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Paris ‘most competitive city’ in attracting international meetings

Paris has topped a new index which ranks cities in terms of their competitiveness in attracting international conventions.

GainingEdge CEO Gary Grimmer said his company’s index would help destinations gain insights into how many conventions they should  expect to host on an annual basis.

The French capital was followed by Washington, Barcelona, New York and Boston, making up the top five, followed by Singapore, Toronto, Istanbul, Toyko and Berlin.

Grimmer said: “ICCA statistics provide a great source of information on how many meetings are being held in cities around the world. But, until now, destinations had no standard reference for how many conventions they should reasonably expect to have.”

Grimmer said that the purpose of the new index was to help cities in their goal setting and also to provide a meaningful new resource for use in their strategic planning processes.

The index scores cities based on their strengths in relation to 11 key drivers that GainingEdge says influence association decision making during destination selection processes.

The first three are the ‘hygiene factors’ (the essentials) including convention centre capacity, hotel capacity and air access. These account for 45 per cent of the weighting on scores. The next three are ‘competitive advantage’ factors including the size of the destination’s association community, cost and destination appeal in both a business and tourism sense. These account for 30 per cent of the weighting. The final 25 per cent relates to what GainingEdge calls ‘key differentiators’, which include logistics, market size, economy, business environment and safety & stability.

The database which underpins the index was developed through both primary research and use of 29 third party indices and data sources, including ICCA Data, all of which are used to score the relative strength of destinations in relation to each of the drivers. The index uses a 1,000 point scale and each city’s score out of 1,000 determines its place in the ranking.

“This is not about which cities are the best choices for international conventions, this is about which cities overall have the most competitive products.” Grimmer said.

“There are many reasons why different destinations are chosen for a given convention. This is an assessment of how destinations compare in general, in terms of their product offerings as well as other factors that are most frequently considered in destination decisions.”