UK – MPI UK Impact Study indicates optimism in UK meetings industry
The second day of The Meetings Show UK (10 July) saw the release of the UK Economic Impact Study (UKEIS) by the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation.
The study states the UK meeting industry delivers £58.4 billion to the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP), providing significant value to the UK economy. According to the study, this makes a contribution three times greater than agriculture to the economy.
More than 1.3 million meetings were held in the UK in 2011 in more than 10,000 venues. This contributed to the £40 billion attendees spent attending meetings. The meetings industry is reported to be the UK’s 16th largest employer, with more than 515,000 individuals directly employed, and indirectly more than one million full time equivalent jobs.
The research was undertaken by the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH) from Leeds Metropolitan University, using the UN World Tourism Organisation methodology for the study.
This methodology is a globally accepted model that has already been utilised to conduct the same research in Canada, the United States, Australia, Mexico and Denmark. MPI claims that a direct comparison shows that as a percentage of GDP, the meeting industry has a more significant economic impact in the UK than in the US, Canada and Mexico.
“The UKEIS results are extremely positive and clearly demonstrate that the meeting industry delivers significant value to the UK economy,” said MPI president and chief executive officer, Paul Van Deventer.
“At MPI, we believe this research provides an invaluable tool for professionals in our industry to use to enhance the perception of the meeting industry in the UK – similar to how comparable studies have been utilised in the US and other countries. The success of this research provides a benchmark and example for other meeting professionals around the world to discover the value of the industry in their own country.”
Industry veteran Paul Kennedy MBE, director and owner of Integrated Solutions, said the results of UKEIS are incredibly positive. “Showing the meeting industry for what it is – bigger than agriculture, employing more than telecoms, having a greater contribution than legal or accounting – these are all significant industries with loud voices that have the ears of government and business leaders,” said Kennedy.
“It is time to take our place amongst them and as an industry determine a coherent and attainable call to action.”
Meanwhile, The Meetings Show UK breaks new ground, claiming the largest gathering of Hosted Buyer clans ever seen in the UK.