The Country and City Ranking Report, produced by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), saw Melbourne ranked number one in Australia.
The result also places Melbourne at 22 in the world for delegate attendance, 43 places ahead of Sydney, Melbourne’s closest Australian competitor.
With international delegates staying an average six nights in Melbourne, which is typically an additional one night on top of the conference, the far-reaching impacts for the visitor economy is significant with hotels, restaurants, function venues, catering, attractions and event suppliers, benefitting from the influx of international visitors.
Melbourne also rose 5 places for number of meetings held from the previous year, now placing the city at 44 in the world, and 11 in the Asia-Pacific region.
ICCA rankings apply to international association meetings with 50 or more participants, take place on a regular basis and rotate between a minimum of three countries.
Karen Bolinger, Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) CEO said the results are a positive achievement for Melbourne and the visitor economy.
“MCB works hard to secure the right events for the city, with an emphasis on quality over quantity. We strategically target events that are going to have the greatest benefit to the client and the city, whether that be legacy outcomes, trade and investment opportunities and importantly strong delegate attendance.
“Our current delegate materialisation year to date is 110 percent, which means we get 10 percent more delegates coming to conferences we secure than we estimate.
“Delegates are attracted to Melbourne for various reasons, primarily the large pool of local intellectual capital that they can benefit from, as well the overall appeal of the city.
“The environment is right to continually improve on these results with the expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre enabling us to attract even more conference participants to the state,” Ms Bolinger said.
Melbourne hosted 58 meetings and 39,000 delegates during the qualifying period, including the 23rd World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems, which was the largest international association conference held in Australia in 2016, attracting over 11,000 delegates.