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Rotterdam remains second-ranking Dutch convention city

Rotterdam has been acclaimed as the second-ranking convention city in the Netherlands for the fifth year running. Rotterdam hosted 26 international association conventions in 2012.

The national list is headed by Amsterdam with 122 conventions. The result was apparent from the statistics compiled by the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), which keeps track of annual statistics worldwide.

The international association congresses and conventions collectively brought the city over 12 million euros in local spending. Clearly, the congress and convention market makes a key contribution to the Rotterdam economy. Moreover, these congresses and conventions in Rotterdam organised by the science and association sectors contribute significantly to Rotterdam’s image as a high-quality city of knowledge.

The ICCA ranking does not include all congresses and conventions. The ICCA statistics only rank the association meetings that attract a minimum of 50 attendees. Moreover, the association meetings must be organised on a regular basis and rotate between at least 3 different countries.

Alderman Hamit Karakus (housing, spatial planning, property and urban economy) is delighted that Rotterdam has been able to retain its position as the second-ranking convention city. “Thanks to our strong image as a city of knowledge, organisers arranging major international congresses deliberately choose to come to Rotterdam. By continuing to profile the city primarily in its key knowledge areas – medical, port, transport and logistics – we also create opportunities for the future. And the international congress market is also interesting in part due to its relative lack of susceptibility to the economic climate.”

According to Ton Wesselink, director of Rotterdam Marketing, the availability of more hotel and convention capacity in Rotterdam also opens up opportunities. “Rotterdam will be able to accommodate more congresses and bigger events. Recruiting such major conventions does take time in terms of hospitality, effort and patience.”

Rotterdam Marketing has been working actively for years to attract international conferences to the city. Many bids are issued every year in cooperation with the city of Rotterdam and local entrepreneurs and organisations in and around the city. For several years, Rotterdam has been offering access to the Rotterdam Incentive Fund especially for international conference organisers who highlight these priority themes. The incentive fund offers a bit of extra financial support, which eliminates the last obstacles for many international associations.

National development
The Netherlands is also performing well as an international host country for the congress and convention market.
A total of 315 association congresses were held in the Netherlands last year, ten more than in 2011. This keeps the Netherlands in ninth place worldwide. Rotterdam is in 88th place on the world ranking list. According to ICCA, the international association market grew again last year.

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