by by Sarah J.F. Braley | April 01, 2009

The Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo, held in Melbourne, Australia, Feb. 17-18, set records for numbers of exhibitors (868) and visitors (3,584, excluding exhibitors). Total attendance at the show was almost 10 percent higher than in 2008.

Washington State Senator Ed Murray (D-Seattle) has introduced a bill to expand Seattle's Washington State Con­vention & Trade Center at a cost of $766 million. The expansion would double the center's 205,700 square feet of exhibit space. Murray proposes paying for the expansion by using Seattle's 7 percent occupancy tax.

The Dallas City Council has approved agreements for a new convention center hotel with developer Matthews Southwest and hotel operator Omni Hotels. The city now will sell revenue bonds and finalize plans for the 1,000-room hotel, which will open in 2011.

Smith Travel Research ( has launched a new monthly Hotel Market Forecast to provide two years of forecast data for 42 European markets and submarkets.