Chapter 11: Business Tourism

Question 1: The acronym SMERF is identified in the chapter. Explain the different characteristics of each type of organisation referenced by this term.

Answer Guide: SMERF refers to:

  • Social meetings. Primarily for social interaction, such as collectors, hobbyists, special interest groups and non-military reunions.
  • Military meetings. Comprises the reunions of people who served in the armed forces during periods of conflict.
  • Educational meetings. Attendees are generally teachers, lecturers and academic researchers who meet in order to share their research in their particular subject area.
  • Religious meetings. These events bring together people who share the same faith for worship and prayer, sometimes combined with debates and workshops
  • Fraternal meetings. These are primarily meetings of sororities and other fraternal organizations. Attendees often went to school or university together and wish to reunite from time to time.

Question 2: How is digital technology affecting the different sectors of the business tourism industry?

Answer Guide: The existence of video/tele conferencing and alternatives such as Google hangout and Skype may reduce the need for business travel. Apps which can simplify travel administration (such as managing travel expenses) store trip information such as flight times and hotel reservations and access to boarding passes on phones reduces the need for paperwork. Communication technology can help travellers stay in touch with family and friends more conveniently.

Question 3: Why might a company choose to use incentive travel to motivate their staff? Are there some limitations which might need to be considered?

Answer Guide: Advantages of incentive travel may include:

  • Incentive travel can motivate many to enhance their performance.
  • Winners of travel awards appreciate the praise and status achieved with the reward.
  • Teams spending time together outside of the workplace can enhance working relationships.
  • Incentive trips can provide time for rest and recuperation, after the hard work often needed to win the incentive.

There are some limitations.

  • Travel may not motivate everyone.
  • Finding incentives that are perceived as ‘rewarding’ for all in the workplace can be a challenge.