CWT: Cost of meeting rises

AMSTERDAM, 20 September 2017: The cost of attending meetings and events is increasing and the latest research suggests they will continue to rise through 2018.

The cost evaluations are part of the latest 2018 Meetings and Events Future Trends report.

Released by CWT Meetings & Events (CWT M&E), a division of global travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the report shows the regional differences and cost projections as well as the latest industry trends and top destinations.

The full report can be downloaded2018 Meetings and Events Future Trends report.

“Costs are rising in key M&E markets, globally,” said, senior vice president and global head Cindy Fisher. “With a 3.7% increase in hotels and 3.5% rise in air fares projected for the coming year, that trend is likely to continue.”

This will have a significant impact on some of the top global destinations including London, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro. Also, certain popular venues in these cities may see drop-offs next year.

The global airline industry’s capacity is expected to grow around 7% this year and 6% in 2018.

The segmenting of airfares is broadening the appeal to travellers as they are able to purchase from options including a basic economy restricted fare or various upgraded fares, with specific service options. As for hotels, there is a progressive push from suppliers to move corporate buyers away from fixed, negotiated hotel rates and toward dynamic rate pricing.

Asia Pacific highlights

The cost per attendee per day for meetings and events in Asia Pacific increased by 5% in 2017. Prices aren’t changing very much in Asia Pacific, for either hotels or air fares, with increases of 3.5% and 2.8% respectively.

Hotels largely remain the venues of choice across most of the region, particularly in China where new hotels open every week. Australia and New Zealand are outliers in the region in this respect as they haven’t seen much hotel development recently so there is more demand for unique venues.

Despite ever-increasing hotel stock in China, prices are set to continue to increase because of demand from both business and leisure travel.

According to Cvent data, the top 10 destinations for meetings & events in Asia Pacific in 2017 are:

  1. Singapore
  1. Sydney, Australia
  1. Bangkok, Thailand
  1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  1. Hong Kong
  1. Shanghai, China
  1. Melbourne, Australia
  1. Tokyo, Japan
  1. Mumbai, India
  1. Seoul, South Korea

Overall in APAC, security is limiting people’s desire to travel as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand all have some geopolitical challenges. Despite the threats, Thailand’s government is working hard to encourage people to continue coming, and the increasing number of visitors shows the impact local authorities can have.

China’s hotels are both innovative and hungry for business, with lots of different players and many hotel chains. The Chinese government’s policy of only using local hotels has further pushed down prices, which, combined with a relative absence of security concerns, has made China a good location for meetings and events.

Singapore remains a hub for meetings because of its abundance in relevant space and excellent air links. South Korea and Vietnam are emerging destinations especially as Pyeongchang, South Korea will be hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics next year.

Taiwan is also on the way up, though harder for Chinese citizens who need a special permit to travel there; that restriction will mean hotel prices remain stable, even though new hotels are opening, which is always a driver.

Tokyo has higher costs than other areas of Japan, even though it has great connections. Kyoto, Okinawa and Osaka are growing in popularity, particularly for people from APAC because there are direct flights.

Download: Full Global Report