Atlanta Closes Out 2014 with Record Number of Meetings, Jump in Hotel Occupancy
Last year was a good one for Atlanta, with the city’s convention and visitors bureau unveiling that the city not only had a record number of citywide conventions, but it also hit milestones in hotel occupancy.
Atlanta hosted 21 major citywides in 2014 that generated more than $750 million in direct economic impact and drew nearly a million convention and event attendees, according to the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.
By year-end, occupancy levels for Atlanta neared 70 percent, a high not seen in the city in more than a decade.
As of November 2014, Atlanta ranked No. 1 for the highest growth rate in occupancy among the top 25 U.S. markets, according to Smith Travel Research (STR).
Atlanta’s convention hotels also experienced 11 percent occupancy growth from group meetings in 2014, which outpaced the top 25 U.S. metros that averaged four percent growth.
“These positive lodging numbers serve as evidence of Atlanta’s momentum in attracting new and return business,” said William Pate, president and CEO of ACVB.
He added, “Atlanta’s unparalleled accessibility and $1.5 billion in new development make the city a convenient and exciting destination for planners.”
Last year’s shows in Atlanta also saw strong attendee numbers. At the close of the year, 21 of the 23 largest conventions that met in Atlanta in 2014 met or exceeded their attendance goals.
American Coatings biennial Show met in Atlanta for the first time and experienced a 16 percent increase in attendance and 20 percent increase in exhibit space, compared with their 2012 show, which was held in Indianapolis.
Return clients also experienced growth. International Woodworking Fair (IWF), which meets biennially, attracted more than 23,450 attendees.
In addition, biennial supply chain and manufacturing giant MODEX welcomed a record 23,000 attendees in 2014.
This year looks to be off to a strong start as well. This month, conventions will draw approximately 200,000 attendees and garner an estimated $200 million in economic impact.
Major shows that will jumpstart Atlanta’s business for the year include AmericasMart International Gift and Home Furnishings Market, one of the largest markets of the year, and the annual International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE), which was named one of TSNN’s fastest-growing shows at the TSNN Awards held in November in Cleveland.