Brace, brace! Inflation hits meetings and events

An influx of events – and shorter lead times – are driving up prices across venues, accommodation, F&B and production.

For MICE, average cost-per-attendee in 2022 is expected to be around 25% higher than 2019 levels, and is likely to rise a further 7% in 2023.
For MICE, average cost-per-attendee in 2022 is expected to be around 25% higher than 2019 levels, and is likely to rise a further 7% in 2023. Photo Credit: GettyImages/ FabrikaCr

Pent-up demand and shorter lead times for events, varying from one to three months, are driving high prices for meetings and events, according to the 2023 Global Business Travel Forecast, published by travel management platform CWT and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

This is particularly noticeable within Asia Pacific, the forecast report says, with ongoing restrictions in countries such as China prompting clients to ensure their events take place as quickly as possible.

Asia Pacific also saw the sharpest increase in catering costs, with the average F&B spend per attendee in 2022 up by around 120%, compared to 2019.

According to the report, airline prices in Asia Pacific will rise significantly in 2022 across the region but will remain below 2019 levels. As for hotel room rates, destinations with open borders will continue to drive strong inbound traffic, putting upward pressure on hotel rates, as seen most recently in Singapore. Rates in China and Japan are unlikely to increase due to significant travel restrictions keeping rates low.

Singapore also ranks as APAC's top corporate event destination next year, followed by Tokyo, Port Douglas, Phuket and Brisbane, based on forward bookings by CWT Meetings and Events clients.

In the report, CWT Meetings & Events states that many hotels and venues in key markets are fully booked for large groups until 2024, such that barring any Covid-related resurgence and accompanying travel restrictions or severe geographic political upheavals, prices are likely to continue to increase in 2023.



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