• Nashville among cities to watch for M&E in 2015

    Nashville, Tenn., at night. In the next few years, a new JW Marriott hotel will dominate this skyline at 35 stories. (Photo by Exothermic)

    Nashville, Tenn., at night. In the next few years, a new JW Marriott hotel will dominate this skyline at 35 stories. (Photo by Exothermic)

    Whether for incentive travel or as a host site for meetings, there are cities on the rise for those looking to book an event somewhere in North America other than the traditional warm-weather destinations such as Las Vegas or Orlando.

    Consider Nashville, Tenn., for example. The city has a new convention center with nearly 120,000 feet of exhibit floor space that is not far from the airport. If you haven’t been to Nashville lately, there’s a new Omni hotel that opened in the past 18 months, while a JW Marriott has been announced, with construction to start later this year.

    Dallas continues to be a strong market, due in large part to its relatively central location. The market is cost-effective because of the amount of air traffic in and out of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. And just a few hours down the interstate, Austin, Texas, remains a trendy destination that fans of South by Southwest (SXSW) are very familiar with.

    Tucson, Ariz., is an up-and-coming location for incentives in the U.S. It provides a desert experience and being within a 90-minute drive of Tombstone, Tucson offers a unique opportunity for guests to experience the American Old West. There are many museums for guests to enjoy in addition to a number of resorts offering great, golf and spa options.  There is a new Ritz-Carlton and a Loews property as well.

    If you’re looking for international destinations for incentives, budgets are beginning to rebound and planners are willing to go a little further from home. Tahiti, Barcelona and Ireland are popular destinations for 2015.

    In Northern Ireland, Belfast is a destination that is on the rise. It’s a place that people haven’t been to, and offers many unique attractions in addition to many new restaurants. There is a new Titanic museum and excursions can be booked to the location where Game of Thrones is filmed.


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