Menlo Park, Calif.-based online corporate travel provider GetThere this week released the findings of a survey that identifies the country’s 10 most affordable cities. Last year’s -spot winner, Jacksonville, Fla., came in first again in the 2003 survey. Columbus, Ohio, and Raleigh, N.C., neither of which made the list last year, came in in second and third place. Rounding out the list are Knoxville, Tenn.; Nashville, Tenn.; Indianapolis; Greensboro, N.C.; Norfolk, Va.; Milwaukee; and Harrisburg, Pa.
The firm identified these as the most affordable cities for corporate meetings by plugging a mock three-night, four-day, 100-attendee meeting into GetThere's online meeting planning tool, GetThere DirectMeetings. The online tool evaluated its database of 12,000 hotel properties to identify cities that had at least 25 three- or four-star hotel properties that offered business services. The tool evaluated factors including air and ground transportation for all attendees, room accommodations, meeting room rates, audiovisual equipment, and estimated food and beverage expenses, then tabulated and ranked the cities based on overall meeting cost to come up with the top 10 list.