A new survey from Cvent, an event-management portal, puts Tucson in the top 50 best cities for meeting attendees. Tucson launched a rebranding effort roughly two years ago to attract more business gatherings. Local tourism officials give meeting planners tools to help promote the city so potential attendees can see the appeal of traveling to Tucson rather than places they've consistently visited, such as like Las Vegas or Anaheim, said Graeme Hughes, director of sales for Visit Tucson.
"People want to experience things and experience the destination in a very personal and tactile way now, so we seized on that momentum to present Tucson as one of those options," Hughes said.
Globally, $565 billion a year is spent on meeting destinations, with the U.S. market seeing roughly 40 percent of that revenue, according to the Cvent survey. Each year, hotels receive $103 billion of that worldwide revenue.