ICCA RATINGS FOR 2011 SEE NO AFRICAN COUNTRY / CITY IN THE TOP 20
The International Conference and Convention Associations recent publication of the top 20 destinations for MICE business has reaffirmed the old world order, that not one African city or country made it into the top 20 worldwide.
In fact the top 6 countries appear to be cast in iron, led by the United States and followed by Germany and Spain although in the city ranking Vienna retained top position but with a change in runners up now being Paris and Barcelona.
African destination countries have been trying to market MICE events more aggressively in recent years but are often limited by the available conference facilities and more important bed capacity in capital and key commercial cities. While South Africa has been persistently topping the African rankings and has invested heavily in facilities ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, other countries have been playing catch up with Kenya significantly for the East African region attracting ever more MICE business and hoping for yet more, as the planning for a brand new international class conference centre is advancing, to be set at the Bamburi area of the Indian Ocean port and leisure city of Mombasa. Another country keen on increasing their MICE footprint is Rwanda, where new hotels and conference facilities are due to be commissioned, amongst them a new Marriott Hotel and Conference Centre.
Globally though Africa, as is generally the case with tourism arrivals and global ranking therein, remains in the distant pack chasing a however fast growing market segment for such profitable and visibility creating events.
The new top 20 country rankings, according to the number of confirmed major meetings held, are:
USA 759 meetings
Republic of Korea 207
The top 20 city rankings, again going by the number of meetings hosted in 2011, are:
Vienna 181 meetings
Buenos Aires 94