Corporate bookings are on the move — in the right direction. So say the data in a Business Barometer report from the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

IACVB surveyed its member cities in late April to gauge how sales leads and definite bookings had fared during the turbulent first quarter of 2003. It found 22 percent of respondents reporting corporate leads higher in the first quarter of 2003 compared to the same period in 2002, with association business even sunnier — 43 percent cited better numbers than 2002.

Overall, more than 60 percent of convention and visitors bureaus report that sales leads and definite bookings have remained stable or have increased for first quarter 2003 over first quarter 2002.

Respondents say they believe economic conditions have had the greatest impact on their business. On a scale of 1 to 5 (1=no impact; 5=very high impact), they rated economic conditions 3.9, compared to the Iraq war, 2.7; terrorism, 2.5; reduced air flights, 2.3; and SARS, 1.4.