Posted tagged ‘European Cities Marketing (ECM)’


November 23, 2015


Derek Hanekom, Minister of Tourism for South Africa outlined how South Africa, as a world-class business events destination, will respond to the next decade in the face of rising interest in the African continent.

Speaking at ibtm world in Barcelona, Minister Hanekom outlined how South Africa hosted 124 international association conferences in 2014 alone which attracted just under 70 000 industry professionals. Of these 124 conferences, 81% were international rotating events. He also reminded all that the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB) has only been in existence for three years.

Looking to the future, SANCB has secured 163 bids for South Africa between 2016 and 2020, from industry sectors as diverse as mining, health and agriculture. Collectively they are expected to bring over 150,000 delegates to South Africa and contribute approximately R3.1billion to the economy.

The potential of Africa for the MICE industry is exponential. The tide has turned, we can see that our growth opportunities are now also within the African market. There are 770 registered African Associations on the ICCA database. 178 of these are based in South Africa and 592 on the rest of the continent and 218 regional conferences were registered on the continent in 2014 resulting in 610 events over the last five years. South Africa only hosted 63 of these events in the past 5 years,” said Minister Hanekom.

The first African Association Society of Executives, which was formed this year, will hold its first AGM at Meetings Africa 2016, SANCB’s signature business events trade shows held annually in February at the Sandton convention Centre in Johannesburg. Other new developments include identifying and collaborating with a key strategic partner to oversee the management of the tradeshow going forward.

The Minister also announced the SANCB is most excited that the European Cities Marketing (ECM) programme is coming to South Africa. This will be the first time that this initiative takes place in South Africa just ahead of the 2016 edition of Meetings Africa.

Speaking at the press conference, alongside Minister Hanekom, ECM President Ignasi de Delàs, said, “We are really thrilled to have our first ECM Academy organised in South Africa. It’s a new landmark in ECM development to host the derived version of our successful ECM Summer School. The ECM Academy is a tailor-made course for partner organisations outside Europe. We will do our maximum to guarantee the success of the ECM Academy in Johannesburg by maintaining the highest standard of course content, recruiting the best speakers, and giving the latest examples showcasing the most up-to-date trends in the Meetings Industry.

Hanekom also outlined how the Government is helping small businesses in the tourism sector by including them in shows like ibtm world.

We have invited 4 of these enterprises with us here to exhibit at ibtm world this year – it’s an important trade show and gives them access to an international business platform,” added Minister Hanekom.

The South African National Government supports over 1.4 million jobs and investment continues in its climate change research and management of ocean resources as well as science and technology, minerals and gas exploration.

Summing up, Minister Hanekom said: “South Africa offer the business events industry excellent value for money, deliver authentic, memorable and enriching experiences in one of the most captivating, safest and beautiful countries that I am proud to call my home.

European City tourism to resume positive growth in 2014

March 4, 2015

European City tourism to resume positive growth in 2014, bolstered by international bednights and the recovery of traditional markets

European Cities Marketing (ECM), the network dedicated to increase competitiveness and performance of leading cities in Europe, releases its annual ECM Benchmarking Report later this year. Preliminary figures for 2014 indicate positive increase in bednights hosted by European cities with an impressive intensification of the Chinese market and the recovery of long-established source markets like Italy or Spain.

Comparative data for an initial sample of 63 cities shows 4.3% increase in international bednights since 2013. International bednights continued to grow at a faster year-on-year grow rate than domestically-sourced nights (+4.3% vs. +2.9% respectively), representing just over 65% of total bedights (235.1 million in 2014). The European Cities Marketing Benchmarking Report, the reference for urban tourism in Europe is to be available next June and will show data of more than 110 cities.

London and Paris once again claimed the highest number of international bednights with small positive increases over the previous year. Other top ten cities made more notable leaps in internationally-sourced bednights; four of the top ten cities hosted between 4% and 6% more international bednights since 2013, while Berlin showed impressive growth by 6.4% and Amsterdam greatly increased international bednights by 10.4%.

The USA, Germany, and the UK provided nearly a quarter of the international bednights spent in European cities in 2014. Each of these source markets increased by between 4-6% since 2013. Spain and Italy resumed positive growth rates as source markets after continual decreases in number of bednights spent in European cities over the past few years.

The 2013 star growth market, China, showed impressive growth by 13.2% in 2014 to make up about 1% of bednights spent in European cities. In 2013, the Chinese market was already growing by 11.4%.

Japan, however, continued to show a decline in bednights since the previous year (-4.1%) and Russia decreased even more with -7.9% after having grown by an impressive 9.4% in 2013. The decline of the Russian source market was expected due to the decrease in the oil prices, devaluation of the ruble, and sanctions taken against Russia because of the country’s conflict with Ukraine.
“These results provide crucial insights into European city competitiveness and competitor sets”, declares Ignasi de Delàs, President of European Cities Marketing. He continues: “Internationalisation is one of the key-words in the tourism-development of many countries. The ECM Benchmarking Report clearly shows that the continuous success of city tourism in Europe is based upon a rich mix of source markets.

In 2014, international bednights grew about 1.9 times the rate of domestic tourism growth in European cities. Bednight numbers representing tourists from China, one of the BRIC markets, are still growing tremendously over the previous year. However, with an average of 65% of international guests, European cities can cope with negative growth of markets like Russia or Japan, thanks to the recovery of the Spanish and Italian markets.

Despite all economic or political factors, it is proven that the cities’ strategic focus on international visitors is the main reason for the triumph of the cities, which gives City Tourism Managers every reason to be confident in the strength of the European tourism industry.”

European Cities Marketing, the network of leading city tourist offices, convention bureaux and city marketing organisations, reports on the state of the European tourism industry with its annual issue of the ECM Benchmarking Repot. Data is provided by the cities themselves and compiled by MODUL Research. Early data from a sample of 63 cities show healthy overall growth in the European city tourism industry.

The 11th edition of the annual European Cities Marketing Benchmarking Report will be presented during ECM Annual conference in Turin on June 3-5, 2015 and will be available on

If you are interested in further information about the ECM Benchmarking Report, would like to join the annual conference, retrieve latest data on the development of European Cities or quarterly predictions of Europe’s tourism professionals on the expected tourism performance, please get in touch with Flavie Baudot from European Cities Marketing.

Annual ECM Benchmarking Report offers insights into the tremendous development of the European tourism industry

March 5, 2013

Annual ECM Benchmarking Report offers insights into the tremendous development of the European tourism industry

Vienna, March 5, 2013
European Cities Marketing (ECM), the influential network of leading city tourist offices and convention bureaus, has released their annual ECM Benchmarking Report. Figures prepared by MODUL Research indicate a positive development in international bednights with Russia and China showing the strongest growth as source markets.

Comparative data for an initial 58 European cities (the full report in June 2013 will show data of some 100 cities) shows international bednight growth rate at about four times that of domestic bednights. Although relatively modest growth over 2011 was observed due to the Olympics last summer, London claimed the highest number of international tourist bednights in Europe. Paris and Rome followed London in international tourist bednights, both showing positive growth over 2011. Berlin and Budapest showed the strongest international bednight growth over the previous year at +14.5% and +9.4%, respectively.

As for source markets, Japan shows notable growth after a slight dip in 2011 bednights. Germany, United Kingdom, and USA maintain their footholds as the leading source markets with steady increases over 2011 for the UK and USA and a slight negative growth for Germany. While Spain and Italy sustain positions as important source markets, 2012 figures show notable negative growth relative to 2011.

The ECM Benchmarking Report clearly shows that the continuous success of city tourism in Europe is based upon a rich mix of source markets. With an average of 65 % of international guests, European Cities can cope with negative growth in traditional markets, such as in Spain or Italy due to the economic crisis. The cities’ strategic focus on international visitors is the main reason for the triumph of the cities, which gives City Tourism Managers every reason to be confident in the strength of the European tourism industry.

ECM Summer School now qualifies for Certified Meetings Professional credits…

September 24, 2012

ECM Summer School now qualifies for Certified Meetings Professional credits…
European Cities Marketing (ECM) annual Summer School for the meetings industry ended this year on a particularly high note – the course is now so well respected that future graduates from the school can earn credits towards the highly sought after CMP certification!

Pier Paolo Mariotti, Head of the Summer School faculty and Meeting Manager of EURAC Convention Center in Bolzano said : “I am truly delighted. The entire faculty has been working very hard to achieve this major goal. The Summer School, an ECM initiative, has been an essential step in building industry careers through education over the past 26 years. Certified Meetings Professional (CMP) is highly respected and universally recognized and so the news of CMP credits allows us to take future summer schools to the next level and increase demand. It’s a win-win.”

The 26th Summer School was held this year in host city Dubrovnik from August 25-29, 2012 and was a sell-out success with 61 fortunate students attending.

Ann-Pascale Mommerency from Kortrijk Regional Convention Bureau (Belgium) said : “As new small Convention Bureau we were delighted to get the opportunity through Tourism Flanders to attend the ECM Summer School in the beautiful city of Dubrovnik. The Summer school gave us the chance to meet colleagues from 24 countries and this resulted in an interesting exchange of information and a mixture of visions from people that were all busy in the meeting industry. The workshops and the presentations that we needed to do were a very good practice for us. We welcomed the comments of experts, we try for sure to learn from the output that was giving to us and furthermore we retain that network and time management is crucial in this sector.”

The ECM Summer School curriculum is tailor-made to cover all sectors of the conference industry (convention bureaux, tourist offices, congress and convention centres, hotels, airlines, DMCs, PCOs and Meeting Planners). The faculty consists of top industry experts who share their collective knowledge and experiences about trends in the marketplace, about the structure of the convention business, and above all about how to win business and pursue a successful career in one of the most dynamic and commercial sectors of the tourist industry: Andrea Bauer (Vereint), Julia Bierwirth (CIM), Nalan Emre (IMEX), Paul Flackett (IMEX), Airy Garrigosa (Barcelona), Elisabeth Hansa (Congress Centre Mariazeller Europeum), Cain Leathem (GB Fitness), Rémy Cregut (Montreux Music & Convention Centre), Christian Mutschlechner (Vienna Convention Bureau), Michel Neijmann (IAPCO), Denis Speet (ICCA), Mathias Sondermann (USI), Anne Wallin Rodven (Oslo Convention Bureau), led by the course leader Pier Paolo Mariotti, CMP CMM.

Pier Paolo went on to say : “I am looking forward to the next summer school which will be held in Istanbul from August 24-28, 2013. I have inspected the facilities and we are working already on the programme and the speakers. It is sure to be a big success and probably over-subscribed with the CMP credits news. We are ready for applications……”

*ECM (European Cities Marketing) improves the competitiveness and performance of leading cities of Europe by providing a platform for convention, leisure and city marketing professionals to exchange knowledge, best practice and widen their network to build new business. European Cities Marketing is promoting and linking the interests of more than 120 members from more than 100 major cities in 32 countries.

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