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Survey: Face-to-face trumps video conferencing

More than three in four Australian business travellers (76 per cent) consider face-to-face meetings the most effective way of running a successful business, according to new research by Toga Hospitality.

Business tourism is on the rebound

The research, conducted in partnership with Galaxy Research, also noted that technology is considered a poor substitute for meeting in person.

Despite advances in technology for conferencing services, only one in ten business travellers (11 per cent) find video conferencing superior to traditional face-to-face meetings and only 8 per cent find conducting meetings by telephone more effective.

The results also found that around half of all business travellers (49 per cent) conduct meetings in their hotels whilst away on business.

The fresh survey has revealed that many organisations still believe they get the best value from investing the time and money into sending employees interstate to engage with clients and customers on a personal level.

Despite the cutbacks associated with the 2009 GFC, the average Australian business traveller embarked on up to five overnight trips in the last year. Four out of five of the Australian business travellers surveyed by Toga Hospitality (82 per cent) said they had been away on business in the last six months.

“When it comes to business, ‘face-time’ is invaluable and helps reinforce the all-important relationships that propel businesses forward,” said Toga Hospitality CEO Rachel Argaman.

“While the travel industry has certainly felt the effects of the recent economic downturn, Australian businesses still see the value in sending their team members across the country to see customers.

“We recognise that regular travel can take its toll on team members, so we ensure that all Toga Hospitality hotels are well-equipped to support business travellers,” she said.