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ICCA and CIMERT release first findings from COVID-19 impacts report

Less than a month after ICCA and CIMERT (Center of International Meetings Research and Training) began researching the effects of COVID-19 on the meetings industry, the first report has been released.

The ‘Survey Report on the Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the International Meetings Industry’ was initiated by Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Exposition (CCPIT Chengdu Sub-council) in February 2020. It is the first joint research project between ICCA and CIMERT.

Utilising databases from both organisations, a task force of academics and ICCA’S research department, the report has mapped the virus’s impact on international meetings around the world.

As of March 2020, out of 4,632 meetings scheduled for the year 2020, ICCA and CIMERT have found a total of 393 international association meetings which have been identified for postponements, cancellations and relocation due to COVID-19, which is 8.5 per cent of the total events. The data snapshot was taken on 18 February and the record data was accomplished in March 2020.

The report also highlights changes in travel policies from around the world. This statistical significance will be of benefit to the industry and destinations on how the coronavirus pandemic is going to reshape the global meetings industry, whether in the short term or for the long haul.

According to statistical data, a total of 74 epidemic-hit countries have cancelled or extended international meetings or changed the host cities at present.

“It is important to note that of the cases which are identified with CIMERT so far, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe constitute the overwhelming majority,” said a statement in relation to the report.

“However, this data should not be considered representative of all global events affected by COVID-19 cases, as the spread of the coronavirus is a fluid situation changing by the day, and the data snapshot was taken in mid-March.”

The report also identifies methods for creating a more resilient industry. These suggestions include ‘Establishing the concept of a community of shared future’, ‘Formulating a national-level conference industry crisis warning and management mechanism’ and ‘integrating the conference industry into urban development and enhancing urban resilience.’

The full report in English can be downloaded here.

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