Business & Finance

Kindred Resorts & Hotels Share Projected Meeting Trends for 2017

Experiential teambuilding activities, local cuisine and wellness see increase for group bookings

RICHMOND, VA. December 15, 2016 — As 2016 winds down and planners begin scheduling for 2017 meetings and events, Kindred Resorts & Hotels, a collection of independent hotels and resorts uniquely focused on the group and meetings market in North America, has announced their findings on 2017 meetings trends based on the results of a recent survey among the brand’s 64 properties. The impressive properties that make up the collection are known for their strong meetings programs including compelling culinary and wellness offerings, unique outdoor and experiential teambuilding activities, meeting spaces that go beyond the boardroom and exclusive packages.

Projected revenue is trending up

According to the survey, 61 percent of properties met their 2016 projected revenue for group business and 66 percent of properties reported that booked revenue for 2017 is trending up from the previous year, with the strongest projected quarters being the second and third (39 percent each).

Trends on the rise for 2017

One anticipated meetings trend for 2017 is the increase in outdoor programming and experiential, destination-focused teambuilding activities. Groups are more and more wanting to get out of the boardroom and explore the destination, partaking in authentic, local experiences, whether it be paddle boarding on Lake Austin, snowshoeing in Colorado, hiking in Vermont, golfing in Pebble Beach, or fishing excursions in Florida. Community service activities are also becoming popular with groups and provide a great teambuilding opportunity to come together in helping others.

Kindred’s properties also cited the increase in wellness and healthy, local culinary offerings for meetings and coffee breaks. Thirty percent of those surveyed noted that soda requests are decreasing, and as an alternative, meeting attendees are requesting beverages such as water, smoothies or organic juices. Gluten-free menus have been the most requested dietary option (61 percent) followed by vegetarian (32 percent). Responding to this rising health trend, many of the Kindred hotels offer sustainably grown and locally produced food, organic gardens, specialized menus, healthy cooking classes and more to help meet demands from these groups.

Trends on the decline

The survey notes that on the decline are formal events, as well as the more traditional meeting breaks and conference rooms. Guests are favoring receptions and causal beach barbecues or clambakes over more formal seated dinners with suit and tie requirements. Additionally, with so many unique meeting and break-out venue options from rooms with incredible views and a sense of place to renovated barns, upscale guesthouses, luxury boats, gardens and more, the need for a traditional meeting room is no longer as necessary for productivity.

“Across the board, 2017 booked business is up and the group trends we are seeing are centered around experiences and health,” said Bree Brostko, Managing Director of Kindred Resorts & Hotels. “Meeting planners are looking to break off from the traditional board room conferences and offerings and get outside, experience the destination and truly get a taste of the local culture and cuisine.”

For more information on Kindred Resorts & Hotels, please visit www.meetkindred.com.

About Kindred Resorts & Hotels

Kindred Resorts & Hotels is a collection of independent hotels and resorts in North America focused exclusively on the group and meetings market. The consortia is a division of the Resort Hotel Association (RHA), an insurance purchasing collective for independent hoteliers. Kindred was formed to help boutique properties that offer authentic, highly personalized experiences build awareness and inquiry from the group, meetings and events markets. With 64 participating properties across the United States, each venue offers uniquely authentic and local experiences, which vary from rustic lakeside retreats to luxury golf resorts and destination spas. For more information, visit, www.meetkindred.com or follow on social media: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

CONTACT:
Emma Silverman
Eleven Six PR
emma@elevensixpr.com
646.780.0159

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.