Continuing the trend of the previous years, in 2015 the Austrian MICE industry kept growing. 18,172 events (+ 6.7%) with approximately 1.46 million participants were organized in the country. These are the findings of the latest Meeting Industry Reports Austria, presented by the Austrian Convention Bureau and the Austrian National Tourism Center (Österreich Werbung).
Overall, the conference industry last year generated around 3.1 million overnight stays (+ 10.9%) in the country. For the first time since 2010, the amount of overnight stays of events participants increased from 2.1 to 2.3% of overnight stays by all tourists.
More and Longer Events
Corporate meetings represent 46.9% of the events, well ahead of congresses and seminars.
"While the congresses in 2015 represent only a quarter of all the events, they generated more than half of all participants and three quarters of all overnight stays," commented Petra Stolba, the managing director of the Austrian Tourism Center.
The MICE industry recorded a total of 4,328 conventions last year, which was an increase of 12.6%.
"While the average attendance of conferences, corporate meetings and seminars since 2010 steadily decreases, the duration of the events goes up. In 2015 the events lasted on average 2.1 days," said Christian Mutschlechner from the Austrian Convention Bureau.
Small Conferences with Large Market Share
Small and medium-sized conferences dominated the year of 2015 with a market share of 94.5%. Especially congresses with fewer than 100 participants – these represented 61.3% (+30%) of the entire congress business and around 16% of participants.
International events have been of particular importance for the Austrian MICE industry. "The participants of the international congresses bring four times more of the overnight stays compared to the participants of the national conferences," said Mutschlechner.
In 2015, business and political events had the biggest share (30%) regarding the type of the meetings. Conferences on the subject of human medicine were in slight decline of almost three percent, but still held more than 20% of all meetings. Humanities and IT & Communications are becoming increasingly important for the MICE industry.
The segment of corporate events experienced a boom last year with an increase of more than 20% in terms of the number of events, 16% regarding the amount participants, and almost 18% with respect to the overnight stays.
Green Meetings & Events
The Austrian eco-label for Green Meetings and Events was launched in 2010 and has established itself as a recognized label for sustainable events. In 2015, there were 329 green meetings organized in Austria.
Whole Austria Benefits from the MICE Industry
The number of events taking place throughout Austria – excluding the federal capital – increased by 20.7%. Vienna remained the meetings industry leader with 39.2% of all events organized in the capital. Salzburg solidified its position as the second largest conference destination in Austria. Regarding the number of events, Lower Austria took the third place.
Nearly two-thirds of all congresses, corporate meetings and seminars took place outside of the main cities, which means that the smaller cities and rural areas increasingly benefit from the meetings industry as well.