The Sheraton Hotel, in Buenos Aires, for example has an important convention center (Photo via Sheraton)

Buenos Aires had an incredible year in terms of business tourism, according to the latest ranking released by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). The city ranked eleventh in the world in terms of events organized in 2017 and, more surprisingly, took first place in the Americas.

In 2017 the city hosted 131 international events, a historical record and 28 more than the previous year. The Argentine capital is in constant growth; in 2015 just 82 events of this kind took place in the city. As a result, this meant a jump from the 17th position to the 11th in the global ranking.

The business tourism sector is a lucrative source of income, bringing in last year around US $533 million, according to the city’s tourism office. Last year, 488,318 people traveled to Buenos Aires for business reasons – a category which includes professionals attending a congress or a convention.

ICCA's Country and City Rankings (Photo via ICCA)
ICCA’s Country and City Rankings (Photo via ICCA)

 

The 2017 spot is the highest ever for Buenos Aires, ranking it in the top position of the Americas, above Montreal (96 events), Lima (74), Toronto (73) and Mexico City (67). Interestingly, there is not one city from the United States in the top 20. Eleventh in the overall global ranking, Buenos Aires is at the gates of a top 10 led by Barcelona (195 total events), and Paris and Vienna (190).

Gonzalo Robredo, head of the Buenos Aires Tourism Office, said: “It is a historical event, but principally a step forward in our international positioning. Along with private sectors, we’re working on a marketing plan with the objective of strengthening ourselves as the head of Americas and to enter the top 10 of the ICCA ranking by 2019.”

“Buenos Aires is gaining international visibility which has never been seen before, and it confirms its attractiveness as a global city and as the venue for big events. These meetings lead to a positive economical, social and cultural impact which benefits every porteño,” he continued.

Although a nice piece of good news for the capital, the ICCA Ranking also has some downfalls for Argentina as a whole: the country fell two spots in the national ranking, to 21st place, with around 200 events organized, notably surpassed by Denmark. The ranking is led by the United States (despite not having a single city in the top 20), which organized 941 total international events in 2017, lightyears beyond the second and third spots, Germany (682) and the United-Kingdom (592).

Overall, it was a good year for the ICCA, which registered 346 more congresses than 2016, resulting in a total 12,558 events organized. “We are in a period of revolutionary changes, in terms of scientific and technological progresses, which are transforming traditional sectors such as health or business. To give a sense to the tsunami of data and information, associations need to meet up. Which, I believe, will continue to stimulate the sectors for years to come,” said Martin Sirk, its president.