Great Hotels of the World (http://www.ghotw.com), the London based global hotel sales and marketing alliance has reported an 89% year-on-year increase in meeting and incentive enquiries through its MICE desk in June 2011. It has also reported a year-on-year increase in enquiries of 31% from the period January – June 2011. These positive trends signal a healthy growth in the meeting and incentive market and are predicted to continue throughout the rest of the year and into 2012
Armand Guillemot, Director of MICE sales at Great Hotels of the World comments: “Enquiries for meeting and incentive bookings have been increasing steadily since October 2010 and have risen dramatically in the first half of 2011, signalling a healthy growth in the MICE market. Our enquiries are from a mix of agency and direct corporate buyers, mainly from France, UK, Ireland and Germany. The most requested destinations for meetings and incentives are Spain and the UK but we do also get demand for other emerging destinations such as Seoul, Montenegro and India.”
Great Hotels of the World has also reported a number of other MICE trends. Lead times for enquiries are shorter with an average lead time of six weeks for enquiries in June 2011. Many companies are wary of booking too far in advance in the event of cancellation or postponement which in some cases is associated with hefty fees whereas some are simply taking advantage of favourable last minute rates and packages. The value of enquiries has increased as companies start to invest again in meetings and incentives. However at the same time, the destinations requested are usually closer to home.
Guillemot continues: “Businesses nowadays are much more return-on-investment focused. Budgets are cautiously growing but price is still a big deciding factor. Above all buyers are looking for flexibility and added value whilst remaining cost-effective.”