Hotel Online  Special Report


Where the DMC Business is Going: 2007

Results of Exclusive GEP Survey of Worldwide DMC Partners Gives Snapshot of Expectations for the Year Ahead

  • 2007 revenues will be stronger than 2006, though profitability seen as increasingly hard to maintain -
  • U.S. partners more optimistic than international partners, especially for “big events” -
  • Almost all expect increased revenues from corporate meeting planners -
  • “Hot” Destinations: London Blows Away the Competition . . .France and Italy Stay Strong Dubai Emerges as a “Super-Hot” Site for Meetings and Special Events - 

Washington, D.C. (November 27, 2006) . . . Call it a year of exciting revenue increases but also a “big squeeze” on profits - with London as the most desired destination for big events, but Dubai nipping at its heels as an emerging hot locale.  This according to Global Events Partners (GEP), a partnership of destination management companies worldwide, which today released the results of a proprietary survey of its partner destination management companies (DMCs), representing more than 70 countries worldwide, which asked partners to indicate where they think the business is going in 2007.

For the second year running, the results provide a compelling snapshot of what next year may look like for the industry around the world, in terms of anticipated revenues; challenges to DMC professionals; and “hot” destinations likely to generate the most business from meeting planners and others engaged in planning corporate events in 2007.

A summary of survey results, and the methodology employed in the survey, follow.

2007 DMC Survey Results

More than two-thirds of GEP’s partners responded to the survey, representing close to 40 countries worldwide, including Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, and all major markets within the United States.

Among those responding to the survey:

  • More than 90% of all respondents expected revenues for corporate events to “increase or remain the same” in 2007, versus 2006

  • All but one DMC in the U.S. expected revenues to increase year over year, with a smaller percentage of DMCs outside the U.S expressing similarly optimistic views. DMCs in half a dozen international destinations expected either a decline in revenues, or at best,  revenues to remain about the same as in 2006.

    While most respondents expect increases in revenue, more than half expect that profits will be “squeezed,” as corporate meeting planners demand greater flexibility in planning, more personalized attention, more service and expanded program options. 

    U.S. and international DMCs agreed that although dollars will continue to flow, clients will demand even greater return on, and oversight of each dollar spent - which serves to make the DMC’s job more time intensive, and ultimately, potentially less profitable. 

    The anticipated challenges for 2007 that were mentioned most frequently include:

    1. Short lead times and shifting program requirements requiring more work, faster - without a concomitant increase in fees.
    2. Program budget constraints and stringent procurement requirements, together, pressuring profits.
    3. The difficulty of finding, training and retaining qualified staff to maintain high quality service.
    In a notable departure from the 2006 survey, only a handful of DMCs mentioned political uncertainty and the weak dollar as major challenges for 2007, but those who did, consider them a major threat to their individual business. 
    • Expectations were split between U.S. and international DMCs in the area of “big events,” defined as a corporate event involving more than 200 participants: 

    Among those partners responding, more than 90% of DMCs in the U.S. expect the number of “big events” will increase in 2007 – by contrast, about half the DMCs outside the U.S. believe revenues from big events will either “decrease or stay the same.”

    - Among reasons cited for a possible fall-off in “big event” activity: The large numbers of big events held in 2006 (making year-over-year comparisons weaker), and increasing interest among meeting planners in holding smaller, more targeted events in more intimate settings.
    • There were some surprises among the destinations that GEP partners believe will be the “hottest” for corporate meetings and events in 2006 – among them:
    - London and the UK blew away the competition, with close to a third of respondents, from all parts of the world, listing it as a most desired destination.

    - Dubai emerged as a new favorites, with several partners mentioning it as the hot destination for 2007. 

    - In Europe, France and Italy remained strong, and seem likely continuing as favorites among meeting planners.

    - Addtionally cited among “hot” destinations:  In the U.S., Orlando, Las Vegas, and Phoenix/Scottsdale drew multiple responses – internationally, China, Latin America, Mexico and the South Pacific received at least three mentions.

    Commenting on the survey results, Chris White, GEP’s Chairman and CEO, said:  “For a second year running, we are pleased to share these results with the DMC and meeting planning industries. As we close 2006, a year that saw strong results for the destination management industry worldwide, 2007 looks like it will be even better.” 

    White concluded, “The spirit that continues to animate our industry – worldwide, from Miami to Malaysia to Madrid – is one of optimism and expected growth, despite a host of challenges that will require even harder work, tighter and stronger business models, and a greater focus on customized client service than ever before.”

    “We thank our partners for their participation in this study, and applaud their vision, optimism and energy as we move toward another exciting year.”

    Methodology: About the Survey

    To obtain survey results, questionnaires were distributed via email to owners and principals of the more than seventy (70) Global Events Partners DMCs worldwide. 

    Each partner was asked to respond to five questions:

    1. Do you expect revenues for your DMC business to increase or decrease in calendar year 2007 versus 2006?
    2. Do you expect to see “big events”- those involving more than 200 people – increase or decrease year over year?
    3. Do you expect to seem more or less revenue from corporate meeting planners?
    4. What do you expect to be the “hot” meeting and event destinations in 2007?
    5. What do you see as the major business issues facing DMCs in 2007?
    Each partner was assured of the confidentiality of his/her responses, but was advised that each response would be used to formulate conclusions in the aggregate.

    For more information on the methodology of the survey, or to interview any of the GEP participants for further details, please contact

    About Global Events Partners (GEP)

    Launched in 1999, Global Events Partners’ portfolio includes more than 70 leading destination management companies (DMCs) around the world.  A DMC is a professional services company possessing extensive local knowledge and resources, specializing in the design and execution of group tours, transportation, events, activities and program logistics. GEP partners provide consistently high quality DMC services in the most desirable locations worldwide. For more information on Global Events Partners, visit


    Michael Frenkel, MFC PR – New York
    for Global Events Partners
    (212) 808-6556

    Also See: THE WORLD’S TOP dmcs AND MEETING PLANNERS EXCHANGE IDEAS, Build relationships, AT THE global events partners (GEP) 2006 SUMMIT / September 2006
    Global Events Partners (GEP) Appoints Dawn Barbeau as Director of Sales for GEP Chicago / July 2005
    Global Events Partners (GEP) Announces Management Promotion, Addition / June 2006
    GEP Philly, a Philadelphia Destination Management Company, Named to the Philadelphia 100® / November 2005

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