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Meanwhile, the Middle East region continues to add to its meetings and events industry infrastructure, which includes the ongoing expansion in hotel construction. The September 2011 STR Global Construction Pipeline Report notes that for this region, taken together with Africa, the hotel development pipeline comprised 481 hotels totaling 130,479 rooms.

Elizabeth Randall, managing director of STR Global, was quoted as saying:

‘The room growth in the region still continues, as 4,390 rooms have been added to the total active pipeline since August. With 36,205 rooms in the region's pipeline for 2012 and 29,260 rooms planned for 2013, it is clear the Middle East/Africa region is still an attractive region for development’.

Year-­‐to-­‐date 2011, 50 hotels have opened in the region with 9,663 rooms. In the remainder of the year, the region is expecting 69 more hotels to open with 15,420 rooms. During 2012, 131 hotels are planned to open with 36,205 rooms.


Following a sharp decline in the business events sector in Australia in 2009, this sector has recaptured some of these losses, with the latest figures from Tourism Research Australia showing that total visitor expenditure for business events rose 7 percent (or by AUD 539 million in nominal terms) to AUD 8.4 billion last year. However, this recovery is still only partial, as total expenditure remains around AUD 1.2 billion lower compared to 2008 estimates of spending on business events. Nevertheless, the sector is now showing more broader signs of recovery, with growth in expenditure in most business events visitor segments: international (up strongly by 16 percent), domestic overnight (up 5 percent), while there was a 1 percent fall in domestic day business events visitor expenditure.

Tourism Research Australia statistics also show business events visitor sector performance by type of business event: conference/convention seminar; trade fair/exhibition; incentive, and business meeting. In terms of expenditure, business meetings are responsible for around 70 percent of expenditure for each of the visitor segments. The combined conferences, conventions and seminar segment provides around 29 percent of business events visitor expenditure, while trade fairs/exhibition and incentive travel hold a smaller share.

Data published in May 2011 shows that visitor expenditure from those attending a business meeting in Australia increased moderately in 2010, compared to 2009, (up 5 percent or by AUD300 million to AUD5.9 billion), supported by stronger growth in visitors. However, of note is the large decrease in incentive travel expenditure last year; down 19 percent. Expenditure made by these visitors is now down by around a quarter, compared to just two years before.

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