San Sebastian ranked at an all-time high for international events by the ICCA
- Thursday, 16 May 2019
The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the most prestigious in the sector, has ranked San Sebastian at 180 out of 1835 cities worldwide, on a par with considerably larger cities, such as Johannesburg, Las Vegas, Liverpool, and Malmo.
San Sebastian is ranked seventh for international congresses in Spain, only behind larger cities with greater infrastructures, such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, and almost level with Seville, Salamanca, and Bilbao. It is ranked higher than cities with larger populations, such as Malaga and Granada.
Through their Congresses and Events department and as part of their Plan Director strategy, Donostia San Sebastián Turismoa has opted to attract international congresses, given their qualitative value and because they help to both remove seasonality at the destination and raise its international profile.
The ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association has published their annual ranking for 2018. Spain is ranked second, and within Spain, San Sebastian is ranked seventh, only behind larger cities with greater infrastructures, such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, and almost level with Seville, Salamanca, and Bilbao. It is ranked higher than cities with larger populations, such as Malaga and Granada.
In the ICCA world ranking, San Sebastian is ranked 180 out of 1835 cities, on a par with cities such as Johannesburg, Las Vegas, Ottawa, and Perth. In Europe, it is ranked 92 out of 894 cities, on a par with cities such as Liverpool, Malmo, Wroclaw, Innsbruck, Leipzig, and Cambridge.
The ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) is both the most prestigious congress association and an international benchmark, applying very strict criteria when including congresses. Only international congresses that are held regularly, take place in at least 3 different countries, and have at least 50 attendees are considered. Based on these criteria, 16 events in San Sebastian were included.
In 2018, San Sebastian hosted 154 business tourism related events (congresses, conferences, conventions…), involving 117,319 overnight stays and generating €41,061,650 (the number of overnight stays x an average cost of € 350 per congress attendee). Furthermore, the international congresses during 2018 took place in very different locations, such as the Palacio de Congresos Kursaal, Palacio Miramar, Victoria Eugenia, along with a range of university and hotel event rooms, highlighting the city’s wide-ranging infrastructure.
The congress segment shows the highest potential for growth and provides great value in quantitative terms, proving a real economic driver for the region. Through their Congresses and Events department, Donostia San Sebastián Turismoa has invested and worked to attract international congresses as part of the Donostia / San Sebastián Visit- Bizi 2017-2021 Plan Director framework strategy to remove seasonality and raise the international profile.