The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) 2014 Annual Statistics Report, released on 11 May, has confirmed why BestCities is the leading alliance of global destinations and convention bureaux with all partners performing well. “With 12 partners geographically located across five continents, rankings are naturally quite broad, however all cities contributed to a fantastic overall result for BestCities, hosting a total of 935 international meetings, as well as achieving excellent individual results in their respective regions,” says Paul Vallee, BestCities managing director.
“With footholds in both established and emerging markets, BestCities covers the full gamut of convention destinations including Berlin which remains BestCities’ highest ranked city in 4th position hosting 193 meetings whilst the newest partner, Bogotá, increased their number of meetings to 49, which is an equally outstanding outcome in this young market.” BestCities is also celebrating a trifecta of number one rankings with Cape Town the top African city with 58 meetings, Vancouver number one in North America and Singapore ranked first in Asia Pacific & Middle East.
Consistently ranking in the top 10 worldwide, Singapore hosted 142 meetings last year to again secure top spot. Dubai jumped to 44 overall with 56 meetings and Melbourne, also a high achiever in this region, increased their global position to 37 – up from 44 last year and had its highest attendance for 10 years. New partner Tokyo, also showed their true colours, and why they are Japan’s most successful convention city, climbing four places to a world ranking of 22, hosting 90 meetings last year, up from 79 in 2013.
Four partners earned the title of “BestCities rapid risers” – Houston leapt an amazing 43 places, Dubai up 19, Cape Town up 13 and Edinburgh increased nine places to record their strongest performance in more than 10 years. Commenting on the 2014 ICCA rankings, John Donnelly, chief executive of marketing, Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted with Edinburgh’s performance in this year’s ICCA rankings, which is to down to the hard work of our members and Convention Edinburgh team.
Not only has Edinburgh moved up nine places to 31, but the city also hosted 72 ICCA recognised meetings, an increase from 55 in 2013. Whether it’s finance, science, digital or creative industries, Edinburgh is a city thriving with bright minds and innovative research and development – making it a natural choice for meetings, conventions and conferences.” Vancouver has claimed the title of North America’s top destination for international meetings in 2014, hosting 60 international meetings – more than any other city in North America.
The city placed 38th overall, ahead of other renowned meetings destinations like Montreal and Washington. Also in North America, Chicago climbed two places to 63 holding an additional four meetings during the year. “ICCA’s ranking is particularly timely as Vancouver prepares to host some of the world’s most influential medical meetings in 2015,” said Ty Speer, president and CEO of Tourism Vancouver.
“This recognition is largely due to the diligence and long-standing efforts of our local hospitality community, who have built strong relationships with conference organizers around the world. In addition, Tourism Vancouver’s ‘Be a Host’ programme has identified and supported many of the individual professionals who have brought their international organisation’s meetings to Vancouver.”