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Gothenburg Convention Bureau

Sweden: SEK 1 billion in congresses

During 2017, Sweden hosted almost a billion kronor’s worth of congresses based on participant spending.

With 255 international congresses held across the country during 2017, Sweden placed 15th in the world. Cities beyond the capital helped to make this a nationwide phenomenon.

While Stockholm hosted the highest number, with 97 international congresses, Gothenburg saw 41 and Uppsala 24, according to a recent report by the International Congress & Convention Association.

Together with this ICCA data on international congresses, the Swedish Network of Convention Bureaus has published the Swedish Congress Report 2017, also including national congresses.

“Congresses are of great importance to Swedish tourism, [contributing] to economic growth and an opportunity to strengthen the individual destinations and Sweden’s brand,” said Karin Mäntymäki, the network’s chairman.

“Congresses are also economically valuable for building and transferring knowledge as well as attracting talent, investors and companies.”

Almost 600 congresses
A total of 588 congresses were held in Sweden during the year, 333 of which were national, 255 international, with around 180,000 participants and generated more than SEK 984 million (€97 million) in tourism economic value, the CVB network claims.

The distribution was SEK 482 million from national congresses and SEK 502 million from the international congresses.

“We have conducted surveys in recent years that show that the average national congress participant spends about SEK 3,500 per day. Assuming that this figure also applies to international participants, we estimate the total tourism economic value for 2017 of at least SEK 984 million, or almost SEK 1 billion,” Mäntymäki explains.

This figure could be even higher. Stockholm is not included in the national congress statistics, as Visit Stockholm’s mission is to work internationally and so has no statistics for national meetings, according to the Swedish Network of Convention Bureaus.

As previously reported, Copenhagen was the top Nordic city in the ICCA list, placing 15th with 115 international association meetings taking place there last year, slightly ahead of Stockholm in 19th with 97 meetings. But in the country rankings, Sweden is 15th with 255 meetings, beating Denmark in 20th with 203.

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