Vienna as a Meeting Metropolis
2020 MEETINGS INDUSTRY STATISTICS
In 2020, Covid-19 left Vienna’s meeting industry facing an unprecedented situation, which is reflected in the annual results. The vast majority of the congresses, corporate events and incentives planned for 2020 had to be cancelled, postponed or held in virtual form without on-site participants. The outcome was massive declines for the capital’s meeting industry and its suppliers.
Participant overnights drop to historic low
The number of events dropped from 5,490 – the previous record set in 2019 – to 1,537 (down 72%) in 2020. The number of participants at these meetings fell to around 121,000 (down 80%), and the number of overnights associated with them to around 265,000 (down 83%) – a level not seen since records began in 1991. Of the 4.6 million overnights generated by all tourism segments in Vienna in 2020, around 6% were attributable to the meeting industry. The segment’s contribution to Austrian GDP declined by more than EUR 800m or 84%. In absolute terms, this meant a GDP contribution of EUR 152.18m from meetings in 2020, around EUR 122m of which came from congresses. Tax income generated for the Austrian treasury by meetings in Vienna was also down, to EUR 42m – a drop of 84%. Meetings in Vienna secured around 2,700 year round jobs for the city in 2020 (down 84%).
International congresses still the main economic driver despite pandemic
The 1,537 events held in Vienna in 2020 included 570 congresses (427 national and 143 international). 8% of all congresses were hosted as hybrid events, i.e. involving a mix of in-person attendees in Vienna and others elsewhere participating virtually. Of the 967 corporate events and incentives held during the year, 578 were domestic and 389 international. Year in year out, international congresses have the greatest economic impact, and the same was true in 2020: although they accounted for only 9% of all meetings in 2020, international congresses contributed 33% of total participants, 59% of overnights, 68% of induced economic impact and 68% of induced tax income for the City of Vienna. 45% of the international congresses hosted in Vienna in 2020 had to be cancelled or were held virtually. 21% were postponed. 34% were held as in-person events, 4% of which were hybrid. In 2020, the medical segment accounted for 28% of all overnights generated by congresses in Vienna, making it the single largest contributor in this respect – in 2019, this category accounted for a 40% share. The United Nations was behind 22% of all congresses, while business and political events made up 21% of the total.
The full 2020 Vienna Meetings Industry Report is available for download at www.vienna.convention.at.
CONGRESSES AND CORPORATE EVENTS 2020
Kind of Event
+/- in %
Kind of Event
+/- in %
Source: Vienna Convention Bureau with Dr Martina Stoff-Hochreiner Consulting