IBTM Insights: The latest events industry trends and news

IBTM Insights: The latest events industry trends and news

Stay up to date with the industry’s latest topics and trends with our IBTM Insights column.

Business travel set for a shake up

Traditionally a large and complex industry dominated by a handful of billion-dollar global companies, the business travel sector has resisted change for a while now.

However, the further digitisation of the industry coupled with the increase in business travellers wanting to book and manage their own travel has attracted the interest of new players to this growing $1.4-trillion industry, including those from Silicon Valley.

Companies such as Travelperk, an online booking platform allowing you to book all your business travel in one place with a facility for employees to book their own within company policy, are emerging and filling a need for a smoother, more personal service.

Taptrip focuses on small businesses underserved by the sector, allowing them to book all their business travel and expenses in one place, and Rocketrip rewards employees for saving on business trips.

We expect there will be more businesses emerging in the business travel sector soon, which can only be a good thing for the end user – watch this space!

The events industry has the Government’s full attention

The long-awaited Tourism Sector Deal will see the business events industry benefit from a £250,000 investment for improved broadband connectivity in conference centres.

As well as this, the new International Business Events Action Plan aims to support the business events industry by creating business events to bring higher numbers of business travellers to the UK.

Michael Hirst OBE, Chair of the Events Industry Board said: “The Tourism Sector Deal and the International Business Events Plan are a fantastic leap forward for the tourism and hospitality industries. The plans provide a much-needed boost to the sector and showcase the government’s understanding of the importance of the tourism, hospitality and business events to the UK economy.”

Hong Kong’s MICE sector affected

The ongoing street protests against the government in Hong Kong have had consequences for the MICE industry there. The protests, which started in June, have meant that many conferences and exhibitions have been cancelled or postponed as visitors choose to stay away from the country amid mounting social unrest.

S&P Global Ratings say the hotel sector will be most affected. “Hotel owners are facing a 50 per cent drop in revenues, given August’s occupancy rate fell to 66 per cent and could further drop,” the ratings agency said in a recent report.

This is the sharpest downturn to affect Hong Kong’s tourism sector since the SARS outbreak in 2003. 34 countries or regions have issued warnings or alerts for travellers heading to Hong Kong.

The events industry addresses sustainability

Skift’s ‘Meetings Innovation Report’ shows that companies are organising events that make a measurable and positive impact on the local environment. Sustainability has been at the forefront of conversations across the events industry in 2019 and it’s refreshing to see that as an industry we’re all working towards taking a more sustainable approach wherever possible.

For example, new research conducted by Lime Venue Portfolio in partnership with BCD Meetings and Events has underlined the need for the event industry to take a lead in tackling food waste.

Positive Impact has long been at the forefront of raising awareness of sustainability in the events industry. In particular, the organisation seeks to engage the global events community in the United Nation’s sustainable development goals. This year, for the first time, the UN has invited businesses to speak about how they will combat climate change, and Positive Impact has put together a series of commitments from the events industry, which they presented to the UN at its Sustainable Development Goals Summit.

Find out more at Positive Impact’s session at IBTM World this year, in the sustainability and CSR stream of our Knowledge Programme here.

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