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ICCA ranks top 2013 countries and cities

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the leading global meetings industry association, is reporting another year of solid strength in the international association meetings market. Published each year, ICCA released the 2013 Top 20 Rankings for countries and cities, indicating that the international association meeting sector continues strong growth.

“It shouldn’t be surprising that our 2013 figures have demonstrated the strength of the international association meetings sector, since the overall picture for our industry is significantly better than has been the case for quite some time,” said Martin Sirk, CEO, ICCA. “But it should be remembered that this is a sector that has shown significant growth in every single year since the financial crisis hit the world economy in 2008.”

Organization members and in-house research team identified 11,685 regularly occurring association events which rotate between at least three countries as having taken place during 2013 with over 535 more identified than the previous year.

To be included in the rankings for 2013, meetings must have been held on a regular basis, have had at least 50 delegates and rotated between at least three countries.

Rank Country #Meetings Rank City #Meetings
1 U.S.A. 829 1 Paris 204
2 Germany 722 2 Madrid 186
3 Spain 562 3 Vienna 182
4 France 527 4 Barcelona 179
5 United Kingdom 525 5 Berlin 178
6 Italy 447 6 Singapore 175
7 Japan 342 7 London 166
8 China-P.R. 340 8 Istanbul 146
9 Brazil 315 9 Lisbon 125
10 Netherlands 302 Seoul 125
11 Canada 290 11 Prague 121
12 Republic of Korea 260 12 Amsterdam 120
13 Portugal 249 13 Dublin 114
14 Austria 244 14 Buenos Aires 113
15 Sweden 238 15 Brussels 111
16 Australia 231 16 Copenhagen 109
17 Argentina 223 17 Budapest 106
18 Turkey 221 18 Beijing 105
19 Belgium 214 19 Rome 99
20 Switzerland 205 20 Bangkok 93
Stockholm 93
Sydney, NSW 93

Made up of the same countries as last year are the top 10 country rankings although some countries switched places. Remaining respectively as first, second and third are the U.S., Germany and Spain. Decreasing is the gap between the U.S. and Germany from a difference of 184 meetings in 2012 to 107 in 2013. France and the UK have switched places with France now fourth and the UK ranking fifth. Italy remains sixth while Japan climbs to up to seven and China-P.R. climbs to eight at the cost of Brazil, dropping two places to ninth, and The Netherlands, down to number 10.

Paris gained Vienna’s previously held first place spot since 2005 as the No. 1 city in the ICCA rankings. Vienna has moved to third place with Madrid in second. Barcelona climbed to fourth and Berlin moved to fifth. Singapore remains sixth and London fell from a shared sixth place to seventh. Istanbul climbed to eighth and Lisbon and Seoul, both newcomers in the top 10, shared ninth place.

“The international association meetings sector is a solid, reliable performer, in good times and bad, and the longer term trends are the most critically important factors when preparing strategic plans and investment decisions. I am convinced that every serious meetings destination, internationally ambitious venue, and forward-thinking meetings management company should include international associations in their marketing and development strategies,” added Sirk.

A special 50-year edition of its international association meetings Statistics Report, “A modern history of international association meetings 1963-2012,” has been published in September 2013 as part of ICCA’s 50-year anniversary. This report makes clear that for the last half century with no sign of slowing down, the number of regularly-occurring, internationally-rotating association meetings is increasing by 100 percent every 10 years.

For more information, visit www.icca50.com.

Related article:
Germany earns a decade of recognition as top European and worldwide destination

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