St. Louis Leads US in Year-Over-Year Growth in Meetings and Events 

Friday April 12, 2024

By Catherine Neville

St. Louis up 24.3% in March, Outperforming Other Top US Markets

ST. LOUIS: In March of this year, St. Louis led the nation in meetings and events growth, according to data reported by Knowland, a hospitality technology and intelligence provider. This 24.3% growth in St. Louis is contrasted with a national industry-wide decline of 8.1%.

Thanks to the meetings industry, 2024 is set to be a banner year for St. Louis, supporting region-wide hotel performance, retail businesses and more. March sporting events including the back-to-back Capitol Sports volleyball tournaments and the Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball tournament led growth; with the Cardinals, Battlehawks and St. Louis CITY SC seasons projected to further drive tourism and economic growth into the summer.

“Our downtown is transitioning from a traditional central business district to an entertainment, convention, and residential hub,” said Brian Hall, chief marketing officer of Explore St. Louis. “People enjoy visiting St. Louis for our art and culinary scene, sports and family-friendly attractions, and they also visit for business conferences and conventions. This week, America’s Center is hosting the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and that alone represents 11,000 room nights. That’s fantastic for hotels, restaurants, and the regional economy as a whole.”

According to STR, weekend hotel occupancy levels in the St. Louis metro area frequently exceeded 80% during the month of March, creating tremendous impact for the St. Louis hospitality industry. Visitor numbers at the Gateway Arch are up, and this past weekend, Downtown St. Louis welcomed more than 100,000 visitors for the Cardinals, City SC and Battlehawks games, alongside a variety of other events.