International association meetings market strong

??????????The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) is reporting another year of continued strength in the international association meetings market, following the release of its 2013 Top 20 Rankings for countries and cities.

The report found 11,685 regularly occurring association events which rotate between at least three countries were identified as having taken place during 2013, 535 more than were held the year before.

There was little change in the top 10 country rankings, with the US, Germany and Spain retaining 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, however France and the UK switched places with France now in 4th place. The top 10 is rounded out by Italy, Japan, China, Brazil and The Netherlands.

In the city rankings, Paris, which was in 2nd place last year, ousted Vienna, which has been in first place since 2005. Madrid, moved into 2nd place and Vienna 3rd. Barcelona climbs one place to 4th and Berlin moves from 3rd to 5th place. Singapore remains 6th and London fell from a shared 6th place to 7th. Istanbul climbs one place to 8th and Lisbon and Seoul, both newcomers in the top 10, share 9th place.

“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 ICCA chief executive Martin Sirk.

“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. 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.”

Australia came in 16th place in the country rankings, with 231 meetings, while Sydney was the highest Australian city, in joint 20th place, with 93 meetings.