Global DMC Partners President: Europe will always be popular

Catherine Chaulet, Global DMC Partners President, talks to Event Point International as this network unveils its 2018 Global Destination Index and 2019 Meeting & Incentive Destinations Hot List.

The data was compiled based on analysing data from over 6,000 meeting and incentive programs across 2018 and 2019 in over 500 destinations that Global DMC Partners represents. Lisbon falls in the top 25, in a list lead by Paris, Amsterdam and Munich.

Can you briefly present Global DMC Partners?

Global DMC Partners is the largest global network of independent destination management companies (DMCs) and sales advisors offering meeting professionals one worldwide solution for total event success. Our network has exclusive partnerships with more than 65 DMCs that represent over 500 destinations around the globe. Each DMC provides an unparalleled level of creativity and commitment to clients by promising to deliver one-of-a-kind programs under a singular standard of excellence. Thanks to a global team with decades of experience and a passion for the industry, meeting and event planners can centralise everything from DMC communication to DMC spend through one dedicated Global DMC Sales Advisor. For more information, including a complete listing of destinations in the Global DMC Partners network, please visit us online at

What are the main advantages of being part of your organisations?

Our DMCs: We have the largest network of DMCs around the world and they are sought out to join GDP because of their extensive local and industry knowledge. This means that we have the ability to connect our clients with local experts—with fresh perspectives and creative ideas – in any destination around the globe.

The GDP Sales Advisor: We go beyond just sourcing DMCs, we become an extension of our client’s team by becoming their true partner. The GDP Sales Advisor not only acts as a liaison between the DMC and the planner to communicate the planner’s needs, the GDP Advisor also provides destination selection expertise, reporting intelligence on DMC spend, and centralisation in everything from communication to proposals.

Our Unique Culture: Our DMC Partners work together to drive excellence throughout the Partnership. We recognise that shared knowledge within our group translates into more innovative, creative and higher-quality programs for our clients, therefore GDP and our DMC Partners meet, on average, four times per year. We also have a Customer Advisory Board, DMC Advisory Board, and internal Committees focused on initiatives to better our entire Partnership. These initiatives ensure that we remain the leaders in the industry while continuing to meet our clients ever-changing needs.

You've just launched your 2018 Global Destination Index. What kind of data and sources do you use in this study?

We use our own proprietary data that is collected, stored and tracked within our database. The data for this report is based on leads that we received from clients for meetings/events taking place around the world in 2018 and 2019, which is we sent out to our DMC Partners.

What are the main conclusions of this study? 

While the top 20 MICE destinations for 2018 are major markets and typically very popular for meetings and incentives, we are starting to see more demand for “secondary markets” in 2019, which is very exciting to see.

There is only an European country in the hot destinations for 2019. Do you think Europe is loosing some appeal? 

No, we don’t believe Europe is losing its appeal at all. It will always be popular, but there are so many destinations outside of Europe that are starting to gain more popularity as people are becoming more willing to travel and have new experiences. Many of the secondary markets are also more cost-effective than the larger markets, making them especially appealing for planners that have strict budgets.

How is the unstable political environment influencing the decision making in terms of destinations?

Some destinations are avoided due to political, economic or safety concerns. GDP is the perfect solution as we provide guidance when it comes to the destination and venue choice. We assure all uncertainties or concerns of the meeting planner are addressed, and we offer insights that planners are not necessarily aware of.

With so many members around the world, and with a global view, can you share some trends in this industry?

Today’s desire is to garner local experiences that create long-lasting memories, but safety and security need to remain at the forefront. Therefore, while destinations need to maintain their unique identity, they must rise to new global standards for the assurance of safety, security and privacy.

How do you see Portugal as an incentives and meetings destination?

Lisbon is one of Europe’s hidden gems with its cost-effective options. There are unique and high-end restaurants as well as a bustling nightlife, however the city is very economically-friendly. It fits the mold for many different types of programs from incentives to corporate meetings since the destination is rich in culture with plenty of conference hotels.

How do you see the work of your Portuguese partner? 

Emotionstore is our exclusive Portuguese DMC Partner and they are a longstanding member and friend of Global DMC Partners. Their team, led by industry veteran Carla Andrezo, is passionate about listening to clients’ needs and creating unique experiences for each and every program to showcase the beauty of Portugal.


Top 10 International Cities for 2018

  1. Paris

  2. Amsterdam

  3. Munich

  4. Stockholm

  5. Vienna

  6. London

  7. Barcelona

  8. Berlin

  9. Prague

  10. Rome

Top 10 North American Cities for 2018:

  1. Las Vegas, NV

  2. Orlando, FL

  3. Chicago, IL

  4. Miami, FL

  5. New York, NY

  6. San Francisco, CA

  7. San Diego, CA

  8. Washington, DC

  9. Los Angeles, CA

  10. New Orleans, LA

2019 Meeting & Incentive Destination Hot List

  1. Costa Rica

  2. Bahamas

  3. Malta

  4. Puerto Rico

  5. Morocco

  6. Croatia

  7. St. Lucia

  8. Denver/Colorado Springs

  9. South Africa

  10. Thailand

Tags: Global DMC Partners, Meetings Industry