by Allen J. Sheinman | March 15, 2018
When it comes to choosing a destination, meeting planners say a safe environment and a clean/attractive place are the two most important factors in their decision, according to a new study from STR, the Hendersonville, Tenn.-based research firm that tracks supply and demand data for multiple market sectors, including the global hotel industry.
 
The findings appear in the new STR DestinationMAP survey, which STR conducts every two years. Results are based on completed surveys from 865 meeting professionals who have planned gatherings of 100 or more attendees and who considered at least three of 40 major North American meeting markets for their events.
 
The following are the characteristics considered "very important" when selecting a meeting site, per the study:
 
Safe environment (85 percent)
Clean/attractive place (80 percent)
Easy for delegates to get to (77 percent)
Value for the money (74 percent)
Convenient airline service (73 percent)
Number of hotel rooms available (73 percent)
Travel costs to destination (66 percent)
Moderate lodging costs (58 percent)
Casual and/or affordable dining options (48 percent)
Local transportation (48 percent)
Availability of financial/other concessions (48 percent)
Variety of things to do (43 percent)
Climate (39 percent)
 
Of the 865 respondents, 348 (40 percent) were corporate, 251 (29 percent) were association and 266 (31 percent) were third-party planners.