Germany's image as a meeting and event destination is constantly improving
Thursday 27, May 2010
Despite a strong decline in demand both suppliers and organisers from Germany and abroad still consider Germany the number one meeting destination by far.
Around 80 per cent of both groups are convinced that Germany's image as a meeting and event destination is constantly improving - this was the strikingly unanimous result of the Meeting & Event Barometer. Initiated by the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC), the German Convention Bureau (GCB) and the German National Tourist Board (DZT), the survey on the German meeting and event market was presented at IMEX trade fair yesterday. In 2010 the initiators commissioned the European Institute for the Meetings Industry (EITW) to conduct the survey for the fourth time already.
Importance and development of the business travel market
According to the data from the DZT and IPK International (World Travel Monitor) the business travel segment held a market share of 27 per cent (9.6 million) of all European trips to Germany in 2009, a decisive locational advantage for marketing Germany world-wide as a travel destination. However, the global economic crisis caused a decline in business travel of eight per cent. While traditional business trips (total share of business trips: 53 per cent) only posted a rather moderate loss of three per cent down from the previous year, the number of promotable business trips to fairs and exhibitions and conventions, meetings and events decreased by twelve per cent.
A total of 2.46 million events took place in 2009 (down 10.9 per cent from 2008), attended by 302 million people (down 4.8 per cent) - four times more than the German population. International attendees accounted for a stable 5.5 per cent.
The supply side remained more or less unchanged from 2008: Germany has a total of 6,412 meeting and event venues (plus one per cent). According to the findings of the Meeting & EventBarometer organisers now have more meeting hotels (up 2.3 per cent) and more event centres (up 1.5 per cent) to choose from.
Impact of the economic and financial crisis
The impacts of the global economic crisis differed among suppliers. In event centres the number of events only fell slightly by 1.5 per cent. Special venues saw a 5.3 per cent decline, while meeting hotels faced a loss of 14.9 per cent.
Organiser reticence caused by the uncertain economic situation had a particularly strong impact on seminars and meetings, which mostly take place in meeting hotels. In addition, the share of small events with up to 100 attendees, which account for around three-quarters of all events in Germany, fell by 2.6 percentage points in 2009. In contrast, the number of events with over 500 people went up by 2.5 percentage points.
Bavaria and Berlin-Potsdam most popular
Bavaria is the organisers' favourite federal state, followed by North Rhine Westphalia, Hessen and Baden-Wurttemberg. The most popular metropolitan regions are Berlin-Potsdam, Munich and environs and the Rhine-Main area.
Facing the future with optimism
A good half of all interviewed suppliers and organisers believe that we have reached the nadir of the economic crisis and that things are now looking up again. They see great potential above all in the field of virtual communication and in growing demand for green meetings in Germany. Around 67 per cent of suppliers intend to invest in their own product (hardware) in 2010, while only one-third want to raise prices. Especially meeting hotels believe that VAT reduction will give the market an additional boost. Germany already scores high on an international level for the excellent value for money of its hotels.
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