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The results of the annual ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) statistics report - one of the most anticipated publications in the global meetings industry – have just been published.

icca statistika

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The criteria that apply are the following: the meetings of international professional associations with at least 50 participants that rotate among at least 3 countries, and are organized on a regular basis. The ICCA research method allows for a consistent comparison of world meetings destinations, making it a valuable indicator of the latest trends and developments in international professional associations event market.

Global overview 2018

In 2018, a worldwide record of 12,937 events took place - 379 more than last year. First five spots in the global rankings show nothing particularly new - Europe remains the most desirable destination for international meetings. Paris is first with 212 events, followed by Vienna with 40 events less, Madrid (165), Barcelona (163) and Berlin (162) - a »classic« figure that - in a slightly changing order - has been observed for many years. Up until 10th place we can find Lisbon, London, Singapur, Prague and Bangkok.

This year the United States remains the leading country with 947 events, followed by Germany (642), Spain (595), France (579) and United Kingdom (574), Italy, Japan, China, the Netherlands and Canada.

What about Ljubljana and Slovenia?

Best results so far! Ljubljana is 24th in the European rankings and 41st worldwide with 59 recorded events (15 more than last year). Slovenian capital shares good company with some very established congress destinations, such as Milan (61 events) and Munchen (67) in front, and Krakow (53) and Glasgow (52) just behind.

Last year Ljubljana was 56th with 44 events.

In the country rankings, Slovenia has recorded 85 events (12 more than last year) and is 21st in Europe and 41st globally with Croatia and Hungary just in front and Russia and Romania just behind. All of the mentioned results are best ones Ljubljana and Slovenia have ever recorded.

It is however clear that the ICCA research can not cover all events that took place around the globe. Corporate, business and intergovernmental meetings, as well as incentives, are not included, even though they make for an increasingly important share of the meetings industry market. This was acknowledged also by the ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath himself:

“Although the most comprehensive global benchmark of the international association meetings sector, the ICCA rankings should not be mistaken as providing an overview of the entire meetings industry. We always seek to encourage and advise ICCA members to consult other rankings and collect their own meetings statistics to help them provide a full picture of their performance.”

Final comment

We are proud of the results achieved this year. Ljubljana and Slovenia have been recording positive figures for a number of consecutive years.

2018's record rankings are a pleasant reminder that the development of meetings industry in Ljubljana is moving in the right direction. Our city's growing visibility in the international meeting industry market can be attributed to several factors, including continuous marketing efforts by the key local stakeholders active in international associations bidding procedures, as well as in the corporate events segment. The ongoing expansion and quality improvement of the city's tourist offer in a broader sense is another important element enhancing Ljubljana's destination appeal.

Three new hotel openings are planned by 2021 that will bring a range of modern capacities for various types of events. With the upgrade and renovation of two other properties (Four Points by Sheraton Mons Ljubljana in Best Western Premier Hotel Slon) and some smaller boutique projects, the estimated total number of rooms in town in the next five years will amount to approximately 4.100 (45% increase of the current capacity).

Additionally, the new passenger terminal at the Ljubljana Airport is to be completed by spring 2021. We are confident to say that some fresh wind will be blowing through Ljubljana's tourism industry in the near future, making the pursuit of its main strategic goals in the broader sense of the word - the extension of visitors' stay, higher expenditure and de-seasonalization - easier to pursue and realize.