because registration fees for these events were higher. Overseas delegates from outside the EU spent more at £1,748 than those overseas delegates from within the EU at £990, and domestic delegates £329.

The research was commissioned and completed by VisitBritain/VisitEngland, with funding from the UK Government’s GREAT Britain campaign and the government-funded Discover England Fund.