Group Business Demand Weaker in Fourth Quarter of 2019, Says Report
By Harvey Chipkin
Cvent, the event technology company, reported in its quarterly Group Business Outlook that US group demand for the fourth quarter of 2019 was down across the board year over year. The report projects a softening US group business market in 2020 but notes that data "suggests that the market will trend upwards in 2021." In the fourth quarter of 2019, the average US group room block size decreased by 2.4% year over year to 219.4 rooms. The average peak room nights dipped 1.8% to 73.7 rooms. The average event duration remained relatively flat, down 0.4% to 3.3 days. And the average booking window shrunk by 3.1 days, or 1.7%, to 183.8 days. The number of RFP’s awarded during the fourth quarter of 2019 was up 8.9% compared with 2018, representing 97.5% of the 12-month moving average. In the fourth quarter of 2018, such activity was up 16.8%, likely due to managers and planners securing business ahead of 2019 hotel company commission cuts.