Paris reinforces its position as the world's leading destination for international congresses.

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) published its annual ranking of the most attractive destinations for international congresses. For the second consecutive year, Paris occupies 1st place in the ranking, and has even widened the gap a little further between itself and other European cities.

ICCA takes into account three criteria for congresses eligible in its ranking: congresses must take place on a regular basis, have at least 50 participants, and rotate between a minimum of three countries. This ranking places Paris in first position, ahead of Lisbon in second position. In 2019, the French capital played host to a total of 237 congresses that met ICCA criteria and 124,000 delegates, compared to 212 events and 126,000 participants in 2018.

Since 2010, Paris has consistently occupied one of the top two places in the ranking, attesting to its pre-eminence in the international congress sector. These results demonstrate the success of the promotional activities carried out by tourism industry professionals with the Convention Bureau of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Convention Bureau of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau works daily to enhance the attractiveness of the destination by offering wide-ranging assistance and advice to associations planning major events in Paris. In 2019, the Convention Bureau oversaw more than 340 applications from associations, federations, public institutions, learned societies ... to help them in the planning of their events.

Annual congress study of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau

Infographie étude congrès 2020 EN

The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau identified a total of 1,084 congresses held in the capital in 2019, generating nearly 1.48 billion euros in economic benefits. A record figure, up 10% on the previous year!

The number of delegates increased by 4.6% compared to 2018, totalling 922,900, of which 292,737 were foreign delegates (+4.7%).

Another important progression was the increase in the number of big congresses with 5,000 people or more, up 34%, which represent 4% of the total number of congresses organized. The predominant sector of activity remains the medical sector, which accounts for 32% of congresses in Paris, followed by technology-related events (13%). Congresses relating to ecology and the environment accounted for the biggest increase, with 67% more congresses.

Key figures:

* 3 congresses per day on average in Paris
* 73% of congresses hosted take place annually;  
* Congresses mainly held in November, June, October, and March
* Average duration of 2.8 days (2.9 days for international congresses and 2 days for national congresses)
* 65% of congresses were non-rotating (always held in Paris or in Île-de-France)        
* 53% of congresses attracted international participants (at least 20% of foreign attendees) * 62% of congresses (680) attracted more than 500 delegates and 4% attracted more than 5,000 (43) 
* 39% were held at academic venues and 35% at congress centres (the latter having hosted 75% of delegates)    
* 260 Parisian venues hosted congresses

Although the year 2020 will be strongly impacted by the current global context, these excellent results make it possible to envisage a resumption of activity, with major congresses already confirmed for the year 2021, such as that of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), which will take place for the first time in Paris.

To download the study Congress 2019 click here

About the PCVB

The Convention Bureau actively contributes to the attractiveness of the destination by providing information and offering support to associations, federations and professional groups for the organization of their events in Paris. Bringing together the main Parisian players, both private and public, in business tourism, the Bureau’s team encourages and supports professional associations wishing to put together a Paris bid for the hosting of their congress or any other event.

In 2019, the Convention Bureau oversaw the cases of more than 340 associations, federations and public institutions with a congress project in Paris.

The Paris Tourism Research Department collects and analyzes statistics to give a picture of tourism activity. It endeavours to identify and follow new trends in tourism in Paris and carries out surveys enabling tourism professionals to position themselves within their sector and to better respond to demand.

At a crossroads for tourist information in Paris, the Tourism Research Department is an interface between tourism professionals, the academic world, and journalists. The Department networks with other European cities to exchange best practices and position Paris in terms of international tourism competitivity.

To read the presse release click here.