Here Are the Country's Top Destinations for Meeting Planners

The United States is home to three of the top destinations being eyed by meeting planners looking to book events for the coming two years.

In what should not be entirely surprising news, the cities of New York, Chicago and Las Vegas are among the most popular choices in North America, according to a new DestinationMAP (Meeting Assessment Program) study from STR.

The comprehensive study, which delves into the preferences and perceptions of meeting planners, covers 42 North American markets. It is now in its 18th edition.

New York, Chicago and Las Vegas weren’t the only U.S. cities that ranked well. The other most common destinations that meeting planners are considering using in the next two years are Orlando and Washington D.C.

“All five markets are particularly popular in what we define as the largest meeting size segment (1,000+ attendees) along with Atlanta, Dallas and Austin,” Chris Klauda, STR’s senior director, market insights, said according to “New to the list of 42 markets evaluated is Puerto Rico. While not in the list of top destinations, a notable 4 percent of the 1,000 meeting planners surveyed plan to hold a meeting in Puerto Rico in the next two years.”

Additional highlights from the 2019 DestinationMAP include:

—London was selected by more than one in four planners as an international meeting destination in the next three years followed by Paris.

—A majority of meeting planners require more than one hotel for at least one of their events planned in the past 12 months. Not surprisingly, the largest meeting size segment was even more likely to require more than one hotel.

—Safety, cleanliness, value and accessibility remain the most important considerations for the majority of meeting planners when selecting a meeting site.

—All planner segments show general consistency in the magnitude of importance for most considerations. A few exceptions are association planners who place less emphasis on recreational considerations, and the largest meeting size planners who place more emphasis on logistical considerations.

—The presence of panhandlers is an issue for meeting planners with four in 10 ruling out a destination for this reason.

—Roughly one-fourth of meeting planners attended local/national Meetings Professionals International (MPI) and IMEX events in the last year. Just under one-third of meeting planners did not attend such events.

—Louisville, Austin, Denver and Nashville showed the greatest year-over-year increase in group hotel demand.

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