Utrecht ranks high

Utrecht, 12 May 2017


The city of Utrecht has been ranked in the Top 100 in the annual world ranking of congress cities after climbing 48 places. Earlier this week, ICCA (International Congress & Convention Association) released its annual statistics report saying that in 2016 the city hosted 25 international congresses which met their criteria. ICCA only registers association congresses that are organized on a regular basis, with a minimum of 50 participants and rotating between at least 3 different countries. In total Utrecht hosted 60 multi-day, international congresses with an economic value of more than 20 million euros.


The growing popularity of Utrecht as a congress city fits into the trend of increasing international interest for the Cathedral city, which is rapidly developing into a smart, green and healthy city region promoting a healthy urban living. The high concentration of knowledge institutions, combined with a young, highly educated population, an authentic appearance and atmosphere and a central location in the heart of the Netherlands make Utrecht a congress destination par excellence.

"The economic value of multi-day international congresses is high, the international congress visitor spends about 400 euros a day," says Hans Sittrop, Manager Utrecht Convention Bureau. "In the coming years, we expect a significant increase in the number of national and international congresses and during the acquisition we focus on conferences that fit the city’s most important spearheads." To facilitate this growth, hotel capacity in the city will increase by about 1,000 rooms to over 3,000 hotel rooms.


In 2016, the Economic Board Utrecht established the Incentive Fund for Knowledge Events to further invest in the acquisition of multi-day (inter) national scientific congresses within the spearheads Green, Healthy and Smart. Utrecht wants to use the fund to attract more knowledge events that are in line with these spearheads and to strengthen its position as the most competitive region of the European continent.


The Utrecht Convention Bureau (UCB) is part of Utrecht Marketing and a one-stop shop for organizers of national and international meetings, congresses and other business meetings. UCB provides free, independent and expert advice on the possibilities that Utrecht offers when it comes to business events. In addition, UCB also informs meeting and event planners about marketing & promotion, financial aspects or subsidies for congresses and offers support for bid procedures, site inspections and FAM trips.