Organisers of international congresses embrace Utrecht as their inspiring congress destination. The city reached the 98th place in the ICCA Ranking (International Congress & Convention Association), which means Utrecht re-entered the top 100 of most popular congress destinations worldwide. The ranking was published on Thursday May 14th and focuses on international association congresses. Utrecht is the fourth leading congress destination in the Netherlands, just behind mayor cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.
In 2019, 83 multi-day international congresses took place in Utrecht city alone, with a combined economic impact of 28 million euros. With 31 association congresses Utrecht surpasses its peak year 2014 (25 congresses), and takes the fourth position in the Dutch ranking. Furthermore, the Netherlands is also doing well as a congress destination as it is still ranked 9th best country in the world.
The good price-quality ratio seems to play an increasingly important role in the decision to opt for Utrecht. Utrecht has a wide and affordable range of conference venues, hotels and restaurants. Moreover, the city and region are centrally located and easily accessible by all means of transportation (the nearest airport can be reached within 30 minutes from Utrecht by train). ‘The Jaarbeurs Congress & Exhibition Center and other congress venues are located right next to Utrecht Central Station. From here the historic city with its lively centre is within walking distance,’ says Monique André de la Porte, Account Manager at the Utrecht Convention Bureau (UCB). Another factor is the cities high concentration of knowledge institutions combined with a young, highly educated population. André de la Porte: ‘The UCB will continue to focus on attracting knowledge events that are a good fit for Utrecht: Green, Healthy & Smart.’ Next to Utrecht city, the UCB is also increasingly focusing on the Utrecht Region with its numerous attractive locations that are easy to reach. Certainly with the Utrecht Region Pass, which allows you to travel around like a local throughout the Netherlands by train, bus and the typical Dutch ‘OV bicycle’.
ICCA is a global organisation that organises the international quality mark for international association congresses. It registers meetings that are organised on a regular basis, have a minimum of 50 delegates and rotate between at least three different countries.
Utrecht Convention Bureau
The Utrecht Convention Bureau is part of Utrecht Marketing and is a one-stop shop for organisers of national and international meetings, conferences and other business gatherings. The UCB offers free, independent and expert advice about the possibilities that Utrecht has to offer for business events. It also provides conference and event organisers with information about marketing and promotion, financial aspects and/or conference grants and offers help with tendering procedures, site inspections and FAM trips.
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