According to a recent forecast from PKF Consulting and the International Association of Conference Centers, North American conference centers should see continued growth in both occupancy and and revenue per available room.

"The level of booking activity for most markets in the fourth quarter of 2003 was substantially greater than in the prior year and greater than in any other quarter of the year, and early returns for 2004 indicate that this increased level of activity is being sustained," said PKF Consulting Executive Vice President David E. Arnold, who oversaw the study, in a press release.

In the report, "IACC/PKF Consulting Trends in the Conference Center Industry, a Statistical and Financial Profile for 2003," Arnold says that this year’s occupancy rates will grow significantly, leading to increased rate growth next year. While those on the coasts are recovering more quickly, centers in the central states are also seeing progress.

Arnold also reports that "most meeting planners that we have spoken with recently believe that their activity will increase this year due to both improvement in the economy and pent-up demand for training and management development meetings."

Contact Claude Vargo at (404) 842-1150, ext. 237, or e-mail claude.vrgo@pkfc.com, for information on how to purchase a copy of the report.