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In 2018 Ljubljana Tourism carried out a survey on habits, expenditures and expectations of congress delegates in Ljubljana for the second consecutive year.

The research was based on the same methodology as in 2017, however, a few more questions were added in order to further highlight the importance of meetings industry in Ljubljana. In addition, the decision to carry out the survey annually contributes to the monitoring of trends and allows for the implementation of appropriate strategies and policies at the level of the destination’s congress offer. This time again the survey confirmed that participants of international association congresses and other types of business meetings are among the most desirable visitors due to many multiplying effects and considerably higher expenditure.

On methodology

The survey included 407 participants of five international congresses that took place during autumn 2018. In total, they were attended by 3,640 delegates, of which 11,8 % were surveyed (representative sample). The congresses were the following:

The sample consisted of 61.5% male and 38.5% female respondents, which is comparable to a survey conducted in 2017. The surveyed participants came from 60 countries (compared to 67 countries in 2017).

General characteristics of the congress delegates interviewed in Ljubljana:

  1. The congress participants are highly educated, 91% of them have a Master’s or Doctorate of Science.
  2. The majority of participants in this year’s survey are the younger generation of scientists aged 20 to 39 years, which make up for 64.96% of the interviewees. Among them, the strongest age group represented is between 30 and 39 years (37.60% of all respondents).
  3. Among the respondents, the majority– 42.2% – are public sector employees (education, science, health, social services), followed by the private sector (30.9%) and students (17.7%).
  4. A total of 54% of the delegates are active and participate in the event with a professional lecture, while the rest are passive participants (37.1%) and exhibitors (17.6%).
  5. For a high share of the participants (87.8%) this was their first time at an event/ congress in Slovenia.

Characteristics of logistics and overnight stay at the destination:

  1. The vast majority of congress participants come to Ljubljana with air carriers (78%). The number of participants who arrived in Ljubljana with low-cost carriers has significantly increased to 22.7% (last year 9%). This is also due to the fact that the congresses surveyed this year had quite a higher share of European attendees compared to 2017.
  2. The share of participants using sustainable modes of transport (bus and train) is slowly increasing - from 8.3% last year to 12.4% this year.
  3. Most of the participants spent 4 to 6 nights at the event (80.99%), of which the majority – 29.63% – spent 4 days.
  4. The average length of stay of all interviewed congress guests is 5.02 days, (3.97 days last year) as a result of the structure of the events and prolongation of their stay.
  5. The number of congress guests who booked accommodation via Airbnb increased the most. This year their number rose up to 18.4% (13.3% last year). Adding those who booked private rooms, the percentage rises to 30.7% of congress guests (24.3% in 2017). The share of congress delegates whose accommodation was booked in hotels and guest houses / B&B decreased from 73% in 2017 to 64.8% in 2018, keeping in mind that the hotel occupancy in Ljubljana in the exact dates of the congresses surveyed was between 96.8% to 98.2% (September-October) and 90.8% (end of November).

Characteristics regarding the motive for participation and extension of stay:

  1. The largest share of congress guests attend one to two international events per year (54.3%).
  2. The most important motives for participation at the event are networking (average marks 4.47) and an opportunity for education and training (average marks 4.11).
  3. As less important factors, the surveyed participants highlighted the time of travel, the safety of the destination and the additional services available.
  4. According to the respondents, the accessibility of the destination is the most important destination motive, which is ranked right after networking, education and training.
  5. Some 27.3% of respondents usually and often prolong their stay, which is approximately the same as in the 2017 survey.

Characteristics of expenditure of congress delegates:

  1. During a three-day international event, congress guests spend €1,513.05 on average (€1,502.45 in 2017).
  2. During a three-day international event in Ljubljana, congress guests spend €1,533.00 on average (€1,482.00 in 2017).
  3. In this year’s survey, male participants spent 10.8% more, mainly due to higher consumption of food and drinks, overnight stays, trips and entertainment.
  4. 71.62% of the total costs are the costs of the registration fee, overnight stays and transportation to the destination. These costs in Ljubljana are, according to the opinion of respondents, comparable or somewhat higher than in other destinations where they usually participate at congresses.
  5. The fields that have the potential to generate additional expenditure and are not yet fully exploited are culture, transport at the destination, entertainment, pre- and post-congress trips and personal expenses and purchases.

General satisfaction with the visit to Ljubljana

  1. The vast majority of participants (99.0%) would return to the destination again and are interested in events in the region.
  2. Most congress delegates evaluate the event which they attended as “in accordance with expectations”, and a high number evaluate it with “much better than expected” (47.59%).
  3. The three most important advantages of Ljubljana are the sense of safety at the destination, the congress staff and the cleanliness and orderliness of Ljubljana (on a scale from 1 to 5, the latter being the highest mark, they were rated: 4.73, 4.63 and 4.61, respectively). The kindness and hospitality of the local residents follow with a 4.58 mark.
  4. The participants gave a somewhat lower mark, yet still higher than average, to the quality of the accommodation (4.28), the congress venue (4.27), the accessibility of the destination (4.21), the local cuisine (4.24) and the value for money (4.21).
  5. In the survey, participants perceive shopping (3.70) and entertainment (3.94) as the two segments that could be most improved.

The digital brochure with the main results will be available on our website www.meetinljubljana.com shortly.