FEB 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 6 headlines, trends & ideas The economic impact of meetings and events held in the U.S. has increased in terms of direct spending, attendance and number of meetings held, according to data recently released by the Events Industry Council (EIC). In January, the EIC re- leased preliminary results from its most recent Economic Significance Study, which was based on 2016 calendar year data. Compared to the last EIC study of this type, conducted in 2012: • There were 1.9 million meetings held in 2016, a 5 percent increase over 2012, when 1.8 million meetings were reported. • More than 250 million participants attended meetings in 2016, a 10 percent growth rate as compared to 2012. • There was more than $300 billion in direct spending related to events in 2016, which represented an 18 percent growth rate over 2012. "The data demonstrated the substantial impact that our industry has on the U.S. economy in terms of spending, jobs and taxes generated, and is extremely valuable for our industry in order to articulate the value of face-to-face events in our advocacy efforts," said Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, president and CEO of EIC. "We are currently exploring further studies outside the United States to better gauge and assess the global impact of our industry." n Coalition Launched To Encourage Foreign Travel to U.S. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants recently appointed Todd Ryan as regional director of sales and marketing for the group's 16 Mid-Atlantic area hotels, including 10 hotels in Washington, D.C., and one hotel each in Alexandria, Va.; Baltimore, Md.; Charlotte and Winston-Salem, N.C.; Savannah, Ga.; and Nashville, Tenn. Based at the Kimpton George Hotel in Washington, D.C., Ryan, who has more than 20 years of hotel and resort sales experience, will drive sales, catering and marketing activities for all segments across the Mid-Atlantic, as well as providing counsel on digital marketing, advertising and public relations efforts for the region. Kimpton's Mid-Atlantic portfolio has the highest concentration of properties in any U.S. region with more than 2,700 guest rooms and nearly 81,000 square feet of meeting and event space across the 16 hotels, and the brand continues to expand and evolve in these markets. n In response to lowered spending by interna- tional travelers during 2017, the U.S. Travel Association announced in January that it had launched a new coalition called Visit U.S. to deliver the message that the United States welcomes foreign visitors. "America is the best country in the world to visit but we're losing the competition for in- ternational travelers and the dollars they spend when they come here," said U.S. Travel Asso- ciation President and CEO Roger Dow. "The Visit U.S. Coalition is founded on the principle that we can have strong security but at the same time welcome robust numbers of international business and leisure travelers. We can do both. Visit U.S. is committed to helping make the U.S. both the most-secure and most-visited country in the world." An international trade report re- leased by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, showed that spending by international travelers to the U.S. dropped by 3.3 percent between November 2016 and November 2017, translating to a loss of $4.6 billion spent in the U.S. economy and a loss of 40,000 jobs. "For our country to have any hope of closing the trade gap, international inbound travel must perform, sim- ple as that," Dow said in reaction to the Commerce Department's report. "After almost a decade and a half of relatively sus- tained post-9/11 recovery, since 2015 there's been evidence that the country has gotten com- placent with the policies needed to support this vital economic engine and job creator." Among the trade groups in the Visit U.S. Co- alition are the American Gaming Association, American Hotel & Lodging Association, Amer- ican Society of Association Executives, Asian American Hotel Owners Association, Interna- tional Association of Exhibitions and Events, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, Society of Independent Show Orga- nizers and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. n Kimpton Hotels Names New Regional Director Of Sales & Marketing Ryan Study Finds Substantial Increase In Economic Impact of Events

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