There were five UK destinations in the top 100 of the latest annual city rankings published by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).
The rankings cover meetings organised by international associations which take place on a regular basis and rotate between a minimum of three countries. The data snapshot was sampled on 12 May.
London heads the UK pack, at No.19 in the new city rankings.
Some argue the rankings do not give a true reflection of major events business attracted because they do not include one-off events or those which do not move between locations. The UK capital is also a big player in the corporate meetings market, while the ICCA rankings concentrate on association business.
Following the opening of the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool in 2008, the city has leapt to fifth UK city status in the rankings, at 86. Edinburgh came second to London at 28, with Glasgow at 42 and Manchester 69.
Says leader of the City Council Warren Bradley:’’These rankings are a huge boost for our reputation as a great place to do business. ’We knew a world class conference centre was vital to our future prosperity, and with the cultural and retail offer to match, Liverpool’s global appeal to businesses and tourists will continue to grow.”
ICCA researchers identified 7,475 events which took place in 2008, a rise of approximately 800 over 2007. “Partly this reflects the strength of the market, partly it is thanks to a record number of ICCA members sending us their calendar information to help identify new events,” an ICCA statement says.
For the first time in three years, Vienna shares the top spot with Paris as the most popular city. Barcelona in third place had an increase of 30 meetings over 2007. Newcomers into the top 20 include Athens, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Tokyo.
As has been the case since 2004, USA and Germany are the number one and two countries respectively in the country list. Spain and France are third and fourth, both recording good increases in meetings. The UK is listed fifth.
A full ICCA statistics report for 2008 will be released early June and the ten-year statistics report covering 1999-2008 will be published late July.