The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has
released its latest Destination Performance Index (DPI) 2021 in its
analysis of worldwide association meetings.
The DPI examines 8,000 international association meetings planned for
2021, based on six performance indicators (planned, unaffected,
virtual, hybrid, digitalisation, and business continuation). These
combined indicators represent the overall DPI, highlighting how
destinations have performed with regard to winning the original bid,
Covid policies, adaptability, and technological capabilities to convert
on-site events into virtual/hybrid events.
The US emerged as the top performing country for association meetings
in the DPI, ranking first in four of the six indicators (planned,
virtual, digitalisation, and business continuation).
The remaining two indicators, unaffected and hybrid, were topped by
Spain and China, respectively. For cities, Vienna and Lisbon were close
contenders in the DPI but Vienna come out top, with more unaffected
meetings in 2021.
Overall, Europe was a strong performer as an association meeting
destination during the pandemic. Seventy percent of the top 20 countries
and 80% of the top 20 cities are European.
In the top 20 countries for meetings, Denmark and Greece replaced
Argentina and Brazil. Spain jumped two spots since 2019 to become the
second meeting destination globally. Italy claimed 5th place from the
United Kingdom. Austria made the biggest jump, from 16th to 11th place.
Facing stricter Covid policies, China, Japan, and South Korea
embraced hybrid. Due to the high number of hybrid meetings, South Korea
replaced the Netherlands in the top 10 country destinations.
These are top 20 countries in ICCA's 2021 ranking:
- South Korea
The report also presents the top destinations for association
meetings in 2021, based on estimated total number of attendees for
hybrid and virtual events.
For destination cities, global stand-outs were Montreal (19th), the
only North American city in the top 20 DPI, and Dubai (21st), the only
city from the Middle East, and narrowly missing the top 20.
Dubai ranked first for unaffected meetings and was the only Middle
Eastern city represented in the six individual top 20 rankings.
Meanwhile, Budapest, Porto, and Stockholm all landed in the top 20 DPI
for cities for the first time.
These are top 20 destinations in ICCA's 2021 ranking: