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How Convention Centers Catalyze Economic Growth

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

Across the nation and throughout the world, Convention Centers have proven to be an impactful component of creating well-balanced tourism destinations that support creating a robust and balanced hotel market. However, Convention Centers benefit from more than just hotel room occupancy and development. They also create thousands of jobs and have significant positive impacts on the day to day lives of the local community. The activity generated by Convention Centers provides opportunities for networking and education, creates jobs, and feeds into revenue streams that fund community assets like schools, parks, infrastructure, affordable housing, and numerous other resource pools at the local, state, and federal level. Convention Centers play a key role as a catalyst for economic growth.

Destinations like Nashville, Tucson, Austin, Long Beach, and San Jose have compelling destination appeal in their own respect, but certainly benefit from the symbiotic relationship between this appeal and their attractive convention facilities. Prior to Covid-19, our research into these five example destinations reflects surging development of new hotels, collection of tax revenue from hotel room taxes, and sales tax collections. These development and tourism-related tax collections are important revenue streams for city budgets which will be more restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Recently, Convention Centers have been converted into temporary hospitals to combat COVID-19 and served a critical role in the disaster response. The role of Convention Centers to serve our communities will continue when we get to the other side of the current challenges. Paving the way for creative event formats throughout the gradual reopening process, Convention Centers have the potential to be at the forefront of both disaster response and recovery.

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