University of Physical Education
Key success factors of international conferences as systemic tourism products on the example of Erasmus+ International Week in Kaunas
Global tourism market (including business tourism) is developing. The WTTC (2018) indicates that total contribution of tourism to general world GDP was 10.4% in 2017. Moreover, the impact of tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the tourism, was 9.9% of total employment in the world in 2017. And tourism-related investments in the world in the year were responsible for 4.5% of total investment. In addition, the investment growth was noticeable by 4.3% year-on-year. Business tourism is also developing as a very important part of tourism (related to traveling to group meetings organized outside the place of permanent residence of participants). The business meetings are driving by the professional activity of the participants. The development of products offered on the business tourism market should be the result of cooperation between wide range of local companies and the local government. But the recognition of the needs of business meeting participants is very important for every entities engaged in the meetings (Anahita et al., 2011; Breiter & Milman, 2006). It may contribute to better management of the products, bigger satisfaction of the visitors and to the higher delegate expenses in the destination.
The aim of the article is to identify the success factors of international conference meetings as systemic products on the tourist market on the example of International Week Conference.
To achieve the aim of the work, the methods of analyzing the literature of the subject, reports from EU commissions and meetings industry, passive and active observations were used, too. Author prepared few questions in the questionnaire on the website survio.com and addressed to the participants of the international conference.
The main criteria usually used for the selection of conference meetings by participants were selected after reviewing the literature on the subject.
The most important determinates of the attractive conference refer to different kinds of transport and actual information accessibility, as well as to the originality of the destination and leisure program in the destination town were indicated.
Contemporary international conference meetings, especially those scientific, extensive, lasting a few days, are like a systemic, multi-core products (Żabiński, 2012; Niemczyk, 2014) on tourism market. There are few determinants for tourist attractiveness, which as a result of author's own research have been identified and recognized as success factors for such systemic products. The authors had chosen scientific conference Erasmus+ International Week (EIW) and realized a direct survey of the participants in the city of Kaunas in Lithuania in 2018 (Cieślikowski & Brusokas, 2019).
The author is aware of the limitations of these studies. Organizers and managers of business tourism in destinations (both companies and local administrations), to build business events, can use the conference success factors described in the article. Therefore, the results can be generalized to other forms of conference meetings, however, taking into account the specificity of the meetings.