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May 7, 2018

Barcelona Tops ICCA Rankings for 2017

Barcelona has claimed first place for 2017 in the International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) annual ranking of top cities for meetings and events. 

The new report also showed strong growth in the meetings and events industry in 2017, with a record number of 12,558 rotating international association meetings taking place, 346 more than 2016. The ICCA said that, over the past five to 10 years, the exponential growth of the industry has seemed to slow into a more mature, but still solid, growth pattern. 

More research and data is needed to identify any changes to the long-term pattern, so ICCA will be updating its “Modern History of International Association Meetings” report with the release of a 55-year history of international association meetings later this year.

The cities in this year’s top 5 remain the same as they have done since 2015, but Barcelona has surpassed regular first and second place holders Paris and Vienna to claim the top spot. Taking first place for the first time since 2004 with 195 meetings in 2017, Barcelona knocks last year’s number one Paris down to second place. Vienna holds its previous position in joint second place with Paris, and Berlin and London are placed in fourth and fifth. Madrid stays in seventh place for another year, and last year’s other number seven Amsterdam drops out of the top 10 to 16th place, making way for Prague to climb three places to join the top 10 in eighth place. As in 2016, Singapore, Lisbon and Seoul remain in sixth, ninth and 10th place respectively. Notable risers are Buenos Aires, jumping from 17th to 11th place, Budapest, jumping from 16th to 12th, and Hong Kong, jumping from 19th to 13th. Rome remains in 20th place for another year. Newcomers to the top 20 in 2017 are Tokyo and Montreal.

Here are the top 20 cities by number of meetings organized in 2017:

1. Barcelona
2. Paris
3. Vienna
4. Berlin
5. London
6. Singapore
7. Madrid
8. Prague
9. Lisbon
10. Seoul
11. Buenos Aires
12. Budapest
13. Hong Kong
14. Dublin
15. Copenhagen
16. Amsterdam
17. Bangkok
18. Tokyo
19. Stockholm
20. Montreal, QC
20. Rome

Since 2016 there has not been much change in the top 10 country rankings, apart from a minor shift in positioning. As it has done for the past two decades, the United States remains in the number one position with 941 meetings, 7 more than reported at this time in 2016. The cities in the top 3 have not changed, with Germany and the United Kingdom remaining in second and third place after the U.S.’ first. France exits the top 5 and drops to sixth place with the rise of Spain and Italy one place to fourth and fifth, and Japan retains seventh place for a second year running. China drops one place to eighth. Portugal drops out of shared 10th place to 11th in 2017. Argentina falls two spots to 21st place and Denmark enters the top 20 at 20th place.

The top 20 countries by number of meetings organized in 2017 are:

1. United States
2. Germany
3. United Kingdom
4. Spain
5. Italy
6. France
7. Japan
8. China
9. Canada
10. Netherlands
11. Portugal
12. Austria
13. Republic of Korea
14. Australia
15. Sweden
16. Brazil
17. Switzerland
18. Poland
19. Belgium
20. Denmark

Source: ICCA

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