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Paris regains top spot in ICCA rankings as UK sees slight fall

Paris has reclaimed the top spot in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) city rankings for 2018, as the number of global meetings recorded hit a record high. 

However, the UK has fallen from third to fifth in the country rankings, overtaken by both Spain and France, with London falling one place to seventh in the city rankings.

The US continues to top the country rankings, as ICCA captured a total of 12,937 rotating association meetings taking place in 2018. This was an increase of 379 meetings year-on-year and represents the highest annual figure ICCA has ever recorded in its yearly statistics, signalling that industry growth is continuing on a strong trajectory.

Paris climbed to the top of the city rankings by number of international association meetings with a margin of 40 meetings above second place holder Vienna. In 2017, Paris and Vienna held joint second place, with 190 meetings each. Last year’s number one Barcelona fell to fourth place, with Madrid entering the top five for the first time since 2015 in third place. Among the top five cities for another year, Berlin falls to fifth place from fourth in 2017. London fell from sixth to seventh slot, with 150 meetings.

The top 10 is as follows:

1. Paris – 212
2. Vienna – 172
3. Madrid – 165
4. Barcelona – 163
5. Berlin – 162
6. Lisbon – 152
7. London – 150
8. Singapore – 145
9. Prague – 136
10. Bangkok – 135

The US remains in the top country spot, unchallenged for more than two decades. Germany remains in second place while the UK dropped from third to fifth place, overtaken by Spain, which rises to third. After exiting the top five last year, France re-entered in 2018 in fourth place. Italy replaces France in sixth place, and Japan and China remain in seventh and eighth place for another year. The Netherlands and Canada swap positions, coming in at ninth and 10th respectively.

The top 10 is as follows:

1. US – 947
2. Germany – 642
3. Spain – 595
4. France – 579
5. United Kingdom – 574
6. Italy – 522
7. Japan – 492
8. China – 449
9. Netherlands – 355
10. Canada – 315

ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath said: “We have recorded our largest ever annual snapshot of the immediate past year’s meetings data in 2018. These results closely follow the release of our 55-year history of the international association meetings market in October 2018.

ICCA’s latest figures uphold the mature, robust growth pattern we identified in this report and provide more evidence of our firm belief that the association sector continues to be an unrivalled stimulator of global societal development and force for progress across the globe.”