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December 8, 2015

Despite Terror Attacks, Signs of Confidence in Events Industry

Despite the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and threats in Brussels, recent travel industry statistics point to the continued resilience of the events industry. 

business traveler
Photo by Freeimages.com/Ben Ullman

The Cleveland Research Company just released a strong forecast for group hotel bookings during the fourth quarter of 2015, indicating continued appetite for events and other group travel through the end of the year. According to the report, group bookings continued to rise during Q3 2015 and are expected to reach a high point in Q4 due to increased group and corporate travel. In terms of major hotel brands, Hilton's group travel is expected to grow in Q4 following 4 percent growth in Q3 and declines and Q2 and Q1. Starwood properties are also expected to grow their group travel in Q4, up from a decline in Q3. 

Europe Business Travel Confidence

In terms of overall business travel, a set of surveys from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) released soon after the Paris attacks points to continued confidence in business travel to and within Europe

In a survey conducted between November 18 and 20, the GBTA reported that nearly three-quarters of U.S. travel buyers said their company's travel to Europe would remain "largely unaffected" by the Paris attacks. 57 percent of respondents reported "no change" and 16 percent reported "slight reductions" in their company's travel to Europe. 93 percent of respondents said that it is important that travel to Europe continue as usual. 

In a second survey conducted online between November 25 and 30, the GBTA found that 47 percent of European business travel buyers reported "no change" to their company's business travel within Europe, with another 26 percent reporting that their company's business travel within Europe was "slightly reduced." 

Strong Overall Tourism Numbers in Q3

The positive Q4 forecast follows a strong Q3 for overall tourism in many destinations within Europe. The German National Tourist Board (GNTB), for example, reports that Germany set another tourism record in the third quarter of 2015 with 62 million international overnight stays between January and September. That number represents a 5.3 percent increase over the same period last year. During the summer, which is Germany's high season, inbound tourism rose 6.7 percent over 2014. 

Travel to Germany from the U.S. saw strong growth in Q3 (up 7.7 percent), while other destinations within Europe -- the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, Italy, Austria, Denmark, France, Belgium and Spain -- also reported increases. 

Keep visiting www.internationalmeetingsreview.com for the latest meetings industry news, trends and research. 

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About the Author: Adam Leposa





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