Ian Dunlop - who lives in the city - said the Scottish city was missing out on a major revenue stream by not having a "top notch" hotel near Aberdeen`s Exhibition and Conference Centre.
Mr Dunlop told members of the city`s economic development sub-committee that the £16m figure is a result of major conference organisers making strong bids to come to the city but having to end up going elsewhere due to the lack of a lack of a convenient big, good quality hotel.
The figure is especcially galling, he adds, due to the fact that Aberdeen outperformed every major city and town in the UK - Gatwick and Heathrow aside - in terms of occupancy rates last year.
Overall, the value of tourism to Aberdeen every year is around £250 million - most of it is business-related. The downside of this, however, is that Aberdeen loses out in the leisure market, thus attracting fewer pleasure tourists.
Mr Dunlop said: "It is unlikely that the leisure visitor is going to come to Aberdeen on a Wednesday night and pay the same hotel rate as a business visitor.
"Scotland is not a cheap destination - business prices squeeze out leisure and Aberdeen suffers."