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Contact details

The contact person for this research group is:

  Rob Davidson
  University of Greenwich
  London, United Kingdom
 

R.Davidson@greenwich.ac.uk

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Annual review of activities 2015

Rob Davidson
University of Greenwich, United Kingdom

This year, members of the ATLAS Business Tourism SIG have communicated through the social media, using our LinkedIn group, Business Tourism Educators and Researchers Group. Using this group, we have exchanged innovative ideas on teaching business tourism as well as new sources of data of relevance to our specialism. We have also began to create an inventory of textbooks, in various languages, which either focus exclusively or largely on business tourism topics. The plan is to make this resource open to all academic and researchers with an interest in business tourism. It is also expected that it will help us to identify gaps in the provision of written resources with a business tourism focus.

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Annual review of activities 2013

Rob Davidson
University of Greenwich, United Kingdom

The Business Tourism held its ninth annual conference in Lugano, Switzerland in November 2012. Our hosts were the University of Lugano, and delegates from 10 different countries attended.

We published, through ATLAS, our second book of research papers on business tourism themes, based on the proceedings of our last two conferences.

Our 2013 Business Tourism SIG will be held in Dublin from 24 - 26 November, hosted by the Dublin Institute of Technology. This will be the first time that our conference has returned to a destination. It was held in Dublin in 2004.

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Annual review of activities 2012

Rob Davidson
University of Greenwich, United Kingdom

Last year’s ATLAS Business Tourism SIG conference was held in Copenhagen Business School from 4 – 6 December, on the theme of Sustainability in Business Tourism. Although the majority of the 28 delegates came from Europe, there were several from further afield, including Thailand and China. Most of the papers presented focused on green meetings, green venues and corporate social responsibility as an element of conferences and other business events. As well as the papers presented by academics, there were a number of presentations on the green theme by practitioners, including VisitDenmark’s Chief consultant, Christian Ørsted Brandt and Steen Jakobsen, Congress director of Wonderful Copenhagen.

The social programme for the conference included a welcome reception in Copenhagen’s City Hall and a visit to the famous Tivoli Gardens and farewell dinner. A selection of papers from this conference and the previous year’s ATLAS Business Tourism SIG conference will shortly be published by ATLAS.

This year’s Business Tourism conference will be held at the Università della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, from 9 – 11 December, on the theme of Innovation in Business Tourism. Full details are available on the ATLAS website.

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Annual review of activities 2011

Rob Davidson
University of Greenwich, United Kingdom

This year, members of the Business Tourism SIG have kept in touch through our Linkedin Group network for Business Tourism Educators and Researchers, which currently has 231 members.

The highlight of the past 12 months was our ATLAS Business Tourism SIG conference which was held from 14 – 17 November 2010 in the beautiful resort of Estoril, Portugal. For the first time, extensive use was made of the social media for the marketing of this event, and as a result, we had a recording-breaking attendance of almost 50 attendees, mainly lecturers and researchers specializing in business tourism, but also business tourism practitioners, consultants and students. Attendees came principally from European educational institutions, but we also had delegates from Australia and Africa.

The staff of the Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hospitality Studies were our hosts, and they organized the social programme as well as the educational element of the conference. Both were excellent. The event began with a sightseeing tour of the Estoril coast and a networking welcome reception at the Casa de Santa Maria, a museum and art gallery. The conference kicked off with a keynote presentation from Jonathan Cohen and Steen Jakobsen, two of the people with responsibility for marketing Copenhagen as a business tourism destination; they spoke about the Copenhagen Sustainable Meetings Protocol, using the United Nations’ COP15 conference in Copenhagen as a case-study, to demonstrate the ease and strategic value of combining sustainability and meetings management. Over the two days of the conference, a total of 13 papers were presented on the theme of business tourism, and these were accompanied by much lively debate.

One of the highlights of the conference was the gala dinner, sponsored by the local municipality and held in the sumptuous surroundings of a former palace. Various local politicians joined us for the occasion. Another was our tour of the award-winning Estoril Conference Centre the following day. The manager of this venue explained how it had been constructed according to strict sustainable principles and how its operations are managed in such a way as to have minimum negative impact upon the environment.

This year’s ATLAS Business Tourism SIG conference, the 8th since our group was created, will be held in Copenhagen, from 4 – 6 December, and organised by the Centre for Tourism and Culture Management at Copenhagen Business School. The Call for Papers has already been made, and details are available on the ATLAS website. The conference social program will include a reception with the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen at the City Hall, and a visit to the Tivoli Gardens for the farewell dinner.

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Annual review of activities 2010

Rob Davidson
University of Westminster, United Kingdom

Our 2009 conference was held in England for the first time, in the city of Liverpool, 2008 European Capital of Culture. There were over 30 participants, from 9 different European countries. For the first time, students were invited to participate, and the conference attracted 22 students from the University of Westminster’s Masters course in Conference & Events Management and from Buckinghamshire New University. The conference began, appropriately enough, with a Beatles theme: a tour of Liverpool and its surrounding region’s business tourism offer, followed by dinner at the Hard Days Night Hotel. The first day of the conference proceedings began with a welcome and presentation from Carol O’Reilly, manager of the Liverpool Convention Bureau. Following a number of paper presentations, delegates had a guided tour of the Liverpool ACC (Arena and Convention Centre), which opened in 2008. The next day, delegates crossed the River Mersey to the town of Port Sunlight, where the conference continued in the seminar room of the Lord Leverhulme Hotel and Spa. The gala dinner was held in the sumptuous surroundings of the The Great Hall of the Hillbark Hotel, situated in the countryside close to Liverpool.

During the year, members of the ATLAS Business Tourism SIG have used the social media to keep in touch with each other and to share research and other sources of data and case-studies relating to Business Tourism. A Linkedin Group entitled ‘Business Tourism Educators and Researchers Group’ was created specifically for this purpose, and the group now has 135 members.

Our 2010 conference will be held in Estoril, Portugal, from 15 – 17 November, hosted by the Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hospitality Studies. The keynote speech will be given by Jonathan Cohen, VisitDenmark Marketing Manager - Business Events, and Steen Jakobsen, Convention Director, Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau. They will discuss the Copenhagen Sustainable Meetings Protocol, which uses the United Nations’ COP15 conference in Copenhagen as its case-study, and is an advanced level guide to organising sustainable meetings. The conference will include a tour of the Estoril Congress Centre, which has been awared several prizes for its sustainable design and operations. Details are on the ATLAS website or at: www.7btconference.cplevents.pt.


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Annual review of activities 2009

Rob Davidson
University of Westminster, United Kingdom

The importance of Business Tourism continues to expand around the world, with a growing number of destinations entering the market for Conferences, Exhibitions and Incentive Travel. In most countries in the developed world, income from Business Tourism now represents between one-third and one-quarter of all tourism spending. Destinations in the developing world have also understood the potential benefits of Business Tourism, and in such countries investment in facilities for Conferences and Exhibitions is at an all-time high.

The worldwide expansion of Business Tourism has been matched by increased interest, on the part of educators and researchers, in the phenomenon of business events as an academic subject and as a field of theoretical and empirical investigation. As a result, there has been considerable growth in the number of Universities offering courses related to Business Tourism and Business Events, and academic research in this field is increasing.

The ATLAS Business Tourism SIG conference

The annual ATLAS Business Tourism SIG conference has become the most important international annual forum for the exchange of ideas and the sharing of best practice in teaching and researching this subject. The 5th ATLAS Business Tourism SIG Conference was held in Warsaw, Poland from 23-26 November 2008 in Warsaw University of Economics & Computer Science, on the theme: "Educating the next generation of business tourism professionals: challenges and solutions". The organizer was Krzysztof Celuch of Warsaw University of Economics & Computer Science.

Participants from 12 different countries attended the event and presented papers on a wide variety of topics related to the teaching and research in Business Tourism. The delegates included a number of first-time attendees representing countries, such a Turkey and Hungary that had not previously been represented at this event. The second day of the conference was hosted by Warsaw’s iconic venue, the Palace of Culture and Science, which was completed in 1955 as a gift from the Soviet Union to the people of Poland. It is the tallest building in that country and is now a major venue for conferences and exhibitions. The keynote speaker that day was Katarzyna Sobierajska, the Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Poland, who presented a series of statistical data demonstrating the importance of Business Tourism for her country. There was a lively social programme connected to this conference, with a memorable gala dinner sponsored by the regional authority and a guided tour of Warsaw.

The next ATLAS Business Tourism SIG conference will be held in Liverpool, UK, from 22 – 25 November 2009.

Other initiatives

- Linkedin group

At the Warsaw conference, a decision was taken to launch a Linkedin group for academics with an interest in teaching / researching in the field of Business Tourism, in order to maintain the momentum of the ATLAS Business Tourism SIG between the annual conferences. The group will provide a forum for the sharing of data, case-studies and publications relating to Business Tourism. It will provide an overview of what topics group members are teaching in their institutions and will enable members with similar interests to link up and collaborate on joint research projects. Anyone interested in this group’s activities may join by visiting the Linkedin website and going to the ‘BUSINESS TOURISM educators and researchers group’ link.

- New publication

A recurring theme of the annual ATLAS Business Tourism SIG conference has been the relative shortage of textbooks and academic journals dedicated to this important sector of the tourism industry. Despite its economic importance to most destinations, Business Tourism is still under-represented in the body of academic literature. It is reasonable to conclude that this scarcity of academic sources represents a continuing barrier to the further expansion of the teaching of Business Tourism at the university level.

The ATLAS Business Tourism SIG has therefore taken steps to improve this situation by launching its first ATLAS publication, ‘Advances in Business Tourism Research’. This publication includes a cross-section of papers presented at ATLAS Business Tourism SIG conferences over the past five years, and was edited by Rob Davidson of the University of Westminster and Krzysztof Celuch of Warsaw University of Economics & Computer Science. Our thanks are extended to the various authors who agreed to have their work included in this publication.

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Annual review of activities 2007

Rob Davidson
University of Westminster, United Kingdom

The ATLAS Business Tourism Special Interest Group held their annual conference in Mannheim, Germany, from 04 to 05 December 2006. on the theme: "Contents & Methods: New Didactic Approaches & Solutions for Academic Business Tourism & Events Management Education". There were delegates from 9 different European countries, and the event was hosted by the Mannheim University of Cooperative Education. Day 1 of the conference was taken up by the presentation of papers on a variety of topics pertaining to the theme of the event. Day 2 of the conference was sponsored by M:con, the conference centre of Mannheim. Delegates had a tour of the venue, including a behind-the-scenes insight into the management and operations of the building, followed by a presentation by the managing director.

In the Spring of this year, members of the Business Tourism SIG learnt with great sadness that the host of our 2006 conference, Professor Klaus Beckmann, had lost the battle with his illness and had passed away. From the inception of our SIG, Klaus was an active and loyal member, attending every annual conference. He will be greatly missed by us all.

Our 2007 annual conference will take place from 02 - 05 December, and has a Baltic location, beginning in Lahti, Finland and continuing in Tallinn. The theme this year is: EDUCATION AND RESEARCH FOR THE MEETINGS AND BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY TODAY.

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Annual review of activities 2006

Rob Davidson
University of Westminster, United Kingdom

Lucy Horan
Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
lucy.horan@dit.ie

The second annual meeting of the ATLAS Business Tourism Special Interest Group (SIG) was held on 5th and 6th December 2005 at the School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, of the Dublin Institute of Technology. It was truly a European gathering with colleagues from Finland, Germany, Scotland, Italy, Poland, England, Spain and Ireland attending. What great support!

The Faculty Director, Dr. Michael Mulvey opened proceedings by welcoming everyone to Dublin. There were three presentations in the afternoon from industry speakers which proved very interesting in terms of Ireland's development as a business tourism destination and the product on offer. Rob finished off the first session with a look into the future through a presentation of his findings from the 2005 EIBTM report (www.eibtm.com/research).

Supper in the college was a great opportunity for people to mingle and chat while enjoying the culinary delights on offer.

Tuesday was a busy day with a number of very interesting and informative papers being delivered in the morning and again in the afternoon. This was preceded by a meeting of the SIG members. At that meeting, a number of initiatives were discussed and agreed upon, notably action points which would improve information-sharing between the members of the ATLAS Business Tourism SIG, who are predominantly university professors teaching and researching business tourism in their institutions. It was agreed that:

    • Members would collaborate in producing a definitive list of business tourism textbooks currently published in their respective countries.
    • Members would create an inventory of business tourism-related courses at the higher education level in their respective countries
    • The next Business Tourism SIG conference will be held in Mannheim, Germany, on 4th and 5th December 2006; and the 2007 conference will be held in Lahti, Finland.

Having worked so hard over the two days it was felt that a night out was necessary and so a bus collected delegates from outside the college and drove to Taylor's Three Rock just outside the city, at the foot of the Dublin Mountains. There followed a night of Irish "craic" (an Irish word meaning great fun). Dinner was followed by a performance of traditional Irish music, song and dance. Everyone enjoyed themselves immensely.

But all good things must come to and end and so everyone said their good nights and promised to make next year's meeting in Germany.

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Annual review of activities 2005

Rob Davidson
University of Westminster, United Kingdom

The Business Tourism SIG held its inaugural conference from November 29 - 02 December 2004 in the Fira Gran Via conference and exhibition centre in Barcelona. The event was held in parallel with the EIBTM trade show, whose organizers, Reed Travel Exhibitions, partly sponsored this ATLAS conference.

35 academics specializing in teaching and researching business tourism were joined by a number of business tourism practitioners and journalists who took time out from visiting the trade show to attend sessions of the conference. The academics came from eight different countries: Australia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK, and 16 papers were presented, on topics ranging from business tourism curriculum development to research into methods of encouraging conference delegates to extend their visits, for leisure purposes.

Prior to the official conference, an open meeting of the ATLAS Business Tourism SIG was held to discuss issues related to the development of business tourism education and research in European universities. 12 members of the SIG attended, and it was agreed that members of the group would undertake the following tasks:

    • Create an inventory of all existing business tourism-related education courses in European universities
    • Create an inventory of all higher education textbooks on business tourism-related topics published in European countries
    • Create an inventory of all postgraduate-level students' theses being undertaken on business tourism-related themes

Progress in these matters will be reviewed at the second ATLAS Business Tourism conference, which will be hosted in Dublin by the Dublin Institute of Technology, and will run from 05 - 06 December 2005.>

Details are available on: www.magictouch.ie/atlas

Membership of the ATLAS Business Tourism SIG has grown throughout the past 12 months, as an increasing number of European universities have launched courses in business tourism and conference management. The SIG now has over 50 members.>

The next ATLAS SIG meeting Business Tourism will be organised in Dublin at 5-6 December 2005.

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Annual review of activities 2004

The SIG for Business Tourism was launched at the ATLAS conference in Leeuwarden in June 2003. It brings together academics who are involved in teaching and researching subjects relating to Business Travel and Business Tourism - Conferences, Incentive Trips and Individual Business Trips.

Since it's launch, the group has grown to over 30 members, from Western European and Eastern European countries. In addition, a number of researchers have joined. We use the ATLAS distribution network to exchange ideas and information on teaching resources and events relating to the business tourism sector.

From 30 November - 02 December 2004, we shall be having our own event, a conference on the theme of 'Business Tourism: Education and Industry' at the EIBTM show in Barcelona. The conference will take place at the same time as Europe's main trade show for the conference and incentive travel industry, in the Gran Fira exhibition centre, and will bring together academics and practitioners, with the aim of examining what both groups can do to serve each others' interests. The conference will be open to all ATLAS members.

An organising committee for this event has been formed, and will meet shortly to draw up the programme's event. More will be published shortly on he ATLAS website.

Rob Davidson
University of Westminster, United Kingdom
davidsr@westminster.ac.uk

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