Here’s the lowdown on destination booking agreements

A destination booking agreement can help event planners avoid the unexpected and best negotiate favourable terms.

A document has been created to help destinations understand what items should be considered when crafting a booking agreement.
A document has been created to help destinations understand what items should be considered when crafting a booking agreement. Photo Credit: Adobe/makibestphoto

Prepare for the unexpected is a familiar saying in the events industry, and even more so in light of the pandemic and continued disruption on the travel front.

Having a destination booking agreement (DBA) in place can help event planners avoid the unexpected and give them more room for negotiation when it comes to city-wide events. This is according to Destinations International, which represents destination organisations and convention and visitor bureaus worldwide.

Essentially, a DBA is a client agreement document that is utilised by a CVB/destination organisation when they secure a future meeting or convention. Historically referred to as a Letter of “Agreement”, “Intent” or “Commitment”, the document typically outlines both the commitment and liability associated for both the booking organisation and the host destination in the event of a cancellation or booking displacement.

It says the DBA is important to the destination organisation for a number of reasons. It clearly outlines commitments from both the host organisation and the host destination and details out all performance metrics and financial liabilities. In addition, the DBA also provides clear timelines, expectations, and accountability for both parties, addresses the impact of event cancellations and creates more opportunity for deeper partnerships between the CVB, convention centre and event planners.

How does the DBA impact business events strategists and the host organisation?

Destinations International says it outlines the financial commitments and provides more consistency in process from destination to destination, resulting in more operational ease for meeting professionals as they work with different cities.

It also creates clearly outlined agreements that can protect both parties and provide specifics about important timelines that could impact financial penalties. It can also eliminate confusion around future year agreements when there is a staffing change within the destination or within the planning team/host organisation.

Destinations International has created a guiding principles document that will help destinations have a clearer understanding of what items should be considered when crafting a booking agreement. Just as importantly, it says, business events strategists should familiarise themselves with the principles and what to expect when working with a destination to confirm a city-wide event in future years.



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