Now that the elections are over we can all get back to business. the truth of the matter is many companies i spoke to did modify or delay decisions based on the outcome of the election. My crystal ball tells me the business growth will be slow in 2013 with some ups and downs in the stock market, and housing will have little to no growth. I’m brilliant, right? or has this been the case for the last 6+ years?
The good news is that 2013 will have some growth according to Destination Hotels & resorts, in their inaugural ‘state of the Meeting industry’ white paper just released. the report yielded six specific trends for hotels and resorts to take note of, and one overarching theme: cautious optimism. More than 30% of planners expect an increase in the number of meetings for 2013. Most planners felt budgets have stabilized, with 20% anticipating increased budget flexibility in the coming year.
In almost every segment, we’re seeing positive indicators that 2013 will be a growth year for groups and meetings,” stated André Fournier, vice president of sales & marketing of Destination Hotels & resorts. “Another indication of a rebounding market is the anticipated increase in lead time on bookings after a flat line for several years. we found that 55% of meeting planners are looking at longer lead times, with 12% booking at least a year in advance.” More than 50% of meeting planners indicated that the majority of their meetings would take place at urban hotels in 2013.
Although experiencing a slower recovery than urban markets, the resort market is also forecasting a sunny outlook, with more than a quarter of planners indicating they will plan almost all of their programs in a resort setting. “The coming year will not be without challenges,” notes Fournier. “results show 18% of meeting planners are still booking less than 60 days out and 19% indicated that budgets would be decreasing in the coming year.”
Meeting planners also identified a number of important trends and focal areas for 2013, and being ‘green’ was one area. while 45% of planners say eco-friendly practices are ‘somewhat important’ when choosing a venue, an additional 18% say it’s ‘extremely important,’ a clear indicator that hotels and resorts are going to see an impact on securing future business through offering thoughtful, established green programs. the sustainability of badge systems is being led by a company in the st. Louis area and that’s why MM&e is supporting their efforts. (article on page 24). As we close out one year and embark on the next maybe we all could practice a little more eco-friendly sustainability.
Enjoy the issue!
Joseph W. Clote