For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, group hotel nights in the third quarter matched 2019 levels. This according to the quarterly Global Events Barometer for Q3 2023 from the Events Industry Council, research that has consistently pointed to a sustained recovery in the sector.

However, while most indicators in the Barometer are positive for the global business events industry, various factors may contribute to a slowdown in 2024, including weakening economies worldwide and rising geopolitical tensions.

Key findings from EIC’s Q3 Global Events Barometer include:
Continued strength in Asia Pacific drove the recovery in global hotel group room nights, with North America and Western Europe almost fully recovered.

However, RFP activity in the third quarter for large and medium events fell from previous quarters, even with 2019 levels. Meanwhile small events declined to 87 percent of 2019 levels.

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Global economic forecasts are predicting weaker economic activity in 2024, with world economies slowing early in the year, followed by sluggish growth. Geopolitical hotspots top the list of possible downside risks in 2024, with the Middle East conflict, increasing US-China tensions and Russia’s war in Ukraine posing ongoing threats.
In addition, the survey found more than a quarter of businesses now blame sticky inflation for keeping interest rates higher for longer.

“Since we launched the Barometer in January 2022, we have observed a sustained uptick in events activity,” said EIC CEO Amy Calvert. “This points the way to a promising full recovery and continued evidence of the relevance of our sector and our industry’s true purpose— fostering human connections and collaboration.”

EIC’s Global Events Barometer was created in partnership with Oxford Economics, using data provided by Amadeus Hospitality, Cvent, the Global Business Travel Association and STR Global.