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Paris took first place in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings for cities that welcomed the most international congresses in 2013.

The ninth survey of congress activity in Paris and the Paris region carried out by the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau presents a record number of 1,055 congresses and 752,300 delegates for 2013.

ICCA rankings 2013
With 204 international congresses hosted in 2013, Paris is No. 1 in the ICCA rankings, ahead of Madrid (186 congresses), Vienna (182) and Barcelona (179).

Congresses, a strategic sector
In 2013, the economic spin-offs in Paris and the Paris region linked to the congress segment were estimated at more than 1.167 billion euros (+ 13 percent compared to 2012) representing more than 20,000 full-time jobs. Direct expenditure (linked to the organization of a congress) was estimated at 24 percent and indirect expenditure (accommodation, restaurants, leisure, shopping and transport on site) at 76 percent. In 2013, congresses generated 1.9 million hotel overnights, i.e. 9 percent of business overnights, which were themselves estimated at 42.9 percent of global overnights in 2013.

An ever-increasing number of congresses and congress attendees
240 venues in Paris and the Paris region (203 in Paris, 37 in the Paris region) hosted 1,055 congresses in 2013 compared to 1,013 in 2012. Paris hosted on average 88 congresses every month: some three per day! 2013 stands out in particular for the increased number of congress attendees estimated at 752,300, i.e. 20 percent more than in 2012. With an average of 10 nationalities, the average number of participants at congresses was 715 in 2013 compared to 620 in 2012. The average duration of a congress remained the same in 2013 as for 2012, i.e. 2.3 days.

Major events
As in 2012, Paris hosted 17 congresses with more than 5,000 participants in 2013. Although they represented less than 2 percent of congress activity, they accounted for 19 percent of participants, i.e. 124,343 congress attendees.

A diverse range of sectors of activity and venues
Although congresses in the medical sector remain the most predominant, their share dropped to 38 percent in 2013 compared to 44 percent in 2012 and 50 percent in 2011. Other sectors have a strong presence: technology (10 percent), economic and scientific (6 percent each).

Congress centers and scientific venues hosted the same proportion of congresses (34 percent). Nevertheless, the capacity of congress centers enabled them to host some 72 percent of congress attendees; scientific venues hosted 14 percent, meeting rooms 6 percent, hotels with meeting rooms 5 percent, and museums and cultural event venues 2 percent.

More big congresses
Congresses hosting between 500 and 900 participants increased by 23 percent to total 165 congresses, and those hosting between 1,000 and 4,999 increased by 42 percent to total 155 congresses. The increase in the latter followed the increase in the number of international rotating congresses, which almost doubled, 24 in 2013, and 13 in 2012. Smaller-sized congresses (less than 200 participants) were still the most numerous: 28 percent, i.e. 296.

To see the report ‘PARIS, congress activity in 2013’ (in French; available in English on request), visit

See related article: “ICCA ranks top 2013 countries and cities.”

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