GIBTM Meetings Industry Report detects growth

The Gulf Incentives, Business Travel
and Meetings Exhibition’s 4th Middle East Meetings Industry Report predicts
“significant growth potential, with increased numbers of events using a wider
range of destinations”.

The report, released at the GIBTM
show in Abu
Dhabi, 30 March, draws its conclusions from responses
from 458 buyers from 57 countries, the highest number since the survey began in
2007.

Fifty-eight per cent of buyers held
events in the Gulf/Middle East over the last 12 months, with the mean number of
delegates 204 (up from 154 last year and 143 the year before).

Mean budgets for
events in the region were slightly down, however, at US$495,400 (from
US$505,000).

Dubai.
Egypt, Abu Dhabi, Morocco, Jordan, Qatar and Oman
remain the dominant destinations in the region.

Other key figures in the report
include:

  • 35% said budgets
    for events in the region in 2010 have increased, with 47% saying they have
    stayed the same
  • 50% of buyers
    predict they will organise more events in 2010 and 35% the same
    amount
  • Cost is the most
    important influencing factor when placing events.

On the supplier side, lower levels
of events business was reported in 2009. The mean value of suppliers’ business in the
region was US$966,000 (down from US$1,030,250).
Other figures include:

  • 55% predict
    increased number of events in 2010.
  • 87% are looking to
    develop more business in the region.
  • 58% think the
    region has the most growth potential in the world.

MD of The Right Solution, Sally
Greenhill, who compiled the report, says: “Clearly 2009 saw a downturn in the
region, however it was lower than that experienced elsewhere.” She adds that
buyers are predicting this year will see the region bounce back with increased
numbers of events using a wider range of destinations. “Overall, suppliers
predict that the region has significant growth potential,” she says.

ICCA chief executive Martin Sirk
tells CN that order books are
looking positive for this region, with big associations and organisers saying
they want to bring their events to the Middle
East.

“Infrastructure and pricing have
stood in the way before, but that is set to change,” believes Sirk. “It is not
the strongest sectors that are bringing business to this area, but the sectors
that really need to meet, for example the financial sector. The area is moving
in an upwards direction, and this report confirms
that.”

Research for the
report was undertaken by GIBTM, in conjunction with meetme during January and
February 2010.  The full report can be found at www.gibtm.com.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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