The ranking, from event management software provider Cvent, is based on meeting and event booking activity in the company’s system. Arlington fell eight spots from last year’s ranking of 26.
“Earning this ranking validates the significant effort that [Arlington Convention and Visitors Services] and Arlington hotels put into making the county an attractive choice for meetings, a critical part of our economy,” ACVS Director Emily Cassell said in a press release. “It also reflects Arlington’s appeal as a vibrant urban destination in the heart of the nation’s capital – one that offers the convenience of downtown D.C., but at hotel rates averaging up to 20 percent less.”
Arlington generates more domestic visitor spending than any other county in Virginia: nearly $2.7 billion, or 13.1 percent of total visitor spending in the Commonwealth in 2011. The Arlington travel and tourism industry supports nearly 24,000 local jobs and generates more than $73 million in local tax receipts.
Cassell says a key factor in Arlington’s success is the close collaboration of ACVS, meeting planners and hotel representatives to provide a highly tailored event experience for attendees. Customized amenities such as on free on-site convention services and destination promotional materials help pique guests’ desire to experience Arlington’s national history and local flavor. Successful meetings influence repeat visitation, which Arlington Economic Development research shows increased 30 percent between 2007 and 2011.
Orlando, Fla., was named the top meeting and conference destination in the country for the second straight year, followed by Chicago and Las Vegas.
Alexandria dropped one spot from last year’s list to No. 41. Washington, D.C., was named the No. 7 meeting destination after being No. 2 in 2012. The activity was tracked from July 2012 to June 2013.