Latest Industry/Economy News & Views...
The Cost of Travel in 2014
CWT’s 2014 projections for supplier pricing across airlines, hotels, ground transportation suppliers, and meetings & events providers are now available. Other key trends that will impact travel management next year are also highlighted.
CWT Meetings & Events has released an M&E forecast supplement that includes additional information on trends to watch next year – like end-to-end meetings management, SMM, technology and compliance. The supplement also contains recommendations for meetings professionals regarding strategies they can put in place to stretch their budgets.
New Study Says Government Travel for Meetings Leads to Greater Productivity, Efficiency
Cancelling Participation in Meetings and Conferences Can Cost U.S. Taxpayers More in the Long Run
Traveling for meetings and conferences is vital to making government more efficient and effective, according to a new study conducted by Rockport Analytics for the U.S. Travel Association. In contrast, cancelling government participation in key events carries significant costs and undermines important functions of government.
"The Value of Government Meetings" report, a comprehensive study of the benefits of government meetings and events, is the first to evaluate the impact of sweeping cuts made to federal and state government travel budgets on the public and private sectors.
"Public agencies at all levels of U.S. government have made deep cuts to travel and meetings budgets in recent years," said Jon Gray, vice president of research & insight, Rockport Analytics, LLC, who conducted the 2013 study. "Our research found that these across-the-board cancellations offer short-term savings at a much greater long-term cost."
The report highlights the significant impact of the cancellation of the 2013 Military Health System Conference, an annual training event for several thousand military medical personnel. The study found that due to replacement costs and lost revenue, the event's cancellation will ultimately cost the government more than $800,000.
Similarly, the decision made by NASA to pull out of the April 2013 National Space Symposium – the world's premier international space exploration and policy event –- had its own negative consequences.
"Some 30 nations are represented at our symposium," said Elliot Pulham, CEO of the National Space Foundation, a private organization that runs the annual conference. "Important international partnerships are jeopardized, important international programs are placed at risk, and the U.S. government places serious strain on relationships with countries around the world when it does not attend."
Additional key findings from the report include:
"Rhetorically, few could argue with the goal of curbing abuses. Substantively, however, we must take great care not to create more problems than we solve," Dow said. "Striking the right balance is the key."
Click here for a fact sheet on the economic impact of government meetings.
Click here for a fact sheet on the value of government meetings.
Meetings Safe and Thriving Despite Detroit Bankruptcy
DMCVB says Downtown Detroit’s Convention Product Rivals other Midwest Cities
Despite the city of Detroit Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing last week, Detroit is open for business and thriving more than ever before, according to the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB), who assured its clients that their meetings in Detroit will be seamless.
According to Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the DMCVB, the climate to hold meetings in Detroit is better than it has been in decades and rivals most Midwest cities. Last week alone, a 367-room, eight-suite Crowne Plaza Pontchartrain - Detroit Convention Center Hotel opened, adding to an inventory of over 4,000 luxury hotel rooms already downtown.
Cobo Convention Center is more than halfway through its $279 million renovation which is transforming it into a world-class meeting and convention center. In September, its new stunning 40,000 square foot ballroom will be unveiled. Cobo is an independent regional entity funded by its revenue and the state of Michigan. It is not an asset of the city of Detroit and it has never been more financially stable than it is today.
“The private sector has invested in Detroit at unprecedented levels over the past two years, bringing in close to 12,000 new employees and $11 billion in new economic development,” Alexander said. “Officials managing the bankruptcy recognize that visitors and conventions are key to a successful city and will work hand in hand with the private sector to continue the positive momentum in Detroit.”
Like most other major urban areas, Detroit’s challenges exist in neighborhoods with high poverty and unemployment, he added. “Downtown Detroit, where our meetings and tourism assets are centered, is a hub of vibrancy and activity, with first class facilities and amenities, and plenty of entertainment options for attendees to enjoy.”
The restructuring plan is crafted to ensure that services essential to residents, businesses and visitors will continue. The Emergency Manager for Detroit stated last week that residents will begin to see improvements in their services, including public lighting, waste management and police and fire services over the next 30-60 days. Under the restructuring proposal, the city will spend $1.5 billion more over the next 10 years on public safety.
“Bankruptcy is a difficult, but clearly an unavoidable step that will pave the way for a viable and sustainable future for the city of Detroit,” Alexander said. “We are fully supportive of this decision if it will solve the city’s financial challenges expeditiously and allow the city to move forward. Detroit has been enjoying an amazing comeback, and putting our financial house in order is part of that comeback.”
Hotel Owners March to Capitol Hill as Flight Delays Threaten Summer Travel
Congress is getting an earful from hoteliers who fear sequester-induced flight delays will ruin the summer tourism season.
Nearly 300 members of the American Hotel & Lodging Association planned to visit close to 200 House and Senate offices on Wednesday to personally lobby on the sequester, which has taken a bite out of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding for air traffic controllers.
“This industry has been concerned about this from the beginning, but with some of the recent actions, most notably the new FAA cuts, this industry of course has become even more concerned than they already were," Katherine Lugar, the group’s president and CEO, told The Hill. “We will be working with members on both sides and the administration to try to get the job right.” Read More