Prague Remains Among Most Sought-After Meeting Destinations

According to the latest data, Prague has improved year-on-year in terms of the number of meetings and conferences held. It has also improved in terms of the number of delegates who arrived for these events. The Czech capital also landed in the sixth place among the most sought-after meeting destinations in the world, surpassing cities such as Madrid, Seoul, London, Berlin and Tokyo.

The meetings industry in the capital is maintaining its upward trend after an enforced pandemic hiatus. In 2023, according to aggregated data from the Prague Convention Bureau and the Czech Statistical Office, a total of 4,889 meetings and conferences were held in Prague, with 691,103 delegates attending, representing a year-on-year increase of 25 percent and 12 percent, respectively. However, these numbers were still not enough to surpass the record year of 2019. “In terms of the number of delegates, we are at almost 97 percent of 2019’s performance, but in terms of the number of events, we are only at 82 percent,” said Roman Muška, managing director of the Prague Convention Bureau.

In its tourism strategy documents, Prague has set out to target a high net-worth clientele, especially the meetings delegates. Not only do they not burden the destination in the main tourist season, as congresses are most often held in spring and autumn months, but they also have on average up to three times higher spending compared to the average tourists. According to the Prague Convention Bureau data, the number of international meetings and conferences in Prague has increased by 54 percent year-on-year, thus balancing the proportion of international (49.3 percent) and local events (50.7 percent). “In the long term, most events have been coming from the European continent (88 percent). However, if we focus on individual countries, in 2023, the United States of America returned to the top spot of source countries after four years, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Belgium,” Roman Muška explained. Medical sciences, economics, finance and business and IT and technology have long been among the most frequent topics delegates come to Prague to discuss.

Prague Convention Bureau_MICE Stats Prague 2023

In 2023, 35.5 percent of all events held in the Czech Republic headed to Prague, according to data from the Czech Statistical Office. This was followed by the South Moravian Region (18.9 percent), the Olomouc Region (8.3 percent) and the Central Bohemian Region (7.4 percent).

In international competition, Prague still holds its position among the most sought-after meeting destinations in the world. In the ranking, compiled annually by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) on the basis of the number of meetings with international rotation and participation of more than 50 delegates, Prague ranked sixth globally this year, and within Europe it defended its fifth place. Although year-on-year, the Czech capital hosted 4 percent more association events that met the ICCA criteria, Prague was dethroned from the global top five by the Asian meetings champion Singapore, which climbed from 13th to second place in 2022. The tourism industry, as well as the meeting industry, started to take off later in Asia, when compared to the rest of the world, due to longer-lasting pandemic restrictions. We are just now seeing the return of Asian destinations in full strength, with Seoul (10th), Tokyo (13th) and Bangkok (15th) completing the top 15 convention destinations.

From 2022 onwards, there has been a revival of the meetings industry not only in Prague, but also in other global destinations. According to the recent “ICCA 60 Years Report,” the number of congresses has more than doubled in the last 60 years, so the competition Prague faces is immense. The report also predicts that globally in 2023 the number of events will return to 90 percent of 2019 and the number of delegates to 95 percent, which the Czech capital has only partially achieved. In 2024, according to expert estimates, the congress industry should surpass 2019 figures by 37 percent in terms of delegate numbers and 1 percent in terms of events.

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