Task One: Selling Cities: Promoting New Images for Meetings Tourism
1 Meetings tourism, which we define as travel associated with attendance at corporate
or association meetings, conferences, conventions, or congresses or public or trade
exhibitions, has emerged as a significant subsection of the tourist industry both in
terms of volume of travel and expenditure generated. 2 “Meetings” demonstrate
enormous variety, ranging from small business meetings of a few participants to large
conventions of, for example, professional associations which might attract in excess
of 20,000 delegates. 3 The range of locations within which these meetings take place
is also broad, including such sites as hotels, universities, sports venues, and specially
built convention centers.
4 The meetings tourism market has been vigorously pursued by many former
industrial cities in Europe and the U.S. as part of their strategies of post-industrial urban
regeneration (Law, 1987, p 85). 5 This market offers a number of obvious attractions to
such cities, not least the rapidity of its growth during the 1970s and 1980s, the very
period during which many cities were suffering contractions in their industrial base. 6
Figures for the U.S.A. suggest the business conference industry almost doubled during
the 1980s. 7 The growth is particularly marked for international conferences, which
bring the greatest financial returns for host cities (Labasse and Law, p 47). 8 In many
European cities the economic contributions of business tourism outweigh those from
leisure tourism by two to three times (Van den Berg et al., 1994, p 161) making it both a
seemingly appropriate and rewarding sector for former manufacturing cities to pursue.
(Adapted from Bradley, Hall, and Harrison 2002)
The “shape” of this passage is something like this. Complete the diagram.
Size of meetings
Growth of the meetings tourism market in the U.S.
Growth in international conferences
The authors of this passage have decided it is too short. Here are two additional
statements. Where would you place them?
Meetings tourism has grown, and seems destined to continue to grow, at
rates above those of most European national economies.
Meetings tourism, at small as well as large meetings, are higher
spenders on average per day than leisure tourists, bringing in on average
nearly $360 per day more (Law, 2002).
In sentence 1, why do you think the authors used the expression “which we define
as . . .”?