Global Event Partners: Destinations Show Recovery

For many travel destinations, the economic recovery appears to be in full swing, according to Global Event Partners (GEP), a partnership of 65 destination management companies worldwide, which recently released its year-end results, showing that partner DMCs experienced a 19 percent increase in program revenue bookings in 2010 over 2009.

"Last year was definitely a rebound year," said GEP Chairman and CEO Chris White. "I am confident that 2011 will be even more robust. These are hard figures that show the meetings and incentive industry is on its way back. With total revenues for our partners topping $28 million last year, we are on our way to reaching the $33 million level we saw in 2007 before the collapse of the economy."

According to White, DMCs in international destinations, especially, are showing gains, as 10 of them — DMCs in Italy, Brazil and Eastern Europe were the top three — placed in GEP's top 25 destinations. Overall, GEP international partners recorded a 25 percent increase in program revenue bookings.

Domestically, the strongest DMC was in Chicago, which was joined in the top 10 by DMCs in Las Vegas, Texas, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco and Hawaii.

"To be honest, some of our partners experienced decreases in the past year, so the recovery has not reached everyone," White said. "However, the trend is there and will, I hope, soon spread to encompass all of our destination."