Sourcing Spotlight: 2024 Destinations to Watch

In the ever-evolving landscape of event planning and incentive travel, the spotlight is on destinations that promise both novelty and value as we start the new year. We’re delving into insights provided by our in-house strategic sourcing and purchasing team around trends they’re seeing in the industry, including which destinations they’ve got their eye on.

Europe: Don’t Call it a Comeback

After a few years of North American companies preferring to stay closer to home, things are looking up for the European market for both incentive travel and global meetings. Additionally, we’re seeing an increase in companies reinstating the EMEA extension of user conferences.

European hotels and destinations are also placing a significant emphasis on sustainability including limiting single use plastics, improvements in public transportation, and increased availability of recycling. One such example is London, where the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, confirmed that London has set a target to be net zero carbon by 2030.

Seattle: A West Coast Highlight

Seattle is a hot destination with the opening of the new Summit Building at the Seattle Convention Center. We were fortunate to get a behind the scenes tour of the convention center and Seattle from the team at Visit Seattle as part of a familiarization trip we hosted last fall.

Top 3 reasons Seattle is a great place to bring extraordinary events to life:

  1. It has a walkable, compact downtown with nearly 6,000 hotel rooms within a 10-block radius of the Convention Center
  2. There are 1.5 million square feet of space at the Convention Center between the new Summit Building and the original Arch Building
  3. Everyone is welcome. It is a city of inclusion where attendees feel inspired to be themselves and, most importantly, safe
Second Tier Cities: Unique Destinations & Great Value

With ongoing compression and increased pricing across the board, many companies are continuing to branch out to second tier cities, as they have been for the last few years. Additionally, many companies are looking at less traveled cities for their programs, cities that have great air lift access, but are not in the heart of major cities, as well as cities that they may not have considered in the past.

Where To Next?: Destinations We’re Excited About

As our team is sourcing on a global scale, here are just a few of the destinations they’d love to book for future programs.

  • Sicily: Italy in general is hot for both group and leisure travel currently with many unique and interesting cities and multiple well known regions
  • Canada: Both Toronto and Vancouver have always been great value and are an accessible international destination for many US companies
  • Bali: This once popular incentive destination may have a resurgence as companies are expanding their search for unique destinations
  • Vienna: A wonderful location for a regal experience you’d find in other European cities, but for a better price
Looking Ahead: AI in Sourcing

What could really be a whole blog post of its own: how to utilize AI in sourcing and purchasing. We’re excited to dig deeper into all things AI, including how we can utilize it to help with destination research, reviewing contracts, and so much more, so stay tuned to see what we find!