A survey on hotel and convention center development conducted in January by the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau shows construction projects still moving forward, but at a slower pace than in recent years. Seventy-nine convention and visitors bureaus from the U.S. and Canada participated, and additional sources used in the analysis included Tradeshow Week, Smith Travel Research, The Runzheimer Guide to Daily Travel Prices, and D.K. Shifflet and Associates. Among the results of CCTB’s 11th Annual Competitive Analysis Report:
-Of the 79 cities who responded, 45 expect increases in their hotel guest room inventory, a slight decrease from the 65 percent that projected inventory increases in last year’s survey. Columbus, Ohio leads the pack with 2,000 rooms expected to come online by the end of 2002.
-2.2 million square feet of new exhibit space became available at convention centers between August 2000 and July 2001—more than double the amount of space that became available the previous year, but below projections.
-16.8 million square feet of exhibit space is due to open between July 2001 and December 2006, a much slower rate of growth (2.4 percent) than the 15.5 percent increase reported in last year’s survey.
-Convention and visitors bureau budgets in 2001 were expected to increase 5.5 percent over 2000, compared to an 8.2 percent increase in 2000. Also, several cities reported that they had cut their budgets after September 11. Las Vegas has the biggest budget, followed by Hawaii and Orlando.