As hotels look to rebound from the economic decline, especially when it comes to group bookings, new lead sources get more and more important. I recently came across an article in Meetings & Conventions which stated that DMOs (Destination Marketing Organizations) influence 19% of group rooms booked. DMO sales and marketing efforts play an integral role in group bookings- in 2011 a study showed they booked 35.6 million group room nights and 37.5 million room nights for future events. While hotels often partner with their DMOs for some things, this article underscores the importance of identifying and partaking in all opportunities, especially as hotel numbers continue to increase and DMOs have a larger selection of potential partners to choose from. No one wants to be left out of getting their piece of the pie. The DMO, while independent of the hotel, does have a common interest in bringing groups, especially larger ones, to a city, and in some ways acts as a extension of the hotel's sales teams. As this trend continues, it will be interesting to see how hotel-DMO partnerships develop and if DMOs favor certain hotels over others or will be able to stay neutral, working with all the hotels to get the best group deals and book in their city.