New Destination Booking Agreement (DBA)

New Destination Booking Agreement (DBA)

Destination Organizations have increasingly been working to create client agreements that allow them to be a good steward of the product they represent while clearly outlining the commitments associated with future city-wide events to benefit all stakeholders. These agreements serve as an advocate for both the customer and the destination.

Having familiarity with the Destination Booking Agreement (DBA) allows the Event Strategist to best negotiate favorable terms and avoid the unexpected.

An Asset to the Event Strategist

The Destination Booking Agreement (DBA) is a client agreement document that is utilized by a CVB/Destination Organization when it secures a future meeting or convention. Historically called a Letter of “Agreement,” “Intent” or “Commitment,” the DBA outlines commitment and liability for the booking organization and the host destination in the event of a cancellation or booking displacement. 


  • Provides clear timeliness, expectations and accountability for both parties
  • Creates greatest opportunity for deeper partnerships between the CVB, Convention Center and Event Strategist
  • Outlines the financial commitments and provides more consistency in process from destination to destination, resulting in more operational ease for the Event Strategist
  • Creates clearly outlined agreements that can protect both parties and provide specifics about important timelines that could impact financial penalties
  • Eliminates confusion around future year agreements when there is a staffing change within the destination or planning team
  • Allows for negotiation of terms that could potentially protect space for city-wide events
  • Helps the CVB secure more rooms for the blocks because some hotels will provide the inventory when there is financial security prior to hotel contracting
  • Provides space security for a future year without the same immediate financial commitment associated with some venue license agreements
Principles to Guide the Event Strategist

The Destinations International Large Market Roundtable has created new DBA Guiding Principles that will help destinations have a clearer understanding of what items should be considered when crafting a booking agreement. Just as importantly, the Event Strategist should familiarize themselves with the principles. Outlining the destination’s commitments will help the Event Strategist avoid anything being lost or misinterpreted.

  • Outline offerings
  • Outline timelines
  • Outline customer commitments
  • Outline CVB commitments 
  • Outline any other impacting factors

Tools, Tips & Trends


DBA Checklist 

●  Cancellation clauses/terms
●    Timeline for submitting and signing Convention Center contract
●    Timeline for submitting and signing convention hotel contract(s)
●    Room block commitment
●    Performance clauses for incentives
●    Space outline
●    Deposit schedule
●    Notation that space variation may result in additional costs
●    Notation that space variation must be mutually agreed upon
●    Hotel rebates
●    Hotel commissions
●    Transfer of event ownership


●    Commitment to valuable dialogue between the Event Strategist and the destination paves the way for deeper partnerships, the elimination of confusion around future year agreements and future-proofing for the industry. 
●    Creating equitable agreements for all will provide the Event Strategist with the security of legally binding dates and concessions prior to the finalizing of Convention Center license agreements or hotel contracts.

External Links
Contracting & Destination Booking Agreement

●    Access the DBA Toolkit