The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranked Greece 13thand Athens 8th as top-performing, in-person meetings destinations in its returning annual “Country – and City – Rankings for 2022” after a two-year absence.
The association released the results at the IMEX 2023 expo in Frankfurt, a time and place when the international meetings and events industry gather, in person.
Country, city rankings for 2022
Athens was ranked 8th globally hosting a total of 109 events last year. Leading the way in 2022 as the host of the most in-person events was Vienna with 162, followed by Lisbon 144, Paris 134, Barcelona 133, Prague 129, Madrid 128, Berlin 113, Athens 109, Brussels 108, London (106), Dublin, (105), Copenhagen (102), Singapore (101), Rome (79), and Amsterdam (73).
Greece was also among the 15 top countries hosting the largest number of in-person MICE events in 2022. At the top of the list was the United States hosting 690 events last year, followed by Spain (528), Italy (522), Germany (484), France (472), United Kingdom (449), Portugal (294), Netherlands (253), Belgium (234), Canada (233), Austria (232), Japan (228), Greece (185), Sweden (179) and Switzerland (175).
The ICCA decided to revert to normal rankings after observing that approximately 85 percent of all meetings were held in-person.
According to data, 10,500 MICE events of which some 9,000 meetings were held in-person in 2022, remained unaffected by Covid-19 or were held in a hybrid format. The ICCA notes however that the meetings industry is still catching up to the numbers of the last pre-pandemic year (13,254 meetings in 2019).
“It’s heartening to see the drive towards in-person meetings is once more very strong and we predict this trend will grow throughout the coming year,” said ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath.
In 2021, The city of Athens ranked third among the Top 50 performing meeting destinations in 2021. In the same year, Greece ranked 17th, Athens 3rd and Thessaloniki 47th in the ICCA’s Destination Performance Index (DPI).
ICCA, today’s global meetings industry network, was founded in 1963 by a group of travel agents to exchange information on international congresses and conventions. Over 60 years later ICCA’s membership network of over 1,000 suppliers to the international meetings industry spans the globe, with members in almost 100 countries.