The top five U.S. destinations that meeting planners are choosing to use most in the next two years are New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando and Washington, D.C., according to STR‘s 2019 DestinationMAP (Meeting Assessment Program).

For international meetings, London topped the list and was followed by Paris.

The report surveyed 1,000 meeting planners' preferences and perceptions of 42 North American cities, plus six international cities.

New York, Chicago and Las Vegas are the top North American markets that meeting planners intend to use in the next two years.

DestinationMAP is a comprehensive study of meeting planners and the meetings market in North America now in its 18th year. The report surveys meeting planners’ preferences and their perceptions of 42 North American markets.

Following New York (23%), Chicago (22%) and Las Vegas (20%), the other most common destinations that meeting planners look to use in the next two years are Orlando (19%) Washington D.C. (19%).  The cities that showed the greatest year-over-year increase in group hotel demand were Louisville, Austin, Denver and Nashville.

“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,” said Chris Klauda, STR’s senior director, market insights. “New to the list of 42 markets evaluated is Puerto Rico. While not in the list of top destinations, a notable 4% of the 1,000 meeting planners surveyed plan to hold a meeting in Puerto Rico in the next two years.”

Other key findings 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.