Latest Industry/Economy News & Views...
IACC & PKF Release "Trends® in the Conference Center Industry 2014"
International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) has released the 2014 Edition of "Trends® in the Conference Center Industry." According to IACC CEO Mark Cooper, "The comprehensive trends report indicates that IACC Conference Centres once again see continued recovery in their rates which are higher than 2013."
Cooper continued, "This, coupled with marginal improvements in operating profits, demonstrates that IACC member properties continue to control costs and manage another year of improving occupancies. Conference Centres -- when benchmarked against hotels -- are showing restraint in hiking prices to their customers, which shows a long-term approach and commitment to their customers."
Cooper also notes that IACC members predicted a 'bumpy ride' for 2014 operating budgets, and they might well prove to be accurate in their predictions given the last few months of mixed economic forecasts for North America. "With the economy experiencing some set-backs," said Cooper, "a large part of conference centres' business is realised from training." According to the report, the greatest percentage of meetings (57.8%) held at residential conference centres were Training / Continuing Education sessions followed by Management Planning conferences.
"It is encouraging to see the significant growth in this type of events as organisations invest now to put in place a skilled workforce to cope with further recovery" said Cooper.
Corporate Centres achieved the greatest increase in Average Daily Rate in 2013 showing a 2.9% increase in All Centres over 2012 with Executive and Resort Centres seeing the highest ADR.
Executive and Resort Centres continued to achieve greater levels of total RevPOR compared to their comparable hotel property type, while corporate centres experienced the greatest increase in RevPOR from 2012 to 2013.
Resort Centres achieved the highest occupancy rate in 2013, while college and university centres enjoyed the greatest gain in occupancy during 2013.
In 2013, Executive and Resort Centres achieved lower levels of occupancy than their comparable hotel property type, but enjoyed greater over-the-year growth in occupancy from 2012 to 2013.
The report, compiled by PKF Hospitality Research on behalf of IACC, showed encouraging signs that Executive Conference Centres are experiencing overall rebound which has taken place in revenues and profitability for most of the members reporting. This is consistent with a recovery in the meeting market in general, which has been a long time coming.
Dave Arnold, Co-President and Chief Executive Officer-East with PKF Consulting USA, LLC commented, "With the reality of very little supply growth and demand growth in the five to seven percent range, the foreseeable future bodes well for the health of the conference centre industry."
"Certain challenges remain at the forefront," said Arnold, "including a continuing erosion of the CMP to various “modified” meeting packages, a continuing push by asset managers/owners to diversify the market base with non-conference business and dealing with on-line travel agency bookings which heretofore have had only a limited impact on group bookings. On the good news front, the market is showing an increased desire for independent, non-chain properties which, of course, has always been a strength of the conference centre industry."
IACC’s Trends® in the Conference Center Industry is available to purchase on the IACC website Store.
MPI Publishes Fall Edition of Meetings Outlook Report
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has published its Meetings OutlookTM, 2014 Fall Edition. The newest installment of the quarterly special report shows increasing costs for services across the meeting and event spectrum in concert with only slight budgetary growth is setting up a more challenging year ahead.
Key predictions for 2015 include the following:
To view the full report, visit www.mpiweb.org/meetingsoutlook. A printed copy is included in the November 2014 issue of MPI’s award-winning magazine, The Meeting Professional®, as well.
IRF ‘Pulse’ Survey Confirms Sustained Recovery and Upward Trend in Incentive Industry
The latest data from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) confirms that the industry’s recovery is not only sustaining but also accelerating, as it examined core areas of impact such as budgets/purchasing, the national economy, destinations/ accommodations and program elements.
In its bi-annual Pulse surveys, the IRF asks motivation industry professionals about trends in incentive programs, with its latest findings indicating that things have stabilized compared to prior survey periods, establishing a strong positive upward trend for each of the core elements beginning in July 2009 and continuing through May 2014.
DESTINATIONS & ACCOMMODATIONS
The survey was conducted July 21 through August 6 with participants falling into three basic categories:
Read more at http://theirf.org/.6124977.html
Latest Employment and Export Numbers Confirm Travel's Vital Role in U.S. Growth
David Huether, senior vice president for research and economics at the U.S. Travel Association, provides analysis on today's U.S. employment and exports numbers.
The Labor Department announced that the U.S. economy added 248,000 jobs in September while the unemployment rate dipped below six percent to 5.9 percent for the first time since July 2008.
"The travel industry continues to power our nation's employment recovery, adding 8,700 jobs in September, four percent of overall non-farm employment added last month. A model of consistency, travel has added jobs 11 of the past 12 months and has expanded payrolls by 129,000 over the past year. Travel employment now stands at 7,998,000 direct jobs—just shy of eight million workers.
"Travel continues to be a leading force in getting Americans back to work. After losing close to half a million jobs in the Great Recession, the travel industry has added 771,000 jobs and has outpaced job creation in the rest of the economy by 38 percent since the employment recovery began."
Separately, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported today that travel exports increased to $19.2 billion in August, up $0.2 billion from July. Travel continues to be a major force in overall export growth for the economy.
"Through August, total U.S. exports are up $49 billion compared to the first 8 months of last year, and travel exports accounted for 17 percent of this increase. Moreover, so far this year, travel exports have increased by 5.5 percent compared to last year, which is 84 percent faster than other U.S. export growth.
"These numbers without a doubt confirm that welcoming more international travelers to our shores is a powerful engine of economic growth for our country that will create more American jobs."
As documented in U.S. Travel's latest research report on Travel Exports, robust growth in travel exports has been a central reason why travel is responsible for creating jobs faster than the rest of the economy in recent years. Every $1 million in travel exports supports 6.6 American jobs.
Huether is available for further analysis and comment.
Travel Among Most Potent U.S. Exports, Study Finds
When one thinks of an "export," one normally thinks of objects that are boxed and loaded onto container ships in Galveston or Long Beach, like manufacturing or agricultural products. But since it involves the consumption of U.S. goods and services with foreign currency, international travel and tourism falls into the "export" category as well—and it greatly outperforms most other U.S. industries in that capacity, according to a new study from the U.S. Travel Association.
"Travel's potency as a job creator, tax revenue generator, and positive contributor to domestic GDP are all well-documented and well-known," said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. "We frequently have to remind people that travel is also a top performer for the U.S. trade balance, which is always a top economic priority for political leaders. When they grasp that, it's easier to talk to them about the policies travel needs to grow and perform even better—like improvements to the Customs entry process, expansion of the Visa Waiver Program, and urgent attention to our surface and air travel infrastructure."
Dow continued: "The single greatest point to remember about travel is that it creates jobs that cannot be outsourced abroad. A concierge or tour guide or sales executive or general manager cannot possibly perform their job from a phone bank in Bangladesh. When overseas visitors come here with the $4,500 they spend per trip on average, the economic benefits stay right here."
According to the study:
Click here to read the full release from the U.S. Travel Association.
Click here to read the full study, "Travel Exports: Driving Economic Growth and Creating American Jobs."