Paris, Costa Rica Are Top Destinations for Meetings, Incentives

Author: Curt Wagner       

meetings and destinations

Boats glide across the water off the Pacific Coast in Quepos in Costa Rica. The South American nation is the top spot for incentive travel in Global DMC Partners’s 2019 Global Destination Index. (Visit Costa Rica)

Paris and Costa Rica top Global DMC Partners’s 2019 Global Destination Index, which presents the most popular meeting and incentive destinations for 2019 and identifies up-and-coming markets that are already trending for 2020.

Paris leads the list of most popular global destinations for meetings and conferences, while Costa Rica tops the list for incentives. The most popular destinations trending for 2020 are San Diego for meetings and conferences, and Greece for incentives.

The 2019 Global Destination Index is based on data from nearly 7,000 meeting and incentive programs in the more than 500 destinations represented by Global DMC Partners, the largest global network of independently owned destination management companies and creative event experts.

This year for the first time, Global DMC Partners separated the data into two categories — meetings and incentives — to highlight how cities attract different types of groups. In past years, the data was split regionally between international and North America.

“During a time when travel is more accessible to the masses than ever before, we have a responsibility to inform and educate in order to alleviate overtourism and undertourism,” Global DMC Partners President and CEO Catherine Chaulet said in a press release. “The meetings and events industry must bring awareness to emerging or secondary destinations while showcasing ‘hidden gems’ within popular markets to avoid already overly toured areas.”

See all four complete lists of destinations below.


RELATED: Convene addressed the problem of — and explored the business events industry’s role in — overtourism in its September issue.


meetings and incentives

Visitors observe “The Bean” in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Chicago came in as the third most popular destination for meetings and conferences. (Graham Chapman)

Top 2019 Global Destinations for Meetings & Conferences

  • Paris
  • Copenhagen
  • Chicago
  • San Francisco
  • Budapest
  • Orlando
  • Barcelona
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Prague
  • Las Vegas
meetings and incentives

Parisians and tourists walk along the Seine River near Pont-Neuf. Paris is first in meetings and conferences, and France was second in incentive travel. (Paris Tourist Office/Amélie Dupont)

Top 2019 Global Destinations for Incentives

  • Costa Rica
  • France
  • Bahamas
  • Italy
  • Miami
  • Budapest
  • Lisbon
  • Prague
  • Cancun
  • Aruba

2020 Meeting & Conference Destination Hot List

  • San Diego
  • Nashville
  • Singapore
  • Las Vegas
  • New Orleans
  • Tokyo
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Austin
  • Bahamas
  • Phoenix

2020 Incentive Destination Hot List

  • Greece
  • Bahamas
  • Costa Rica
  • Budapest
  • Aruba
  • Iceland
  • New York
  • Italy
  • Switzerland
  • Puerto Rico