The Key to Unlocking the MICE Industry for Hotels
Global Distribution Systems
By Jason Lewis-Purcell Vice President, GDS, SiteMinder | September 24, 2017
A lot is said about maximizing hotel revenue per available room, but what of revenue per available square meter?
It is a broadened mindset that may be needed from any hotel that aspires to attract the world's several million business travelers to their property but doesn't quite know where to begin. Indeed, as Hotel Analyst's Katherine Doggrell recently observed: "MICE has been a thorn in the side of the sector since windowless rooms with biscuits were invented. Any hotel worth its salt has to have them, but selling them is ... hardly an efficient process. Dead space in which many go to die."
What many hotels fail to realize is that behind every business traveler is a corporation. This means in essence that every booking is a lead to pursue bigger sales – from ancillary spend to, of course, group meetings.
According to the GBTA BTI™ Outlook – Annual Global Report & Forecast, global business travel spend approached $1.3 trillion in 2016 to represent a 3.5 percent year-on-year increase. Spending is also expected to accelerate over the next three years, advancing 6.1 percent in 2018, followed by around 7 percent growth in both 2019 and 2020.
Closer to home, in the U.S., for every percentage change in business travel spending, the local economy now gains or loses 74,000 jobs, $5.5 billion in GDP, $3.3 billion in wages and $1.3 billion in taxes. HotelsCombined estimates business travelers contribute $111.7 billion to the U.S. tourism industry each year, while, in the UK, Expedia estimates 60-65 percent of the 1.5 million meetings and business events that take place each year take place in hotels.
The stats are certainly aplenty and are evidence of the need for hotels to ensure the corporate market appears in their business mix. And, amongst the many ways, undeniably one of the most effective – albeit often-overlooked solutions in today's digital age – is the global distribution system. The GDS.