Orlando, Chicago top most popular convention destinations
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Cities around the U.S. frequently play host to business meetings and conventions, and while popular travel destinations such as New York City and Los Angeles certainly attract their fair share of businessmen and women, they are not the top destinations in the country. A recent study from Cvent Inc. revealed that Orlando, Fla., stood out as the top business travel spot for 2013, and was followed closely by Chicago, Las Vegas, Atlanta and San Diego.
Analysts say the results suggest that smaller cities are making a concerted effort to appeal to businesses, with many of them building state-of-the-art convention centers in an effort to lure big-name events away from larger cities. For instance, National Harbor, Md., which is home to only about 3,800 people, landed at No. 26 on the list, above big cities such as Indianapolis and St. Louis because of the new Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
"What's happened with National Harbor is an entirely new destination has been created,'' industry insider David Furnish told USA Today.. "The anchor to the destination was Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, whose growing popularity has led to development of housing, restaurants, hotels and office space throughout the community."
Regardless of where business travelers are headed, and whether they are staying in serviced apartments or corporate housing, they are responsible for a large segment of the economy. According to the U.S. Travel Association, businessmen and women are responsible for approximately $246 billion in spending each year.