Study emphasises German strengths

Germany’s meetings and convention market is worth DM84 billion (£26 billion) a year to the country, according to a study recently published by the German Convention Bureau (GCB). The document – The German Convention and Congress Market 2000 – reports on convention halls, hotels and unusual venues, as well as listing the ten most popular event cities. These are Berlin, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Heidelburg, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart and Weimar. Of the 1.15 million meetings events that took place in Germany last year, conferences and seminars accounted for 93% of the market with the remainder made up of live events (5%) and large congresses (2%). The majority of events (79%) are staged up to two days duration, and booking demand at its strongest in the spring and autumn. The major advantages of staging a meeting in Germany are good infrastructure and reliability. The disadvantages include high costs and the language barrier. The results have been welcomed by the Dresden Tourist Board, which is constructing a new convention centre. "Last year 10,900 conferences and congresses took place in Dresden. Every fourth overnight stay in the city is made by a congress participant. The new Congress Centre, which will open in 2003, will attract an additional 300,000 participants to Dresden," said managing director Yvonne Kubitza. The GCB study concludes that the future outlook is positive. Capacity growth will continue but at a slower rate, while the frequency of events will increase

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