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AIPC Member Survey shows centres outperforming GDP

AIPC’s recently completed annual Performance and Prospects Survey for 2015 has again confirmed that growth in centre business is outpacing that of the overall global economy. AIPC member centres documented revenue increases for 2014 that are more than two percentage points higher than worldwide GDP as tracked by the IMF, lending further strength to the idea that the industry is actually helping drive economic growth instead of simply responding to recovery.

The survey has been tracking industry performance and confidence levels for six years, making it one of the most extensive bodies of centre-related information in the industry. It has now evolved to a point where it supports regional comparisons as well as those relating to client expectations for the same time periods, making it a powerful vehicle for centre planning and performance benchmarking.

Key findings included;
• There was strong (5.8%) revenue growth amongst worldwide in 2014 compared to 3.1% in 2013;
• Europe experienced its strongest increase in revenue growth with a 7.7% increase vs. 2.8% in 2013;
• Last year also saw the strongest attendance growth since 2011, with a world-wide average of 4.5%;
• At the same time, major capital investment projects are slowing, with 63% of members saying they had some type of major new development or expansion project underway or in planning stages vs. 71% the previous year. However, facility renovation projects are increasing;
• Africa continues to be the fastest growing region of the world, with African centre members expanding gross revenues by over 15% in 2014;

• Confidence is slightly lower, with a total of 74% of members around the world considering the strength of the economic growth in their region to be moderate or strong, down from 79% of members in 2014. Asian members continue to anticipate the strongest economic relative to other regions.

The survey also explored what AIPC member centres regarded as the greatest threats to both continuing economic growth in their respective regions as well as to their own business. The top risks to sustained economic recovery were considered to be:
 • Overall economic weakness (58% of members)
• Government policies, including reduced spending (47% of members)

In terms of ongoing risks specific to their centre’s business, centres identified:

 • Growing competition from other centres / regions: 72%
• Hotel availability and pricing: 43%

In addition to tracking performance information, a special section of the survey took a close look at a variety of elements in the centre / DMO interface, including roles, responsibilities, reporting relationships and mechanisms for managing performance in one of the most frequently discussed aspects of the community interface.

“Our Annual Survey continues to be one of the most valuable means we have for tracking both actual and anticipated performance, and it has now been fine-tuned to a point where it enables both multi-year and regional comparisons”, says AIPC President Geoff Donaghy. “This kind of information is enabling members to plan and demonstrate performance more effectively than ever before in a time when rapidly changing conditions make this a necessity”.

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