Hospitality Industry Statistics

Phocuswright Trending Data  on Hospitality Industry Statistics

In 2008, hospitality industry statistics showed that U.S. corporate groups, meetings and events market was riding high. The travel component alone (air, hotel, car rental and ground transportation) totaled US$39.3 billion. The broader online travel marketplace was growing at a healthy pace, and new technologies such as social media and virtual meetings were poised to make a powerful impact in the meetings space. But financial uncertainty in the second half of 2008 quickly gave way to a financial crisis and deep recession in 2009; the entire travel industry was knocked off track.


If 2009 was a difficult year for the travel industry as a whole, it was disastrous for corporate travel. The groups and meetings market declined nearly 30%, as meetings budgets were slashed. Public scrutiny of corporate behavior was at its zenith, amid reports of lavish events by the very corporations in need of massive government aid, and companies became far more vigilant about spend management. Inklings of a recovery were evident in the latter half of 2009, as the marketplace adjusted to the “new normal.” Even during the recession, however, online travel penetration has been a bright spot in the corporate meetings landscape; despite the significant downturn, the share of online travel transactions has grown consistently.


Hospitality Industry Statistics of Groups and Meetings


No doubt a recovery is underway, especially in the corporate travel marketplace. Yet a challenging economic climate, hospitality industry statistics in meetings management and new technologies have together ushered in a qualitatively different corporate meetings marketplace. Meetings have gotten smaller, travel spend is still highly scrutinized, and meetings management has moved up the corporate hierarchy. Increasingly, responsibility for meetings falls under procurement, where it may be integrated alongside transient travel management. As meetings become more strategic, companies are turning to Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP) practices to establish clear processes and standards, though many are choosing to customize the implementation rather than initiate an enterprise-wide undertaking.


On the technology side, online tools that help meeting planners and overseers manage a range of meeting and event functions have matured, and are driving significant efficiencies. One could argue that “emerging technologies” such as virtual and video teleconferencing, mobile and social media technology should be renamed, as they have clearly “emerged” and are making their presence felt in the meetings space. Virtual/video conferencing has begun to displace some physical meetings, and supplement others. Hospitality industry statistics show that heavy smartphone penetration among meeting attendees, mobile technology is being integrated into the groups and meetings space to add value and enhance.


When asked about the role their company’s procurement department plays in corporate meetings and events, meeting overseers mentioned cost-oriented areas of involvement most frequently – budget management, supplier negotiations, and payment processes and methods. Clearly, these functions have traditionally been associated with procurement.