Prague Congress Outperforms Berlin and London

Georgi Bidenko

Prague has ranked fifth among the most sought-after places for congresses, surpassing Madrid, Berlin, Brussels, and London, according to a press release by the Prague Convention Bureau (PCB). Last year, almost four thousand events were held in the capital, with over 600,000 delegates attending. However, these numbers still do not match pre-COVID years. Regarding the number of delegates and events, Prague returned to about 2014 levels. The number of events was only about 66% compared to the record year, 2019, but attendance was higher.

International rankings of the most sought-after congress destinations compiled by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) show that Prague is at its best in history. Compared to 2019, it has moved up four positions and was even nineteenth in 2010. The biggest challenge now will be to stay on top.

Vienna dominates the ranking, followed by Lisbon. Paris and Barcelona only surpassed Prague. The top ten are Madrid, Berlin, Athens, Brussels, and London. Asian destinations such as Singapore, Bangkok, Seoul, and Tokyo fell out of the top rankings compared to previous years.

The number of congresses and conferences held in 2022 was still influenced by the fading pandemic and associated restrictions in the Czech Republic and abroad, as well as the outbreak of the war conflict in Ukraine. Although fewer events were compared to pre-COVID years, there was an enormous interest in attending them. These numbers only confirm that personal contact is irreplaceable, not only in business negotiations.

“Prague is successfully rising in the ranking of world congress destinations, which has a huge economic benefit for the capital city. Congresses attract higher-paying tourists who spend three times more than the average foreign visitor. Moreover, many delegates regularly return to Prague for private vacations. We perceive the rapid return of demand in KCP, which we want to use properly,” explained Lenka Žlebková, CEO of the Prague Congress Centre.

The city leadership plans to invest the accommodation fees back into development. As we reported, these finances have been supporting advertising campaigns for Prague City Tourism for the second year in a row. The “Stay in Prague” campaign is focused on foreigners. It aims to present Prague as a cultured destination and attract high-quality clients.