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ICCA ranking is back… and Spain does great!

ICCA ranking is back… and Spain does great!

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Eric Mottard
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It is undoubtedly the great ranking of our industry. Despite having its flaws (or rather, despite not being such a perfect/comprehensive ranking), the ICCA ranking is the Nasdaq of our industry, the most followed metrics of international congress activity of countries and cities. And the association just released this year’s results (based on the 2022 activity) after pausing for several years due to the pandemic. And Spain is doing great, still being the only country with 2 cities in the top 10 (Barcelona fourth, Madrid sixth).

At the end of 2022, ICCA decided to revert to normal rankings again based on the observation that the pandemic and the virtual events craze (which obviously did not justify a city ranking) were over, with approximately 85% of all meetings held in-person. However, the association recognises that certain countries and territories were still working within the confines of COVID-19 restrictions in 2022, so this ranking should be taken with caution.

Pandemic is over? Not quite yet. ICCA’s Research team identified over 10,500 meetings of which some 9,000 meetings were held in-person or in a hybrid format. As the association meetings industry is still catching up to the numbers of the last pre-pandemic year (13,254 meetings in 2019). But we are getting there…

Countries: Spain goes up to number 2 (from 4th in 2020)

  • 1 U.S.A
  • 2 Spain
  • 3 Italy
  • 4 Germany
  • 5 France
  • 6 United Kingdom
  • 7 Portugal
  • 8 Netherlands
  • 9 Belgium
  • 10 Canada

City-wise, some key destinations are still faring really well, like Vienna, a classic in this ranking coming in at number 1. Very competitive Lisbon is at an impressive second spot and Paris, previously number 1, goes down to number 3. And yes, the duo of Barcelona and Madrid are still in the top 6, making Spain the only country with 2 cities in the top 10, an impressive achievement. Some go down like London (only 10th) and Berlin (8th, previously 3rd). Another reading is the amazing strength of Europe, with 8 of the top 10 destinations!

Cities: Spain still the only country with 2 destinations in the top 10

  • 1 Vienna
  • 2 Lisbon
  • 3 Paris
  • 4 Barcelona
  • 5 Prague
  • 6 Madrid
  • 7 Berlin
  • 8 Athens
  • 9 Brussels
  • 10 London

… and the rest of Spanish destinations

  • 36 Valencia
  • 49 Sevilla
  • 100 Málaga
  • 118 Palma
  • 129 San Sebastián
  • 153 Bilbao
  • 179 Granada
  • 223 Alicante
  • 223 Santiago de Compostela
  • 256 Córdoba
  • 256 Las Palmas
  • 256 Zaragoza
  • 292 Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • 292 Toledo

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