U.S. Group Travel and Meetings Market To Reach $175 billion By 2008 

The U.S. groups and meetings market is projected to reach $175 billion by 2008, providing a major revenue stream to move online, according to a new report from PhoCusWright. By 2008, 41% (or $39 billion) of all groups and meetings travel revenue will be booked online. 
  • Travel (air, hotel, car rental, ground transportation, cruise and tour) represents 54% of the total market.
  • Non-travel expenses (e.g., meeting rooms, catering, audio/visual equipment) represent the remaining 46%. 

The online opportunity will be even greater for small leisure gatherings - family reunions, weddings and religious groups - which will have online penetration of 53% by 2008, nearly three times the rate of larger leisure groups.

PhocusWright advises travel companies to apply Travel 2.0 capabilities to the groups and meetings arena, placing particular emphasis on the elements of community, user-generated content and social networking.

The rise in new market entrants (e.g., Groople, Group Travel Planet, TripHub) and efforts by established players to automate portions of the groups and meetings lifecycle will help to draw attention to the technology tools, educate the marketplace and encourage people to book electronically online.

An Executive Summary of the report Groups and Meetings: Market Opportunity Redefined is available here. 

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