Hotels witness rise in meetings sector

The domestic conference market is worth £2.74 billion a year to the UK’s hotel industry, according to a recent report published by the Business Development Research Council (BDRC). The findings were revealed at the Hotel Marketing Association briefing last month and the report also stated that during the past five years, the market for business meetings in hotels has grown by 24% and accounts for one in three of all business nights. BDRC managing director Crispian Tarrant said: "The survey also revealed the trend was shifting away from training events being held in hotels, as more companies make their own internal arrangements to hold meetings. However, conference agents were still the favourite choice for organising larger scale events, particularly over weekends. Hotels hoping to boost weekend conference business should continue to target these agents to help boost their revenue." Hotel Marketing Association chairman Pamela Carvell believes the growth is the result of various factors. "The meetings market is growing and the hotel industry is approaching it more professionally," she said. "It’s difficult to say why this growth has occurred – whether it is a result of improved hotel facilities or just a growth in the overall conference market. There have been so many exclusive venues such as stately homes and museums marketing themselves to the conference industry recently, that it has made hotels realise they need to pull their socks up. This may account for the growth and improvements in hotel facilities."

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