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Travel Management

 August 23, 2010
Maxvantage Survey: 60% of Travel Buyers View Meetings Market as Stable

 Maxvantage, an alliance formed between American Express Business Travel and Maritz Travel, has released data from its Travel Buyers Survey. Among the findings, 60 percent of respondents indicated that the meetings industry is gradually improving and feel it is stable. The survey results also suggest that a mild recovery is evident based upon the increased difficulty travel buyers noted they are having with finding meeting space availability when compared to six months ago.

"Across the industry attitudes are increasingly optimistic as corporations are starting to invest in meetings again and travel and meeting professionals begin scheduling meetings," said Issa Jouaneh, vice president, Maxvantage and Global Meeting Solutions. "This renewed demand is making availability more challenging and is resulting in slight rate increases. By leveraging our extensive data repository to anticipate such industry dynamics, we are able to provide the insight to more acutely advise our clients through the meetings management process."

Travel Buyer's Survey

Maxvantage's Travel Buyers Survey, which was conducted in June, polled 90 respondents with direct responsibility for strategic meetings management. According to the survey results, respondents indicated they are beginning to see a mild recovery as more travel buyers find it increasingly difficult to find meeting room availability and more challenging to negotiate favorable rates. When compared to six months ago, Travel Buyers felt the following:

"With market conditions changing, and indicators pointing to a move back toward a seller's market, it is essential that meeting professionals stay focused and aware of current trends happening in the industry," said Steve O'Malley, senior vice president and general manager, Maxvantage. "Over the course of the past two years, because of the buyer's market environment, year over year savings has been easier to achieve. With prices firming, it's critical to look at all parts of the meeting equation - participant count increases, room and food and beverage rates, and firmer terms and conditions - to ensure meetings are achieving the desired return on investment and optimal savings."

Maxvantage Hotel Room Rate Data

Annual hotel rate data from Maxvantage also revealed that since January 2010 the drop in hotel rates started to level off and in second quarter hotel rates showed signs of stabilization. Looking back, at the 2010 negotiating season, first quotes from hotels dropped from a maximum of $226 in May 2008 to a minimum of $134 in September 2009.

While rates for top destinations continue to drop, the decrease in hotel rates year-over-year are not as severe as the drop from 2008-2009.

About the Travel Buyers Survey and Proprietary Data:

Maxvantage and eXpert insights teamed up to combine the results from the Travel Buyers Survey, which is conducted every six months, with proprietary data based on clients' strategic meetings management programs which encompasses more than 1.5 million hotel bookings annually. This information was used to create a new report entitled: "Strategic Meetings Management: The Next Cost Savings Opportunity."

www.americanexpress.com/businesstravel
www.maritz.com