The British Tourism Partnership (BTP) has forecast a £1b jump in business tourism revenue for 2005.
The upbeat message was delivered by BTP chairman Michael Hirst at the Tourism Society's annual Prospects meeting at the Sofitel St James hotel in London yesterday.
He predicted that business tourism receipts would grow by 5.6% to £19b this year.
The partnership, which represents nineteen trade associations and government agencies involved in conferences, exhibitions, meetings and incentives, points to a full government calendar of high-level meetings and conferences.
It begins with the visit of the International Olympic Committee in February, followed by the Middle East conference in March.
July will see 5,000 delegates and observers travel to Scotland as a result of the G8 summit at Gleneagles and the UK's presidency of the European Union will trigger a series of events in the second half of the year.
A May general election would provide a further boost to the sector.
Government events account for about 25% of UK conferences and meetings. As a result of the busy schedule, the BTP believes this figure could be exceeded in 2005.
Hirst said: "Demand for meetings and exhibitions is being boosted by a very competitive economy."
Over the last ten years business trips to Britain have grown by 53% and now represent 31.7% of total inbound tourism spend and 20% of all tourism.
by Tom Bill
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