A recent study by Oxford Travel Economics USA measured the return on investment for travel as a core component of a successful business strategy. In other words was the revenue-expense ratio for profits and growth favorable to the bottom line. The study reported that even in these economically challenged times face-to-face client meetings and participation in trade shows still makes a difference and is well worth the cost. Stating that for “every dollar invested in business travel, companies realize $12.50 in incremental revenue and $3.80 in new profits; curbing business travel can reduce a company’s profits for years”.
This got me thinking about how many people I’ve talked to recently that have flat-lined their personal growth and reduced their attitude toward adventure and travel. Cautious about investing in anything today, their lives like the economy have come to a standstill. It would be a pity to let politics be the sole determinant of our zest for living. If that were the case our society would come to a standstill and our lives moving backwards instead of forwards.
The benefits of business travel, i.e. the return on a company’s investment, are inextricably linked to profits and growth. Business travel ROI can be measured in increased sales and effective marketing; did you sign the deal? did you pass the exam at the end of the training session? The outcomes of personal and family travel may not be able to fit into the cells of a spreadsheet but they are significant and can also be measured. Measured in emotional connections and life time memories, measured in the knowledge gained of another culture and history where learning extends beyond the walls of a classroom. Measured in a re-awakening of our senses with the food, wine, art and design of our travel adventures and measured in the investment of moving our lives forward and realizing that “twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do”. Mark Twain
By the way, Mark Twain visited Italy in 1867 in what he called “the first organized pleasure party”. Twain wrote about his travel experiences in his book The Innocents Abroad. Within its first year it sold over 70,000 copies and remained the best-selling of Mark Twain’s books throughout his lifetime. It seems MT’s travel ROI for both business and pleasure was very profitable.