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29 August 2012 | Anna Reynolds
Barcelona, Brussels and Paris are experiencing the strongest growth in hotel rates in Europe due to an increase in business meetings, according to the annual Grass Roots Meetings Industry Report.
Barcelona has seen four-star hotel meeting rates increase by 30 per cent in 2012, while Brussels and Paris have seen an increase of 27 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.
Overall meetings spend across Europe for 2012 has also increased, although at a slower rate (four per cent) than in 2011 (five per cent). Most of the growth is coming from training centres, with hotel bookings increasing year on year.
However, not all cities are seeing growth: Athens is suffering the largest fall in meeting package rates and prices, dropping by 39 per cent in the four-star market.
Geneva’s five-star hotels, meanwhile, now rank as the most expensive meeting hotels in Europe, bringing average day delegate rates to €153 (£121) per person.
Alan Newton, global supply chain director at meetings, events and communications agency Grass Roots, said: “The forecast for the remainder of 2012 looks largely favourable for hotels. After seeing a large dip in meetings activity before and during the Olympics, we are now seeing an upsurge in events for Q4 of 2012 and 2013.”
The report also revealed that clients are reducing the number of suppliers they use to mitigate risk and manage contracts more effectively. “More procurement teams are beginning to work closely with their event teams to organise business meetings with clients and get better value from these meetings.
“Businesses can then understand where spend goes and increase savings through meetings over time.”
Grass Roots carried out its survey with 1,800 hotels across Europe.