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New Data Reveals Significant Shifts in U.S., Global Convention City Comparisons

Northstar Meetings Group recently released its December 2022 Convention Cities Index (CCi) Interim Report. The CCi serves as a guide to help meeting planners navigate the site-selection process for citywide events, and the index illustrates how changes in hotel costs, airlift and safety affect convention city competitiveness.

Among the biggest revelations from the latest CCi are that hotel costs continue to soar in most U.S. cities. Average daily rates in destinations such as New York City now surpass pre-pandemic levels. Costs are more volatile globally. In China, rates remain below pre-Covid levels, while Singapore and many European cities have seen hotel costs rise.

By contrast, safety scores and airlift have remained relatively stable for most CCi cities across the past six months. A few notable exceptions include Dubai, which improved its safety score by 22 points, and Orlando, which saw airlift increase 10%.

“As the travel industry overall, and group travel in particular, continues to demonstrate strength, hotel rates in many cities have not only rebounded from the depths of the pandemic but, in some cases, they’ve surpassed pre-Covid levels,” said David Blansfield, executive vice president and group publisher, Northstar Meetings Group. “Will the latest changes impact a city’s competitiveness as organizers plan future citywide events?”

The CCi relies on extensive research and a weighted ranking system to determine the top 25 U.S. destinations and top 25 global destinations that are ideally suited to hosting large conventions. Cites are compared across six key categories: the total indoor exhibit space; the number of hotel rooms within a 15-minute walk of the convention center; the average hotel cost; the travel time to the nearest international airport; the city’s safety level for travelers; and the number of direct flights per month into the destination.

The all-in-one resource is updated biannually to track how these key site-selection factors shift over time. The December 2022 CCi Interim Report features updated information on room rates, airlift and safety scores. A full refresh of the data will be published in June.

Highlights from the CCi include:

  • Most U.S. cities saw room rates rise over the past six months — with average daily rates in some destinations now surpassing pre-Covid prices. Average hotel costs increased 44% over the past six months in both San Francisco and Washington, D.C., while New York City hotel costs increased 15%. Other destinations that have seen dramatic price increases from June to December include Denver and Chicago.
  • A few U.S. destinations have seen rates drop in recent months. Among them are Indianapolis, New Orleans and Miami. In Phoenix, hotel costs have dipped 17% over the past six months.
  • In the U.S., overall flights to CCi destinations dropped an average of 4%, but some cities saw their monthly flights increase. For example, Phoenix and Orlando saw their airlifts rise an average of 9.5% and 10%, respectively.

The December 2022 CCi Interim Report provides refreshed data on room rates, safety scores and monthly flights, along with an updated ranking of the top 25 convention cities in the U.S. and the top 25 in the world.

The new metrics can be compared to the June 2022 CCi. All CCi data points will be refreshed annually in June, with interim indices updated and posted in January of each year.

For more information and to access the full December 2022 CCi Interim Report, click here or visit