Industry’s prospects positive for 2020 after challenging 2019, says mia

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A growth in enquiry levels for 2020 will allow the business meetings and events industry to start the new year with optimism after a challenging 2019, says the Meetings Industry Association (mia).

According to figures gathered for the latest edition of miaTouchstone, enquiry levels rose by 5% in 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

Enquiry levels are used as a key indicator of future prospects for the meetings industry, which is why the mia is looking ahead to 2020 with cautious optimism. 

While the industry can look ahead to 2020 with some positivity, figures gathered from mia members for miaTouchstone demonstrate that many have had a ‘mixed’ and ‘challenging’ 2019.

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Data collected to the end of September 2019 also highlights contrasting trends in rates and business activity levels at the UK’s business meetings and events venues.

Although average DDR grew by around 3% in 2019 and 24-hour residential rates have risen 2%, there was a decline of 15% in the average number of meetings held during 2019.

The continuing political and economic uncertainty caused by the Brexit referendum and the forthcoming general election are thought to be behind the slow down.

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia, said: “Despite the fall in meetings numbers, it is encouraging to hear that rates have proved resilient and are likely to achieve modest growth over the year.

“The industry and the economy as a whole, has continued to face ongoing challenges this year driven by the outcome of Brexit and the forthcoming General Election, which is what makes sources of data like miaTouchstone so valuable to those looking to compare activity levels and forecast for the future.

“With so much uncertainty around us as we move towards the end of the year, it is heartening to see that enquiry levels are higher than they were at the end of 2018.”