Groups and Meetings Market Will Reach $175B, Report Says

The groups and meetings market is ripe with opportunity for the travel industry, suggests a new report from Research and Markets, a Dublin, Ireland-based market research firm. Titled "Groups and Meetings: Market Opportunity Redefined," the report projects that by the end of 2008, revenue from the groups and meetings market will grow to $175 billion from an estimated $164.1 billion in 2006.

"This space is quickly becoming one of the industry's next major competitive battlegrounds," Research and Markets said in a press release, "and given the dollars at stake, it should be."

According to the report, the groups and meetings market has traditionally lagged behind other travel industry sectors when it comes to information technology. That's changing, however, it suggests, predicting that the market's new enthusiasm for technology will spur a new wave of growth and competition within it.

"Although developments in this market arena tend to be more evolutionary than radical, no one can afford to sit on the sidelines taking a wait-and-see approach," Research and Markets continued. "Given the tipping point this market is reaching, companies must be both proactive and agile and work aggressively to automate the entire distribution network and supply chain supporting groups and meetings or else risk ceding control of this space to competitors."

Of the $175 billion that the groups and meetings market is expected to generate this year, Research and Markets projects that 46 percent of the total will come from non-travel expenses, including meeting room rental, catering and audio/visual equipment. The remaining 54 percent will come from travel-related revenue, including that generated by air travel, hotel accommodations and car rentals. Of that, it says, 41 percent—or $39 billion—will be booked online.

For more information on the Research and Markets report, visit www.researchandmarkets.com.