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MEETING STAR 2019

Ever since 2010, the Editorial Board of Kongres Magazine has been presenting fresh and interesting meeting destinations to international meeting planners.

Till this day we have presented 84 Meetologues from 23 destinations. Each destination is evaluated based on 75 different criteria that enable fair comparison of the destinations. Meeting organizers appreciate the expertise, value and practicality of this guide through congress destinations.

SO GOOD THAT WE COULDN’T IGNORE IT!

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L – MEETING DESTINATIONS
Destinations that can host up to 2,000 congress attendees

2019 L CATEGORY WINNERS

  • 1. LJUBLJANA 4,43
  • 2. ZAGREB 4,42
  • 3. TALLINN 4,36
  • 3. HAGUE 4,36
  • 4. KRAKOW 4,32
  • 5. VENICE 4,31
  • 6. BRATISLAVA 4,29
  • 7. GRAZ 4,27
  • 8. VILNIUS 4,26
  • 8. THESSALONIKI 4,26
  • 9. INNSBRUCK 4,19
  • 10. SALZBURG 4,16

1. LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA 4.43/5


According to its conference and accommodation infrastructure, Ljubljana belongs to the group of capitals suitable for medium-sized and smaller meetings (up to 2.500 participants). It is positioned side by side with the new EU member states and geographically in the region of the Western Balkans. With two top-level convention centers and a very well developed hotel meetings offer, Ljubljana is the region’s leading congress destination. At the end of last year in order to give Ljubljana a new sales and promotional momentum, a partnership called Ljubljana Strategic Bidding Team (LSBT) was established; it is composed of interested partners from both the private and public area. The city is extremely safe and one of the region’s most sustainably-oriented.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms1,610
The number of 4* and 5* hotels18
Destination population279,756
Banquet hall maximum capacity1,200
Largest hall in the city2,456 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity2,200

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

LJUBLJANA INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2019 
DESTINATION MARK:4.43
Natural and cultural factors:4.90
General and transport infrastructure:4.75
Tourist infrastructure:4.83
Meeting infrastructure:4.91
Subjective grade:4.76
Marketing Buzz:4.74
ICCA index:4.50
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.43
Numbeo Safety Index:4.27
ACI Airport Connectivity Index3.24
ljubljana

2. ZAGREB, CROATIA 4.42/5


I predict a great congress future for Zagreb. It is well established in the international congress market and in addition to Ljubljana and Belgrade, it represents the future backbone of the continental meetings industry of the region. All three cities are progressing steadily on the charts of developed meetings destinations; the final breakthrough of the entire region is intertwined and dependent on the marketing of major regional congress cities in the international market.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms3,182
The number of 4* and 5* hotels27
Destination population802,762
Banquet hall maximum capacity1,600
Largest hall in the city2,360 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1,851

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

ZAGREB INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2019 
DESTINATION MARK:4.42
Natural and cultural factors:4.79
General and transport infrastructure:4.83
Tourist infrastructure:4.84
Meeting infrastructure:4.82
Subjective grade:4.80
Marketing Buzz:4.56
ICCA index:4.17
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.29
Numbeo Safety Index:4.30
ACI Airport Connectivity Index3.83
zagreb_croatia

3. TALLINN, ESTONIA 4.36/5


In terms of congress needs, of the Baltic triplets, Tallinn is probably the most picturesque and diverse. The city has gone through many historical changes, right through from the medieval salesmen and knights of the Teutonic order, to the protestant reformation, Swedish and Russian imperialism, turbulences of both Wars and then to the Soviet Union, before finally independence and the flourishing of its IT-industry and capitalism. All of these events today create a special culture that is the basis for the development of a congress industry not lagging behind the competitive destinations. The congress industry is going through a real boom and Tallinn, with this year’s EU presidency, certainly deserves a strong round of applause. Tourism is a branch of the economy that develops fast. According to the “Tallinn 2025” strategic plan, the capital of Estonia could become a centre of festival and event tourism in the Baltic Sea region.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms5,056
The number of 4* and 5* hotels38
Destination population440,776
Banquet hall maximum capacity1,200
Largest hall in the city3,000 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1,892

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

TALLINN INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2019 
DESTINATION MARK:4.36
Natural and cultural factors:4.60
General and transport infrastructure:4.68
Tourist infrastructure:4.71
Meeting infrastructure:4.77
Subjective grade:4.76
Marketing Buzz:4.74
ICCA index:4.40
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.52
Numbeo Safety Index:4.34
ACI Airport Connectivity Index3.49

3. THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS 4.36/5


You have certainly heard of The Hague – it is always in the news due to the work of numerous international organizations and companies which headquarter in this city. You probably also know that it is located in The Netherlands, a friendly and vibrant country in the north of Europe. You are likely to be even more surprised that the city has a light and playful side to it – with its beautiful sandy beaches, promenades, bars, restaurants and a vibrant cultural scene, something that all the visitors to our city love to discover. But The Hague is in fact the perfect business event destination.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms3,260
The number of 4* and 5* hotels20
Destination population534,160
Banquet hall maximum capacity1,500
Largest hall in the city12,000 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity2,161

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

HAGUE INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2019 
DESTINATION MARK:4.36
Natural and cultural factors:4.83
General and transport infrastructure:4.90
Tourist infrastructure:4.83
Meeting infrastructure:4.82
Subjective grade:4.80
Marketing Buzz:4.64
ICCA index:3.52
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.72
Numbeo Safety Index:3.96
ACI Airport Connectivity Index3.62

4. KRAKOW, POLAND 4.32/5


Of all Polish cities, Krakow is the one with the greatest soul and is the most fraught with history. In Poland, Krakow will be the destination of the new generation, which will soon be recognized as a high quality, compact and most versatile meetings destination in Poland due to the cultural heritage, the hospitality of the locals, new meetings capacities and because of its huge scientific potentials. Krakow has a variety of hotels services and an exceptional number of tourist attractions. Being the main tourist city it has excellent conditions in place for the development of congress tourism. With the construction of the new convention center ICE, it has also received a real affirmation. Krakow’s recipe is successful and a case of good practice for other more traditional central European destinations.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms5,837
The number of 4* and 5* hotels61
Destination population769,498
Banquet hall maximum capacity2,200
Largest hall in the city4,500 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity2,100

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

KRAKOW INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2019 
DESTINATION MARK:4.32
Natural and cultural factors:4.81
General and transport infrastructure:4.65
Tourist infrastructure:4.85
Meeting infrastructure:4.76
Subjective grade:4.70
Marketing Buzz:4.63
ICCA index:4.45
Numbeo quality of life Index:2.72
Numbeo Safety Index:3.96
ACI Airport Connectivity Index3.63
ice-krakow

5. VENICE, ITALY 4.31/5


The magical city par excellence and one of the most extraordinary world destinations. Venice and its province are unquestionably hospitable by vocation, as illustrated by some of the most famous hotels and temples of hospitality. Venice is a city which has long been hosting world events. As a commercial crossroads, it is easy to reach either by land or by sea, the city offering various means of transport. A city with irresistible charm and a wide range of different offers typical to the “Italian way of life”.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms10,579
The number of 4* and 5* hotels218
Destination population264,579
Banquet hall maximum capacity630
Largest hall in the city3,500 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1000

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

VENICE INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2019 
DESTINATION MARK:4.31
Natural and cultural factors:4.86
General and transport infrastructure:4.74
Tourist infrastructure:4.75
Meeting infrastructure:4.85
Subjective grade:4.63
Marketing Buzz:4.20
ICCA index:3.90
Numbeo quality of life Index:2.75
Numbeo Safety Index:3.81
ACI Airport Connectivity Index4.60

6. BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA 4.29/5


The city of four rivers defines the Danube river with its tributaries and with the mighty Renaissance castle above the intimate and compact old town. Bratislava is undiscovered European congress capital which slowly and steadily penetrates into the congress market. It represents a novelty for international congress market which impresses due to the kind and sympathetic city center but also because of not excessive commercialization. The city is close to the congress organizers mainly due to a more personal congress experience – the city is very friendly and there are no problems with safety. The city center is full of pubs, restaurants and shops and the hotel offer includes the best-known hotel chains.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms3,364
The number of 4* and 5* hotels35
Destination population432,801
Banquet hall maximum capacity600
Largest hall in the city2,500 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1,300

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

BRATISLAVA INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2019 
DESTINATION MARK:4.29
Natural and cultural factors:4.61
General and transport infrastructure:4.86
Tourist infrastructure:4.82
Meeting infrastructure:4.75
Subjective grade:4.84
Marketing Buzz:4.82
ICCA index:3.65
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.11
Numbeo Safety Index:3.86
ACI Airport Connectivity Index3.62
bratislava_convention_bureau

7. GRAZ, AUSTRIA 4.27/5


Graz is a mature tourist destination, which is despite the crisis recording a steady growth of tourist arrivals and overnight stays in all tourism segments. Cultural diversity, rich history and the connecting Mura River have formed a high experiential diversity, which is reflected in the many opportunities for congress and incentive organizers and planners. In terms of infrastructure and transport, Graz is still the leading regional convention destination and can be also in this term described as modern, dynamic and internationally competitive. With more than 154 congress event and some 46.000 participants, it achieves excellent results and is stable on the charts ranking international events. A very big focus in Graz is on environmental responsibility and tidiness of the surrounding areas and infrastructure.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms2,000
The number of 4* and 5* hotels25
Destination population284,000
Banquet hall maximum capacity2,800
Largest hall in the city6,500 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity5,560

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

GRAZ INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2019 
DESTINATION MARK:4.27
Natural and cultural factors:4.77
General and transport infrastructure:4.73
Tourist infrastructure:4.82
Meeting infrastructure:4.87
Subjective grade:4.73
Marketing Buzz:4.69
ICCA index:3.00
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.52
Numbeo Safety Index:4.45
ACI Airport Connectivity Index3.18

8. VILNIUS, LITHUANIA 4.26/5


Over the last few years, Vilnius learned diligently, polished its offer and was preparing for its entry into the international congress scene. In their favour, they have the charm of the city, which is cosmopolitan, urban, very European and full of hidden surprises. It’s a city where socialist modernist architecture coexists with the Baroque centre, and unlike some other Eastern European congress destinations, this makes it very attractive. By joining the EU the city has become a credible partner of the international meetings industry, making is one of the new, undiscovered convention destinations that appeals because of its freshness. For all three Baltic Congress Tigers – Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn – we predict a sunny congress future.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms3,039
The number of 4* and 5* hotels34
Destination population540,919
Banquet hall maximum capacity800
Largest hall in the city3,450 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity2,000

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

VILNIUS INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2019 
DESTINATION MARK:4.26
Natural and cultural factors:4.44
General and transport infrastructure:4.57
Tourist infrastructure:4.66
Meeting infrastructure:4.67
Subjective grade:4.71
Marketing Buzz:4.61
ICCA index:4.40
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.30
Numbeo Safety Index:3.94
ACI Airport Connectivity Index3.27
vilnius_lithuania

8. THESSALONIKI, GREECE 4.26/5


Thessaloniki is the second-largest Greek city, located in the North of the country on the Thermaic Gulf. Many consider it as the capital of Greek cuisine, which is a guarantee for an enjoyable time at your event. Most of Thessaloniki’s big events take place at the Thessaloniki International Exhibition & Congress Centre, at the heart of the congress offer. The city’s hotel offer is also diverse and perfect for smaller corporate events. The entire congress offer is connected by the proactive Convention Bureau, which despite a limited budget has been maintaining a stable position on the ICCA scale, with 18 international congresses annually. Last year they hit a record number of 28 congresses, a perfect example of how Thessaloniki is gaining new momentum.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms3,395
The number of 4* and 5* hotels32
Destination population976,812
Banquet hall maximum capacity1,000
Largest hall in the city1,800 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity2,500

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

THESSALONIKI INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2019 
DESTINATION MARK:4.26
Natural and cultural factors:4.95
General and transport infrastructure:4.72
Tourist infrastructure:4.98
Meeting infrastructure:4.97
Subjective grade:4.86
Marketing Buzz:4.83
ICCA index:3.86
Numbeo quality of life Index:2.60
Numbeo Safety Index:3.52
ACI Airport Connectivity Index3.32
thessaloniki

9. INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA 4.19/5


Innsbruck, the capital of Austrian Tyrol, lies by the River Inn and is just a stone’s throw from the Alps. Sometimes hidden behind its well-known sporting spirit are a number of other, different vibes that create an image of an urban, dynamic and metropolitan city with loads of experience in event organisation. Innsbruck has twice been the host of the Winter Olympics (in 1964 and 1976) and its Bergisel Ski Jump is one of the scenes of the prestigious Four Hills Tournament that takes place every year. The famous ski jump was designed by Zaha Hadid and quickly became one of the most attractive special venues in Innsbruck. The city is a combination of the typical Alpine spirit and new urbanism, embodied by the CMI Congress and Messe Innsbruck. It distinguishes itself from the pack with numerous incentive programmes that keep its offer competitive throughout the year.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms1,889
The number of 4* and 5* hotels24
Destination population130,894
Banquet hall maximum capacity800
Largest hall in the city5,660 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity1,500

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

INNSBRUCK INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2019 
DESTINATION MARK:4.19
Natural and cultural factors:4.83
General and transport infrastructure:4.78
Tourist infrastructure:4.77
Meeting infrastructure:4.92
Subjective grade:4.76
Marketing Buzz:4.73
ICCA index:2.57
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.50
Numbeo Safety Index:4.16
ACI Airport Connectivity Index2.84
innsbruck_austria

10. SALZBURG, AUSTRIA 4.16/5


Salzburg offers all the characteristics of a congress destination and a cosmopolitan mix of visitors. With its location in the heart of Europe and because of the high quality of life, Salzburg has a great starting point in congress tourism. For current logistics and transport restrictions of the city, medium-sized congresses with up to 2.000 participants are the best suited. Two top-quality, modern and high tech congress centers are together with a top-quality conference hotel infrastructure a foundation for this congress destination. In this area, they will offer you a superior product wrapped in superior packaging. Although you will find Mozart on every step of your way and it seems that the clock stopped in the times of the famous composer, Salzburg is very modern and urban. Otherwise, location, location, location and once again location is considered a crucial reason for choosing Salzburg for your event.

The number of 4* and 5* hotel rooms7,090
The number of 4* and 5* hotels55
Destination population150,887
Banquet hall maximum capacity5,000
Largest hall in the city15,165 m2
Theatre style hall maximum capacity5,000

INDIVIDUAL GRADES

SALZBURG INDIVIDUAL GRADES 2019 
DESTINATION MARK:4.16
Natural and cultural factors:4.88
General and transport infrastructure:4.82
Tourist infrastructure:4.82
Meeting infrastructure:4.96
Subjective grade:4.78
Marketing Buzz:4.88
ICCA index:1.20
Numbeo quality of life Index:3.74
Numbeo Safety Index:4.60
ACI Airport Connectivity Index2.96