Lisbon has strengthened its position as one of the world’s top destinations for international meetings and congresses by moving into the top ten in the annual International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) city rankings for 2015. The Portuguese capital climbed three places to No9 in the top 20 list of cities by hosting 145 association meetings last year, an impressive increase of 30% compared to 2014.
Lisbon’s rise in the rankings demonstrates how it is going from strength to strength for large scale conferences and events and has moved it ahead of other popular European capitals, including Prague (11th place), Amsterdam (12th place) and Brussels (13th place).
As well as boasting a mild year-round climate and being easily accessible (just 1-3 hours from most major European cities and 5-8 hours from the Americas), Lisbon offers first class venues to satisfy even the most demanding groups – from iconic places such as Castelo de São Jorge and Sintra National Palace to quirky settings including the former Convent of Beato António, the plant museum of Estufa Fria de Lisboa and Campo Pequeno, previously Lisbon’s bullring.
In addition, Lisbon was recently named as the “best value” city in Western Europe according to City Costs Barometer 2016 by Post Office Travel Money, further reinforcing its status for offering some of the most competitive accommodation rates in Europe, from international hotel brands to elegant boutique properties.
The city also has plenty to offer incentive groups, with unique and quirky activities from shooting a short film in Praça do Comércio to enjoying a private ride on board one the city’s traditional trams accompanied by live fado. For more adventurous options, groups can take advantage of the region’s diversity by venturing further afield into the surrounding National Parks, mountains, countryside and beaches.
Alexandra Baltazar, Manager of Lisbon Convention Bureau, says: “We are delighted that Lisbon’s success in the field of international congresses has been reflected in this rise into the top 10 of the annual ICCA rankings. This is the result of the hard and continuous work we and our partners have carried out in the last few years to make our city one of the leaders for association meetings. We are looking forward to welcoming even more global organisations in the future.”
Lisbon has a great number of high-profile events scheduled for this year, with the Web Summit 2016 (7-11 November) being the largest for 2016, expected to bring together 30,000 delegates from around the globe. Further ahead, international meetings confirmed already include the European Congress of Endocrinology and the Annual Meeting of European Association for the Study of Diabetes in 2017, with the Annual Meeting of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the XXV International Carbohydrate Symposium booked to take place in Lisbon in 2018.