International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the international organization that is a reference for the market, declared Paris – for the second consecutive year – the “world’s leading city for hosting international congresses.”
The rankings are based on congresses that take place at regular intervals, attracting at least 50 participants and rotating in three countries. With 214 international congresses accounted for by the association, Paris outstrips Vienna (202) and Madrid (200).
“It is a strong indicator of the appeal of Paris and recognition of the quality of our expertise in hosting major events. As the city with the most dynamic economy in the Euro zone, Paris is seen by professionals worldwide as a hub for business tourism,” acclaimed Jean-François Martins, deputy mayor in charge of tourism, Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVB).
These rankings come in addition to the survey published by the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau on « Congress activity in Paris in 2014 ». It numbers 978 congresses held in Paris last year, which represents a rise of 1.2 percent compared to 2013. The number of participants also showed a sharp increase, with 688,690 people (+3.4 percent), i.e. an average of 704 people per event (compared to 689 in 2013). The congress sector alone now accounts for 9 percent of business overnights in Paris.
1.1 billion euros in economic benefits
Laying aside the criteria of the ICCA, Paris hosted 252 international congresses in 2014, up 7.7 percent compared to 2013. The share of international congress attendees (33 percent) thus saw an increase of 2 percentage points out of the total number of participants. « These congresses, for which Paris is a choice destination, are therefore of strategic importance.
Their public spend an average of €344 per day, compared to €212 for national congresses. They alone generate 64 percent of the economic benefits of a congress, underlined Nicolas Lefebvre, managing director of the PCVB.
In total, the economic benefits from the sector for Paris’s economy are estimated at 1.1 billion euros (+ 2.6 percent compared to 2013), of which 23 percent is direct spending – linked to the organization of a congress – and 77 percent is indirect spending (accommodation, restaurants/catering, leisure and entertainment, shopping, etc).
Medical congresses are still the most numerous
The five main subject areas – medical science, technology, sciences, economy and social sciences – accounted for 69 percent of congresses in 2014, and 81.2 percent of congress attendees. The most represented subject area was medical with 365 congresses (37 percent of total congresses): they accounted for 53 percent of the overall economic benefits.
Scientific places were favored venues (35 percent of congresses), followed by congress centres
(23 percent), meeting rooms (17 percent) and hotels with conference rooms (14 percent). Due to their large size, congress centers were the places that hosted the most congress attendees (65 percent of the total number).