The Vienna meetings industry reported its strongest ever results in 2017, in an extension of the record tourism figures posted by the capital during the year. With the total number of events virtually unchanged year on year, there were new all-time highs in terms of participant totals and bednights, as well as the induced economic impact attributable to congresses, corporate events and incentives. President of the Vienna Tourist Board and the Vienna City Councillor for Finance, Economic and International Affairs Renate Brauner, Director of Tourism Norbert Kettner and Christian Mutschlechner, head of the Vienna Convention Bureau, presented the latest results at a press conference hosted by the Vienna Tourist Board on April 16. Markus Griessler, head of the Vienna Economic Chamber’s leisure and tourism division, emphasized the significance of meetings and congresses for numerous sectors of the capital’s economy.
“For the second time now the city hosted more than 4,000 congresses, corporate events and incentives, and there were strong improvements in all other key indicators: around 611,000 meeting participants translates into a year-on-year increase of 8 percent, and the 1,874,000 bednights they accounted for represented a jump of 9 percent, which set another new record,” said Brauner in a written statement.
Brauner also noted that in 2017 the meetings industry’s induced economic impact had climbed to $1.44 billion – an increase of 8 percent over the previous year. The induced economic impact includes direct expenditure by participants, event organizers, exhibitors and accompanying persons, as well as income from upstream areas of the economy that is indirectly induced by the events (e.g. food and beverage suppliers, printers, construction companies, banks, insurance companies, communications companies etc.). Over the course of the past ten years since 2008, the induced economic impact of the Vienna meetings industry has climbed by some 78 percent.
Vienna’s meetings industry also secured more than 21,000 year-round jobs nationwide, which is over 1,000 more than the previous year, said Brauner. Also in 2017, Vienna saw 15.5 million overnight stays, surpassing the 15 million mark for the first time.
Twelve percent of all overnights in 2017 could be attributed to meetings. The 4,074 events held in Vienna in 2017 break down as follows: 1,314 congresses, 512 national and 802 international (up 9%), and 2,760 corporate events, meetings and incentives, 806 national and 1,954 international (up 17%).
Tax revenue from congresses, meetings and incentives in Vienna amounted to $397.49 million in 2017.
“International congresses are the cash cow of the meetings industry. For years now they have had the greatest impact on the bottom line,” Kettner said.
While it accounted for 20 percent of all meetings, this segment represented 51 percent of all participants, 74 percent of overnights and 79 percent of economic impact. 80 percent of the tax revenue induced by meetings and congresses for the city of Vienna was generated by international congresses.
“These totals clearly show that Vienna’s success as a congress destination is heavily dependent on international congresses, a segment that puts a strong emphasis on transport connections, and in particular the city’s international flight links. More than three quarters of our meetings participants 76 percent to be precise – arrive by air, but this can only be said of 42 percent of holidaymakers,” Kettner said.
In mid-March the Austria Center Vienna (ACV) announced its largest construction project since the venue first opened around 30 years ago. A canopy – the DanubeSAIL – will be added to the square outside the building. By the time work is completed in 2022, this area will be transformed into a new communal space, and add a further 45,200 square feet for events in either closed or open formats.