The figure is slightly higher than the European average increase of 2.4%, compared to an overall rise of 1.1% in 2015. At the same time, there are expected to be fewer hotel openings globally, with Europe witnessing the greatest decline. Next year will see 404 new hotels open, compared to 587 in 2015, with midscale properties the most popular. While 38 properties opened in London last year, 19 are expected to open in 2016. The report showed that this slower rate of hotel openings reflects the high number of properties already in the city, and the cost of the destination.
When it comes to group air trends, the research shows increased capacity on major routes across Europe and a predicted 1.9% increase in rates for 2016. Meanwhile 'budget' and 'destination' are the core factors affecting meeting planning. Some 24% of respondents cited cost as key, while a further 22% said they needed to assess specific locations, for example proximity to an airport or training facility.
Christina Wilkes, director of meetings & events at American Express, said the rise in budgets for event planners, which was announced at ibtm world today, was in part due to the increased cost. "Delegates are looking for a different experience and more interaction. But we're also seeing budgets increasing due to the cost of travel."
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