Global DMC Partners Releases 2023 Destination Index

Global DMC Partners (GDP) has released its “2023 Global Destination Index,” highlighting the most popular meeting and incentive destinations around the world. The listing was compiled based on both booked and pending business across GDP’s DMC partners worldwide.

“Our industry consistently serves as a robust gauge of global economic vitality,” shared GDP President and CEO Catherine Chaulet. “Upon examining these destinations, it becomes evident that business activities are thriving across the world, in contrast to the narratives frequently presented in the news. The MICE industry serves as an exemplary testament to this fact, underscoring the importance of monitoring the choices made by planners when it comes to destination selection.”

Top 10 International

  1. Spain (Barcelona, Madrid)
  2. Indonesia (Bali)
  3. France (Paris)
  4. Costa Rica (Guanacaste)
  5. Mexico (Punta Mita, Cancun)
  6. South Africa (Cape Town)
  7. Greece (Athens)
  8. England (London)
  9. Italy (Rome, Milan)
  10. Vietnam (Hanoi, Da Nang)

In this year’s international rankings, an extensive global presence was observed, encompassing nearly every continent, ultimately resulting in Spain achieving the top-ranking non-U.S. position.

“It is lovely to see the far-reaching destinations that have made this year’s list; finally, the world has opened up, giving more opportunities to planners and their attendees,” continued Chaulet. “Demand is at an all-time high, and the destinations in the top 10 are more diverse than in previous years.”

“Spain offers excellent air connections and infrastructures as well as a highly professional tourism industry,” said Antonia Riera Castell, head of MICE at Maximice Events Group, GDP’s Spanish partner. “Spain has it all: Amazing regional diversity, sophisticated cities, postcard-worthy beaches, fantastic weather and a high number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most of all, our gastronomy, offering a perfect blend of classic and avant-garde cuisine, creates unforgettable experiences and all at a very fair price-performance ratio.”

Top 10 U.S.

  1. California (Palm Springs, San Diego)
  2. Texas (Austin, Dallas)
  3. Illinois (Chicago)
  4. New York (New York City)
  5. Colorado (Denver)
  6. Florida (Miami, Orlando)
  7. Washington, D.C.
  8. Arizona (Scottsdale, Phoenix)
  9. Louisiana (New Orleans)
  10. South Carolina (Palmetto Bluff)

On the U.S. side, the “Golden State” took home the “gold.” With moderate temperatures, robust activities and diverse landscapes, from mountain and desert to sea, the third-largest state in the union has much to offer planners and their attendees. Major metropolitan cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco continue to attract large-scale programs, and secondary markets such as Palm Springs and San Diego are also stepping into the limelight with their own unique cultural experiences and world-class venues.

On both the U.S. and international rankings, a notable new trend is emerging. While some destinations once relied on a single city as the primary magnet for groups, a multitude of secondary locations are gaining prominence, significantly enhancing the overall appeal of various travel destinations.

A prime example can be found in Italy, where the allure of Rome and Milan has long captured the hearts of travelers; however, recent trends indicate a surge in interest in a range of secondary destinations within the country. Travelers are increasingly seeking out locations such as Lake Como, Sicily, Genoa, Venice, Puglia, Amalfi Coast and more as part of their Italian experience.

“This shift in travel preferences highlights a transformative aspect of the industry, where the popularity of destinations is no longer solely dependent on a few primary cities,” concluded Chaulet. “Instead, a diverse array of secondary locations is now collectively shaping the travel landscape, offering a rich and multifaceted experience to meeting and event attendees worldwide.”

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