The introduction I wrote to last year's Beyond Borders magazine was all about huge growth in international travel, rampant worldwide hotel development, and efforts everywhere to go green. This year, the message from industry experts, conferences, and surveys is all about surviving the global gloom of 2009 and just getting to 2010.
But take a look at Padraic Gilligan's commentary on the last page of this magazine. He quotes the Greek playwright Euripides, who said, some 2,400 years ago, “Experience, travel … these are as education in themselves.”
No one who has ever visited a foreign country could disagree. Travel enriches us in ways both subtle and obvious. To give employees a trip outside the U.S. — whether as an incentive reward, forattendance, or to work with colleagues from international divisions — is to broaden their perspectives, to spark their creativity, to make a lasting mark on their lives.
None of that changes in a global recession, or when a news item about a single recognition program becomes hysteria about corporate meetings, or when oil prices spike, or when exchange rates fluctuate, or when a flu outbreak nearly stops travel in its tracks. The incomparable value — business value — of international travel remains. And when this cycle shifts and the downturn becomes an upswing, we'll all be filling planes again. Let's hope it's soon.
Meanwhile, on the following pages you will find advice from a wide range of experts that will help you plan and execute meetings outside the United States. Enjoy their tips and tricks along with lots of updates on destinations both classic and emerging.
And as for my advice? Remember that planning international meetings is not always simple — but it is always worth it.
“planning international meetings is not always simple — but it is always worth it.”
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