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Viennese congress industry generated 1,372,884 bednights in 2008

Vienna sees second best congress figures in 2009

With 9% more bednights and 12% more value-added than in 2008, last year Vienna recorded its second best congress results, only slightly below the record set in 2007.

The meeting industry report 2009 was presented on April 8 by Deputy Mayor Mag.a Renate Brauner together with Norbert Kettner, Managing Director of the Vienna Tourist Board, and Christian Mutschlechner, Director of the Vienna Convention Bureau. Guest speaker Prof. Gerald Ganssen, Vice President of the European Geosciences Union explained why the EGU congress has taken place in Vienna every year since 2005.

“In 2009 the Viennese congress industry generated 1,372,884 bednights, 9% more than in 2008, despite the fact that the number of events – both national and international congresses and corporate events – fell by 21% to 2,569” reported Deputy Mayor Brauner and explains “This decline was caused by corporate events: in contrast to congresses, which showed twodigit growth rates, corporate events plummeted 34%, for two reasons. While congresses were not impacted by the global economic crisis, companies reacted very sharply to it. Additionally, due to the European Football Championship, there was an unusually high number of corporate events in 2008, which further inflated the difference to 2009. However, since congresses account for the lion’s share of the business in Vienna, overall results nevertheless showed an upward trend. The congress industry grew in terms of both bednights and valueadded impacting not just Vienna but all of Austria and rose 12% to EUR 736.1 million from 2008 to 2009. Furthermore, the Viennese congress industry secured some 15,000 permanent jobs last year.”

Norbert Kettner, Managing Director of the Vienna Tourist Board, explains: “Overall, Vienna has come out of the crisis year 2009 looking good, and that is due in no small measure to its position as a congress destination. Last year, the congress industry accounted for 14% of the total volume of overnights. The lion’s share was by generated international congresses, where Vienna has been able to defend its standing as one of the world’s most sought-after congress cities for decades. A noteworthy factor is sales generated by the Viennese congress industry in 2009, which was not an easy year, either for the hotel trade or for businesses that benefit directly from revenue from tourism: delegates and participants at national and international congresses and corporate events spent an average of about EUR 420 per person per night in the city. The corresponding figure for all visitors to Vienna is around EUR 276.”

Nationwide valuNationwide value-added up 12% to EUR 736.1 million
Of the 2,569 events (-21%) held in Vienna in 2009, 882 were congresses (+26 %), of which 556 were international (+18%) and 326 national congresses (+41 %), and 1,687 were corporate events (-34 %). Together they generated not only 1,372,884 bednights in Vienna (+9%), but also nationwide value-added of EUR 736.1 million (+12%). This translated into tax revenue of EUR 202.8 million, of which EUR 132.1 million went to the federal government, EUR 24.5 million to Vienna, and the rest to the other provinces and municipalities. Calculation of the value-added was done by Martina Stoff-Hochreiner, corporate consultant and lecturer at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. The computation includes all sales with nationwide impact: direct spending by event attendees, organizers, exhibitors and companions, and spending in “upstream” sectors (e.g. building industry, food, drink and tobacco industry, printing industry, banks, insurance, communications corporations, etc.).

In 2009, around 28% of international congresses – doubtless the most important sector of Vienna congresses – took place at universities, 21% at hotels, and just over 11% at the big congress centers Austria Center Vienna, Hoburg Vienna and Reed Messe Wien. The three last-mentioned are internationally renowned congress centers that attract major congresses, but the smaller locations, which include not just hotels and universities, but also numerous palaces, museums and other cultural institutions, should not be underestimated: 89% of international congresses have fewer than 500 participants, and Vienna benefits greatly from having a wide range of multifaceted venues to offer. In terms of topics, the majority of international congresses are on human medicine, accounting for 21% of congresses. In 2009 for the first time these congresses were responsible for more than half of all bednights generated by international congresses. 18% percent of international congresses focus on economy and politics, 12% on the human disciplines.

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