According to a new study, Dallas is the most popular city in Texas for destination conventions. Big D also ranked eighth in the United States, up one spot from last year, coming in behind such hubs as Chicago, Las Vegas and New York City.
Matthew Jones, executive vice president and CFO of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, isn’t surprised by the CVENT.com poll praising Dallas.
“Last year was a record year, and this year is a record year as well,” he says. “We plan to have booked around 650 conventions and meetings this year. Right now, we’re looking at almost $900 million brought to the city for just this year.”
“Right now, we’re looking at almost $900 million brought to the city for just this year,” says DCVB CFO Matthew Jones.
Dallas currently boasts 141 hotels and 1,270,979 square feet of meeting space, but Jones says that it’s what the city has to offer that attracts a lot of people.
“From a planners perspective, with DFW and the renovated Love Field, it’s so easy to get here from both coasts,” he says. “Dallas is a big sporting destination as well as a shopping hub. Our restaurant scene is growing.”
It’s that all-around growth that Jones believes is a big factor. One key is that the Omni hotel has brought in groups that had previously avoided Dallas.
“There were groups that had avoided Dallas because we didn’t have a hotel connected to the convention center,” he says. “They’re now starting to come to us.”
He also says that having MegaFest, and its nearly 60,000 visitors — including Oprah — has been a big boon for the city this year.
Although Dallas is the top Texas city on the list, six other areas landed in the top 50. San Antonio came in at No. 16, while Houston and Austin took spots 19 and 20, respectively. Grapevine (22), Fort Worth (30) and Irving (37) also ranked, making Texas the best-represented state on the list.