Denver: a bargain for corporate business travelers

Denver is the 25th-least expensive city for corporate business travelers, according to the 2010 Corporate Travel Index. Released by Business Travel News, the study found that the average daily cost for hotel, car rental and three daily meals in Denver was $380.68, well below the most expensive cities of New York at $622.47 and Washington D.C. at $563.82 a day.

Denver faired particularly well in food costs, coming in at 69th out of the top 100 cities with an average daily cost of three meals at $88.93, below all major cities and even below smaller cities such as Raleigh, NC; Tucson, AZ; Peoria, IL; Kansas City, MO; and Wichita, KS.

Denver ranked 22nd in hotel costs and 16th in car rental costs. 

"Value is the No. 1 variable meeting planners consider when choosing a destination today, so this relatively low ranking is very important to our ability to attract corporate meetings," stated Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Scharf noted that the Business Travel News study mirrored results from the 2009 Metropoll, which studies meeting planner impressions of the top 80 cities. That study found that Denver was the 11th most popular destination for corporate meetings, up from 20th in 2007. The study also reported Denver was ranked 5th as the most popular corporate meeting destination in the next three years.

"At the current time, corporate meeting planners are very concerned about value and Denver is perceived as a convenient, accessible and economical destination for corporate meetings," Scharf said. 

To solicit more corporate meetings, VISIT DENVER is conducting a three-part, corporate meeting direct-mail campaign to Fortune 2000 clients and 18,000 other corporate meeting planners. The Bureau has invested in online advertising, search engine marketing and keyword buys to drive visits to microsites specifically created to capture corporate, short-term meeting business. Additional marketing efforts include exhibiting at 40 annual meeting trade shows where hundreds of corporate meeting planners can be contacted, conducting sales missions to corporate meeting offices in New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago, and a major advertising campaign in corporate meeting trade publications.

In the past three years, these efforts have resulted in 170,000 definite room night bookings of corporate meeting business with more than 3.7 million room nights of tentative business that considered or are still considering Denver for a future meeting.

"Business travel took a devastating hit in 2009, but as corporate travel comes back, we are seeing a great deal of interest in Denver. Private, independent studies like this prove Denver offers great value and is extremely important in our efforts to solicit more corporate meetings," Scharf said.