CWT Sees Growth For Meetings, Warns Of Buyer Challenges

Open Jaw

Despite higher hotel prices, CWT is predicting “positive growth” for the meetings and events industry in 2016, but the global TMC says there will be challenges for meetings buyers.

“We anticipate tighter hotel cancellation policies, growing food and beverage costs and an increased focus on compliance - particularly for our pharmaceutical clients,” said David Moran, Executive Vice President for CWT Meetings & Events, as the company released its 2016 Meetings and Events Forecast report.

“Many companies will try to harness their combined spend as they look for ways to cut costs and improve program efficiency and control.”

The report says the biggest increases in hotel rates were likely to be in North America where they are set to rise by as much as 4.3% in 2016. The TMC is also predicting a 3.7% hike in prices in the Latin American and Caribbean markets.

“Demand in North America, both transient and group, continues to grow at a rate that exceeds new supply, and the result is a seller’s market causing challenges for meeting owners,” the report stated.

But smaller increases are expected in Europe – particularly in the western part of the continent where rates are set to rise by only 0.7%. Eastern European hotel rates are predicted to go up by 2%. Elsewhere, hotel prices in Asia are likely to increase by 3% while rates in the Middle East and Africa are forecast to rise by 1%.


This year’s report also advises meeting organizers to plan ahead and be aware that some hotels in high-demand markets no longer hold space when responding to availability requests. CWT advises to be sure internal decision makers are aware of this and to decide if they can be flexible on dates.

Also, lead for registration and venue contracts continues to shrink which can work in the planner’s favour if they are able to increase lead time for larger events thereby also increasing their negotiating power. 

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