GainingEdge Unveils Fifth Edition of the International Convention Destination Competitive Index Report

Global Benchmarking Tool Highlights Key Trends in Meeting Destinations Worldwide

GainingEdge, the leading consulting firm in the business events and meeting industry, proudly announces the release of the fifth edition of the International Convention Destination Competitive Index Report. This groundbreaking report, now in its fifth year, provides a comprehensive analysis of meeting destinations worldwide, offering insights into their competitiveness, strengths, and areas for improvement.

Focus on Three Major Global Regions
This year’s edition shifts its focus to three major global regions: Top 30 EMEA destinations (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Top 15 APAC destinations (Asia-Pacific and Oceania), and Top 15 American destinations (North and Latin America). The featured destinations were selected based on their performance from January 2020 to December 2022, with a focus on in-person association meetings due to their significant impact on destinations. The number of meetings held is referenced from the International Congress and Convention (ICCA)’s database of association meetings 2020-2022.

Excluding Virtual and Postponed Meetings for Comparability
To restore comparability with the pre-pandemic period, virtual, canceled, and postponed meetings were excluded from the analysis. The decision to focus exclusively on in-person meetings reflects the significant disruptions caused by global challenges, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to varying responses, geopolitical issues, and disruptions in supply chains and the economic environment.

Top Cities
Singapore comes first as the most competitive destination in the Asia Pacific region, and also claims the top spot globally, surpassing Paris for the first time.

Paris maintains its position as the most competitive convention destination in Europe, followed closely by Barcelona and London. The inclusion of Dubai stands out for its strong performance in the 2020-2022 three-year period. New York remains the most competitive destination in the United States, securing the third position globally after Singapore and Paris.

Cities to Watch
The report identifies six cities as exemplary in showcasing what can be achieved through different combinations of product and a focus on the international meeting market. These cities include:

  1. Singapore: Surpassing Paris, it claims the top spot globally and excels in both the competitiveness of its destination product and the number of international association meetings hosted.
  2. Vienna: Hosting an impressive total of 208 international conventions in the last three years, Vienna reaffirms its position as the world’s most successful convention destination.
  3. Brussels: Hosting 156 in-person international conventions over the past three years, Brussels demonstrates its prowess as an international hub for association business.
  4. Taipei: Hosting 55 in-person international association meetings and 88 international conventions over the last three years, Taipei surpasses the competitive position of its destination product.
  5. Panama City: Hosting 31 in-person international association meetings in 2022 and 36 over the two-year pandemic period, Panama City positions itself as the 11th most successful destination in the North & Latin America region.
  6. Reykjavík: Achieving its best-ever result by hosting 55 international congresses in 2022, Reykjavík demonstrates exceptional results and surpasses pre-pandemic performance.

Milos Milovanovic, Head of GainingEdge Analysis & Research (GEAR) says: “Through this report and based on this methodology, we can evaluate destinations, establish their competitiveness in relation to primary competitors, and compare these to the destinations’ potential business levels. We can help destinations to identify their competitive set, understand their competitive position and set optimal business goals.”

Download a copy of the abbreviated version of the Competitive Index 2022-2023 here.
Download a copy of the Competitive Index 2022-2023 full report here.

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