MPI survey indicates a robust year ahead

The year ahead is showing all the signs of being a healthy one for the meetings industry, with spending on conferences forecast to increase by 3% and similar growth predicted for levels of employment, according to new research from MPI. The association’s Future Watch 2004 survey also highlights a robust travel trend likely to bring cheer to Europe’s hoteliers: North American planners indicate an 11% increase in outbound international meetings, which are expected to account for 22% of all meetings held, with 7% of these taking place in Europe. "The outlook for 2004 is certainly more positive than over the past couple of years," said MPI director of European operations and global development Didier Scaillet. "This is due to a number of factors, including the way corporate clients are coming to terms with operating travel programmes under the threat of terrorism, as well as an upturn in the economic environment on both sides of the Atlantic." Scaillet said he believed revitalised trading conditions resulting in more merger and acquisition activity would generate business for the conference industry, with companies needing to hold meetings to integrate work forces.

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