Madrid reaffirms its position as the world’s top MICE destination
Once again, Madrid's MICE tourism has been recognised as the best in the world. The Spanish capital was named World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination at the 28th edition of the World Travel Awards, the tourism sector’s most important international awards, which were held today in the form of a virtual gala. This year is the third in a row that Madrid has achieved this recognition, which positions the city as a top destination for the organisation of international professional events.
The award highlights the confidence that industry professionals have in Madrid, which they chose as their favourite destination once again over competitors like Mexico City, Singapore, Las Vegas and Dubai, which had reached the competition’s final stage by receiving the most votes in their respective regional categories. With this latest award, Madrid's MICE tourism segment ends the year on a high note, having achieved major recognition in 2021 upon being named Best MICE Destination at the second edition of the World MICE Awards (November) and Europe's Leading Meetings & Conference Destination at the European edition of the World Travel Awards (October).
This latest recognition from the international community acknowledges the commitment and the efforts made by Madrid City Council and the city's tourism sector to keep its MICE activity going after the pandemic was declared, maintaining the highest standard of quality and the same degree of professionalism despite the difficulties of the situation. The Tourism Department, Madrid Convention Bureau (MCB) and the companies associated with the latter, which represent all of the business sectors involved in MICE tourism in Madrid, have continued to foster public-private partnership and the development of a working plan to maintain Madrid’s top position among major professional event destinations.
This tourism segment, which has a large impact on the capital as it represents nearly 13.7% of all tourism in Madrid according to 2019 data, also creates major economic benefits for the whole of the city's value chain. Now, with the implementation of the sort of legacy and sustainability projects that the Tourism Department is committed to, it also wants to deliver a positive social and environmental impact so that all of society will benefit from the conferences, fairs and events held in Madrid.
To this end, Madrid Convention Bureau is continuing to finalise the activities to be carried out in 2022 to promote the Spanish capital. Its partners will play a central role in these initiatives, which will aim to publicise Madrid's MICE tourism in mature outbound markets like the United States and Europe as well as emerging markets such as Latin America. To this end, and with sustainability and legacy as their common denominator, they will include attendance at trade fairs and shows, destination presentations and prioritising actions that are carried out in the city itself, such as fam trips.
Accolades like the World Travel Awards raise the city of Madrid’s international profile, strengthen its good reputation and promote a positive image of Madrid as a leading destination for MICE tourism, in addition to stimulating the recovery of MICE activity. According to data from the second round of the sectorial climate survey carried out by Madrid Convention Bureau (MCB) in 2021, the recovery of Madrid’s MICE sector is expected to begin in the second quarter of next year and reach pre-pandemic levels by late 2022 or early 2023.
This study, conducted among companies associated with MCB and professional associations connected to MICE tourism, reveals that the international market currently represents 11% of all of Madrid’s MICE tourism, with the majority of visitors coming from European countries like the United Kingdom, France and Germany, as well as from the United States. The survey recorded a preference for in-person over hybrid or online events and an increase in both the number of service requests and the size of events for which quotes are being provided. These trends point to a recovery.