ICCA ranks Germany as top Europe centre

Germany has confirmed its position as Europe’s top congress and meeting destination as the World Cup kicks off. The latest ICCA rankings for 2005 show Germany retaining its position as the most popular destination for meetings in Europe. Worldwide, it is second only to the US. The announcement comes as figures for incoming travel to Germany show it outstripping global trends to set a high of 48.2 million overnight stays in 2005, a year-on-year increase of 6.4%. German Convention Bureau director Lutz Vogt said that the World Cup had boosted awareness of the country’s MICE offering. “Last year, much earlier than planned, we already made it to the top in Europe, and for 2006 we expect the World Cup to give us a further boost.” Berlin Grand Hyatt marketing communications manager Kerstin Riedel said that although bookings were strong for the week of the final, there was still meetings capacity. “We are full around games, but there are not that many corporate bookings because people assume we will be expensive. But the World Cup has been a good marketing opportunity and we anticipate its effect lasting into 2007.” Germany has invested £5.7bn in World Cup infrastructure developments, including cities such as Frankfurt, which has seen 16 new hotels open in the past 18 months.

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