What’s in Store for Meetings and Business in 2013
By Jennifer Juergens
“Cautiously optimistic” is how meeting planners and hoteliers characterize their business climate predictions. And while these business professionals seem pleased with the first quarter of 2013, they have also adopted a wait-and-see attitude—depending on what happens in the U.S. Congress, as it relates to government spending.
Travel to London saw a big uptick with the Olympics and will continue this year, according to Chris Lynn, vice president, North America and emerging markets – business tourism at London Partners, the city’s convention and visitors bureau.
“The fact that President Obama was reelected makes it business as usual for us,” Lynn said. “The relationship between London and the U.S. is critical, because 50 percent of European headquarters for Fortune 500 companies are in London. I think 2013 will be a year in which we will see a degree of business growth.”
Laura d’Elsa, New York-based regional director for the US and Canada, the German Convention Bureau, is also optimistic about international meetings and business events coming to Germany, citing heightened interest at trade shows.
“We are continuing to educate [businesses] that while they may spend more on flights, hotels are more affordable and they’ll get their VAT [tax] back,” d’Elsa said.
One business professional, who organizes international events, says she is not seeing any negative impact on her clients’ meetings for the upcoming year.