Hybrid meetings reward Korea in ICCA rankings

SOUTH KOREA has joined the ICCA Top 10 destination rankings as a result of the higher number of hybrid meetings hosted in the country amid pandemic restrictions.

Far stricter Covid-prevention measures compared to other conference destinations saw China, Japan and Korea make the switch to hybrid in higher numbers, according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)’s Destination Performance Index for 2021.

A Public Extract of the ICCA’s annual statistics report has been made available as the congress organisers’ association brings attention to the contribution made by the meetings industry to destinations in terms of economic impact and the knowledge shared through conferences.

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The report said Korea replaced the Netherlands in the No.10 spot of the country rankings due to the higher number of hybrid meetings it held. The unaffected and hybrid indicators in the country rankings were topped by Spain and China respectively.

Dubai ranked first among cities for unaffected meetings and was the only Middle East destination placed in Top 20 of the report’s six individual rankings.

Due to the impact of gatherings being suspended in 2020, ICCA refined its approach to the report by creating the Destination Performance Index. To provide a more better view of how destinations performed, the DPI factored in meetings that were affected amid the challenges of the pandemic and those that remained unaffected.

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Destination rankings for association meetings in 2021 were based on an estimated total number of attendees for hybrid and virtual events. A three-year economic impact analysis, which is usually not available to non-ICCA members, is also provided in the Public Extract. 

“We believe it’s very important that the world has a clearer sense of how the global association meetings industry has transformed during the past two years,” said Senthil Gopinath, ICCA chief executive. 

“In delivering an abstract of ICCA’s Annual Statistics report to the public once again, we are recognising the tremendous effort that destinations and meeting suppliers have made to adapt and even thrive through pandemic challenges.”

Budapest, Porto and Stockholm entered the Top 20 DPI city rankings for the first time. 

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“With this Public Abstract of our annual statistics report, we also aim to advocate for the meetings industry and the positive effects that association meetings have on destinations,” Gopinath added.

“It is crucial that our global community strengthens ties between each other as well as with industries such as aviation and healthcare. Association meetings create jobs and boost local economies. Moreover, they are vital to international knowledge-sharing and problem-solving.”

The full report ICCA Annual Statistics report, available only to ICCA members, contains additional analysis on the top destinations, economic impact, regional/global business-continuation and meeting subject matters. 

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